- Tried & Tasted -

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Snow Skin Moon Cakes Year 2015 (Uses Olive Oil)




We do not get to enjoy the changing of seasons in tropical Singapore but the festivals that we celebrate do remind us of them. 

Winter Solstice Festival (冬至) ushers in Winter. Lunar new year ushers in Spring. As for Summer, we have that all the time (not complaining though) and Mid-Autumn festival ushers in Autumn.

Mid-Autumn Festival falls on 27th September this year. Last year, I tried making my first batch of Olive Oil Snow Skin Moon Cakes using all natural flavors and coloring that I can find in fruits, nuts, vegetables and teas. It is a quest of mine to find healthier ways to consume this calories laden treat. 


What surprised me then was that I could replace the commonly used vegetable shortening with olive oil to make the snow skin of the moon cakes. As we all know, vegetable shortening is not very healthy, especially to our heart. While olive oil, on the other hand, is a heart healthy fat.

The down side to using olive oil to make the snow skin is the skin will only stay soft and moist for at most 3 days, while the ones made using vegetable shortening will stay soft and moist for a longer period of time. 
This is the my line up for year 2015 snow skin moon cakes: 


From top and in clockwise order
    • Matcha snow skin with premium white lotus paste (2014 family favorite)
    • Earl Grey snow skin with white lotus chocolate balls paste (2014 family favorite) 
    • Beet root snow skin with white lotus freeze-dried raspberry paste  
    • Pandan Gula Melaka snow skin with white lotus coconut paste (2015 family favourite)

      The premium quality matcha powder created this dark jade green snow skin.
      Matcha Snow Skin Recipe
      (make 4, 50g moon cakes)
      Ingredients:
      Snow skin portion:
      26g fried glutinous rice flour (kou fien)
      31g confectioner's sugar
      1 tsp matcha
      35g cooled boiled water
      7g extra virgin olive oil

      1 tsp of glutinous flour for dusting the moon cake before placing in the mould to prevent sticking

      Filling portion:
      100g white lotus paste

      Steps to moon cake:
      • Sieve flour, sugar and matcha powder into a large mixing bowl.
      • Add water and mix with a spatula until a dough is formed.
      • Add olive oil and mix until a uniform dough is form.
      • Cover the dough with cling wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
      • While waiting, divide the lotus paste into 4 equal portions of 25g each.
      • Divide the snow skin into 4 equal portions and flatten it with your fingers and slowly wrap it around the lotus paste. 
      • Dust the surface very lightly with the extra flour and press the moon cake into the mould.
      • Keep the moon cake in an air tight container and chilled it for at least 2 hours before consumption or up to 3 days.

      The color from steeping the Earl Grey tea gives this moon cake its natural milk tea color.

      Earl Grey Snow Skin Recipe
      (make 4, 50g moon cakes)
      Ingredients:
      Snow skin portion:
      26g fried glutinous rice flour (kou fien)
      31g confectioner's sugar
      35g cooled Earl Grey tea*
      7g extra virgin olive oil
      1 tsp of glutinous flour for dusting the moon cake before placing in the mould to prevent sticking

      Filling portion:
      80g white lotus paste
      2 tsp Valrhona's chocolate balls

      * Use 70g of boiling water and steep 1 Earl Grey tea bag for 5 minutes. Remove tea bag but squeeze the tea bag dry. Let tea cool before using.

      Steps to moon cake:
      • Sieve flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl.
      • Add tea and mix with a spatula until a dough is formed.
      • Add olive oil and mix until a uniform dough is form.
      • Cover the dough with cling wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
      • While waiting, mix the lotus paste and the chocolate balls and divide the lotus paste into 4 equal portions.
      • Divide the snow skin into 4 equal portions and flatten it with your fingers and slowly wrap it around the lotus paste. 
      • Dust the surface very lightly with the extra flour and press the moon cake into the mould.
      • Keep the moon cake in an air tight container and chilled it for at least 2 hours before consumption or up to 3 days.
      The pretty ruby red from the beet root powder mixed into the snow skin mixture, made this my favorite to photographed.

      Beet Root Snow Skin Recipe
      (make 4, 50g moon cakes)
      Ingredients:
      Snow skin portion:
      26g fried glutinous rice flour (kou fien)
      31g confectioner's sugar
      1 tsp beet root powder
      35g cooled boiled water
      7g extra virgin olive oil
      1 tsp of glutinous flour for dusting the moon cake before placing in the mould to prevent sticking

      Filling portion:
      80g white lotus paste
      2 tsp freeze dried raspberry

      Steps to moon cake:
      • Sieve flour, beet root powder and sugar into a large mixing bowl.
      • Add water and mix with a spatula until a dough is formed.
      • Add olive oil and mix until a uniform dough is form.
      • Cover the dough with cling wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
      • While waiting, mix the lotus paste and the raspberry and divide the lotus paste into 4 equal portions.
      • Divide the snow skin into 4 equal portions and flatten it with your fingers and slowly wrap it around the lotus paste. 
      • Dust the surface very lightly with the extra flour and press the moon cake into the mould.
      • Keep the moon cake in an air tight container and chilled it for at least 2 hours before consumption or up to 3 days.
      This is my favorite in terms of flavour for both the snow skin as well as the lotus coconut paste. I am thinking of adding salt to the snow skin in my next attempt to create a salted gula melaka flavor. ;)

      Pandan Gula Melaka Snow Skin Recipe
      (make 4, 50g moon cakes)
      Ingredients:
      Snow skin portion:
      26g fried glutinous rice flour (kou fien)
      15g confectioner's sugar
      35g pandan gula Melaka syrup*
      2 Tbsp cooled boiled water
      7g extra virgin olive oil
      1 tsp of glutinous flour for dusting the moon cake before placing in the mould to prevent sticking

      Filling portion:
      80g white lotus paste
      2 tsp unsweetened desiccated coconut

      *I used 150g gula Melaka with 50g water and 5 pandan leaves to boil the sugar into syrup. The leftover syrup can be placed into a glass container and store in the fridge. 

      I always order my bean curd without the regular sugar syrup (you should see the face of the bean curd seller when I place my order) and come home to add in my homemade gula Melaka syrup.

      Steps to moon cake:
      • Sieve flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl.
      • Add water and mix with a spatula until a dough is formed.
      • Add olive oil and mix until a uniform dough is form.
      • Cover the dough with cling wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
      • While waiting, mix the coconut and the lotus paste and divide the coconut lotus paste into 4 equal portions.
      • Divide the snow skin into 4 equal portions and flatten it with your fingers and slowly wrap it around the lotus paste. 
      • Dust the surface very lightly with the extra flour and press the moon cake into the mould.
      • Keep the moon cake in an air tight container and chilled it for at least 2 hours before consumption or up to 3 days.
      This recipe does not require any baking but it involves a lot of planning and measuring. I hope with the recipes above, it would have helped you in the planning department. 

      I can confidently state that at least I can eat with the peace of mind that there is nothing that I cannot pronounced mixed into these snow skin moon cakes.

      Enjoy your time this season with your family, as you gather to eat moon cakes and sip tea, making and sharing memories!


      Do you want to take a peek inside of the moon cakes? I was feeling quite excited when cutting into these moon cakes the next day. But due to our greediness, my family ate up the beet root, raspberry flavour ones and I was left with only 3 moon cakes to do this show and tell. :P




      Matcha Snow Skin with White Lotus Paste
      Earl Grey Snow Skin with Valrhona's Chocolate Balls
       
      If you are interested to make traditional moon cakes, the recipe can be found here: Traditional Moon Cakes

      Traditional Moon Cakes


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      5 comments:

      1. Oh my gosh! These are wonderful! And so beautifully photographed, as well!

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        Replies
        1. Thanks for the compliments. Please do try and let me know how it turned out for you.

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      2. Your mooncakes look delicious and colourful! I too prefer not to use shortening - have tried using grapeseed oil and canola oil too.

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        Replies
        1. Thanks, Baking Scientist. :) Hi five to not using shortening! Thanks for the recommendations.
          We 'eat' with our eyes first and I try my best to use natural coloring found in vegetables and teas to achieve that.
          Thanks for stopping by.

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        2. Great effort there! Well done! :)

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