A few years later with a many rounds of practice, I'm happy to share the better version of my first mooncake recipe — taro and salted egg yolk mooncakes. These baked mooncakes have a creamy taro and coconut filling as well as a salted egg yolk!
Taro Coconut Filling
900gtaro and/or purple yam, steamed
60mlfull-fat coconut milk
Salted Egg Yolk
12cooked salted duck egg yolks, can omit, and use more taro filling for mooncakes
140mlgolden syrup, okay to sub honey but mooncakes will be less golden
1tsplye water (kansui)
1large egg yolk
Taro Coconut Filling
Wash and peel taro root with potato peeler. Wearing gloves for this step is helpful because raw taro can leave skin feely waxy and itchy. Cut taro into 1 inch cubes. Repeat steps for purple yam.
Place taro and purple yam cubes into a steamer or steaming basket. Steam until tender to the fork, about 30 minutes.
Remove taro and yam from steamer. Using a fork or potato ricer, mash the root vegetables into a smooth paste. Alternatively, transfer taro and yam to the bowl of a stand mixer and use paddle attachment to beat the mixture until smooth
Add coconut milk, sugar, and salt to the mixture. Mix until well combined and paste is smooth.
Transfer filling to the fridge for 2 hours. Chilled taro filling is much easier to work with.
In a large measuring cup, whisk together golden syrup, vegetable oil, and alkaline water.
Add the mixture to flour. 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 35g scoops of taro filling and gently shape each portion into balls. If using salted egg yolks, you want the taro filling and salted egg yolk to add up to 35g.
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 taro 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 taro 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.
Using 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.
The number of mooncakes you get from the recipe will depend on several factors: the size on your mooncake mold, whether you place a salted egg yolk in the centre of each mooncake (you will use up the taro filling more quickly, meaning less mooncakes, if you don't use an egg yolk), and how thick you make your crust. This recipes makes 12 mooncakes with salted egg yolks and 8 plain ones! I like having variety from one recipe.
Taro and Salted Egg Yolk Mooncakes by Amy of Constellation Inspiration