Traditional Mooncakes (Printable recipe) By Christine's Recipes Prep time: 60 mins Cook time: 10 mins Yield: 12 （each 50 grams）
100 gm plain flour
60 gm golden syrup, homemade or store-bought
½ tsp alkaline water (aka lye water), available at Asian grocers
28 gm vegetable oil
420 gm lotus seed puree/paste, homemade or store-bought
6 salted egg yolks, homemade or store-bought
1 Tbsp rose-flavoured cooking wine (玫瑰露酒), available at Asian grocers
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp egg white
Use a large bowl, mix the golden syrup, alkaline water and oil well. Sift in the flour. Use a spatula to combine all ingredients. Don’t over-stir. Knead into a dough. Cover with a film wrap and rest for 40 minutes.
Mix egg yolks with wine. If the salted egg yolks are homemade and freshly broken from the shells, you’ll see the egg whites would turn opaque after mixing with the wine a few minutes later. Wipe dry the yolks with kitchen paper. Cut each into two halves. Set aside. Roll lotus paste into a long tube. Cut into 12 equal portions, each 35 grams. Roll each portion into a ball shape. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 180C (356F). Prepare the egg wash: whisk the egg yolk with the egg white. Sift through a fine sieve.
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a small ball shape. Cover a dough portion with a plastic film and roll into a thin disc. Then take a lotus paste ball and poke a hole in the middle with your finger. Place egg yolk inside. Roll and shape into a ball. Wrap and seal the lotus paste ball with the dough disc. Spray the mooncake mould and place the stuffed mooncake into the mould. Lightly press the mould handle, then remove the mooncake from the mould. Transfer the stuffed mooncake onto a lined baking tray. Repeat this step to finish the remaining dough and lotus paste.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 to 12 minutes. Brush the mooncakes with egg wash, at about 5 minutes before removing from the oven. Continue to bake until the pastry turns golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Store in an air-tight container. The pastry will become soft, called “回油” （literally means ”returns oily and soft’） and shiny in one or two days.
Notes: How important is the alkaline water in this recipe?
It neutralizes the acid in the golden syrup.
It helps to give nice browning on the mooncake pastry. If adding alkaline water too much, the colour will be too dark. If adding not enough, it’s very difficult to brown the mooncake pastry. In this recipe, the amount of alkaline water is very balanced. Please take note that if you use other kind of golden syrup, the amount of alkaline water might need to be adjusted accordingly in order to give a nice browning effect. You might test run with a small amount of dough to see how many alkaline water has to be used properly with your own golden syrup.
In this recipe, you might've noticed that no baking powder is needed. But the mooncake pastry is soft with a bit fluffy texture, that's the effect produced by alkaline water.
Side note: The filling shouldn’t have too much moist. Otherwise the pastry will turn moist and sticky after a while. The consistency and texture of filling is controlled by the amount of oil used, not by water.