Taking a break from pumpkin-flavored bakes for a minute so we can talk about mooncakes. This is an easier and quicker version of the traditional mooncake, and they don’t even require baking!
I had never tried making mooncakes before, but my brother kept trying to get me to make them since September. Ideally, I would have wanted to post these for the Mid-Autumn Festival (or even before hand), which was on October 1st. However, I failed to get everything together in time, so here I am, posting them 2 weeks later. In my defense, it’s been that kind of year.
Since I was already making these so late, I decided to make a mungbean dough instead of using a traditional mooncake recipe. Honestly, I was intimidated by ingredients like lye water and lotus seed paste, so I went with a recipe with easier ingredients. Other than the mung beans and red bean paste (you can find both at any Asian market), you should have everything else already at home. I got the base recipe from @hellolisalin on Instagram and just went from there!
I decided to add mochi to the filling of each of these cakes. I made the mochi out of a simple mixture of Mochiko flour, sugar, and water. You don’t have to do so, but I think it’s great and adds a completely different texture. I also added matcha to 1/3 of the dough, more so for the color, as the flavor doesn’t come through very strong. Feel free to skip that step.
- Prep the filling beforehand. This will save you some time and it’s easier to work with if it has been sitting in the refrigerator for a little while (especially the red bean paste, which gets sticky).
- Shape these while the dough is still warm! They will start to crack if you let them cool down too much. You can rewarm the dough, however, it still seems to dry much faster this way.
- Let them sit in the refrigerator to firm up a little bit before eating!
Overall, I’m glad that I made these. They’re different from everything else that I’ve made recently but really good. Plus, shaping them was really fun and the molds that we bought came with so many different designs (you can find mooncake molds on Amazon)! These are best within 24 hours of making, since the mochi will start to get hard, but if you exclude the mochi filling they should last in an airtight container stored in the fridge for around 5 days.
Mung Bean Mooncakes
For the mung bean dough:
- 11 oz split mung beans (soaked overnight in water)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 6 tbsp butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
For the filling:
- 1/2 can sweetened red bean paste (chilled)
- 1/2 cup Mochiko flour (sweet glutinous rice flour)
- 1/8 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
Prep the filling:
- Mix the Mochiko flour, sugar, and water in a microwaveable bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 30 seconds.
- Remove plastic wrap and stir with a whisk. If already hard/sticky, use a rubber spatula dipped in water. Place the plastic wrap back on top and microwave again for 30 seconds.
- Dust your countertop with cornstarch or potato starch. Transfer the mochi. Measure out 5 grams of mochi and form them into small balls. Place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, or until cooled. Cover each in 10-12 grams of chilled red bean paste. Return to the refrigerator until needed.
Make the mung bean dough:
- Soak the mung beans overnight in water. Drain them and steam for 20 minutes (you can use whatever method you want, I just propped a bowl up in a pot of water and placed a lid on top).
- Remove from heat. Pour sugar and butter pieces evenly on top. Return the lid to the pot and let sit until both sugar and butter fully melt.
- Pour the mixture into a food processor. Blend until a dough forms.
- If adding matcha, separate your dough now. Add a teaspoon or two to your dough and knead with your hands until fully combined.
- Measure out 30 g of mung bean dough (or 60 g if using a bigger mold). Roll into a ball.
- Flatten dough into a 1/2-inch thin disc. Place the filling in the center. Wrap the dough around and pinch to get rid of any seams.
- Place the ball into the mooncake mold and press to get your desired design. Repeat for the rest of the dough.
- Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before eating. They should firm up as they cool. Enjoy!