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How to Make Moon Cakes - Cantonese Style

These are the traditional Cantonese moon cakes, which are baked and have a golden brown skin and are filled with homemade lotus seed paste. Make sure to start this recipe about 3 days or so before serving these moon cakes because they need to sit to let the skin soften.

To see a video of instructions on how to make moon cakes at home click here.

cup golden syrup
1/3 cup peanut oil
1 tsp lye water
1 cups all purpose flour
Homemade lotus seed paste
1 small egg

  1. In a large bowl whisk together the golden syrup, peanut oil, and lye water, until thoroughly combined, this takes about 3 minutes. The golden syrup can usually be found in baking stores and some grocery stores in the baking aisle. The lye water is also called potassium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate solution, this can be found in most Chinese grocery stores.

  2. Once it is thoroughly mixed add the all purpose flour a little at a time while constantly whisking.

  3. When it becomes to thick to use the whisk, take it out removing any excess batter and use a large spoon to fold in the rest of the flour. Once it becomes a dough consistency, knead it with your hands for 30 seconds.

  4. Then cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit for 4 hours or longer at room temperature, I sometimes let it sit overnight.

  5. After it sits remove the plastic and portion it out into 15 gram balls. You will need a baking scale to weigh both the dough and the filling. This way the cakes will all fit perfectly inside a moon cake mold. Now the weight here will be different depending on the size of your moon cake mold. Im using about a 60 gram mold.

  6. Once the dough is rolled it into 15 gram balls set them on a plate and keep them at room temperature.

  7. Next make sure that the homemade lotus paste, found here., has been refrigerated. Having the paste cold helps when rolling it into balls.

  8. Now just like the dough weigh out the paste into 45 gram balls. Then place them on a plate and let them come to room temperature.

  9. Then to place the filling ball inside the dough ball first press the dough ball into a flat circle. Then place the filling ball in the center of the flattened dough ball and cup your hand around the dough. Press the filling into the center while pulling the dough up and around the filling ball trying to keep the dough skin even around the filling as you press. Once the filling ball is completely covered roll the ball between your hands to make smooth. Refer to the video (link above) to see how to do this in detail.

  10. Place the finished moon cake ball on a plate and continue this process for all of the dough and filling balls.

  11. Then lightly grease a baking sheet with a little peanut oil using a towel to wipe off the excess.

  12. Next mold the moon cakes. First lightly flour a moon cake ball. This should be just a dusting with no clumps of flour. Then press the ball into the mold. If you are using a new plastic mold this process will be easier, just follow the directions for your mold. For the wooden mold, to remove the cake just lightly tap the mold on all sides until the cake sides pull away from the mold.

  13. Then just bang the mold face down and let the cake pop out. Place the cake on the greased baking sheet and continue molding the cakes.

  14. Then preheat the oven to 325F, and place the cakes on the top rack. Bake them for 5 minutes.

  15. While they are baking make an egg wash by beating 1 egg with a little cold water.

  16. Then after 5 minutes, take the cakes out and brush them with the egg wash, make sure to do this very gently as to not mess up the design. Then bake them for another 10 minutes.

  17. After 10 minutes baste them with the egg wash again and cook another 5 minutes.

  18. Then remove them from the oven and place them on a plate. These need to sit for 2 to 3 days for the skin to soften, then they can be served, enjoy. Makes about 15 moon cakes depending on your mold size.

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