Mooncakes are usually eaten in small wedges during the festival, and shared by family members. They are generally served with Chinese tea, and, very rarely, mooncakes are served steamed or fried.
How to make Mooncakes
- Soak the lotus seeds for at least 6 hours.
- Transfer the seeds in a pot with plenty of water and boil the seeds are tender enough to smash with a fork, about 1 hour. Drain well, then transfer the seeds to a food processor while they are still warm, add 3/4 cup sugar and puree until very smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl.
- Melt 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a pan over medium-high heat, then cook about 5 minutes. Add the lotus puree and cook for 10 minutes. Add the remaining 1/3 cup vegetable shortening, then continue to cook, stirring continuously, until all of the shortening has fully incorporated and the paste is very thick, glossy and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 10 minutes.
- For the mooncake dough: whisk together the golden syrup, alkaline water and vegetable oil in a large bowl until combined. Add the cake and all-purpose flours and make dough forms. Gently knead the dough until it comes together completely, then wrap in plastic wrap about 45 minutes.
- Divide the lotus paste into equal pieces and roll into small balls. Place on a plate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Roll about 1 tablespoon of the mooncake dough into a ball, then place between 2 pieces of parchment paper that have been lightly dusted with flour. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough and Place one of the lotus paste balls in the center of the dough, and shape the dough around it, pinching the edges to seal.
- Place the ball into mold, then turn the press upright on your work surface. Press the plunger down until you feel resistance, then lift the mooncake mold off the table and use the plunger to carefully press the mooncake out. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, then refrigerate while you make the remaining mooncakes in the same manner.
- Bake the mooncakes for 10 minutes and cool them, Whisk the egg together with a splash of water in a bowl, then brush over the tops and sides of each mooncake. Return to the oven and bake to 15 minutes more. Let cool on the baking sheet 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Enjoy fresh mooncakes.