Thursday, September 19, 2013

How to make Mini Egg Custard Moon Cakes

The Mid-Autumn Festival is coming up and it is one of the most important annual festivals for the Chinese people! It is a day for family to celebrate a time when the moon is at its fullest and brightest of the whole year. When I was still living in Hong Kong, I used to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with my family. We would have a big dinner together in the evening of Mid-Autumn. After dinner, we would go to park to see the festive decorations. We also brought our lanterns, moon cakes and festive fruits with us, and observed the bright, beautiful full moon with lit lanterns and candles throughout the night until bedtime. 

This year, the Mid-Autum Festival will be September 19, 2013. Even though I am living in New York City now, I still make an effort in celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival on my own. :) A good thing living in the metropolitan area is that we are able to buy moon cakes in Chinatown around the festive period. However, my husband isn't a fan of the typical traditional moon cakes with preserved egg yolk inside (Yikes!). Therefore, we usually get the ones filled with sweet white lotus seed paste only. This year, I am going to surprise my husband, by making a different kind of moon cakes! 

The moon cakes that I made for this year are called Mini Egg Custard Moon Cakes. The egg custard moon cakes are very popular in Hong Kong these days. They are less filling than the typical moon cakes yet taste equally great (or even better!). The egg custard moon cakes are originally created by the dim sum chef at the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong. 

Mini Egg Custard Moon Cakes (without preserved egg yolk)
Portion: 12 pieces (with a 1.5 inch mini moon cake mould bought on ebay)


Egg Custard Moon Cake Filling
Sugar 60g
Cake Flour 18g
Corn Starch 18g (in substitute of custard powder)
Vanilla Extract 2 tsp
Milk Powder 18g
Condensed Milk 25g
Egg Yolks 30g (for me, I used 3 egg yolks)
Coconut Milk 100g (I used "lite" coconut milk for healthier choice.)
Evaporated Milk 7g 
Salted Butter 30g (You can use unsalted one and add a pinch of salt)
Parmesan Cheese 100g

Moon Cake Outer Crust
Sugar Powder 60g
Salted Butter 120g
Egg Yolk 25g 
Coconut Milk 25g
Cake Flour 250g
Corn Starch 12g
Vanilla Extract 1 tsp

(Recipe adapted from here and I made some slight adjustments along the way)

Egg Custard Moon Cake Filling
1. In a large bowl, mix sugar, cake flour, corn starch, milk powder. Then add the egg yolks, vanilla extract, condensed milk and half of the coconut milk into the mixture. Mix well. Then add the evaporated milk and the other half of the coconut milk. Lastly, stir in butter and parmesan cheese into the mixture. Mixing just until incorporated. Butter doesn't need to be fully melted. 

2. Pour the mixture into any heat-resistant container that is suitable for steaming. Put the mixture container into steamer for about 20 minutes until the mixture becomes thick and not liquid. (Be careful! The steam is hot and can burn you badly if you're not careful.) 

3. Let the mixture cool down a little bit. Bring out the container and mix well. 

4. Shape the mixture into long thick cylinder shape. Wrap the mixture using a non-stick paper sheet. Put in the fridge for 4 hours.  

Moon Cake Outer Crust
1. In a large bowl, mix sugar and butter. Add egg yolks, coconut milk, cake flour, corn starch and vanilla extract, mix well. Use a plastic sheet to wrap the crust mix. Place the crust mix into the fridge for 30 minutes. Put aside.

2. Bring out the egg custard moon cakes filling from the fridge. Knead gently. Divide the filling into tight little balls. For 12 pieces, each piece would weigh about 19g. 

3. For the outer crust, shape the crust mix into small pieces. Each piece would weigh about 25g. Place the crust ball onto plastic sheet. Use both hands to press onto the crust ball until nice and thin.

4. Place the filling onto the crust skin. Wrap into balls. 

5.  Lightly sprinkle all-purpose flour over the moon cake balls. Place the ball into the moon cake mold. Place the smooth surface side in. Remember to lightly sprinkle (not too much!) the inside of the mold as well. 

6. Press the moon cake mold. The moon cake should pop out like this. (Remember to place a non-stick paper sheet beneath)

7. Cover all mini moon cakes with plastic paper. Put into the fridge for at least 45 minutes until nice and firm. 

8. Preheat oven to 485°F. Apply very thin egg wash onto the moon cakes surface. Put moon cakes into oven for 5 minutes. 

9. Bring out the moon cakes and let them rest for 10 minutes in room temperature. 

10. Apply very thin egg wash again onto the moon cakes surface. Bake for another 4 minutes. Apply thin layer of honey water. Continue to bake for 1 minute. Done!

The mini moon cakes are so delicious! Make yourself a nice hot tea and celebrate the bright full moon with your beloved ones! Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

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