The moon cake is an important item in the Mid-autumn festival.
This is also known as the moon-cake festival. Moon cakes are made and offered as prayers items.
The 8th Lunar month of the Chinese lunar calendar will be here soon. This is an important date in the Chinese calendar as like Chinese New Year, it is a time for family reunions and friends getting together. The eight lunar month is generally considered as an auspicious month.
This is because the 7th lunar month is considered as inauspicious as it it the month of the hungry ghosts.
The month of the Hungry Ghost is so named as it is the time when the gates of Hades open and its occupants leave and come to earth. These ghosts are hungry, having been in hell all the year and they come back to roam the streets and visit their relatives.
To appease them, offerings of food and joss sticks are left outside for the hungry ghosts and dead relatives to enjoy.
On the 15th day of the 7th month, prayers and ritual prosperity items are offered to the deceased. These are like paper money, paper houses, car, credit card, designer bags, etc. These are burnt and it goes to hell to the recipients.
The Chinese have The Bank of Hell, with its own currency, its own wifi and broadband to support smartphones, tv’s and online purchase. Designer goods and flashy cars like Ferrari, Lotus and Lamborghinis are commonly ‘sent’ to them to enjoy. Blimey! Some of those ghosts shouldn’t he hungry!
To read more about the ‘offerings’ click here Cheng Beng.
The Chinese believe that great merit and good fortune is attained by offering these hungry spirits some food and shelter during this time. The 15th day of the month fell on August 22nd.
When is the 8th lunar month?
The good news is that the 7th lunar month ends on 6th September 2021. Then the 8th lunar month takes over and it is considered as a good month. Mid – autumn festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the month. Notice how the Chinese celebrate auspicious days? It it usually on the 1st day or the 15th day of the month. We call in ‘che it chap goh’, which means on the 1st and 15th day. Always remember, the 15th day of any lunar month is the full moon. It never fails.
So now I will go to the recipe for the Cheat’s Shanghai Moon cake.
Shanghai Moon Cake
- Baking Tray
- Pastry rolling pin
- Pastry brush
- kitchen scale, measuring jugs, spoons, etc
- 80 g Unsalted butter cut to small pieces, and chill
- 250 g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 25 g castor sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg beaten
- cold water
- 400 g Lotus seed paste
- 200 g Adzuki bean paste
- salted egg yolks to replace the adzuki bean paste centre. As many as you want.
- 50 g melon seeds, or nuts/seeds of your choice
- 1 Egg yolk
- 1 tbsp Milk or water
- 1/4 tsp Oil optional
Topping / garnishing
- 1 tbsp Sesame seeds or other types for seed for topping
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C or gas mark 4.
- Sieve the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
- Cut the butter into small pieces in the flour and rub until fine breadcrumbs.
- Add in the egg and quickly bring the mixture together to get it clumpy. Add in more milk/water if it is too dry. Once the clumps form, bring it together to form a dough and knead lightly to get a pliable dough.
- Wrap in cling film and set aside in the fridge.
- Mix the nuts into the lotus paste and divide equally into 8 pieces and roll into balls.
- Divide the Adzuki bean paste into 8 pieces and roll into balls.
- Flatten the lotus paste and place a ball of the bean paste in the centre and wrap with the lotus paste. Shape into a ball. Repeat for all the paste. Set aside.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge and divide into 8 equal pieces. Take a dough ball and flatten it and wrap the filling in the centre ensuring that it is well sealed and place on a tray lined with non-stick baking parchment. (I used a silicone baking sheet with cups)
- Apply egg wash to the balls, ensuring it covers the whole ball as much as possible. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove and reapply the egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool and serve.
Here are the link to some of the ingredients:
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I hope you enjoy the recipe!! Please like and share the post.