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Durian Mooncake For Mid-Autumn Festival

Updated on September 26, 2014

Did You See A Mooncake On The Moon?

Gazing at the full moon - yes, there's a mooncake!
Gazing at the full moon - yes, there's a mooncake!

Mooncakes taste best when shared by family members and friends.

A mooncake is a delicately-stuffed round sweet cake that is delicious to eat and nice to look at. The cake is often given as a gift between family and friends during the Mid-autumn Festival or Mooncake Festival to show greetings. A round moon cake symbolizes reunion and completeness. It conveys good wishes and sweet harmony between family members and friends, the eagerness to join family reunion of those away from home and people's praying for happiness.

A Happy Boy With His Ultraman Lantern

Moon-cake festival is also celebrated by children with their brightly-lit lanterns of all shapes and sizes
Moon-cake festival is also celebrated by children with their brightly-lit lanterns of all shapes and sizes

Origin of The Mooncakes

Mooncakes are generally believed to have originated about 740 years ago at the end of the Yuan Dynasty, when China was under the rule of the Mongols. There were much sufferings and hardships and the common people planned to revolt against them. The day finally came and to keep their plans from being discovered, they hid messages in round cakes which were sent to every family.

On the 15th night of the eight month of the Chinese lunar calendar, the people rose up in revolt and killed the Mongols invaders as they slept.

Mooncakes are eaten on this day every year to commemorate this event. The simple round cakes of the past have since evolved into the present-day moon cakes with different shapes and sizes, and a wide variety of fillings with different flavors.

Mooncake festival is celebrated by the Chinese all over the world on the 15th of the lunar eight month (for the year 2014, it falls on 8 September).

Mooncakes Display At The Supermarket

So many kinds of mooncakes to choose from. Some bakeries and restaurants have attempted to go up-market with ingredients such as coffee, chocolate, nuts, fruits,  vegetables and even ham.
So many kinds of mooncakes to choose from. Some bakeries and restaurants have attempted to go up-market with ingredients such as coffee, chocolate, nuts, fruits, vegetables and even ham.

Gift Boxes of Delicious Mooncakes

Delicious moon-cakes in a beautiful box very convenient and elegant for gifts to friends and associates
Delicious moon-cakes in a beautiful box very convenient and elegant for gifts to friends and associates

Modern Mooncakes

The modern mooncakes come in various shapes and sizes, made from various ingredients, and have different kinds of flavors and fillings. Lotus seeds, watermelon seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts, red beans, taro or yam, and salted duck egg yolks are some of the common ingredients associated with this delicious sweet cake.

Snowskin Sunshine Mango Mooncake

A snowskin Sunshine Mango mooncake
A snowskin Sunshine Mango mooncake | Source

Mooncake Variations

Chinese communities from all over the world have their own local variations and adding flavors such as champagne and whisky to their mooncakes. In Malaysia, the local people came up with a very distinctive fruit mooncake which became a big hit with the Chinese community - the durian mooncake - which combines the strong aromatic and cheese-like pulp of the durian and the sweet and delicate texture of the mooncake.

Now, here is a recipe to make Durian Lotus Seed Mooncake. Are you game to try this out?

The Unique Durian Mooncake of Malaysia

The Challenges of Making Mooncakes

The first challenge in making mooncake is not so much in making the pastry or dough for wrapping the mooncake or making the paste for the filling, but rather the skill needed to wrap the pastry or dough of consistent thickness around the filling.

The best way is to first roll the dough evenly. Then use one hand to hold the flatten dough. Use the fingers of the other hand to knead and form a bowl-shape thin dough wrapper for the filling. The ratio of pastry dough to filling is about 1:2.

The second challenge is to get just enough dough and filling to fill the mooncake mould completely. The deciding factor would be the size of the mooncake mould. Mooncakes sizes range from bite-size of about 20g to a large 180g.

Durian Lotus Seed Mooncake.

Durian Lotus Seed Mooncake. Traditional mooncakes have an imprint on top consisting of Chinese characters. Here are the Chinese characters for  "Durian"
Durian Lotus Seed Mooncake. Traditional mooncakes have an imprint on top consisting of Chinese characters. Here are the Chinese characters for "Durian"

Mooncake Pastry/Wrapper

Ingredients:

  • 400g (3 1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 8g (2 tsp) baking soda
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) vegetable oil
  • 180g (1 cup) sugar
  • 237ml (1 cup) water
  • 15 drops (1/4 tsp) thick soy sauce


You can replace sugar and water with 300g (1 cup) golden syrup. Your mooncakes will then keep longer as the wrappers or skins do not turn mouldy quickly.

Golden syrup is a thick, amber-colored form of inverted sugar syrup. It is used as a sweetener in a variety of baking recipes and desserts and it looks like honey.

Thick soy sauce is often use to give the Cantonese-style mooncake's crust a reddish-brown tone.

The combination of thick sugar syrup, baking soda, flour, and oil, gives the mooncake crust its rich taste and a chewy yet tender texture. Chewiness can be increased further by adding maltose syrup to the mixture.

Golden Syrup - For Your Sweet Tooth

Golden syrup is a thick, amber-colored form of inverted sugar syrup. It is used as a sweetener in a variety of baking recipes and desserts and it looks like honey. And it is also a substitute for those who cannot take honey.
Golden syrup is a thick, amber-colored form of inverted sugar syrup. It is used as a sweetener in a variety of baking recipes and desserts and it looks like honey. And it is also a substitute for those who cannot take honey.

Making The Mooncake Pastry/Wrapper

Method

  • Cook the sugar in 1/2 cup of water, stirring constantly until the sugar caramelized.
  • Then add the other 1/2 cup of water to dissolve the caramel into a syrup.
  • Add vegetable and thick soy sauce, mix well and set aside to cool.
  • (Or mix golden syrup, vegetable oil and thick soy sauce together.)
  • Mix the baking soda into the flour, and add this evenly with the syrup mixture.
  • Mix all the ingredients thoroughly to form a smooth dough and set aside for about 4 hours or overnight.


Creamy and Delicious Durian

One durian unit is called an aril with the edible portion known as the pulp or flesh
One durian unit is called an aril with the edible portion known as the pulp or flesh | Source

Durian Lotus Seed Filling:

Lotus seeds are considered by some to be the original and most luxurious mooncake filling and is found in all types of mooncakes. It also mixes well with many other ingredients use for mooncake fillings.

Adding maltose to the mixture, increases its chewiness.

Ingedients:

  • 300g durian pulp - blend into puree
  • 500g lotus seeds - soak overnight, clean, boil and blend into a paste
  • 50g (4 tbsp) sugar
  • 500g (2 2/3 cup) sugar
  • 90ml (6 tbsp) vegetable or corn oil
  • 40g (2 tbsp) maltose

Durian - The King Of Fruits

Three popular durian cultivars or varieties. Always get the best durians to make your mooncake.
Three popular durian cultivars or varieties. Always get the best durians to make your mooncake.

Choosing The Best Durian For The Filling

There are many durian cultivars or varieties each with its own texture and aroma. Always use the the best quality durian for your mooncake and here are 3 popular durian varieties:

D 24 or Sultan. The flesh is yellow, thick, firm, smooth, sweet and nutty with a slightly bitter taste. The fruit is rather small and weighs 1-2 kg. You need two fruits to get enough durian pulp for your mooncakes.

D 159 or Monthong is a clone from Thailand. The large, yellow aril is sweet and has a buttery taste with soft and fine texture and mild odour. The fruit is large and one fruit should yield enough durian pulp for your mooncake.

D197 and also known as Raja Kunyit, Mau Shan Wang "Cat Mountain King, or Musang King. It has a thick, golden yellow flesh, very smooth with little or no fibres. Sticky and creamy texture. Sweet and bitter taste. The fruit is large and one fruit should give enough durian pulp for your mooncake.

Dried Lotus Seeds

Considered by some to be the original and most luxurious mooncake filling, lotus paste filling is found in all types of mooncakes.
Considered by some to be the original and most luxurious mooncake filling, lotus paste filling is found in all types of mooncakes.

Making The Durian Lotus Seed Filling

Method:

  • Soak the dried lotus seeds (about 4 cups) overnight to soften them.
  • Drain and wash the lotus seeds in clean water.
  • Put cleaned lotus seeds in a cooking pot.
  • Add enough water to cover the seeds completely.
  • Boil the seeds on low heat for about 1 hour until soft.
  • Cool and then blend the cooked lotus seeds into a paste.


  • Cook 4 tbsp sugar stirring constantly until the sugar caramelized.
  • Add lotus seed paste gradually and cook until smooth.
  • Add 500g sugar and stir till mixture thickens.
  • Add 2 tbsp oil gradually and mix well.
  • Add durian puree.
  • Add 2 tbsp oil gradually and stir continuously over low heat until the paste thickens.
  • Add 2 tbsp maltose.
  • Add 2 tbsp oil gradually and stir continuously over low heat until the paste is dry.
  • Set aside for about 4 hours or overnight.
  • Divide the paste and roll into 100g balls (make about 8 balls).


Egg Glaze or Egg Wash

Egg glaze is brush over the mooncake in the baking process. This gives the mooncake's crust its characteristic glossy sheen.


Ingedients:

1 egg
1 tbsp water
A pinch of salt

Method:

Mix ingredients thoroughly and strain.

Making the mooncake


  • Divide pastry/wrapper dough into 50g balls (make about 8 balls).
  • Flatten and form dough into a bowl-shape and drop in the filling.
  • Completely enclosed the filling and roll it into a mooncake ball.
  • Dust wooden mould lightly with flour, tapping out any excess.
  • Put mooncake ball into the mould.
  • Press mooncake ball firmly down to fill the mould.
  • Turn the mould over and rap mould firmly to loosen the mooncake.


Mooncake Moulds

Mooncake moulds or molds of different shapes and sizes. The traditional round and square shapes and figurine molds of fish and piglet.
Mooncake moulds or molds of different shapes and sizes. The traditional round and square shapes and figurine molds of fish and piglet.

Baking the mooncake


  • Place mooncakes on slightly greased tray.
  • Bake in preheated oven at 180°C (350oF) for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and leave to cool for 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Brush with egg glaze and bake for another 10 minutes or until done.
  • Cool mooncake completely and store in an airtight container.
  • The mooncakes remain fresh unrefrigerated for about two weeks.

A Popular Fish Mooncake

Fish mooncakes are children's favorite. Yusally filled with coconut and pandan (screwpine) flavor.
Fish mooncakes are children's favorite. Yusally filled with coconut and pandan (screwpine) flavor. | Source

Making Figurine Mooncake Biscuits

Figurine mooncake biscuits in the shape of the rabbit, piglet, and fish are very popular among children because of its sweet chewy and delicious taste. It uses the same dough mixture for making the mooncake crust or skin.

  • Use the left-over dough from the mooncake pastry/wrapper.
  • Add a little more flour to the dough, if necessary.
  • Divide dough into small equal portions to fit the moulds.
  • Use dough to wrap small amount of durian lotus seed filling.
  • Completely enclosed the filling and roll it into a mooncake biscuit ball.
  • Press biscuit ball into figurine moulds dusted lightly with flour.
  • Press biscuit ball firmly down to fill the mould.
  • Turn the mould over and rap mould firmly to loosen the biscuit.
  • Arrange mooncake biscuits on greased trays.
  • Bake in preheated oven at 180°C for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and leave to cool for 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Brush with egg glaze and bake for another 10 minutes or until done.
  • Cool biscuits completely and store in an airtight container.
  • The mooncake biscuits remain fresh unrefrigerated for about two weeks.

Mooncake Biscuits

The dough is also baked into fish or piglet shapes and sold as a chewy snack.  usually packaged in small plastic baskets to symbolize fish being caught or piglets being bound for sale.
The dough is also baked into fish or piglet shapes and sold as a chewy snack. usually packaged in small plastic baskets to symbolize fish being caught or piglets being bound for sale.

Mooncake Energy Content

Mooncake energy content can vary with the filling and size; the average moon cake is within the range of 800 to 1200 k cal.

A Cantonese-style melon seed with single salted duck egg has per 100g,

  • calories - 408 k cal
  • Fat - 15.2 g
  • Carbohydrates - 59.1g
  • Proteins - 7.3g


A Cantonese-style lotus seed with two salted duck eggs has per 100g,

  • Calories - 448 k cal
  • Fat - 24.2g
  • Carbohydrates - 45.8g
  • Proteins - 9.8g



A Cantonese-style lotus seed with one salted duck egg has per 100g,

  • Calories - 434 k cal
  • Fat - 19.9g
  • Carbohydrates - 55.9g
  • Proteins - 7.3g


Mooncakes - Which Type Do You Prefer?

I like my mooncakes....

See results

Snow Skin - Low Sugar White Lotus Mooncake

Smooth and delicate snow skin - melts in your mouth
Smooth and delicate snow skin - melts in your mouth | Source

Low Sugar White Lotus With Salted Egg Snow Skin Moon-cake

Serving size per 100g

Calories - 381 kcal

Fat - 19.2 gm

Carbohydrates - 46.1 gm

Protein - 4.6 gm

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