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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yam moon cake ( Oh-nee )

Mid Autumn festival is back. The festival of moon cakes, chinese teas, praying to ChangEr by grandma and weight gain.

Gone are the days when I have to buy fancy boxes of predictable moon cakes to impress . The price increase over the years have gone from the ridiculous to the incredible. Who knows when the cakes are made and how much sugar/salt/preservatives have gone into each one ?

But how can we go through Mid Autumn festival without even a single piece of moon cake ?

With so many issues at hand, it's time to roll up my sleeves and get into some serious baking.

Moon cakes with fancy fillings galore are sold all over town and inspired by the myriad combinations, I have come up with a table for filling and skin type. I wring my hands over the kind of moon cake I should bake. Now see the reasons why I agonized over it :

Skin :
Snow skin
Baked short pastry crust
Teochew flaky crust

Flavor of filling :
Green tea / coffee / mango / any new age ingredients
Red bean
Sweet potato paste
Pumpkin paste

Condiments :
Melon seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Attap seed
Pine nuts
Poppy seeds
Chopped candied melon
Egg yolk

Now all I should do is link any item from all of the 3 sections or do the 'eeny minnee ' routine to decide a specific combo..

The other 2 members are not hot on mooncake matters so finally I decided on the traditional Teochew crust,yam combo. I should have added chopped melon but well, maybe another time.

Makes 24 yam moon cakes

Yam paste : ( may have excess that can be used for 'yam kaya' on toast ? )
1 small yam, peeled,cubed,steamed and mash by using ricer, net weight 800g
1 cup fine sugar
150 ml oil
1/4 t salt
1/8 t purple color

Water Dough:
230g all-purpose flour
25g icing sugar
70g corn oil
 70g water with a drop of colour

Oil Dough:
175g cake flour
 90g shortening
 2 T oil
Filling: ( prepared the day before )
Put every thing in a pot and fry on medium heat. Stir with a pair of chopstick until paste pulls away from pot when stirred.
Do a taste test. Check that sugar has dissolved. Turn off heat.
Leave to cool. Set aside.

Water dough:
Sift flour and icing sugar.
In the processor, blitz oil into the flour mixture.
Add water. Blitz to form a soft dough.
Transfer to bowl and rest for 10mins.

Oil dough:
Sift flour into a big bowl.
Transfer flour to processor receptacle.
Use the processor and blitz in the shortening to form a soft dough.

Shaping of dough:

Prepare an oiled, NOT floured, surface.
prepare 24 T of yam balls. I use a measuring spoon to shape them. Easier done when yam paste is chilled.

Divide water dough and oil dough into 12 portions.
Lightly roll water dough into a disc.
Encase the oil dough with the water dough.
Flatten pastry. Roll the pastry into a longish rectangle, gently. Avoid press downwards.
Roll the pastry away from you, just like a swiss roll.
Turn Swiss roll 90 degrees.
Roll again to longish rectangle.
Roll the dough into a Swiss roll, again.
( this is not a typo error. You do it twice )

Neaten ends.
Divide the rolled pastry into 2pcs. It makes 2 tubes.
Let tubes stand on cut surface.
Flatten tube making a round disc. Make the outer edge thinner than middle.
Put 1 portion of filling ( about 1 ice cream scoop ) onto flattened dough and wrap into the pastry.

Seal the opening. Place sealed side down on grease proof paper.
Bake in a preheated oven 180C for about 30 mins.
Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Should you have leftovers, put it under the grill before serving.

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