My first bake with this traditional baked moon cake recipe got me so excited that I started baking continuously for 3 days for my love ones.  The finishing colors of my first baked moon cakes were so pretty with an evenly coat of shine on the crust,  that I couldn’t bear to eat them. Plus, this recipe allows the mooncake skin to still be soft after baked. You can almost eat them immediately once they are cooled. The waiting for 3 days is just to give the mooncakes a nicer glossy presentation.

However, due to rushing for my subsequent bakes, I made a few mistakes which resulted in dark brown, cracked and patchy egg- glazed crusts. I decided to slow down and calmly work on the process to note down the mistakes that I have made. As suspected, my last bake turned out to be as pretty as my first original bake.  Below are the mistakes and tips I have noted. You can keep them in mind when you are attempting this recipe.

  1.  Ensure all the ingredients especially fillings are at room temperature. Different temperature ingredients can cause the moon cakes to bloat at the sides after baking.
  2. Dust a very light even coat of flour around your filled dough before inserting into the mold. Uneven coating can cause a thick layer of flour on your moon cakes or not imprinting detailed design after molding. Continuous coating of flour inside your mold can also cause similar result.
  3. Lightly and sparingly spray water onto your moon cakes before baking. Over spraying will cause your flour coating and water to mix, thus forming a layer of flour mixture on your moon cakes.
  4. Cover the inside top of the oven to have a more evenly colored baked moon cakes. The light from the oven can cause uneven browning on moon cakes.
  5. Ensure that your egg wash are at room temperature and not kept in the fridge once mixed. The egg wash will dry out fast in the fridge and cause your moon cakes to flake after baking.
  6. Coat your moon cakes very lightly with egg wash with a brush. A lightly brushed layer at a time will result with a beautiful coat on your moon cakes.
  7. You can remove your baked moon cakes once they are light golden brown. The color will darken and be evenly distributed after 3-5 days.
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My first set of moon cakes after storing for 3 days

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This mooncake press set mold (115g) that I use can yield 4 medium sized moon cakes

Traditional baked moon cakes with lotus and roasted sunflower seeds

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Ingredients:

Moon cake skin (Revised recipe) 

  1. 240g plain / top flour (Sifted)
  2. 140 grams golden syrup
  3. 5 grams alkaline water
  4. 60 grams peanut oil
  5. Extra sifted flour for dusting and shaping mooncake

Lotus and roasted sunflower seeds/melon filling

  1. 20 -30 grams sunflower/melon seeds
  2. 460 grams store bought lotus paste

Egg wash

  1. 1 egg yolk + 1 tsp milk

Method

Lotus and roasted sunflower/melon seeds filling

  1. Dry roast the sunflower/melon seeds in a pot till light brown. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add the cooled roasted sunflower/melon seeds to lotus paste.
  3. Divide the filling paste into 60 grams pieces. Shape each dough into a ball. Set aside.

Mooncake skin

  1. Combine well golden syrup, alkaline water and peanut oil in a bowl
  2. Add the syrup mixture into the sifted flour and mix with a spatula. Lightly use your fingers and knead to form a soft, smooth dough. Do not over knead the dough.
  3. Wrap dough with cling wrap and leave to rest for about. 30mins in fridge or 1 hour in room temperatures. (*You can make dough the night before and store in fridge. It should still be soft and pliable)
  4. After resting the dough, give the dough a few light kneads.
  5. Divide dough into about 55 grams pieces. Shape each dough into a ball.

Assembling and baking the mooncakes

  1. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees and lower to 170 degrees before baking.
  2. Flatten each dough between your palms into a small disc. Wrap the mooncake skin around the filling and shape it into a smooth even ball.
  3. Lightly dust the wrapped mooncake ball evenly with some flour. Place it in the mold and press firmly. Press the mold handle to push out the mooncake onto your hand. Gently remove the mooncake and place mooncake on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Repeat until all the dough and lotus filling is used up.
  4. Spray water sparingly around the mooncakes.
  5. Bake at preheated oven of 170 degrees on the medium rack for 10 mins. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 20 minutes.
  6. Brush the mooncake lighly and evenly with egg wash.
  7. Continue to bake moon cakes in the oven for another 10 to 15 mins, or until golden brown.
  8. Remove the moon cakes from the oven and leave to cool completely.
  9. The mooncakes’ skin should be soft enough to be eaten immediately. Alternatively, you can store in air tight containers for the oil to ooze out and evenly coat the mooncake skin in about 3-5 days time . The moon cake skin will become soft and shiny and ready to be enjoyed.
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