The GBC Festive Feast #12 Celebrate with Mooncake
This is it, the final dish of the final course! We’re sure your Christmas celebrations are well underway, no matter what your traditions are. But if you happen to still be searching for that perfect pud, we might be your Christmas miracle! And if you have any time to relax, then check out the rest of our recipes, just in case your New Year’s meal is still unplanned. Merry Christmas from everyone at GBC, and we hope you enjoy this final dish.
This might be a slightly unfamiliar dish for many people, but they are hugely popular in China, and in the British Chinese community.
They were traditionally eaten during the Chinese mid-autumn festival, which is a celebration of lunar worship and moon watching, and is one of four major Chinese festivals. Due to their popularity, they can now be found outside this time, but still retain a strong connection to this, and all celebration. In contemporary culture it is become customary to give Mooncakes as gifts to family friends and business colleagues This recipe is quite complicated, but well worth giving a go if you have some free time over the festive period.
For the Dough
640g all purpose flour
120g dried milk powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 large egg
200g unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (essence)
For the Filling
1 jar apricot jam
200g chopped pitted dates
110g desiccated coconut
175g raisins (or sultanas)
1 beaten egg
2 tablespoons of water
1. In one bowl, mix the flour, milk powder, and salt together.
2. Break the eggs into another bowl. Add the sugar, and beat together for up to 5 minutes. Pour in the melted butter, vanilla extract. Fold through all ingredients.
3. Add the sifted, dry ingredients to the liquid mixture, fold to make a dough
4. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Once smooth, the dough is ready.
5. Roll a log shape from the dough. If possible, at this point it is helpful to let the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight, as this makes it easier to work with.
6. Cut into evenly sized rounds. There will be approximately 15 to 20 pieces.
7. To make the filling mix the apricot preserves, chopped dates, coconut and raisins together in a small bowl. Use a fork to mash down any large, chunky pieces of apricot.
8. Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC. Prepare two baking sheets by covering in parchment paper.
9. Press each dough piece into a 3-inch circle. When stretching the dough, make the edges thinner and the center thicker.
10. Add the filling, Pressing it into the middle of each circle. Gather the edges over to enclose the filling and pinch closed. Roll into a ball, then flatten.
11. Try to shape the cake as round as possible and use a fork or a skewer to draw a design. It can be as simple as making a cross or a series of lines, or more elaborate if you’re patient. Another alternative is to press a design from a thoroughly clean stamp.
12. Brush each moon cake with egg wash. Place each cake about 1 inch (2.5cm) apart on a baking sheet. Once each baking sheet it filled, put them into the oven.
13. Bake for 30 minutes or until the moon cakes turn golden brown.
14. Remove from the oven. Leave to cool on a wire cooling rack. Once cooled, they are ready to serve or package.