Sunday, 30 September 2012

Pure Lotus Shanghai Mooncake

Happy Mid Autumn!!
When I was young, mooncake festival was one of my favourite occasions. I don't know why. Maybe that's because on the actual day itself, we all will sit outside the house compound, offering prayers, eating mooncake, dragon horns, steamed small yam and peanuts, chatting happily and hoping to catch a glimpse of the moon. For some reasons, it always rained on that particular night or it was just too cloudy, so even though it was 15th of the month, the moon was not always visible.

And the mooncakes, I still remember 1 or 2 weeks before the actual festival, freshly baked Shanghai Mooncakes from Oversea were sold in a shopping mall in my hometown. Nothing can rival the crispy skin of a freshly baked Shanghai Mooncake. The lotus paste was still slightly warm when eaten the moment the mooncakes reached home.

But now, those are just memories. The shopping mall had closed down, so there is no more freshly baked Shanghai Mooncakes. And so far, after trying so many Shanghai Mooncakes in the market, nothing came close to those I had eaten during my childhood. So I thought maybe I should make Shanghai Mooncakes for myself and me only. :)

The dough in this recipe is a bit difficult to handle. It is very dry and keeps breaking. So, wrapping the paste is a nightmare. I ended up patching the dough on the paste instead of wrapping it. After baking, the skin is hard to touch, which is good, and it is crispy with each bite, which is also good. But it can't hold together well and very crumbly, when it is being cut through, there are a lot of crumbs, so presentation wise, it is not good, but taste wise, it's very good....haha....after all it's for my own consumption. After 24 hours, the skin soften but still taste good. Maybe I will still use this pastry recipe again. Will let the mooncakes to mature for a few more days and see how the taste develops.
Pastry skin: (make 4 pieces)
  • 150g superfine flour
  • 20g corn flour and a pinch of ground turmeric (recipe calls for custard powder, but I replace it after finding out that custard powder are just made of corn flour, some yellow colouring and some preservatives)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1/2 egg, lightly beaten (leave the other half of the egg for glazing)
  • 30g shortening (I use Crisco, which is trans-fat free)
    In the oven...
  • 30g salted butter
  • Pure lotus paste with melon seeds
  1. Sift flour, corn flour with ground turmeric and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Sift in icing sugar to mix. Add egg and stir to mix.
  3. Combine shortening and butter into the mixture and lightly mix in to combine (do not knead) until a soft dough is formed. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  5. Divide dough into portions of 60g each, and flatten into disks. (After measuring 60g, there are leftover dough which was used to patch up the skin.)
  6. Wrap a piece of filling (weighed 100g and shaped into a ball) in the centre and shape into a dome. Arrange on greased baking trays. (100g filling is probably too much for 60g skin, maybe need to reduce to 80g filling next time.)
  7. Bake for 10 minutes. Depending on your oven, you can stretch it to 15 minutes, I think, but for me the mooncakes looked like they were gonna crack at the 10th minute, so I have to take them out.
  8. Remove the tray and leave aside to rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Brush the mooncakes with egg glaze and continue to bake for another 15 minutes.

The lotus paste can be smoother but neverthelss it's still yummy!

Flavour variation with red bean paste in the middle.
September 2013
I made these again for the year's mooncake festival but something seems to be missing as the skin wasn't as crunchy as the first attempt. Not sure what is wrong, the sure if the shortening is no longer as fresh as the first time I made this. Hmm.....guess I have to start trying other crust recipe.


  1. So turmeric then is for added color, not to make it spicy, right? I thought this mooncake is a bit spicy. :D

    1. :D Yup, it's added just for the colour, so it's just a pinch as to not to have a prominent turmeric flavour on a mooncake...