Snowskin Mooncakes (冰皮月餅) Recipe

Snowskin Mooncakes (冰皮月餅) Recipe

Snowskin Mooncakes (冰皮月餅) Recipe

Happy Mid-Autumn festival, everyone!

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Also known as 中秋節 moon festival, this is the day where the Chinese, Vietnamese, Thais and Japanese would celebrate the coming of the year’s harvest. Villagers would come out at night and admire the views of the fat harvest moon, while dusty children would scurry along the streets with shiny lanterns in tow. And of course, there’d be mooncakes to be eaten. You may look forward to hot cross buns for Easter and mince pies for Christmas, but for me it would be Mid-Autumn mooncakes that I’d wait eagerly for.
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When I was growing up, I remember dad buying in a couple of boxes of mooncakes around this time of the year. And we’d make a little ceremony of brewing tie guanyintea and serving them in small ceramic cups. Dad would then break out the mooncakes and we’d slice them into quarters or eights and nibble on these delights with sips of cleansing tea.

Snowskin Mooncakes (冰皮月餅) Recipe
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There were years where we had sparklers to play with in the garden, but they tend to be a somewhat short-lived, anti-climatic thrill, with the starbursts sputtering into nothingness within a minute. I also remember gathering with the neighbourhood kids and walking the streets with Chinese lanterns dangling from a stick. These lanterns were normally framed with wire into the shape of animals or flowers. They’re covered in shiny cellophane or coloured paper and in the middle, a burning candle. Keeping the candle lit was an effort, cos the tiniest gust of wind could extinguish it. But I remember one year, my lantern caught fire and I looked on with horror as my intricate toy melted away.
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childhood traumas…
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I have previously spoken about making all the mooncake ingredients from scratch and have posted a recipe for traditional skin mooncakes, see links below.
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Mooncake, Phase 1 - Birth of project
Mooncake, Phase 2 - Homemade sugar syrup and salted duck eggs
Mooncake, Phase 3 - Homemade Fillings
Traditional Mooncakes - Recipe
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But on this actual festival day, let’s go one step further and explore different types of skins and fillings. The mooncake industry has gone quite crazy these days, with wacky fillings and skins. Many top chefs and hotels in Singapore have been trying to come up with the newest and most innovative variations in mooncakes. Some seemed to work, but others can be quite ewww. Would you eat snowskins with bird nest custard? Or how about osmanthus infused lotus paste, Spirulina bing pi, or Korean black garlic flavoured chocolate? Oh dear…
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Since these top chefs have gone quite wild with creativity, I have teamed up with ex-colleagues Pelican Beastie and Pei Pei last Saturday, and we’ve come up with our own irresistible die-die-must-try snowskin (冰皮 bing pi) mooncakes, and they are…
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**DRUMROLL**…

Snowskin Mooncakes (冰皮月餅) Recipe

Super Pastel Tri-Colour Hello Kitty and Doraemon Bing Pi

w/ Thai Mon Thong Durian Paste!!

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Look at how pillowy soft they are! You could almost want to use them like a bath sponge. And such pretty colours! How can anyone not like durians after seeing such irresistible kawaii bing pi mooncakes?? OMG, we’re sooo amaziiingg!
Snowskin Mooncakes (冰皮月餅) Recipe

Great Eastern Tea-Infused Garfield and Hello Kitty Bing Pi Mooncakes

w/ Adzuki Red Bean or Black Sesame Filling!!

Top: Home-brewed Tie Guanyin Snowskin
Bottom: Home-brewed HK Milk Tea Snowskin
Snowskin Mooncakes (冰皮月餅) Recipe
Waahahahaa… Oh my gosh, that was such a fun thing to yell out, ha ha ha! We had a lot of fun that Saturday, working the bouncy dough, adding psychedelic colourings, and troubleshooting our failures. And to be honest, before we got together to make this batch, I’d tried making snowskins a couple of times and have ALWAYS failed. That’s because I didn’t possess Pelican Beastie’s magic hands, I swear. Beastie works the smoothest and springiest bing pi dough, even though it was her first time making it. And after close observation, I’ve finally learn to almost mimic that skill.
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Fatbooo… {Power Up!} —> ***Beastie Fingers Supreme!!!***

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I’ll attach the recipe for the durian paste snowskin at the end of this post. But as usual, I’ll post pictures of our adventures with our bing pi project. If you don’t like durians, you can just substitute it with any of the other homemade fillings that I’ve previously blogged about.
The two important ingredients that make up snowskin mooncakes are fried glutinous rice flour and vegetable shortening. Fried glutinous rice flour can be hard to find amongst the sea of flour packets at your Asian grocer’s, so here’s a pic of the pack that is commonly sold in Melbourne. (Cock brand… D_D). As for vegetable shortening, they can be found next to the butters in the any supermarket’s refrigerated section.
Snowskin Mooncakes (冰皮月餅) Recipe
Shortening. They look quite inedible and somewhat frightening, to be honest…
Cooking the durian paste
Snowskin Mooncakes (冰皮月餅) Recipe
Kneading the bing pi dough.
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Some recipes may say that you shouldn’t overwork the dough. But in our experience, it seems the dough gets better and better if you work it for longer. So don’t be shy about bashing it around until you get the consistency you want. The more you work it, the springier it gets though, so if you want it less springy, then mix minimally. And to prevent having clumps of shortening in your bing pi, make sure you rub the shortening into the flour until it’s very fine and the mixture appears like soft bread crumbs. Patience is the key.
Snowskin Mooncakes (冰皮月餅) Recipe
HK milk tea for the snowskins, homemade and frothed teh-tarik style
Snowskin Mooncakes (冰皮月餅) Recipe

I also created espresso snowskins. You really should try this! Goes well with the lighter tasting mung bean or adzuki red bean fillings. Snowskins are quite versatile, so you can play around with many flavours and colours.

Snowskin Mooncakes (冰皮月餅) Recipe
I tried making taro filling as well. It was a rather odd recipe, asking for fried shallots along with sugar. Tasted similar to orh nee (yam paste dessert) and I think it’d make a great mooncake if I manage to create an orange snowskin using fresh pumpkins. I’d probably also add a gingko nut in the centre of the filling. Hmm… maybe next year…
Snowskin Mooncakes (冰皮月餅) Recipe
And of course, here’s my customary homemade vs store-bought mooncake challenge. Think I paid $11 for these two mini snowskins w/ durian paste. Daylight robbery. Verdict? Our homemade ones wins hands down. Loved our colours better, the imprints are clearer and cuter, our skin’s chewier and bouncier, and most importantly, our fillings don’t reek of fake durian essence.
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The recipe below has been adapted from Aunty Yochana’s blog. She’s sooper aunty, l love it! Especially the comments from her readers, saying things like “Aunty Yochana, help me prish! My mooncakes not as nice as yours, {blah blah}… can you tell me why?”. Ha ha ha! Anyway, after trying different snowskins from various recipes, I think this one from Aunty Yochana works best with my skill level. Hope they work out as well for you.
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Durian Paste

1kg Durian Flesh (mashed)
Up to 80 Caster Sugar
2tbsp Fried Glutinous Rice Flour
1tbsp Maltose
30g Peanut Oil
20g Wheat Starch
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  • Fry durian flesh for 10-15 mins till it darkens a little
  • Add in maltose and mix well
  • Add up to 80g sugar to taste (personally, I wouldn’t add any)
  • Continue frying on low-medium heat till dry
  • Finally, add in oil, fried glutinous rice flour and wheat starch and fry till thick
  • Leave aside to cool thoroughly before using
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Snowskin Mooncakes

225g Fried Glutinous Rice Flour
300g Icing Sugar
270ml Cold Water
30g Shortening
A few drops of colouring
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  • Mix fried glutinous rice flour, icing sugar and shortening together using rubbing in method until it looks like soft breadcrumbs
  • Add colouring into cold water, 3-4 drops will give pastel colours
  • Slowly mix in the coloured cold water till it becomes a dough. It can feel quite wet at the start, but the dough will soak up the wetness with time. Keep working the dough until you get a smooth, supple consistency.
  • Leave aside to rest for 10 mins
  • Divide and weigh filling of choice into small portions (depending on mould size) and roll into round balls
  • Flatten a piece of snowskin and wrap the filling completely
  • Press into mooncake mold and then piston out
  • Store in refrigerator in an air-tight container
  • Serve chilled
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    Note: snowskin mooncakes has a higher skin to filling ratio, I think 1:1 works well. (ie. a 75g mold will have 37.5g skin, 37.5g filling)

Other Mooncake Endeavours:
Mooncake, Phase 1 - Birth of project
Mooncake, Phase 2 - Homemade sugar syrup and salted duck eggs
Mooncake, Phase 3 - Homemade Fillings
Traditional Mooncakes - Recipe

Snowskin Mooncakes (冰皮月餅) Recipe