“Mummy, can you make something for the Mid-Autumn Festival celebration in school ?”
This request came a few days before the Mid-Autumn festival, an important festival that most Chinese celebrate. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, during a full moon.
In ancient times, the festival was a time to enjoy the successful harvesting of rice and with food offerings made in honor of the moon. Today, it is still an occasion for outdoor reunions among friends and relatives to eat mooncakes and watch the moon, a symbol of harmony and unity.
Eating mooncakes is one of the highlight of this festival. And it is a form of courtesy to present the elders mooncakes. And from the traditional round-shaped mooncakes (which meant to symbolise reunion and unity), they evolve into wide variety of fanciful, colourful and delicious mooncakes available in bakeries and supermarkets.
Bunnies Mooncakes – modified from the happyhomebaking
125g plain flour
85g golden syrup (I used Abram Lyle’s Golden Syrup with maple flavor)
1/2 teaspoon alkaline water
25g peanut oil (I used salad oil instead)
250g red bean paste
- Divide the filling into 25g portions and shape into balls.
- Mix the maple syrup with the alkaline water, stir to combine. Add in salad oil, mix well.
- Place plain flour in a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre. Add in the above mixture.
- Mix with a spatula to form a soft dough and gently knead the dough till smooth (takes 1~2 mins). Shape it into a smooth round dough. Wrap with cling wrap and leave in fridge to rest for at least 2 hours. Best result is to put it overnight.
- This step is known as 醒面.
- Dust work surface with some flour. Divide dough into 20g pieces. Shape each dough into a ball. Roll each dough over some flour.
- Dust hand with flour and flatten each dough into a small disc (about 5cm in diameter). Wrap it around the filling and shape it into a ball. (always dust hand with some flour to avoid the dough from sticking).
- Take two small pieces of dough to form bunny ears, place on the wrapped dough, make an indent on each ear with a spatula or toothpick. Make the eyes by poking with the tip of a chopstick (use one that comes with pointed ends) or a satay stick. Stick a small round dough at the back as tail.
- Place mooncake on a baking tray line with parchment paper. Bake at preheated oven at 180degC for 10mins. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 15mins. Return to oven and continue to bake for another 12~15mins until golden brown (since all oven works differently, the mooncakes are not over baked).
*I didnt egg-wash the mooncakes for fear that little kids might not like the texture
- Leave mooncake to cool completely and store in air tight containers. Wait for 2 ~ 3 days for the mooncakes to 回油 (for the skin to soften) before serving.
And these little critters are all ready for delivery.
We know it is rude to show the back view of these little critters. But, don’t they look adorable!