fredag 16 november 2012


Mooncakes with a norwegian and Ghanaian twist.


Moon cakes are traditional Chinese pastries that are made during the Moon festival (or Harvest Festival), which is celebrated in China, Vietnam, and other countries in Asia. Moon cakes are usually round and contain a sweet filling, with the most common one being red bean paste. Since I don´t like sweet so much I have made a traditional vietnamese filling with green bean paste.

Mooncakes bought in the stores, which are exported from China are rich, heavy, and dense compared with most Western cakes and pastries. They are usually eaten in small wedges accompanied by Chinese tea. These small round cakes symbolize family unity and perfection. They are time consuming to make and nowadays can be bought from Asian pastry shops. 

The homemade Mooncakes I have made here are so much better than the one´s bought in the stores which are made with a lot of preservatives in order to be exported all over the world. These are so light and tasty and with the green mung bean paste I have used they are not so sweet something I prefer.

This recipe uses green mung beans but red bean paste or lotus seed paste can also be used. The mould can be bought from Asian suppliers. However I used my own special one´s since I didn´t have the Chinese and couldn´t get them when I first made them.


4 cups all-purpose flour (plain flour)
3/4 cup dried milk powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (essence)

The dough ready for making the mooncakes.

Make the moon cake dough. In one bowl, mix the flour, milk powder, and salt together. 
Break the eggs into another bowl. Add the sugar, and beat together for up to 5 minutes.
Pour in the melted butter, vanilla extract. Fold through all ingredients.
Add the sifted, dry ingredients to the liquid mixture. Fold in to create a dough.
Knead the dough. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Once smooth, the dough is ready.
Roll a log shape from the dough. If possible, at this point it is helpful to let the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight, as this makes it easier to work with. 
Roll out a log; if chilling for better performance, wrap in plastic food wrap
Cut into evenly sized rounds. There will be approximately 15 to 20 pieces.

Preparing mung beans for the green bean paste.

Green Bean Paste/Mung Bean Paste
200g mung beans (for 6 0r 7 cakes)
50g sugar
100ml vegetable oil
1 tbsp Glutenous rice flour
1 tbsp water

Green Bean Paste /Mung Bean Paste preparation
Soak beans in hot water for 3 hours, drain.  Steam with a little water until soft then put through blender. Place the blended mung beans into a saucepan and over a low heat stir in the sugar. In a separate bowl add the vegetable oil to the glutenous rice flour and stir to a paste. Then stir into the mung bean mixture. Add water and keep stirring until the mixture thickens. Test with your fingers to check that when a little of the mixture is rubbed together it forms one mass.

If the mixture is crumbly, add water a little at a time until the dough is the right consistency to form a small ball. Let the mixture cool slightly then roll into 50g balls. These balls will form the filling of the mooncakes.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC. Prepare two baking sheets by covering in parchment paper.

Press each dough piece into a 3-inch (7.5 cm) circle. When stretching the dough, make the edges thinner and the center thicker.

Add the filling. Press the filling into the middle of each circle. Gather the edges over to enclose the filling and pinch closed. Roll into a ball, then flatten.

Prepare the moon cake press. Add flour to it to help ease the cake out after pressing.
Then, press each flattened circle in the mold to shape the moon cake. To remove each pressed cake, bang all four sides, until it comes out.

If you don't have a moon cake press, try to shape the cake as round as possible and use a fork or a skewer to draw a design. It can be as simple as making a cross or a series of lines, or more elaborate if you're patient. Another alternative is to press a design from a thoroughly clean stamp (from a craft store), chocolate mold, or similar mold into the top of the rounded cake.

Brush each moon cake with egg wash.(Eggwash mix and egg and a little water and brush gently on the cakes all around with a brush) Place each cake about 1 inch (2.5cm) apart on a baking sheet. Once each baking sheet it filled, put them into the oven.

Brush each moon cake with egg wash.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the moon cakes turn golden brown.

Remove from the oven. Leave to cool on a wire cooling rack. Once cooled, they are ready to serve or package.

Serve with Chinese tea.

Package in little boxes for distributing as gifts.

Salted eggyolks for the middle of the cake.
The greenbean paste goes around the eggyolk.
Make a round ball.                     
The dough is squeezed flat and round,  around.

Press the balls with a mooncake press or
some other item that you have. I used
my grandbothers buttermold from Norway
and some Ghanaian wooden stamps
with Adinkra symbols on since I didn´t
have the chinese mooncake mold.
Now I saw they can be found on eBay.
A ready baked mooncake with a ghanaian symbol.

Mooncakes are served with tea.

Cut open you can see the eggyolk and
the filling.

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