Monday, 20 June 2016

Snowskin Mooncake 'Apples' with Hidden Malteser Surprise

During my "sabbatical" from baking for orders, I had some time to experiment with what I planned for the August Culinary Arts event at my church. There will be a demo with hands-on for participants. I knew I would be really busy again towards the end of the June hols with back-to-back orders so this was a good time to do trials. Presenting my snowskin mooncake "apples" with a hidden surprise inside each one!

I prepared two flavours of combinations : Pandan snowskin with white lotus paste filling  and strawberry snowskin with chocolate paste filling.

I would have preferred using my favourite snowskin recipe that stays soft up till a week but I chose the simplest and fuss-free recipe for demo purposes. It is the same recipe that I used for last year's Singapore flag snowskin mooncake for a carnival to celebrate Singapore's 50th birthday, which was very well received.

This is not the first time I am making apple shaped snowskin mooncakes. Checkout this post where I made the apples with homemade custard filling.

Ingredients (makes 8 red and 8 green apples):

1/4-1/3 cup cooked glutinous rice flour (糕粉) for dusting

Red dough
30g cooked glutinous rice flour (kao fien)
36g icing sugar
7g olive oil (choose the low odor type)
38g water
1/2 tsp strawberry paste/emulco

Light green dough
30g cooked glutinous rice flour
36g icing sugar
7g olive oil
40g water (use water boiled with a few Pandan leaves and  left to cool  for better flavour)
3 drops of green Pandan paste

Dark green / brown
10g cooked glutinous rice flour
12g icing sugar
2g (1/2 tsp) olive oil
13g water
1/4 tsp Pandan paste
1/8 tsp cocoa powder (may not use all)

16 pieces of Maltesers
100g white lotus paste
100g chocolate paste*

* If unavailable, simply combine  85g lotus paste with 18g melted dark chocolate and 1/2 tsp cocoa powder. This was what I did for this blog post.

Here's a picture of Maltesers just in case you don't know what it is. You may omit the hidden surprise but do add 1-2g more filling. You may add some toasted melon seeds for extra crunch if you wish. You may substitute with any other spherical chocolate coated biscuits like Kit Kat balls if you wish.

Here's the photo for Pandan and strawberry paste/emulco just in case you don't know what they are.

1. Sift together flour and icing sugar for the respective coloured dough in mixing bowls. Combine water, oil and strawberry/ Pandan paste in separate small bowls.

2. Pour the liquid into the respective flour mixture. Use a spatula to mix until a dough is formed.

3. Cover with cling wrap and let the dough rest for 15 minutes. This is important to ensure that the dough is smooth.

4. Portion out the chocolate/lotus paste to 12g pieces. Flatten each piece into a round disc and place a Malteser in the middle. Wrap it up.

All 16 balls wrapped!

5. Take the light green/ red dough and place on a baking sheet about the size of A4 paper. Fold the sheet in half and use that as the non-stick surface to knead the dough a few times until smooth. If the dough feels very sticky, sprinkle a bit of kou fien while you knead. Unorthodox method of kneading :p. Most people use plastic gloves but I like to work with as few logistics as possible and I like to be able to feel the dough texture that I work with, whether it is snowskin, bao or bread dough.

Please excuse the use of this photo. I copied from an old post so you see white dough here :p. Lazy to retake photo.

6. Dust the surface of the dough with some kou fien and roll into a log. Cut the log to 8 equal portions with a bench scraper or knife. If you have a digital scale, you may weigh out 8 portions of about 14g of dough for each colour of mooncake.

7. Take one small cutout ball of dough and place on the baking sheet. Keep the rest of the dough in the bowl with cling wrap covering to prevent them from drying out. Knead it a few times with some light dusting of flour. Flatten it and place a ball of filling in the middle.

Wrap it up and pinch seal the seam. At any point the dough is too sticky, dust your fingers with a little flour before handling.

8. With the seam side down, place a small piece of cling wrap on top and gently make an indent at the top with a chopstick.

9. You may use your fingers to shape the apple gently  by pressing in the base of the apple so it looks more apple-like.

10. Knead the dark green dough until smooth with some dusting of flour. Portion out about 1 tsp of dough and add cocoa powder until a desired shade of brown is obtained. Dust with flour as necessary. Roll the dark green dough until about 3mm thick with a rolling pin or using your palm. If using your palm, simply place the dough between baking sheet before flattening it.

11. Use a leaf shaped cutter to cut out the leaf. You may use a knife to cut out the leaf if you don't have the cutter. Stick it onto the apple. Pinch out a little brown dough and roll it between your thumb and forefinger to form a little stub. Stick that onto the apple to form the stem. Use a toothpick to help you attach the stem firmly.

Some assembled apples!

Store in airtight container overnight in the fridge before consuming. The snowskin stays soft for up till 3 days. Make sure the container is not too big for the mooncakes to prevent them from drying out prematurely.

Everyone who had my maiden batch of "apples" (family and neighbours) loved how cute they look and of course how yummy they are. The Maltesers in the middle gives the mooncake a nice crunch and break in texture. Do give this easy no-bake dessert a try! I am sure your recipients will all be charmed :).

With love,
Phay Shing

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