Lunar worshiping and moon watching are part of the ritual during the night of the celebration day while mooncakes are offered between friends and even during family gatherings. The 15th day of the 8th Lunar month happened to fall on mid September this year and the Mid-Autumn Festival or “Zhongqiu” Festival will be celebrated. Mooncake was treated as luxury when I was a child and my dad will make sure we will have a least a box for this special occasion. We the kids we jumping up and down with joy when the mooncake was sliced and looking at the golden orangy salted duck egg yolk was just a glowing jewel with dismay.
Now the mooncakes come in awesome beautiful packaging and huge range of flavours and colours. Basically you can have them in golden baked or snow skin while the fillings can be anything beyond your imagination such as white lotus paste, lotus paste, chestnut paste, red bean paste, chocolate brownie and even sweet potato paste. Just awesomely amazing. It makes you just wanting to try them all.
This year must be my lucky year as I was invited and paired up with Dim Sum Chef Chong Lim Fong of Tai Zi Heen Chinese Restaurant, The Prince & Residence Kuala Lumpur. I had a hands-on experience in mooncake making. With 20years of Dim Sum perfection under his belt, the art of making mooncake was not a difficult task to perform. Chef Chong himself was rather looking for the art of perfection in his mooncake which I truly agreed with after spending hours with him. He tutored me on making his baked White Coffee with Macadamia Nuts mooncakes.
I was totally speechless and sharing this experience would be fun. He had his mooncake syrup done few days ahead as it needed to be kept overnight. Firstly we had the ingredients readily measured for the mooncake skin and also the fillings. Firstly we had the mooncake skin ready by mixing the syrup and cooking oil till combine with add alkaline and soda powder. The transparent mixture will turn milky. Then the wheat flour was added and molded to a dough and left to rest for two to three hours. While waiting the macadamia nuts were mixed into the readily made white coffee paste. The paste was divided to four portion of same size and molded into ball shape. Chef had the dough (26gm each) rolled flat and wrapped around the white coffee paste.
The molding process is not too difficult. Place the lotus paste ball into the wooden mould then give it a gentle press. Once the shape formed, just give a few knocks on both sides of the wooden mould to release the mooncake. Before the mooncakes are sent to the hot oven, an egg yolk wash is needed. Chef had his egg yolk sprayed and gave a second coating when the skin was half cooked. Amazing.
Moon Cake Syrup
150gm Sliced Lemon
1. Boil all together till boiling for 4 minutes.
2. Then continue to boil with low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
3. Strain. Let it cool and keep for overnight