In preparation for the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, I decided that we were going to try to make mooncakes. Earlier this year I bought a Chinese holiday book that tells the history, as well as traditional recipes and crafts for each holiday. I figured that since I barely look Chinese and Sofia doesn’t look Chinese at all, we need something else to identify us with that part of our culture. Now, I have eaten many a mooncake in my day, but mostly the type with bean paste and duck egg yolks. Needless to say, not my husband’s or daughter’s favorite thing for dessert. The recipe in our Chinese holiday book though had a date, raisin, and coconut filling that was bound together with jam...sounded a lot more like something my family would like, so we tried it out.
Earlier in the year I got a mooncake mold from Chinatown in Hawaii, so we were good to go there. The pastry for these cakes is quite dense and very pliable which was perfect when you have a two year old manning the production table. For the jam in the filling we used our homemade peach jam, which tasted great, and suited the peach-shaped mold. It took a few tries, but we eventually figured out the best way to mold the mooncakes. Every time we encased the filling Sofia said, “Uh-oh, the filling is hiding.” We ended up with twelve mooncakes, only four of which were sub-par, pretty good for our first time. We were very proud to give Nate a mooncake when he came home, to which he replied “These are really good...they taste a lot like fig newton’s.” Not sure if that was what I was going for, but hey, I’ll take it...He must really like fig newtons though, because all of the mooncakes were gone in two days...So yay for us, we made mooncakes! I feel so much more Chinese ;)
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