Friday, 25 September 2015

#43 - Traditional Mooncakes


Finally, this is the first year I'm making my very own Traditional Mooncakes! Surprisingly, it is much easier than I thought it would be. Of course, being in the company of friends & learning to make these together with them at a baking class was the add-on bonus! Yay!

Over the years, it has became a regular activity for me and my friends to attend baking classes at Phoon Huat (PH) at least once every few months when we see a recipe that interest us. So far we have made goodies like, Prune & Cransberry Lapis, Panno Cotta with Cherries & Grand Marnier, Laksa Butter Cookies and many others. We have learnt so much about baking from the instructors at PH. Honestly, not only are the classes affordable, the baked goods that we get to bring home at the end of the classes are usually really yummy & not to mentioned, the recipes shared are simple & pretty much failed-proof. If you and your friends enjoy spending some bonding time in the kitchen together, get it a try! 

Anyway, I have to say that I am really pleased with this Traditional Mooncakes recipe that was shared with us during the class by Instructor Patrick. It is fairly simple and even though it was my first try at baking moon cakes, the end products were wonderful! Hubby and friends who have tried them commented that they tasted just like those you purchase from bakery/ cake shops outside. I guess it is not too bad for a first timer at mooncakes baking, isn't it? This experience has been quite a morale boaster and I look forward to making more of these in the years to come.

Maybe next year I shall bake many more of these mooncakes and share them with more relatives and friends. That's a plan! 


Recipe: Adapted & modified from Instructor Patrick (Phoon Huat).

5 regular-sized Mooncakes

Olive Oil - 25g
Alkaline Water - 1.5tsp
Golden Syrup - 95g
Top Flour (sifted) - 75g
Hong Kong Flour (sifted) - 65g

Lotus Paste - 600g
Roasted Melon Seeds - 50g (Melon seeds can be roasted at 160C for 8-10 minutes)

Egg Wash (1 egg yolk + 1tbsp water)
Super Glaze

1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Grease baking tray before lining with baking paper. Set aside for later use.

3. In a large bowl, mix olive oil, alkaline water and golden syrup together. Mix well.

4. Fold in both flour into the mixture and mix well to form a dough.

5. Rest the dough for at least 15 - 30 minutes.

6. While waiting for the dough to rest, prepare your filling. Mix the lotus paste with the roasted melon seeds. After it is well-mixed, divide it into individual portion of 125g each (shaped into ball). Set aside for later use.

7. When dough is ready, divide and weigh out the dough depending on your mooncake mould size (shaped into ball). (I weigh out each dough ball of 40g each).

8. Flatten the dough and wrap the lotus paste filling into it.

9. Dust the mooncake mould with some flour, knocking out the excess before placing the dough in. Push the mooncake into the mooncake mould and press it in firmly.

10. Once properly shaped, knock the mooncake out of the mould and place on baking tray.

11. Before baking, spread some water on the mooncakes to prevent them from cracking during the course of baking. Bake at 180 C for 10 minutes or until the mooncakes are lightly brown.

12. Remove mooncakes from the oven and apply a layer of egg wash on the mooncakes.

13. Return the mooncakes into the oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until the mooncakes are golden brown.

14. Remove from oven and brush with super glaze immediately.

15. Allow the mooncakes to cool completely (preferably overnight). After which, flip over the mooncakes (top-down) and store them in a airtight container for at least 3 days before consumption. This will allow the mooncakes to be glossy and have a better shine to it. 

Friday, 18 September 2015

#42 - Basic White Bread


The Basic White Bread, one of the first few recipe any home baker will make upon receiving their first bread machine. I am no exception, other than the fact that I was not able to get it right in my first few tries. Haha.

I have to be honest. The initial few tries was frustrating for me. I just could not get it right. Sometimes it was the incorrect proportion between the wet/dry ingredients, sometimes it was due to insufficient proofing (using standard mode in BM) and sometimes I just could not figure out what was the reason behind the failed attempts. Somehow the first few loaves of bread I have gotten out of the bread maker was just way too flat for my liking. I wanted something that was tall, light & fluffy. 

It was weird. I had no such problems when using the bread maker for kneading & proofing before shaping the dough & finishing off with baking in the oven (See my Cheesy Corn Pull-Apart Bread (#41)). It was just loaf bread that was giving me such a headache. 

After my 5th try, I finally managed to get a loaf of Basic White Bread which I was satisfied with. Thanks to this modified recipe as well as this really good Blue Jacket Bread Flour from Taiwan. I was finally able to get a decent height in my loaf and soft & fluffy too! 

I love having a good recipe for Basic White Bread on hand. This has allowed me to pair the white bread with its fanciful counterparts so to prepare different sandwich combos for my morning breakfast! It is so much fun. 

This is such a morale boast to me. I shall continue on this route of yielding taller, softer & yummier bread! 


Recipe: Adapted & modified from Donlim Bread Maker Manual

Water - 190ml
Caster Sugar - 80g
Salt - 4g
Egg (beaten)- 1 no.
Milk Powder - 10g
Blue Jacket Bread Flour - 350g (and 2 tbsp, if necessary)
Instant Dry Yeast - 4g
Salted Butter (softened) - 40g

1. Pour water into the bread barrel.

2. At each corner of the bread barrel, add in sugar, salt, beaten egg and butter.

3. Add in the milk powder and bread flour on top of the wet ingredients. Make sure the wet ingredients are well covered by the flour.

4. In the centre of the flour heap, dig a hole and add in the instant dry yeast. Cover up the yeast with the flour.

5. Secure bread barrel in the bread machine.

6. Select "Custom Procedure" function on your bread maker(On my Donlim T15A Breadmaker, I selected function "21") and input the following settings before pressing "Start".

First kneading - 20 minutes
First proofing - 1 hour
Second kneading - 10 minutes
Second proofing - 1 hour
Baking - 50 minutes

*After second kneading, paused the machine if you wish to remove the kneading blade from the bread barrel. Do this before the dough undergoes second proofing.

7. When bread is ready, remove bread barrel from the machine immediately. 

8. After removing bread from bread barrel, transfer it to the cooling rack to allow it to cool completely before slicing and serving. 

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