Just two more days until Mid-Autumn Festival! In previous years, I would most likely be on my second or third box of store-bought mooncakes but because celebrations are smaller this year and my family hasn’t been visiting family friends and relatives, our stash of mooncakes (both gifted and bought for entertaining) in the house has been quite small. I don’t really mind though because this year compared to all the past ones, I’ve been making a lot more mooncakes. Originally I thought I was done mooncakes for this year since I’ve made so many batches, but the rainy weather this weekend called for lots of baking at home. I’ve played with snowskin dough and traditional baked dough… but this weekend I wanted to flavour the dough and what better flavour to use than my go-to flavour for all things sweet — matcha. This recipe is based on my original baked mooncake recipe with the additional of matcha to the dough and a chestnut filling. I put a yolk in half of the mooncakes so non-yolk-lovers (I don’t know why anyone would dislike a salted egg yolk centre!) could have mooncakes too. If I don’t post another last minute mooncake recipe in the next two days, I wish you and your loved ones a very happy Mid-Autumn Festival!
Matcha Mooncake with Chestnut and Salted Egg Yolk
- 300 g store-bought roasted chestnuts (no shell)
- 100 g Japanese sweet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes, steamed
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar, more if chestnuts are not sweetened
- 3 tbsp evaporated milk
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
Salted Egg Yolk
- 6 cooked salted duck egg yolks, can omit, and use more taro filling for mooncakes
Matcha Mooncake Dough
- 70 ml golden syrup, okay to sub honey but mooncakes will be less golden
- 1/2 tsp lye water (kansui)
- 40 ml vegetable oil
- 200 g all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp matcha powder
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp water
- Place Japanese sweet potato cubes into a steamer or steaming basket. Steam until tender to the fork, about 20 minutes. Transfer into a large bowl.
- Using a fork or potato ricer, mash the sweet potato and chestnuts into a smooth paste. Alternatively, transfer sweet potato and chestnuts to the bowl of a stand mixer and use paddle attachment to beat the mixture until smooth.
- Add sugar, evaporated milk, oil, and salt to the mixture. Mix until well combined and paste is smooth.
- Transfer filling to the fridge for 1 hour. Chilled filling is much easier to work with.
Matcha Mooncake Dough
- In a large measuring cup, whisk together golden syrup, vegetable oil, and alkaline water.
- Sift flour and matcha powder together into a large bowl.
- Add the mixture to flour mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold and combine everything into a soft, smooth dough. Do not overwork the dough.
- Cover the dough and let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Weigh out 30 – 35g scoops of chestnut filling and gently shape each portion into balls. If using salted egg yolks, you want the chestnut filling and salted egg yolk to add up to 45g. [*I'm using a 60g mold]
- Weigh out the dough into 15g pieces. Keep any leftover dough to use for mending when dough cracks during shaping process.
- Take one of the chestnut balls and make a deep well in the middle. Insert one salted duck egg yolk into the well. Close the top and reshape into a ball, trying to make sure the egg yolk is as centred as possible. Repeat for the remaining portions of filling.
- Lightly dust mooncake wrapper dough balls with flour. Roll out dough ball between two pieces of parchment paper into a 4-inch round.
- Put one ball of the chestnut filling at the centre of the rolled out dough. Carefully use the parchment paper to fold the dough onto the filling so that it wraps around the filling. It is okay if your dough cracks — we can reshape it and patch any holes with the reserved dough.
- Turn the opening side up and slowly press together to close the opening, covering all surfaces of the filling. Keep the distribution of dough as even as possible.
- Using a brush, dust mooncake mold with flour. Place assembled dough ball into the mold. With the mold facing upwards, apply gentle pressure to shape the dough ball into the mold cavity. Flip the mold over and press the mooncake down with the top pressure bar. Gently guide the mooncake out of the mold.
- Place moon cakes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- sing a spray bottle, gently mist the moon cakes with water. Alternatively you can very gently use a pastry brush to brush on a very thin layer of water onto the top of the moon cakes. This will prevent the moon cakes from cracking when baking.
- Immediately put the mooncakes in the oven and bake for 5 minutes.
- While the mooncakes are baking, prepare the egg wash by whisking together egg yolk and water.
- Once five minutes are up, take mooncakes out of the oven and place on a wire rack. Brush a thin layer of egg wash onto the mooncakes, making sure there are no large puddles of egg wash. Large wells of egg wash will make your moon cake design less defined.
- Bake for an additional 15 – 20 minutes until deep golden brown.
- Remove mooncakes from oven. The mooncakes will look dry at this point (vs. the glossy sheen of moon cakes from the store). Store the cooled mooncakes in an airtight container for a day and the skin will develop the glossy finish we associate with traditional mooncakes. You will start to see this sheen develop within the first couple of hours.