Tuesday 6 September 2022

Brown Butter Mocha Custard Snowskin Mooncake

 I didn't plan on making any mooncakes this year due to my schedule and I am trying to pace myself to allow some breathing space. But after my brown butter chiffon cake bake with mocha jelly recently (which I will share on the blog in due time), I had some brown butter leftover. It's been sitting in my fridge staring at me everytime I open the fridge 😂. I eventually caved in and made mooncakes because I thought this flavour would be awesome --- brown butter mocha custard snowskin mooncake!

The bunny is made of the same mooncake too!

Here's a closer look at the filling...

I added some toasted pecans but you may omit or use other nuts like walnuts.

But I think an earlier photo of a mooncake make from leftover dough shows off the filling better as this shot is taken from another location at home, away from my usual spot!

The filling should mellow and appear smoother in a couple of days as these were only rested overnight in the fridge. I wanted to get this post out as soon as I can since Mid-Autumn is almost here!

Brown Butter Mocha Custard Filling
2 eggs, 
45g cake flour (low protein flour, feel free to reduce if using more cocoa powder)
15g cornstarch
30g sugar (I used erythritol, adjust to taste)
A pinch of salt
40g brown butter*
125g fresh milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp instant coffee powder (adjust to taste)
2 tsp cocoa powder (adjust to taste)

* Heat 70g unsalted butter in light coloured saucepan, stirring now and then. Use medium heat. When butter starts turning brown with little brown specks, remove from heat. Portion out 40g for use. Any excess can be used to oil the steaming plate.

This brown butter is taken out cold from the fridge as I chilled the leftovers from another bake.

1. Oil steaming plate with brown butter.

2. Dissolve instant coffee granules in milk in a jug. Add vanilla, melted brown butter and eggs. Gently whisk to break the eggs up.

3. Sift together cake flour, cornstarch and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. 

4. Whisk in sugar and salt to flour. Pour liquid mixture into dry mixture. Whisk together and sieve mixture onto steaming plate.

5. Steam for 15 minutes or until cooked (no longer liquid). 

6. Break up the steamed custard with spatula or metal spoon and press through fine mesh sieve to get a smooth custard filling. Cling wrap until ready to use.

Milk and Mocha Snowskin Dough

This is my favourite snowskin mooncake recipe that balances ease of making and ability to stay soft and moist for the longest time. I have tried four different methods of making snowskin mooncake: 
1. rubbing shortening into dry ingredients, followed by adding cold liquid 
2. adding oil and liquid to dry ingredients 
3. making from scratch from uncooked glutinous rice flour, which involves steaming of various ingredients
4. The one I am using here, which is adding hot liquid and melted shortening to dry ingredients.
It imparts the softness and higher moisture content of the 3rd method but way more convenient and easier.

Ingredients (makes about 12-13 mini mooncakes):
Milk dough
50g cooked glutinous rice flour (gao fen糕粉)
50g icing sugar
83g fresh milk
1/2 tsp Kahlua coffee liqueur or vanilla extract
16g vegetable shortening
White gel colouring (optional)

Mocha dough
50g cooked glutinous rice flour (gao fen糕粉)
50g icing sugar
83g water
1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
16g vegetable shortening

Note: If you do not have access to cooked glutinous rice flour, you can use this recipe or cook the glutinous rice flour by dry frying in frying pan or wok using medium-low heat until you are able to smell the cooked glutinous rice aroma.

1. Sift together icing sugar and gao fen in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, heat vegetable shortening, milk or water, instant coffee and cocoa powder or coffee liqueur/vanilla extract until shortening is melted. There is no need to bring to a boil.

3. Pour hot liquid into sifted flour mix. Stir until a dough forms. Cover bowl with cling wrap and cool slightly until you are able to handle with your hands, about 5-10 minutes.

4. Knead until smooth. Cling wrap excess while working on assembly. Don't worry if the dough seems oily at first. It gets stickier with time.

Assembling Mooncakes
Milk snowskin dough
Mocha snowskin dough
Toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
Brown butter mocha custard filling
Gao fen for dusting

Note: I am using mooncake moulds for 50g mini mooncakes. You will have to use different filling and snowskin dough weights for different sized moulds.

1. Portion out custard filling into balls of 21g portions. Mix in about 2g chopped nuts into each portion. If you want to omit the nuts, use 23g of filling. I strongly recommend adding nuts to break the monotony of texture and it also adds another dimension to the taste.

2. Portion out 25g snowskin dough for each mooncake (excluding the different coloured pattern design). Dust the dough lightly if it sticks. Cover the balls of dough loosely with cling wrap if you are not working on them first to prevent drying out.

3. Press out the ball of dough between parchment paper and place ball of filling in the middle.

Wrap the filling with dough, dust it lightly with gao fen so it is not sticky and press it out using the mooncake mould. 

4. If you would like to make the fancy mooncake pattern in a different colour like I did, lightly dust the pattern on the mould and press in a small amount of coloured dough into the pattern using finger covered with cling wrap or a fondant tool. 

Place the ball of snowskin with filling into the mould and press it out.

5. Refrigerate in airtight container for up to a week. Note that snowskin mooncakes will dry out with storage time. Best consumed between 1-4 days of assembling. The custard filling needs some time to mellow as well so it is not advisable to consume freshly assembled either if you want to enjoy it at its optimum state.

Wishing all of you readers a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival in advance!

with love,

Phay Shing

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