Sunday, September 1, 2013

Mini mooncakes

Out of no reason, I've decided to bake some mini mooncakes. I used to bake traditional mooncakes with my mum. Usually, the whole baking process takes one whole day, as we always make dozens of it and give to our friends and relatives. I miss those days.

Mid-autumn festival symbolizes togetherness and bonding, and now it has turned into many different kinds of mooncakes. Nowadays, mooncakes are prettier, cuter, weirder and perhaps more tastier. Usually, my family would always go for the traditional 大中国 mooncakes, which have less calories than the snowskin ones. However, you have to queue up in order get it. It takes quite awhile to get your order.

Lotus paste traditional mini mooncakes
This recipe will makes estimated of 12 mini mooncakes.

100g of plain flour
70g of golden syrup
2ml of alkaline water
25ml of canola oil

420g of lotus paste (can be purchased from Phoon Huat Bakery Store)
40g of melon seeds

How you do it:
Mix lotus paste with melon seeds. Divide the filling into 35g portions and shape into balls. Set aside (filling ratio of 3:7, for 50g mooncake mould).

Place golden syrup in a bowl. Add in alkaline water, stir to combine. Add in oil, mix well.

Place plain flour in a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre. Add in the above mixture. Mix with a spatula to form a soft dough. Gently knead the dough till smooth (it takes 1 to 2 mins). Shape it into a smooth round dough. Wrap with cling wrap and leave in fridge to rest for at least 2 hours or over night.

Dust work surface with some flour. Give the dough a few light kneading to smooth it.

Divide dough into 15g pieces. Shape each dough into a ball. Roll each dough over some flour. Dust hand with flour and flatten each dough into a small disc (about 5cm in diameter). Wrap it around the filling and shape it into a ball (always dust hand with some flour to avoid the dough from sticking).

Lightly dust the wrapped dough with some flour. Place it in the mooncake mould and press the mooncake out. Place mooncake on a baking tray line with parchment paper.

Spray some water on the mooncakes (this helps to prevent the mooncake from cracking during baking).

Bake at preheated oven at 180° for 10mins. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 15 mins.

Brush the top with some egg wash. Return to oven and continue to bake for another 15 mins until golden brown (since all oven works differently, do check after 10 mins, and subsequently every other 2 mins to make sure the mooncakes are not over browned).

Leave mooncake to cool completely and store in air tight containers.

It is a really good experience indeed and do try this out!

Creamy and fluffy cheesecake

Cheesecake is a classic sweet dish consisting of a mix of soft, fresh cream cheese, eggs and sugar, and a base/crust made from crushed Marie biscuits, Digestive crackers, Graham cookies, pastry or even sponge cake. It may be prepared in baked or unbaked form. This sweet dish is usually sweetened with sugar and may be flavored or topped with fresh fruits, whipped cream, nuts, fruits sauce or chocolate. In another words, it can be prepared in many different flavors such as raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, lime, pumpkin, or butterscotch. So for this time round, I've tried the no-bake cheesecake for the first time and it turned out to be a success.

Creamy Cheesecake
This recipe makes an 8-inch round cheesecake.

Ingredients needed:
2 cups of digestive cracker crumbs
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2/3 cup of butter (melted)
2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese
3 teaspoons of lemon juice
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup white sugar
1 lemon (sliced), for topping

What you need to do:
In a small bowl, stir together the digestive cracker crumbs, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Chill until firm (I suggest put it in the freezer for better results).

In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and lemon juice until soft. Add whipping cream and whisk the batter until it becomes thick. Add the sugar and continue to whisk until stiff. Pour into the chilled crust and top with the lemon slices. Chill serveral hours or overnight. As mentioned earlier, I suggest it to be chilled in the freezer. Just before serving, remove the sides of the springform pan and thaw it approximately 15 to 20 mins.