I stumbled across this type of mooncake while I was searching the recipe for the Cantonese five nuts mooncake that has ham and candied pork belly. I was stunned when I read the recipe, this Yunnan famous ham moon cake (云腿月饼） is totally different from all the moon cake recipes that I knew be it the crust or the filling.
I read many more recipes, I watched videos and I decided to give this rose flavoured ham moon cake a try. What amazed me about this recipe are as follow:
1. A totally different type of crust . Unlike the Cantonese soft crust, Teochew flaky trust or short bread pastry cookies crust, this crust is using a totally different type of preparation method and yields a hard biscuit type of crust. However, once you took your first bite, it will be like biting the biscuit.
2. A totally different type of binding agent in the filling. While most Teochew and Cantonese called for cooked glutinous rice flour (gao fen 糕粉）as a binding agent but this recipe called for cooked plain flour (熟面粉） . You will need to stir fry the plain flour until aromatic and brownish. This cooked plain flour in fact is the same those used for the preparation of flour tea (面茶） usually served at confinement.
3. I have never seen or heard of moon cake uses flower as a flavouring agent but this mooncake are using dried rose petals to flavour both the fillings and the dough. This is understandable as Yunnan is the flower capital of China and therefore, it is not surprising that dried flours were used.
4. The large amount of ham used. The ham to be used are supposed to the Yunnan produced Xuan Wei Ham (宣威火腿）which is a famous product of Yunnan. If there is none, what is always substituted is prosciutto ham. As I did not know where to get these hams, I have used the normal ham I get from Singapore supermarket. If the Yunnan ham were used, it will need to be soaked overnight to soften it and get rid of the saltiness.
“云腿月饼用宣威火腿最好的部分切成小块，配以冬蜂蜜、猪油、白糖等制成馅心，再用昆明郊区呈贡县的紫麦面粉包心烘烤而志。其外观褐黄且略硬，食用时酥而不散，故俗称”硬壳火腿饼”。食之酥松香松，甜中带咸，油而不腻，有浓郁的火腿香味，是中秋佳节的必备食品，也是馈赠亲友的佳品。相传云腿月饼是从宫中传出来的，以老字号”吉庆祥”，”桂美轩”生产的尤为出名，在五十年前就远销省外和东南亚一些国家。1981年，吉庆祥生产的云腿月饼被商业部评为全国优质产品。相传明末清初，隐居昆明的南明朝廷永历皇帝，终日忧愁不思茶饭，一位御膳厨急中生智地做出了这道点心，皇帝吃了龙颜大悦，连声称赞，从此被列为御膳中的一道应时名点。后传入人间，不断演绎成当今名声鹊起的“云腿月饼”“ (Source: https://www.douban.com/subject/10752016/)
I prepared and the mooncake and it looked like as in the images. It has a hard crust and I started to wonder if I have done it correctly and many website has written that it has a crispy hard crust and had a nickname of “hard crust mooncake”. When I took a bite, I am convinced that I am correct, it is crispy but not overly hard. Very frankly, I am unsure if the readers can accept this type of crust in a mooncake. It is like a biscuit with fillings.
But the filling is the delicious. If you like ham and wanted a savoury mooncake, you should give the filling a try. It has a strong aroma of ham and with a faint fragrance of honey and rose. It is rather moist, definitely not oily, savoury with very slight sweetness. It is a total change of the moon cake that I have tried.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: About 8 moon cakes
Recipe adapted from: 云腿月饼
- 250 grams of ham (Xuan Wei ham or prosciutto ham preferred)
- 150 grams of plain flour
- 2 grams of dried rose petals
- 2 grams of salt
- 60 grams of honey
- 50 grams of lard or cooking oil
- 230 grams of plain flour
- 50 grams of water
- 1 egg
- 20 grams of white sugar
- 2 grams of baking powder
- 2 grams of dried rose petals
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Cut the ham into small pieces, add the honey and let it marinate for at least one night. If your ham is hard and salty, you will need to soak the ham in water for at least 6 hours before you proceed to marinating the ham.
- Pan fry in a hot wok under medium heat. As you pan fry, the flour will become drier and darker. Stop pan frying when you start to smell the aroma of the stir fried flour. Let it cool completely and set aside.
- Sift the fried flour onto the marinated ham, add salt, rose petals and cooking oil or lard. Use hand to knead it until it forms a dough. Divide equally into 8 portions. Set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degree Celsius.
- In a big mixing bowl, sift in the flour and baking powder, add the cooking oil, sugar , rose petals, eggs and salt. Gradually add in the water and lightly knead until the dough is smooth. Divide into 8 equal portions, shape round and let it rest for 30 minutes before wrapping.
- After resting, take a dough ball, flatten it, put a filling ball and wrap the filling ball with the dough. Shape round, lightly flatten using palm and transfer to the baking tray and chop the pastry. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 200 degree Celsius for 20-25 minutes or until the desired colour tone.
I am not certain if any of the readers will try but chances are very slim. Well I have satisfy my curiosity to prepare this mooncake. Personally, I do not really like the crust but the fillings. If you are looking for a savoury filling, you can give it a try and using the crust of Cantonese or Teochew mooncake.
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