Not everybody like snow skin moon cake and I am one of them. I do not like snow skin because of the Gao Fen (糕粉） which is the main ingredient of preparing snow skin moon cake though I have been playing with Gao Fen since very young.
Gao Fen is cooked glutinous rice flour and it has an ability to become binding when it touches cold water and that is the reason that Gao Fen can be used for snow skin crust and not raw glutinous rice flour. Raw glutinous rice flour displays no adhesiveness when it is mixed with cold water. It will be just a soft dough that can break easily.
In Singapore and Malaysia bakery, you can buy Gao Fen rather easily or almost whole year round. But it is not easily available overseas and I have been asked repeated by overseas reader if there are homemade Gao fen recipe. Yes, i have prepared but I found that the adhesiveness is not good . I have ever issued a recipe : Cooked Glutinous Rice Flour aka Gao Fen (糕粉） but it is not really sticky enough for moon cake purposes. However, it is good as a dusting flour or as a filling ingredients. In this recipe for dusting purposes, you still need some small quantity of homemade Gao fen by stir frying few tablespoons of glutinous rice flour over low heat for about 5 minutes.
The lack of adhesiveness of homemade Gao fen is understandable this is a quick method but traditional Gao fen preparation need many steps to prepare to get the adhesiveness .
- Blanch the glutinous rice in boiling water for 2-3 minutes until there are some stickiness;
- Clean the blanched glutinous rice until the water is clear;
- Air dry the glutinous rice for 2-3 days until it is dry;
- Stir fry the dried glutinous rice using hot sand until cooked;
- Sift the sand and let the cooked glutinous rice until cooled
- Pound the cooked glutinous rice grain to get the powder
- Sift the powder and let it rest in cool area for at least months to years
Since Gao fen is not available overseas, for the sake of overseas member, I have been looking for a recipe that need no Gao fen for the preparation of snow skin moon cake. I found that quite a number of recipes in Chinese website that uses raw glutinous rice flour.
I decided to give a try and I found that it is an excellent alternative for snow skin moon cake. It is soft and you can prepare any flavour that you like. However, if you put in the fridge, it will be slightly harden and microwave for 30 seconds will make the crust very fresh and soft. This recipe is also superb as it does not use vegetable shortening or Crisco white margarine which readers are wary using this ingredients.
As for the filling, I have decided to prepare the famous Hong Kong milk custard filling. This filling is very common in Hong Kong and it can be used in bao etc. . If you are interested, you can refer to this post: Crystal Bao With Milk Custard Filling (奶皇水晶包）
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: About 12 65 gram moon cake
- 60 grams of glutinous rice flour
- 40 grams of rice flour
- 20 grams of low protein or cake flour
- 20 grams of wheat starch
- 60 grams of condensed milk
- 50 grams of cooking oil
- 220 grams or ml of milk
- drops of pandan essence * (optional)
- Some Gao Fen **
- 400 grams filling of your choice. For custard moon cake filling , you can refer to this post: Crystal Bao With Milk Custard Filling (奶皇水晶包）
You can use pure pandan juice for green colour or even beet root juice or bunga telang juice for the colour instead of the pandan essence
This is for dusting purposes and therefore the Gao Fen need not to have any adhesiveness. To prepare, just stir fry 3 tablespoons of glutinous rice flour for about 5 minutes under low heat. Alternatively, you can stir fry other flours also.
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Sift all the 4 flours (glutinous rice flour, rice flour, cake flour and wheat starch) into a mixing bowl. Add the condensed milk, milk, desired colour extract followed by the oil. Stir until well mixed. Sift the mixture into a greased steaming tray. Cover with a clingy wrap and steam for at least 30 minutes under medium heat until the dough are cooked. Timing will depend on the thickness of the dough.
- Once the dough is cooled, wet your hand with plastic gloves with some oil, knead the dough until it is smooth. You will need to knead for at least 5 minutes. Initially, it will be sticky and your cooked dough will not be smooth, kneading will make the dough smooth. Once the dough is smooth, divide into 12 equal pieces .
- Meanwhile, divide the fillings into 12 pieces. See note below to determine the weight of filling.
- The dough weight and filling weight will depend on the size of the mould. My mould size is 65 grams. Therefore, I have use an approximate 1:1 ratio and my dough used is 30 grams and the filling is 35 grams. To determine the mould size, you can pluck some dough and put inside the mould, weigh the moulded dough (without the mould) and that will be your mould size.
- Take a piece of the dough, lightly shape round, place it on top of a clingy wrap. Place a filling ball on top of the skin dough, seal the edges and shape as round as possible. Dust the ball with some Gao Fen. Place the dough in your preferred mould, press hard and flatten the dough such that the shape conforms to the mould. Dislodge the moon cake carefully. The moon cake can be served immediately after moulding. For later consumption, store the snow skin moon cake in an air tight container and keep in the fridge. If it turns slightly hard, microwave for 30 seconds and the snow skin will be as fresh as the beginning.
This recipe is good for overseas reader who have no assess to Gao fen. It is also good for those who do not like Gao fen flavour. My kids really like this moon cake that have Hong Kong Milk custard fillings. Of course you can choose the fillings that you liked. Lastly, many people are not comfortable with vegetable shortening that is an important ingredient in traditional snow skin moon cake. But this recipe requires no vegetable shortening. In fact you can also use butter to enhance the flavour.
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