MOONCAKE Recipe – Bánh Trung Thu (Bánh Nướng)

  • To make sugar syrup: In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Do not stir, just occasionally swirl the pan to help the sugar dissolve. Then add lime juice and lyewater. You can skim off the foam. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until slightly thickend. To test for thickness, drop the syrup in a bowl of cold water. If it forms small circles, turn off the heat. Let cool and store in a jar. For best results, the sugar syrup should be made at least 3 weeks before the baking day, preferably one year before.
  • To make the crust: Place the all-purpose flour in a bowl. Make a hole in the center and pour in the vegetable oil, lye water and sugar syrup. Stir with a spatula until combined. The flour mixture now looks like wet sand. Knead well with your hand or using a stand mixer into a smooth dough. Form into a log and wrap in plastic wrap to avoid drying up. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
  • To make the filling, place the nuts, candied peel, ginger jam in a pan and “dry-fry” on medium low heat, mixing constantly. Add the cooked glutinous flour and corn syrup gradually. Add roasted sesame seeds and sesame oil. Keep mixing until it gets sticky and can hold together. Take off the heat and form into balls. Make sure each ball weighs 2/3 of the total weight of the cake. (Eg. For 200g mooncake, the filling should weigh 130g)
  • To shape the cake, divide the dough into equal portions; each portion weighs 1/3 of total weight of the cake. (Eg. For 200g mooncake, the filling should weigh about 70g). Roll each portion flat, place a filling ball in the center and wrap it up. Form into a nice ball, making sure the the fillings is completly covered. Flour the cake/the mold to avoid sticking. Place the shaped ball into the mold and press to implement the pattern. Repeat until finish the dough and fillings.
  • Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. Place the shaped mooncake on a bright coloe baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes. Then take out, spray water to cool down and let dry for 10 minutes.
  • Prepare the egg wash: mix an egg yolk with water and coloring. Gently tap/brush the egg wash onto the surface of the cakes. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, occasionally rotate the tray. You can brush the egg wash for 2 more times and bake until the cakes are evenly browned.
  • Freshly baked cakes are hard to eat as the crust is still too firm. You need to let the cake sit for 3 more days until the crust softens. Enjoy!

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