Babylonian astrologers regarded the Moon as the chief of the two luminaries. “The sun as of smaller importance than the moon”. The Moon was the supreme deity.
Stretching back 3000 years, emperors in China worshiped the moon because they believed it would bring bountiful harvest. Items like plums, apples, watermelons, and mooncake were common sacrificial items used to worship the lunar goddess.
Second to the Chinese New Year Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most celebrated festivals of the year.
Taking place on the 15th day of August in the Chinese Calender, it is a day where families come together to celebrate the luminescent full moon, feast to a plentiful table of food, and indulge in rich, luscious, decadent mooncakes.
Traditional mooncakes are palm-sized desserts that have a crumbly pastry layer on the outside and smooth, lotus seed fillings and a mildly salted egg yolk on the inside. Some even have double egg yolks! We usually cut them in quarters to share. I remember I used to pick out the slices with no yolk and left the yolky ones for my brother. The perks of being the younger sibling!
While the tradition of mooncake gifting and eating still continues today, it has evolved tremendously over the years. As people become more health conscious, the demand for lighter, healthier alternatives has sparked the creation of these soft and tender snowskin mooncakes.
Living on my own in Vancouver, away from family and relatives, I often miss out on celebrations like this. So this is my way of celebrating this tradition – by sharing these gooey delicious goodies with my neighbors and colleagues.
This is my first attempt at making snowskin mooncake. I wanted to make something different but still keeping to traditional, classic flavours. I’m a big fan of all things Japanese – which makes Matcha Adzuki Bean the perfect combo for this snowskin mooncake. The matcha brings a slightly astringent taste with a lingering sweetness, followed by a smokey all Canadian maple syrup infused adzuki bean paste in the center. Yum!
A word of caution. This is not a simple recipe.
But like they say,
– nothing worthwhile comes easy –
And heck! It’s nice to spend a Saturday morning mixing, measuring and rolling dough while I jam to some jazzy vibes. It’s my kind of Saturday kitchen remedy 🙂
- 45g glutinous rice flour, sifted
- 35g rice flour, sifted
- 20g wheat flour, sifted
- 10g matcha powder, well-stirred
- 200g coconut milk
- 40g powdered organic cane sugar
- 18g coconut oil, warmed and melted
- 160g adzuki beans, soaked in water overnight
- 10g glutinous rice flour, cooked (for filling)
- 10g glutinous rice flour, cooked (for dusting)
- 30g maple syrup
- 50g coconut milk
- 10g coconut oil, warmed and melted
- Kitchen Scale
- Small mooncake mold - enough for 50g mooncake (You can get it online or check your local kitchen supply store in Chinatown)
- Food processor
- Plastic gloves
- Pin roller
- Preheat the stove for the steamer
- Sift all dry ingredients except matcha powder together
- Add coconut milk and coconut oil into the dry mixture, a little at a time. Mix until it reaches a doughy consistency
- Steam ingredients for 30 minutes
- Remove from steamer and let cool
- Once dough is warm to the touch, using plastic gloves (dough gets very sticky and oily), knead matcha powder into dough on a clean surface for a 3-5 mins until smooth (this ensures wrapper is soft and tender)
- Wrap dough in saran wrap and chill in the fridge for 4 hours to allow dough to sit and smoothen out as well as harden up for the molding
- Soak adzuki beans for 8 hours or overnight
- Cover adzuki beans with water and steam for 30 minutes, or until beans are fully cooked and very soft
- Grind adzuki beans in food processor with maple syrup, coconut milk, and melted coconut oil into a smooth paste
- In a frying pan, cook glutinous rice for 2 minutes on medium heat until flour turns a slight yellow, take out half of the flour and place aside to use later
- Pan fry paste with the cooked glutinous flour until dry to a pasty consistency
- Remove from heat and let it cool
- Wrap up and fridge for 1 hour
- Roll out 20g of wrapping dough and 30g of adzuki bean into individual balls
- Using a pin roller, roll dough out into a circular shape like a small tortilla
- Wrap dough around red bean ball, make sure dough is evenly wrapped around the red bean for thickness consistency
- Lightly dust inside of mold with cooked glutinous rice
- Place dough into mold and press