Golden Syrup For Mooncakes

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Published: Sep 19, 2021 / Modified: Dec 12, 2021 by Mei / This post may contain affiliate liên kết / Leave a Comment


These traditional Chinese mooncakes filled with red bean paste and optional salted yolks are a classic for Mid-Autumn Festival. They are shiny, fragrant, và beautifully golden brown on the outside and embody a well balanced sweet và savory flavor of fall festivities.

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Can you believe it?! It"s Mid-Autumn Festival already! But what kind of Mid-Autumn Fest would it be if we don"t indulge in some mooncakes?

Last year, Kyong và I fell in love with snow skin mooncakes, but this year we decided to tóm tắt something more traditional và classic: the Cantonese-style mooncakes! These mooncakes are what you"d often see at your local Asian markets around this time of the year, as they make wonderful gifts for families và friends. Not khổng lồ mention, they are so tasty! But as usual, our complaints rest with how sweet commercial mooncakes are. So here"s to lớn those of you who wants lớn enjoy classic mooncakes that are less sweet or wants to mô tả some beautiful homemade mooncakes with family & friends.

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Mooncake origin

Where do we start when it comes to the origin of mooncakes? Well, even for me, a Chinese decedent, it"s a little hard to lớn pinpoint the true origin of why we eat mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Some folklores share the tales of Chang"e, who ate some immortality elixirs to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands và became the Goddess of the Moon. So mooncakes would be eaten in honor of the Moon Goddess khổng lồ celebrate this year"s good harvest và pray for an even better one the next year. While other tales talked of how mooncakes were used as a vessel to lớn deliver secret messages in the Yuan dynasty by revolutionaries. Whichever tale made mooncakes a popular celebration food, we can all agreed that mooncakes are enjoyed and gifted as a symbol of completeness and prosperity in harvest for the upcoming year.

Sharing mooncakes

Have you ever wondered why mooncakes in general are considerably sweet, rich, & loaded in calories? It"s because it"s a pastry meant khổng lồ be shared with friends và family! Usually, you"ll also find a knife và prong set inside of mooncake boxes, making it easier for you to divvy up a mooncake for sharing. Oh, & don"t forget to brew some hot tea! It"s a classic khổng lồ pair hot tea with mooncakes, and they are a perfect combo!

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What are traditional mooncakes?

Technically speaking, there are a variety of mooncakes traditional lớn each region and province of china or other Asian countries. For example, Su-style mooncakes (苏州月饼) can be either a sweet or savory filling wrapped with a flakey pastry dough. Meanwhile, the recently trending snow skin mooncakes, originating from Singapore, can be filled with a variety of sweet fillings & wrapped in a no-bake, mochi-like dough. & in this recipe and post, we are sharing one of the most popular mooncakes, also known as the Cantonese-style mooncakes (广式月饼). This style of mooncake is what most people think of when referring lớn traditional or classic mooncakes. It"s usually filled with either red bean paste or lotus seed paste and can be stuffed up to four, salted duck egg yolks.

Potassium Carbonate và its alternative

To make these traditional Cantonese-style mooncakes, one very important & a classic ingredient to have is Potassium Carbonate solution, sometimes known as food grade lye water, which essentially is an alkaline solution. You may have even heard of or are familiar with the Cantonese term kansui (枧水)or the Mandarin term jianshui (枧水/碱水). This dietary alkaline solution is added lớn foods, usually starches and doughs, khổng lồ help with browning, balancing out acids, and to achieve certain textures. For example, Chinese sticky rice dumplings & hand-pulled noodles are a couple of foods that sometimes use jianshui.

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Although potassium carbonate solution can be purchased online, you can usually find it in your local ethnic markets. But we know, sometimes sourcing can be difficult or you just simply don"t want to purchase a whole bottle just for one or two recipes. So here is an alternative that you can easily make at home using baking soda!

To make a lye water alternative:

Evenly spread a box of baking soda (12 or 16 ounce) onto a baking tray lined with aluminum foil. Bake the baking soda in the oven with the fan hâm mộ off for about 30 minutes at 350°F. Make sure lớn smash up large lumps so that the baking soda can be baked evenly. Let the baking soda cool khổng lồ room temperature in the oven khổng lồ prevent it from reabsorbing excess moisture from the cooling process. Once the baked baking soda is cool, store it in an airtight container lớn be used as needed. Khổng lồ make the alkaline solution, phối together 1 part baked baking soda to 4 parts water và use your homemade solution in equal proportion as instructed by the recipe.

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The main ingredient: inverted golden syrup

Another very important ingredient used for mooncake making is inverted golden syrup, or simply golden syrup. This syrup is made similarly to making caramel (not to lớn be confused with caramel sauce), which is cooking water & sugar until golden amber, with the exception that an acid, usually lemon juice is added. The lemon juice (acid) inverts the syrup which prevents it from crystalizing and solidifying lượt thích regular caramel.

So what"s the purpose of using golden syrup in mooncakes? Golden syrup, being that it is a sugar & an inverted syrup, keeps pastries from drying out. It helps mooncakes keep their iconic tenderness và also extends their shelf life by keeping the pastry from becoming stale. Lastly, golden syrup contributes to lớn mooncake"s beautiful golden appearance.

If you"re making your own homemade golden syrup, sometimes you may find excess bubbles staying on the surface, even after letting it sit for a day. This indicates that your golden syrup is probably a little too thick. To fix it, transfer the golden syrup into a saucepan along with a couple Tablespoons of water. Bring it to lớn boil & mix until everything is well combined. Transfer the syrup khổng lồ a clean container & let any bubbles dissipate. If the golden syrup still have bubbles, more water is needed.

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If stored properly, homemade golden syrup can last more than a year!

Homemade mooncake red bean paste

Honestly, mooncake making is pretty easy. The only time consuming part is making the filling. So vị feel không tính phí to purchase pre-made bean paste. But if you really want to go a step further to make mooncakes, using homemade mooncake red bean paste is definitely rewarding. Not only will the bean paste flavor be customizable to your preference, in general, your mooncake will taste so much better.

To make red bean paste for mooncakes, you"ll start off the same as our classic azuki bean paste recipe. However, after the azuki beans have been cooked in the Instant Pot, you"ll have khổng lồ "sauté" the bean paste in some oil, along with the sugar and salt, to lớn make the red bean paste more malleable and a little bit richer. Make sure to cook the bean paste, at the least, until it no longer sticks to the sides of the pan.

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Preparing frozen salted duck egg yolk for mooncakes

If you"re team mooncakes with salted duck egg yolks, you"ll definitely want to lớn embed salted yolks in your mooncakes! There are several different ways lớn go about acquiring these salted yolks, from curing the duck eggs yourself lớn the easiest method, using already cooked và salted duck egg yolks from the frozen isle. The only drawback for using frozen yolks is that not all brands are created equal. Some brands procure decent salted yolks while others make salted rubber balls. So you really have to demo out each brand to know. The pros are definitely the convenience và the lower cost, compared to purchasing whole duck eggs, whether cured or fresh.

So here are some tips for preparing these frozen salted yolks khổng lồ be mooncake making ready:

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Soaking the yolks in a neutral oil.
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Before baking, the yolks are a vibrant orange.
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After baking, the yolks are foaming and looks golden yellow.Soaking the yolks in oil. It"s totally option but recommended khổng lồ soak them in oil at least for 1 hour or overnight lớn help keep them moist so that during baking, the yolks wont lose their desirable fatty, richness.Give the yolks a coating of clear liquor before baking. This process is highly recommended và the purpose is khổng lồ help get rid of eggy-ness, as duck eggs smell and tastes more eggy than chicken eggs. You can use any clear liquor from Chinese rice wine (米酒) to lớn cheap vodkas. We like to apply the liquor using a spray bottle and give the yolks one to lớn two spray with the fine mist nozzle, but you can definitely brush the yolks if you prefer. Make sure lớn only apply a thin coat of liquor or the yolk may not bake properly.Bake until the yolks are foamy. Typically, salted egg yolks take about 5 to 10 minutes lớn bake, but a good indication that they"re done is when the yolks starts to foam. This conveys that the fat inside the yolks are releasing, making the yolk tastier & richer. Also, you can see that the yolks will have lighten up a couple shades and become a golden yellow & opaque rather than the original vibrant orange.Let the yolks cool completely before using. Even though mooncakes have to lớn be baked after shaping, it is still crucial to lớn use all of the fillings at room temperature. This will prevent excess moisture from building, due to the temperature difference, which could cause the fillings to separate or the mooncakes to lớn crack & bulge.
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Labors of love: mooncake making

From preparing all of the components for mooncakes to shaping mooncakes, they are all labors of love. But, I"d say that mooncake shaping is definitely the hardest part of this entire process because lớn become good at it, practice is a must. So for the beginners và first-time mooncake makers, don"t be discouraged! Practice makes perfect, & in the meantime, those imperfect mooncakes are still just as tasty & make great snacks.

Below are step-by-step photos of the mooncake shaping process lớn give you a visual along with instructions:

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If using salted yolks, make an indentation in the bean paste.

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Stuff the salted yolk in the bean paste và seal it in.
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Place a ball of filling on a flattened dough, about 2.5 khổng lồ 3 inches wide..
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Flip it over và shimmy the dough off your palm so that it drapes over the ball of filling.
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Flip it back over khổng lồ carefully work the dough over the entire filling like the bottle neck of a vase.
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Use a turn, mold, smooth sort of motion. This is called "hukou" which translates khổng lồ the "opening of a vase".
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Overlap the excess dough to lớn seal the filling.
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Round out the mooncake to smooth out the overlaps.
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Dust the mooncake & stamp it with your mooncake mold. Make sure to be firm and hold for a couple of seconds to ensure the thiết kế is transferred.

Patience is the key khổng lồ enjoy mooncakes

We know it is incredibly hard & takes some serious self control to not gobble up fresh pastries the moment we can handle the heat, but trust us on this one. You"ll want to enjoy your mooncake at least 2 days after they"re baked. Why?

During the 2 days of maturation, the pastry softens up from the filling"s moisture & oil, which creates their iconic tenderness. If you were lớn taste the mooncake after it"s cooled from the oven, the pastry on the outside will be crumbly và dry. The second difference after the maturation is that the pastry will appear much shinier, saturated in color, & just more appealing, color-wise. This process is called huiyou (回油), meaning the "return of oil".

So make sure khổng lồ give your homemade mooncakes a couple of days to lớn mature in an airtight container after they have cooled completely. Personally, we lượt thích to keep it out at room temperature for at least one day or until the maturation process is finished. Then, you can store the mooncakes, in airtight containers, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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Mooncake troubleshoot

Over the years of testing & experimenting with making mooncakes, here are some troubleshooting tips we"ve collected:

Golden syrup discrepancy. Wether you"re using homemade golden syrup or store bought ones, the moisture content may vary. Since golden syrup is also a large component of the dough, we suggest reserving 5% of the flour called for in the recipe khổng lồ accommodate the dough, if your golden syrup is on the dryer side. Of course, if the golden syrup is on the wetter side, you can add a little bit more flour.Sometimes, the weather can also affect your mooncake dough. When it"s really warm or humid, we usually have to địa chỉ cửa hàng a couple extra teaspoon of flour khổng lồ get the dough khổng lồ the right consistency.
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The consistency of the dough is cohesive but still slightly crumbly when it"s first made, but will become smoother once it"s being manipulated. It kind of resembles a stiff sugar cookie dough.Large amount of filling khổng lồ small amount of dough. When we first started making these Cantonese-style mooncakes, it was a struggle trying khổng lồ contain 35 grams of filling in only 15 grams of mooncake dough. So for beginners và first-time mooncake makers, feel không tính tiền to adjust the filling & dough ratio. I highly recommend trying 30 grams filling & 20 gram dough.Half the salted yolks. When making 50 gram mooncakes, sometimes the salted duck yolks are just too big to lớn fit properly. You can cut the salted yolk in half after it"s cooled after baking. If you prefer more bean paste rather than just salted yolks, you can vày this too.Dust the mooncake mold. Usually, we never have issue with only dusting the mooncake before pressing them. But sometimes, especially when the whether is humid or hot, we have lớn dust flour on both the mooncakes và the inside of the molds.Filling must be dry. Compared to lớn red bean paste made for other desserts, red bean paste for mooncakes have to be much dryer. When "sautéing" the bean paste, cook it, at the least, until the paste stops sticking to lớn the sides of the pan.Use lye water for deeper mooncake color. After baking for a total of trăng tròn minute và your mooncake is still pale, check your oven temperature to lớn make sure it"s accurate. If the oven temperature is not the issue, you can showroom another teaspoon of lye water to lớn help your mooncake achieve a darker color.
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If you"re looking for other Asian festival eats, you make like these:

Bake with love!Mei ❤️

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