rice cake confessional

adventures in eating

mooncake madness

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I am all rusty with the blogging. I’ve started this post about 4 times. I refuse to use the backspace again. I will soldier on with whatever word vomit decides to spillover.

I went to a mooncake making class with Pat and Ruth today. It’s nearly the Mid-Autumn Festival again (yes, again – I’ve been living here for a year!) which means mooncakes are coming out all over the island. There are several different types of mooncake. The most common are baked to a shiny brown with thin skins and a heavy, sweet filling of red bean, lotus, or yam paste. The class, which we took at Jialei Confectionary and Training Center, covered Shanghai style lotus paste mooncakes, flaky yam paste mooncakes, and also a quick lesson on how to make the yam paste from scratch.

mooncakes5

Golden flaky mooncakes with lotus paste and walnuts for decoration. These were nice and warm outta the oven.

(Yes, I’m going to start using the linky links so that the first page of the blog doesn’t get so freakin’ long.)

We started off with the Shanghai mooncakes and they lugged out what must have been a 3kg bag of lotus paste. It was ginormous. Pine nuts were needed into it for added crunch and they mixed a mixture  of the usual suspects of flour, sugar, and butter along with some oddities like custard powder (wha?) and powdered ammonia (not kidding). The teacher expertly portioned off the dough while her assistants weighed out balls of filling.

At our tables we each made 3 mooncakes and decorated the top with walnuts (to mark our territory so we knew whose was whose).

mooncakes

When the teacher went over the next mooncake – the snail like, super flaky yam ones – the entire class was big eyed. There are a ton of steps to making the dough! First off you gotta make two kinds of dough – the oily dough and the water dough. The oily dough contains shortening and butter while the water dough contains corn oil. Make sure to get a lot of exercise before you enjoy this mooncake. Did I mention it’s deep fried?

Anyway you put the oily dough inside the water dough, flatten it out with a rolling pin, roll it up, then roll it some more, then flatten out one end, then make it really thin, fold it over, roll it again, flatten it, spin around, hop on one foot, sprinkle holy water, rub your belly, tap your head, and then ta da you get this:

mooncakes2

See all those super layers? Those are skillz right there. My mad skillz. You gotta take the rolling pin to it one more time and after giving it a little more love you end up with this:

mooncakes3

Not bad for my first go round huh? Look at me and my modesty. For the filling they take steamed yams (the purple ones) and then add some lotus paste, sugar, and cooking oil. Yes, cooking oil. This means the outside has shortening, butter, and oil. The filling has cooking oil. And you’ll be frying it … in more oil.

The teacher did all the dirty work for us. She uses a little metal tray to submerge the little suckers into their doom.

mooncakes4

After the quick 5 minute bath and some resting time in the oven. They are boxed up with our walnut covered friends and are ready to come home.

mooncakes6

The class was lots of fun. It’s frequented by auntie-types who are super friendly and very nice. The place itself is located on the third floor of the Rocher Road HDB right down the street from Bugis Village. Easily accessible via MRT and bus. The hands on class is $45 for members and $50 for non members. They have other classes on their website. One thing to note is that everyone but us was Chinese so a lot of the class was in Mandarin with some English thrown in for our benefit.

Overall a nice way to spend an afternoon. Fairly cheap and especially fun since when else are you ever gonna learn to make mooncakes?

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Written by joann

August 23, 2009 at 12:42 am

Posted in chinese, classes, dessert, singapore

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One Response

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  1. love the layers!

    Anu Menon

    May 23, 2010 at 2:37 pm


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