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It’s worth noting that there are 2 ingredients that are particularly important in making these baked mooncakes – golden syrup and alkaline water (lye water / kan sui / 碱水).
The golden syrup is a deep amber syrup made from boiling sugar with water over a period of time. This syrup has a rich and deeper flavor. The alkaline water helps to “relax” the baked crust, as these baked mooncakes are typically eaten after 3-5 days, after the crust soften (回油).
I have used lotus paste here, but of course you can use other pastes that you like, such as the red bean paste. I won’t recommend the fruity flavored pastes though – they go better with snowskin mooncakes.
For such nice imprints after baking, do ensure you give the dough a good pressured press while in the mold. Do take note to not use too much strength in pressing, otherwise the filling might leak from the dough.
>> FOR MORE MOONCAKE RECIPES:
You will need deep imprints like these. Ensure you dust the mold generously with extra HK flour, shake out the excess. Lightly dust the ball of dough and place it into the mold, and press with pressure.
These are old school traditional Cantonese style baked mooncakes, with a soft baked crust, and rich lotus paste filling, wrapped with salted egg yolks.
- 150 g Hong Kong or top flour
- 90 g mooncake golden syrup
- 30 g peanut or rice bran oil
- 1/2 tbsp alkaline water (kan sui / 碱水)
- Lotus paste or paste of your choice
- 20 g to 30g melon seeds, or the amount that you like
- 6 Salted eggs
- 1 chicken egg yolk + 1 tbsp milk, beaten and sift
Prepare the salted egg yolks. Crack the eggs and remove the yolks. (Read here on WendyInkk's blog on how to clean the eggs) Soak the yolks in rice bran or other mild flavored cooking oil for about 15-20 mins, to remove the fishy smell.
After soaked, remove and drain the egg yolks. You might want to dab the yolks gently on some kitchen paper towel. Place the melon seeds and egg yolks on lined baking tray. Bake in preheated oven at 140C for about 8-12 mins. Please watch the oven carefully as the yolks might get overcooked. Once the yolks turn slightly lighter in color, and the melon seeds toasted, you can remove from oven and cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare the mooncake dough. Place the flour in a mixing bowl. Create a well in the middle of the bowl. Add in golden syrup, oil and alkaline water. Mix the ingredients well into a dough. Let the dough rest for about 30 - 35 mins.
Prepare the lotus paste. Mix in the toasted melon seeds. Roll the lotus paste into ball roughly, then make a hole in the centre. Place 1 yolk in it. Gently roll the lotus paste into a ball shape. Be careful not to crush the yolks as they are quite soft after being baked. Set aside.
You might want to use a pair of plastic gloves to do this, as the paste can get very sticky on your hands as you roll them. (I am using 80g lotus paste + yolk filling for 125g mold)
Divide the mooncake dough into portions (I am using 45g dough. If it's too thin, you can increase to 50g or 55g; and also adjust the filling weight accordingly).
Take 1 ball of the mooncake dough, flatten with your fingers or rolling pin, and wrap the lotus paste in it. Roll into a roundish ball shape in between your palms gently. (Read my snowskin mooncake post on the wrapping :))
Using your mold or plunger, imprint the design on the mooncake (flour the mold generously and knock out excess flour). Place it on lined baking tray. Repeat for all the dough + paste.
Bake in preheated oven at 180C for 5 mins. Remove from oven and cool for about 2-3 mins. Brush gently with egg wash. Place back into oven to continue baking for another 10-15 mins, depending on your mooncake size. Do watch the oven nearer to finishing time, so they do not get overly baked.
Once the mooncakes are baked to golden brown to your liking, remove from oven and cool completely before storing.
I always choose Hong Kong lotus paste for that "traditional" old school taste. It is darker in color and taste compared to white lotus paste.
You will need about 3-4 days for the mooncake crust to 回油, ie to soften, before eating.
Recipe adapted from Kwong Cheong Thye.