Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake festival fell on the 12th of September this year. I am a little late to celebrate but I believe the mood is still in the air ... but then, eating is always in and it doesn't really matter whether we eat the festival goodies on the actual day or after, as long as someone keeps making them.
For some interesting facts about the festival and the Chinese legends behind the mooncakes, click here.
I've been reading so many posts about mooncakes and many other mid-autumn festival goodies, I realized I should bring out whatever's left of the traditional chinese in me. Hence this post of Chinese flaky pastry.
Of course, the little creature with the horns in me had to turn it topsy turvy (again) and make it into something that's probably making my ancestors itch wherever their good souls are. Coming across Cemplang Cemplung's guest post in Xiaolu's blog gave me the idea to make this somewhat Chinese-y sweet pastry with a different filling instead of the usual lotus seed/sweet bean pastes. Actually, there are so many weird concoctions out there for the mooncake fillings these days (tiramisu, durian *ew*, cheese, tofu and what else I can't think of), mine seems pretty tame in comparison.
I'm using the pastry recipe from Cemplang Cemplung. (Check out the pics over there ... gorgeous!!)
The filling is just something I threw together altho I'm sure it's already been done. I'm using one of my favorite vegetables for it ... pumpkin!! I'm sort of getting into the pumpkin mood again. Be warned. (Other pumpkin posts: click here and here)
A short note on the pastry: I've used 2 different techniques here. You can see some of the pastries have spirals and some, horizontal layers. The spiral layering is called, well, Spiral (Escargot) Shaping and the horizontal ones are called Parallel Shaping. To get the Spiral/Escargot layering, you'll need to slice the dough crosswise as per the instructions below. For the Parallel layering, slice it lengthwise. Then roll out, fill, pinch, bake, eat ... simple.
Water dough (outer layer)
50 g plain flour
50 g cake flour
13 g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
40 ml water
38 g unsalted butter, room temperature
Chocolate dough (inner layer)
*I thought the chocolate would go really well with the pumpkin but there's not much of the taste altho the color makes the swirls stand out a little better
105 g plain flour
70 g unsalted butter, room temperature
5 g cocoa powder (I'm planning to use double the amount next time)
about 1 cup pumpkin puree
50 g sugar
1 tsp cornflour
Combine all filling ingredients into a pan. Stir to mix until well combined. Cook over medium heat until you get a very thick paste.
Form into little balls of about 1 heaped teaspoon each. (They don't have to be perfectly round). Place on cookie sheet and chill in refrigerator.
Making the water dough:
Place both flours, sugar and salt into a food processor. Buzz to mix them up. Add in the water and buzz until you get a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs. Add the butter and buzz until it forms a very soft but not too sticky dough. Wrap in plastic and rest in the fridge while you make the chocolate dough.
Making the chocolate dough:
(I got lazy here and didn't bother to rinse out the food processor.)
Plonk all chocolate dough ingredients into food processor and buzz to get a nice soft non-sticky dough.
Pinch out small amounts of the dough weighing about 15 g each and roll into balls using the palms of your hands. Set aside.
Now do the same for the water dough. 15 g each ball of dough.
You should get the same number of balls for each dough. I managed to get 24.
Take a water dough ball, flatten it into a small circle and place a chocolate ball in it. Gather the outer edges of the water dough and wrap up the chocolate ball. Pinch to seal. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough upwards to make an oval shape, dusting lightly with flour if you need to.
Starting from the short end closest to you, roll it up as you would a swiss roll.
Turn the roll 90˚ and roll out upwards again with the rolling pin. Now roll it up again into a swiss roll. Cut crosswise, making 2 pieces, using a sharp knife.
Place cut side down and roll out into circles of about 2" in diameter.
Place pumpkin filling into the center of the circle, gather up the edges and pinch to seal.
Place on greased or lined baking tray pinched side down and bake at 180˚C for 25 - 30 mins. (I think I overbaked mine coz I was somehow waiting for it to brown and it didn't. I did some research later and learnt that it doesn't actually brown very much ... duh. I baked mine for 35 mins.... don't do that.)
*Note: DO NOT egg wash pastry or you'll lose the layerings.
For a step by step tutorial, please visit 6 Bittersweets. Feast your eyes there!
Submitted to Aspiring Bakers #11 - Mid Autumn Treats.
I've put up a larger pic here so you can see the 2 different textures.