Homemade Five Kernels or Five Nuts Moon Cake Filling (五仁馅)

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INTRODUCTION

Five nuts or five kernel moon cake is a traditional Cantonese style of moon cake..I do not like this moon cake when i was young as it is too nutty and have some dried tangerine .. However, as I aged, I started to like this moon cake because of the nuts.. I think I may not be the one who is saying this. Facebook friends also said the same thing.

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As per Wikipedia:

Five kernel (五仁, wǔ rén): A filling consisting of 5 types of nuts and seeds, coarsely chopped, is held together with maltose syrup. Recipes differ from region to region, but commonly used nuts and seeds include: walnuts, pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds,peanuts, sesame seeds, or almonds. In addition, the mixture will usually contain candied winter melon, jinhua ham, or pieces of rock sugar as additional flavoring.”

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As for the nuts, I am unsure if there is any restrictions as I have tried and every brand have their unique combination of nuts.  However, in Chinese literatures,  the traditional 5 nuts usually used are peanuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, water melon seeds and almonds. These 5 nuts signify the 5 morale standard required by traditional Chinese teachings (Benevolence, righteousness, courtesy, wisdom and trust). For those who understand mandarin, Baike written that:

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“五仁是中国传统糕点(如月饼等)的一种馅料,它是用花生仁、芝麻仁、核桃仁、杏仁、瓜子仁五种料炒熟后去皮压成碎丁,最后加入白糖调制而成。中国古代有“仁、义、礼、智、信”五样道德准则,而“五仁”正好与之谐音。” (source: http://baike.baidu.com/view/174761.htm)

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In the good old days, ham or sugar lard cubes were included  but this had been omitted in recent years  and most shops only sold pure vegetarian version. This is a rather flexible recipe and prepared based on the nuts that I liked and readers can also chose 5 nuts that they prefer. I have used the filling to prepare the moon cake  as in the post and the filling is consider as a successful attempt.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 550 grams of fillings (adequate to fill 4 big size moon cakes)

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  • 50 grams of walnuts or pecan nuts (核桃仁或胡桃仁)
  • 50 grams of sunflower seeds or watermelon seeds (葵花子仁 或 西瓜子仁)
  • 50 grams of white and black sesame seeds (黑白芝麻)
  • 50 grams of chopped almonds (杏仁)
  • 50 grams of candied winter melon (糖冬瓜)
  • 20 grams of candied tangerine (桔饼)
  • 5 grams of rose water or rose cooking liquor (玫瑰露或玫瑰水)
  • 80 grams of icing sugar (糖粉)
  • 25 ml of peanut oil or lard (花生油或猪油)
  • 100 grams of gao fen or cooked glutinous rice flour (糕粉)
  • 20 grams of maltose (麦芽糖)
  • 50 grams of cold water (冷水)

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Toast  all the nuts separately in oven at 150 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye as nuts can get burn rather easily. The step is optional if the nuts purchased is already toasted.

  • Put all the big nuts , dried tangerine and candied winter melon in a food processor, pause blend 2-3 times until smaller chunks. Add in all cooked glutinous rice flour or gao fen, sugar, maltose, water, rose water or rose liquor, lard or peanut oil. Blend until well combined. Transfer out to a big mixing bowl, put in all the seeds and nuts (chopped almonds, sesame seeds, sun flower seeds) , knead until it well combined.  Divide into relevant sizes for moon cake moulding.

Note:

  • The step of blending is optional and you can always used knife to chop the nuts and use hand to mix the ingredients. I have resorted to using blended because of the harder dried tangerine and candied winter melon.

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CONCLUSION

Hope this post will benefit those readers who are looking for this traditional recipe. It is part of the moon cake filling series.

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This recipe was included in Page 32-33 of the “Easy Mooncake Recipes E-book”. For more mooncake recipes, you can have a copy of Easy mooncake recipes  – A step by step guide” that was packed with 20 recipes, 45 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD4.00. The recipes covered various recipes from durian mooncake, traditional baked mooncake and also the less common Teochew mooncake . You can purchase by clicking the link above.You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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Hope you like the post today.. Cheers and have a nice day.

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Salted Egg Yolk Custard Moon Cake Fillings (咸蛋奶皇月饼馅料)

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INTRODUCTION

In current years, the moon cake markets have been flooded with many types of new fillings.. Most traditional Chinese cake houses, posh restaurants, hotels and other eating outlets will eye to have a share of this lucrative moon cake market. Many non traditional moon cake fillings were being sold from chocolate truffles to pu-er to pandan etc..

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It is my aim this year to blog at least 2 new moon cake fillings and some traditional moon cake fillings. The first thing that comes to my mind is the ever popular salted egg yolk custard fillings. I am unsure if there is any shop who sell this or any bloggers who share such a recipe, this recipe was prepared purely based on what I thought it will be nice and workable.

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I am very happy with this adventure and at least family members like it.. Wife was complaining not sweet enough but I told her readers have been reducing sugar in all the bakes and I will let them to decide if it is sweet enough. Don’t worry, not sweet, just add some more sugar..

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It is a savoury creamy type of moon cake fillings. It is flavoured mostly by salted egg yolk though sweet potatoes was used. It is very aromatic, slightly salty with some sweetness in the filling.

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Does it taste weird? I do not think so.. If you like the three types of cuisines listed below, you will definitely like this filling. The taste is exactly the same.

Salted Egg Yolk Custard Buns or Liu Sha Bao or Nai Huang Bao (流沙包 / 奶皇包 /奶黄包)

Processed with Moldiv

Salted Egg Yolk Cookies (蛋黄酥饼)

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Curried “Buttered” Meat Slices With Salted Eggs..

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In the event that in your area, there are no ready salted eggs, you can try preparing homemade salted chicken or duck eggs using this recipe: Homemade Salted Eggs (家居咸蛋)

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 400-500 grams of moon cake fillings

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  • 100 grams of salted egg yolks (6-8 salted eggs)
  • 100 grams of sweet potatoes puree (orange sweet potatoes preferred)
  • 50-75 grams of castor sugar
  • 50 grams of milk powder
  • 25 grams of custard powder
  • 75 grams of melted butter
  • 10 grams of glutinous rice flour

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Cut open the cooked salted eggs and gather the egg yolks. If your salted egg is uncooked, you will need to steam the salted egg yolks using high heat until the yolks are cooked which took about 10-15 minutes.

  • Steam the sweet potatoes until soft. Note that orange sweet potatoes is preferred as it will gave a better colour. In this illustration, yellow sweet potatoes are less appealing.

  • Put the sweet potatoes and salted egg yolk in a blender. Blend until find. Add the custard flour, sugar, milk powder and about 1/2 of the melted butter, blend until as find as possible.

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  • In a non stick pan, put the remaining half of the melted butter. Transfer the filling to the pan and stir fry until all the butter are well mixed. Add the glutinous rice flour, continue to stir fry until the moon cake filling is dry. Off the heat and let it cooled completely before shaping. If it is too dry to to your liking, add additional butter. If it is not sweet enough, add additional sugar.

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CONCLUSION

I have no hesitation to recommend all this recipe.. It is very aromatic and it taste very different. I have used the filling to prepare some Shanghai moon cake and the response was good. For those who are looking for new moon cake flavour this year, may be you can try preparing this.

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This recipe was included in Page 40-41 of the “Easy Mooncake Recipes E-book”. For more mooncake recipes, you can have a copy of Easy mooncake recipes  – A step by step guide” that was packed with 20 recipes, 45 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD4.00. The recipes covered various recipes from durian mooncake, traditional baked mooncake and also the less common Teochew mooncake . You can purchase by clicking the link above.You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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Back To Basics–Baked Traditional Mooncake (传统粤式月饼)

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INTRODUCTION

I told members in my Facebook Group that as a Chinese food blogger, I will not do justice to my blog if I do not blog some traditional baked mooncake. Besides the Teochew flaky crust mooncake, this is another type of mooncake that is available in my home town when I was a kid . Then the choice of the fillings were very limited, mostly red bean paste (black Tausa) and lotus paste is very expensive and less common. It was also wrapped in pieces of white and red paper without the fancy well design packaging like what we have to day.

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This post is a very basic recipe for the traditional baked mooncake. In fact,  I have prepared two batches.

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The filling to dough ratio is not correct for the first batch and I have to prepare another batch to re-test the recipe that I am issuing today. Yes, there are some calculation mistakes for my first batch and subsequent adjustment to the second batch have addressed the issues.

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As contrast to the flaky crust (Suzhou, Teochew ) or the short crust skin (Shanghai), the crust of this mooncake is termed as chewy crust It is a brown piece of dough wrapped around a ball of filling and baked in the oven . The result is a golden brown piece of mooncake. It is interesting to understand from Wikipedia about this skin:

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“This crust has a reddish-brown tone and glossy sheen. It is the most common type of crust used on Cantonese-style mooncakes. It is also the most commonly seen type of mooncake in North America and many western countries. Chewy mooncake crusts are made using a combination of thick sugar syrup, lye water (枧水, sodium hydroxide [NaOH]) or sodium carbonate (碱面 [Na2CO3]), flour, and oil, thus giving this crust its rich taste and a chewy yet tender texture. Chewiness can be increased further by adding maltose syrup to the mixture. “(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mooncake)

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As the purpose of this post is to share the recipe of this chewy crust, therefore I have opt to select the most common filling, lotus paste with a single yolk. I am rather pleased with my second batches especially the exterior outlook of my mooncake. One slight dissatisfaction is that the yolk is not in the centre for the mooncake that I have selected for cutting and for picture taking purposes.. Haha.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: Traditional Baked Mooncake 中秋月饼 (2011)

Servings: Prepare 4 mooncakes of about 8cm diameter (weigh about 160-170 grams per mooncake)

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Crust

  • 120 grams of cake flour or top flour or Hong Kong flour
  • 70 grams of golden syrup
  • 30 grams of peanut oil
  • 4 grams of alkaline water

Fillings

  • 4 salted egg yolks
  • 440 grams of lotus seed paste
  • 40 grams of melon seeds (optional)

Egg washing

  • 1 egg yolk plus 1 tablespoon of milk plus few drops of cooking oil, beat and sift

Others

  • Some mooncake mould of your choice.

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-treatment of egg yolk – wash the egg yolk with some Chinese cooking wine, either steamed until it is cooked or cooked in the microwave oven for 20 seconds. Take away all the egg whites attached.

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  • Mix all the skin/crust ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir and knead until well mixed. Let it rest in the mixing bowl for 20-30 minutes. Theoretically, the longer the dough is rested, the more “stretchable” the dough will be. Stretchable will mean that it is less prone to breaking during moulding . Divide the dough into 4 (about 56 grams each)

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  • Mix the melon seeds (if any) to the lotus paste fillings and divide into 4 balls (without melon seeds is about 110 grams per balls). Take one ball, shape round, flatten it with your pump and place a salted egg yolk in the centre. Seal the edges, shape as round as possible. Set aside for later use.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

  • After the dough is adequately rested, take one ball, shape round, flatten it, put a ball of lotus seeds filling and seal the edges.

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  • Place the dough in your preferred mould, press hard and flatten the dough such that the shape conform to the mould. Dislodge the mooncake and place in a greased baking tray. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, take out mooncake, let it cool for 5 minutes and egg washed as thoroughly as possible. Ensure that there are no drip of egg in the mooncake as this will deface your mooncake imprints. Send back to the oven and bake again for 10-15 minutes until your desired colour tone.

  • It is generally advised that you leave the mooncake for 3 days before consumption. Otherwise, the skin will not be “stretchy” enough and too dry for immediate servings.

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CONCLUSION

Preparing traditional bake mooncake in not difficult, but please remember the following pointers:

  • The longer you let the dough to rest, the easier it is for wrapping and have a finer imprint. If prefer, you can even prepare the dough one day ahead and let it rest in the fridge.

  • The dough to filling ratio is critical. With the influx of various sizes of mooncake mould, for the first cake, you will have to trial and error and to get the right ratio for subsequent mooncakes. Therefore, it is rather inevitable to have some wastage on skin .The ratio here is for your reference, but do use a ratio that you are comfortable with for the cake. A bit more skin is acceptable and it is better then the fillings exposed cake.

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  • Egg washing and the last 15 minutes of baking is very critical  and you should place more attention to it. Whether or not your mooncake will look attractive will depend on how detail you egg wash the mooncake and your final colour tone of the mooncake. Remember, no dripping of eggs in the cake.  In addition, as every oven is different, if you want it to brown faster, place on the higher rack. If you are not satisfy with the shininess, egg wash for the second time..With egg wash, the small cake can brown very fast in a matter of minutes depending on your oven.. Hmmm, I usually keep looking into the oven for these few minutes, no Facebook, no surfing, no telephone etc.. ha-ha.

This recipe was included in Page 1-2 of the “Easy Mooncake Recipes E-book”. For more mooncake recipes, you can have a copy of Easy mooncake recipes  – A step by step guide” that was packed with 20 recipes, 45 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD4.00. The recipes covered various recipes from durian mooncake, traditional baked mooncake and also the less common Teochew mooncake . You can purchase by clicking the link above.You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 28 July 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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