I thought Mid-Autumn Festival (also commonly known as Mooncake Festival in Malaysia) is tomorrow. As I didn’t have a Chinese calendar, I relied on the date CY gave me but we all got our days mixed up and invited people over tomorrow night for dinner! Oh well… For those of you who do not know, Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated by Asians – especially Chinese all over the world on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. People gather together and celebrate the event by eating mooncakes and pomelo, playing lanterns, burning incense etc. There are many different mooncake flavours: lotus paste (with single or double yolk/ without yolk), mixed nuts, red bean etc. In recent years, people are getting more creative by coming up with ice-cream mooncakes, mooncake jellies etc.
When I was younger, I didn’t enjoy mooncakes. Maybe it was because my dad used to get lots from clients etc and we were forced to eat it for 2-3 meals a day for months, hence I grew really sick of it. However, I loved mooncake festival because of the lanterns. I remember running around with the kids in my neighbourhood: each of us with our own lantern in different shapes and colour. Some are paper lanterns while others are wired ones shaped in various shapes and lined with coloured glass paper. As I grew older, the tradition was still practiced and we would go out with friends to the parks around our housing estate, as a lot of the housing estate committee organise family events at some parks to celebrate the festival. Sadly, I’ve not done this for 5 years – since coming to Tassie. :(
I only started to like mooncake as I grew older. My favourite is the white lotus paste with double yolk. Actually, I only want the yolk..hehe… :)! I’ve tried a couple of times to make some homemade ones but I’ve not succeeded up till today. Last year, I managed to make Snowy Mooncake (Bing Pei Mooncake). This year, while surfing Kuali.com, I came across this jelly mooncake recipe. It looked really pretty so I decided to give it a go. The jelly on its own without the custard filling was a bit overwhelming. But with the custard filling, it turned out pretty nice.
- 55g water
- 125ml fresh milk
- 55g sugar
- 5g agar-agar powder
- 55g double cream
Strawberry jelly skin:
- 250ml water
- 80g castor sugar
- 11g agar-agar powder
- 100g strawberry, hulled
- 150ml water
- 1 tbsp evaporated milk
- 3 tbsp thick coconut milk
- 1/8 tsp red food colouring
- 1 tsp basil seeds, soaked to soften
- Bring water, sugar, milk and agar-agar powder to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until sugar and agar-agar have dissolved. Stir in double cream and whisk continuously.
- Remove from flame and continue to stir to prevent lumps from forming.
- Pour into tart moulds and leave to cool. Chill in refrigerator till set.
- Put strawberries and 150ml water in a blender. Blend until fine, then set aside.
- Bring water, sugar and agar-agar powder to a boil. Reduce the heat and add strawberry mixture, evaporated milk, coconut milk and basil seeds. Cook over a gentle heat until mixture comes to almost a boil again, then turn off the heat.
- Fill the mooncake mould half full with the strawberry mixture. Leave it to cool until almost set then put one piece of the custard filling in the middle.
- Use a fork and lightly scratch the surface of the filling and fill up with the strawberry agar-agar mixture again and let it set completely before chilling in the refrigerator.
- Lightly knock it out of the mould and serve chilled.