I missed the Mid Autumn Festival this year. Not that I usually celebrate it with any ritual, but I'd planned on making mooncake at the right time Back then, grandpa usually bought us some mooncakes from a local store in our city's Chinatown. Those were type of mooncakes that my sisters and I like -a kind that can't be found anywhere else. That kind was the only kind of mooncake I knew, until I grew up.
Making the traditional one is not hard, but time consuming. I started with making the salted eggs for the filling. If you notice my recent posts, most of them mentioned salted eggs. I've made list of what I can cook using salted eggs, so I only need to make them all at once for different things. So the salted eggs were prepared about a month before. Then the golden syrup that needs to be done days before. The writer of the recipe says that the longer the syrup, the more fragrance it will contribute to the cake. For the filling, I used dried black bean from CSA. I've tried the canned one but it was too sweet for my taste. Making the filling from scratch, I can adjust the sugar to my liking. I think I still need to work on the filling. As you can see from the picture, the filling is crumbly, not firm like it supposed to be.
Preparing those things I mentioned above took days, because some of it needs to rest for days. I also know that preparing everything if one day would be too overwhelmed for me. It's also kinda impossible since I have limited utensils and space. Anyway, once I had everything prepared, it was easy and fun to follow the recipe. This year I used mooncake recipe from Anncoo Journal. I encourage you to visit that awesome website. Just FYI, I didn't use lye water as the recipe calls. I didn't think I could find it in my city, and I heard it is banned in some countries because of its adverse effect for human health. As a substitute, I mixed a cup of water with a tablespoon of baking soda.
I think making traditional mooncake is great for testing our patience. After done baking, the mooncakes need to rest for a day to soften the skin. However, it is fine to eat them right away if you don't mind the crunchy skin.