Mooncakes? Yes please! Homemade mooncakes? Yes please! Homemade gluten-free mooncakes? Yesssssssssss, please!
I love mooncakes. Growing up, we’d be lucky if we had a tin of four to share between six of us. They were never great in quality, but what did I know? For many years, I didn’t eat mooncakes. This was until about 4-5 years ago, when I stumbled across them and had to buy them. After that, I couldn’t stop eating them! (I’m surprised I’m not the size of a house).
Since each fresh mooncake is about $5 each, I was determined to make my own. I even have a wooden mold! This project was put on hold when I went gluten-free for health reasons. You can imagine the pain I endured when I saw mooncakes on sale for the run up to the mooncake (mid-Autumn) festival. With no gluten-free mooncakes for sale, or gluten-free recipes out there, I had to create my own!
This involved salting eggs. I chose to salt chicken eggs and not duck, due to the smaller size of yolk. I also made my own lotus nut/seed paste and gluten-free pastry/crust. In the end, I only made a small batch of four. Why? Because it was a new recipe, and I hate wasting ingredients. I reused the leftover dough to make three more once I knew they were edible. heh.
How were they? They were pretty good, although the pastry/crust was a tiny bit gritty (barely noticeable). The color of the mooncakes are a lot lighter than “normal” because I refuse to put lye water into my food. On another note, the pastry/crust was thin and delicate, and although not as manageable as I’d hoped, skillful patchwork helped.
There is an important ratio that should be known when making mooncakes, and that is the weight of the filling: weight of the pastry/crust. It should be a 3:1 ratio. I actually didn’t use my wooden mold, but had a plastic plunger mooncake mold instead. My mold makes cakes that are 100 g (3.5 oz) in weight.
NOTE: you can also skip the long-winded process of salting eggs and making your own lotus seed paste by purchasing everything at an Asian/Chinese grocery store
TRADITIONAL MOONCAKES (GLUTEN- AND DAIRY-FREE)
makes 7 – 100 g (3.5 oz) mooncakes
adapted from Christine’s Recipes: Traditional Mooncakes
For the pastry/crust:
- 100 g (3/4 c) gluten- and gum-free flour*
- 60 g (3 tablespoons) golden syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon psyllium husks
For the filling:
- lotus seed paste
- 14 raw salted chicken egg yolks
For the egg wash
- 1 large egg yolk, mixed with 2 tablespoons egg white, passed through sieve
* make this by mixing 1 part in weight of brown rice flour, 1 part in weight of millet flour, 1.5 part in weight glutinous/sweet rice flour and 1.5 part in weight of potato starch.
1. Mix all the pastry/crust ingredients together until evenly combined. Let sit for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, line one baking try/pan with parchment paper or silicone mat. Preheat oven to 185 C/365 F.
3. Using kitchen scales, divide up the pastry/crust into 7 even sized pieces. Each should be about 25 g (~1 oz).
4. Weigh two egg yolks and make the weight up to 75 g (2.6 oz) with lotus seed paste. Wrap the egg yolks in the lotus seed paste and form into a ball. Repeat with the remaining egg yolks.
5. Working with one portion of pastry/crust at a time. Flatten out to as thin as possible. Note: the dough will be pretty crumbly. Wrap the ball of lotus seed paste/yolks with this. Patch as necessary. Once all of the lotus seed paste is covered up, roll in your hands to smooth out the dough.
6. Oil the plastic mooncake mold, and press the formed cake into the mold firmly. Eject the cake directly onto prepared baking tray/pan. Repeat with the remaining balls of lotus seed paste/egg yolks.
7. Bake in middle of the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then brush with egg wash, before returning to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until golden. Note: These will not turn out as brown as traditional gluten-laden mooncakes.
8. Cool completely on a wire rack, and then transfer to an airtight container for 24-48 hours before slicing and enjoying!