This is a comprehensive taste guide on mooncakes, a popular Chinese bakery food.
Let us get started!
What Is Mooncake?
Mooncake is a Chinese pastry that is enjoyed during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Traditionally, the cake is made of wheat flour and other flour, including shortening or lard, sugar, eggs, and salt.
The fillings inside can be lotus seed paste, red bean, coconut, or walnut.
As the festival’s popularity grew, mooncakes have become more detailed with traditional designs.
Customarily, mooncakes are imprinted with characters or symbols symbolizing harmony, prosperity, or good luck.
What Does Mooncake Taste Like?
Mooncakes are savory-sweet treats with a flaky, somewhat sweet crust filled with a thick filling. Mooncake consists of a thick, tender pastry enveloping a sweet filling. The saltiness in mooncakes comes from the one or more salted egg yolks placed in their center.
The taste of a mooncake will depend on its ingredients.
Traditional style mooncakes are made with a sweet, flaky pastry-like pie crust. They are typically filled with sweet pastes such as red bean paste with a creamy texture and a sweet, earthy flavor.
Like, lotus mooncakes taste salty from the egg yolk, and the saltiness goes well with the sweetness of the dough and the paste.
Hre is a quick video –
How To Make Mooncake?
There are various Chinese mooncake recipes of different flavors and types. Below are easy and popular mooncake recipes:
- Lotus seed paste: Lotus seed paste is made by cooking lotus seeds in water for one or two minutes and then adding sugar or honey, as per your taste. Once cooled, you can add an extra step of oil frying them before pouring them into molds.
- Red bean paste: The bean paste is made by adding sugar to red beans and cooking for a couple of minutes.
Watch the recipe here –
What Are the Different Varieties Of Mooncakes?
Some typical mooncake varieties are:
- Lotus seed paste: Lotus seed paste mooncake is made with lotus seed or other nut pastes, egg whites, and sugar.
- Red bean paste
- Green tea: These white-colored mooncakes are covered with dark green jade powder to give them a greenish color.
- Five nuts: Five nuts mooncakes has five different nuts included in them, usually walnuts, coconut, peanuts, pine kernels, and red beans.
How To Store Mooncake?
The mooncakes have a shorter shelf life than other cakes and pastries. For this very reason, you need to store them to increase their lifespan and flavor properly. Following are the ways to store your mooncakes:
- Make sure to keep them in a cool, dry area. If mooncakes are exposed to heat or humidity for too long, this ruins their flavor and texture.
- Make sure to keep the mooncakes in an airtight container, especially if you will store them for more than one day.
- Remember to wrap any leftovers tightly with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge, where they will last for about three days before getting too moist.
Snow Skin Mooncake
While traditional mooncakes involve making a pastry with flour and inverted syrup, snow skin mooncakes are not baked at all. These snow skin mooncakes are made with two varieties of rice flour, i.e., regular and glutinous, and wheat starch.
They have a slightly gooey, chewy texture that people love.
Here is the link to the video –
Jelly mooncake is another non-traditional variety of mooncakes. Jelly mooncake is also an unbaked version of mooncakes. It is also called crystal mooncake and is well-known for its crystal skin, colorful fillings, and chewy taste. The skin of jelly mooncakes is transparent.
The fillings of jelly mooncakes vary. Some common fillings are pumpkin, purple sweet potato, fruit dice, sweet-scented osmanthus, etc.
How To Make Golden Syrup For Mooncakes?
Golden syrup is also known as mooncake syrup. Golden syrup is made of water, regular table sugar (sucrose), and acid (lemon in this recipe).
The mixture is slowly cooked over low heat until the color changes and most of the water evaporates, leaving an amber-color syrup with a honey-like consistency as it cools down.
Watch the recipe here –
Popular Flavors Of Mooncakes
- Red Bean Mooncake: Sweet red bean mooncake has always been a classic. The mooncake has a smooth and richer flavor, making it the most famous.
- White Lotus Mooncake: The lotus mooncake filling is white lotus paste made of the fresh lotus seeds of the year, which have a natural fragrance.
- Snow Skin Mooncake: Their crystal clear skin is glutinous rice flour.
- Minced Pork Mooncake: Minced pork mooncake filling is fresh minced pork.
- Green Tea Mooncake: The fantastic feature of this mooncake is its fresh, natural taste. Green tea powder is mixed into the skin or the fillings. It is not overly sweet too.
- Fruits Mooncake: This mooncake blends the taste of fruit. The fillings are usually of the freshest fruits like strawberry, pineapple, orange, and peach.
- Flower Cake: Flower mooncake fillings are added with flowers, giving a fragrant taste. The trendy ones are rose and sweet-scented osmanthus.
- Yam Mooncake: Yam mooncake filling is sweet yam paste.
Can You Freeze Mooncake?
Yes, you can freeze mooncakes, but try to eat your mooncakes before the expiration date since freezing does not increase its shelf life.
It is also best not to freeze them because traditional mooncakes do not taste nice thawing.
You can freeze a snow skin mooncake as it is best served cold.
In The End
I hope this guide helped you understand the taste of mooncakes better.
If you have any further queries, please let me know!
Do share this with your friends and family and help them know about this delicious Chinese recipe!