Mooncakes are traditionally made and eaten at the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (AKA Moonncake Festival).
These delicious little moon shaped sweet pastries are made with several different kinds of filling, a sweet paste, made from sesame seeds, lotus seeds or adzuki beans, and sometimes filled with a salted egg yolk. Mooncakes are always shared with family and friends while celebrating the festival and are accompanied by Chinese tea.
You can buy special molds to emboss Chinese patterns on your mooncakes like the ones in the picture, or you can make them as a plain round shape.
Red Adzuki Bean Paste Filling
- 1 x 400g can of Adzuki beans
- 50g of crush mixed nuts (optional)
- 100g sugar
- 75ml nut oil (walnut, peanut, ground nut or sesame oil are all good)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 350g plain flour
- 90ml nut oil
- 200g Moon cake syrup or golden syrup
- Half a teaspoon baking powder
- Beaten egg to glaze
- To make the filling drain the beans well, place into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth and creamy. Mix in the crushed nuts and give another quick whizz.
- Place the puree into a large pan or wok and add the sugar oil and salt. Cook over a medium-high heat stirring continuously until the paste thickens and sticks to itself and the spoon coming away from the sides of the pan (about 10 – 20 minutes).
- Remove the paste out of the pan and place in a bowl to cool for at least an hour or until it is at room temperature.
- Meanwhile mix all the pastry ingredients together in a bowl and let it rest for at least 1 hour.
- If you have a mooncake mould, dredge it in flour so as the cakes do not stick when you mold them.
- Take enough pastry to half fill (or just over) one of the molds and flatten it on a floured board into a thin round shape. Next take an equal amount of filling and place it in the centre of the round. Then wrap the pastry around it and seal at the top.
- Push the mooncake into the mold firmly pressing it down onto the design.
- Gently bang the sides of the mold on the table to loosen it and then bang it upside down to pop it out.
- If you do not have a mold then just make the mooncakes the size that you want and press them into flattish round shapes after you have filled the pastry case with the bean paste. Or you could mold them into muffin tins if you like.
- Place your mooncakes on an oiled baking sheet and pop them in a preheated oven (190C) for 10 minutes.
- Remove the mooncakes from the oven and reduce the temperature to 150C while you brush the mooncakes with a beaten egg to glaze.
- Return them to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes or until they are golden brow, (Large mooncakes may take even longer).
- They say that mooncakes are best when left at room temperature for 2 days. (Do not refrigerate or they will go hard, however, they do freeze well – thaw thoroughly at room temperature before serving)
Where on earth can I buy that?
We try to use ingredients in our recipes that are readily available to everyone, however for authenticity there may be some things that are only available from a specialist shop such and an Asian supermarket. You will also find that Amazon has a very good grocery department where all sorts of unusual ingredients can be found.
And for added authenticity you can pick up some Mooncake molds and gorgeous Chinese tea sets while you’re there, as well as some rather interesting Chinese music!
中秋节快乐！(zhōng qiū jié kuài lè) Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, as they say in China. And please do come back and tell us how your mooncakes went!