Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with these delicate and decadent flaky, spiral mooncakes!
The Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節) or commonly known as the Moon Festival is celebrated in East and Southeast Asia to thank the moon for its great harvests. The festival day falls on a full moon in autumn, which is the 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar calendar (mid-September of early October in the solar calendar). To celebrate, people will make or purchase mooncakes to gift and display to the moon on the day of worship. They are then sliced and shared among friends and families. Mooncakes are rich pastries with an assortment of fillings such as red bean, lotus seed, mung bean, winter melon, pineapple, and more. Some mooncakes have salted egg yolks inside to symbolize the full moon.
Mooncakes come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors, but the most traditional ones consist of a brown cake-like exterior, filled with lotus seed paste, and pressed with an intricate design on the outside. While tasty, this type of mooncake would not be my first choice. I actually prefer the flaky types which are styles from Taiwan, and the Suzhou and Teochew provinces in China. They are smaller in size and have a puff pastry-like exterior which is just *chef’s kiss*. Anything with a flaky puff pastry is basically gold to me. This specific recipe is for the Teochew-style mooncake from the Chaozhou province in Southern China. These mooncakes are round like the moon with a spiral, flaky crust that easily crumbles when bit into. While they are traditionally made with lard, I used butter to make it vegetarian. Lard is the ideal choice since it creates a flakier crust, but butter works well too!
These mooncakes are filled with red beans and pecans and lightly colored with butterfly pea powder for a light blue color. Red bean paste can be purchased pre-made at Asian grocery stores or easily made at home. Homemade and store-bought are equally good.
Teochew-Style Spiral Mooncake
yield: 10 mooncakes
total cook time: 1 hr. 30 min
For water dough:
- 120 g. or 1 c. minus 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
- 25 g. or 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 g. or 1/8 tsp. salt
- 40 g. or 2 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 50 g. or 3 1/2 tbsp. water
For oil dough:
- 130 g. or 1 c. plus 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
- 80 g. or 5 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 5 g. butterfly pea powder + 1 g. water (or 1 tsp. butterfly pea powder + 1 dash water)
- 500 g. or 2 c. plus 2 tbsp. red bean paste (homemade or store bought)
- 80 g. or 3/4 c. lightly chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
- Combine the water dough ingredients and mix well. Knead for 2 min and wrap in plastic wrap. Set aside for 20 min.
- Combine the oil dough ingredients and mix well. Wrap in plastic wrap. Set aside for 20 min.
- In the meantime, combine the filling ingredients together and form them into ten small balls, around 50 g. each.
- (Watch video for clarification on assembly). After both doughs have rested, transfer them to a clean surface. Separate each dough into 5 equal pieces. The water doughs should be ~47 g. each and the oil doughs should be ~42 g. each. Roll all the dough pieces into a small ball.
- Flatten the water dough into a small oval and and add in an oil (blue) dough. Seal the edges and roll into a ball. Repeat for the rest.
- Flatten one of the balls and roll out the dough into an oval until it is around 8 in. Roll it up like a cigar. Repeat for the other 4 balls.
- Take a rolled up dough with the seam side up. Flatten into an oval until it is around 10 in. Rolle it up like a cigar again and slice the dough in half. Repeat for the other rolled up doughs.
- With the dough slice in half, flatten the dough into an oval with the cut side up. Lightly roll the oval out bigger with a rolling pin. Flip the dough over with the spiral side down and place a red bean paste into the middle. Seal the edges and set aside. Repeat this process for the remaining 9 pastry.
- Place the 10 mooncakes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for 25 min. Remove from the oven and enjoy!
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days. Air fry at 325 F to reheat.
*Nutrition facts are estimates.
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