Walnut Mooncakes (Improved)

Walnut mooncakes

Walnut mooncakes are one of our family’s favourites and I bake them every year. This year, I modified my usual recipe as I found it a little too crumbly. The pastry of the previous recipe doesn’t quite hold up when it’s cut. Besides some slight tweaks to the amount of butter and flour, I’ve also replaced baking soda with baking powder as baking powder yields a more neutral tasting product (since there aren’t any acidic ingredients). I’m very satisfied with the results and my hubby, little one and mum loves it.

Walnut mooncakes

I’ve added melon seeds and salted egg yolks (my favouite) to the mooncake but you can choose to omit these if you like. As for the amount of walnuts to use, it really depends on your preference. I like walnuts so I use large fresh walnuts. Make sure that the walnuts you use are raw ones and not salted/toasted ones though.

walnut dinosaur mooncakes

My hubby decided to join in the fun and made these dinosaur walnut mooncakes. I think he calls them dino-wal-saurus. I think they are totally adorable, though they are very time-consuming to make. He used black beans for the eyes, melon seeds for their teeth and walnuts for their scales. Check out their side profile below. He thinks that there’s a market for these lovely dino-wal-saurus and all dino loving boys would love to have one. I would love to hear your thoughts on his creation!

walnut dinosaur mooncakes

Walnut Mooncakes (Improved)
 
Serves: 30 - 32
Ingredients
Pastry
  • 350g Plain flour
  • 30g Custard Powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 50g Icing sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
Filling
  • 30g toasted melon seeds
  • 750g White Lotus Paste
  • 6-7 salted egg yolks (each cut into 6 pieces)
Before baking
  • 1 Egg yolk + 1 tbsp water (for glazing)
  • Walnut for decoration
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, sift flour, custard powder, salt and baking powder together. Whisk ingredients together and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer set to medium high speed, cream sugar and butter together until slightly pale and fluffy.
  3. Gradually add in egg and vanilla and beat on medium high speed till fluffy and light.
  4. Fold in flour mixture in two parts. Refrigerate dough overnight.
  5. Bake salted egg yolks for 5 minutes at 160ºC. Set aside to cool. Cut each yolk into 6 pieces.
  6. Mix melon seeds with lotus paste. Divide fillings into about 25g each.
  7. Wrap a piece of salted egg yolk in each ball of filling.
  8. Take out dough from fridge and divide into portions of 20g each.
  9. Wrap fillings into dough and decorate with walnut.
  10. Apply egg wash on mooncakes and bake at 160ºC for 10 mins.
  11. Remove from oven and allow mooncakes to rest for 10 mins. Re-apply egg wash and return to oven and bake for another 20 mins or till golden.

 

Apple walnut bundt cake

apple bundt 1

Not so long ago there was this fruit sale at my office (yeah, to encourage us to eat healthy). My friend was in-charge of the sale and she was asking me to buy the apples. So I told her jokingly, “Buy them for me and I will bake you something.” WRONG MOVE. An hour later, I had 5 apples sitting on my table and I had to make good my word. I went home and lo and behold, my mom had bought another 4 apples. So I had 9 apples, and I better make something with it, fast.

So I flipped through my books for a simple recipe of something that required a lot of apples. I didn’t want to make a tart because it seemed like too much work for a late night baking session. When I came across this apple cake recipe that required 6 apples, I knew it was the one.

apple bundt 2

Enters apple bundt cake. The original recipe called for the cake to be baked in a tube pan. I didn’t have a tube pan, but I have several bundt pans and figured that they would do the job too. Bundt pans typically do an excellent job in getting the cake evenly baked while keeping it moist. Sounds like the perfect pan to use for this cake. I also like bundt cakes because they typically feed a crowd, and are so easy to cut up and serve (just follow the markings on the cake and you have a perfectly divided cake). They also look pretty and the cake hardly needs any decoration, though a dusting of powdered sugar would perhaps complete the look.

The cake was every bit what it promised to be – fully apple-ly and fully cake. Apples and cinnamon. Add walnuts and you will never go wrong. The walnuts add texture to the already flavourful cake and the bundt pan kept the cake oh so moist. Colleagues raved about it and I am sure you would too, if you try it.

Apple bundt cake
 
An excellent apple bundt cake that's filled with apples, accentuated with walnuts and the flavour of cinnamon.
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 12-16
Ingredients
  • 6 apples, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1½ cup plus 5 tbsp sugar
  • 2¾ cups plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup canola/vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 175°C.
  2. Butter and flour a 10-12 cup large bundt pan or use non-stick spray.
  3. Toss chopped apples with 5 tbsp sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.
  5. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine oil, orange juice, remaining sugar, vanilla extract and eggs.
  6. Add in flour mixture in 2 parts with mixer on low. Scrape bowl to ensure even incorporation. Stir in walnuts.
  7. Pour half of the batter into the pan. Spread half the apple chunks.
  8. Top up pan with remaining batter and spread evenly.
  9. Arrange remaining apple on top.
  10. Bake for 1½ hours, or until a tester comes out clean.
  11. Allow to cool completely in pan before turning it out onto a serving plate.
Notes
Recipe is adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Walnut Mooncakes

I baked up a new batch of these yesterday for mom, since I was meeting her for dinner. I like the way the crust crumbles when you bite into it, the fragrance of the lotus seed paste mixed with the walnuts and salted egg yolk. The good part about baking them on your own is that I can be indulgent with the amount of walnuts I add. Mom was commenting that the walnut pieces were huge. You’d never find them in store bought ones. Here are some photos! (Photoshop is down so there are no captions, for now.)

walnut_mooncake2

walnut_mooncake3

walnut_mooncake4

For those that were asking, here’s the recipe. It’s taken from here, another baker’s food blog but I’ve made a few slight changes to the filling to suit my own taste.

Ingredients:
360g Plain flour
25g Custard Powder
1/2 tsp Sodium Bicarbonate
50g Icing sugar
50g Shortening
220g Butter (salted)
1 egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
1/2 tsp Ammonium Bicarbonate
1 Egg + 1 tbsp water (for glazing)
Walnut for decoration

Filling:
1 kg White Lotus Paste
6 salted egg yolks (each cut into 6-8 pieces)

Method:
1. Cream sugar, shortening, butter, vanilla flavour and ammonium together until slightly white. (slow speed first then change to high speed)
2. Gradually add in egg.
3. Lastly add in sifted flour, custard powder and sodium bicarbonate to knead into a dough. (don’t mix too long) Leave dough in fridge overnight.
4. Steam egg yolks for about 5 minutes. Cut each yolk into 6 – 8 pieces, depending on the size of the yolk.
5. Take out dough from fridge and divide into portions of 20 gm each.
6. Divide fillings into about 25 gm each.
7. Make a dent in each ball of filling and place a piece of egg yolk in it.
8. Wrap fillings into dough and decorate with walnut.
9. Apply egg wash and bake at 160ºC for 10 mins. Take it out and leave it for about 10 mins and apply egg wash again. Bake for another 15 -20 mins.