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Mooncakes |

You'll be over the moon(cake) celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival with these delicious red bean mooncakes. Recipe from Joshua Weissman

Prep time: 1 day

Cooking time: 1.5 hours

Makes: 5 big mooncakes, or 10 small'uns

Ingredients Dough:

75ml golden syrup

25ml sunflower oil

1/4tsp baking powder, mixed with 1tsp water 110g plain flour

Cornstarch for coating Egg for glazing

Ingredients Filling: 100g adzuki beans

75g sugar

60ml peanut oil 1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp cornstarch

NB: You will also need a mooncake mould for this recipe!

1. Bean me up Scotty!

To start this process which takes almost as long as a moon cycle, begin by soaking your 100g of adzuki beans. They should get swole overnight as you can see from the right hand picture.

After they've had their nice long soak, drain the beans and put them in a saucepan with fresh water. Bring to the boil and cook for 45 minutes to an hour stirring every once in a while. You can check the beans are done by squishing one between your fingers. Why not use this beany time to tune into the 'Three Bean Salad' podcast. Once cooked, drain and blend into a smooth paste resembling refried beans and then place into a frying pan over a medium heat

Add the 75g sugar and 60ml peanut oil a little at a time until they are well absorbed and the paste is redder.

Next, add the 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tbsp cornstarch and stir once more unto the breach dear friends

Mix this together until it a smooth, red and glossy ball that King John would be pleased to receive for Christmas. Leave aside to cool

2. Doughn't worry, about a thing

While the bean paste is cooling, time to start on the dough. In a bowl, mix together 75ml golden syrup, 25ml sunflower oil and 1/4tsp baking powder, mixed with 1tsp water.

Add in 110g plain flour and bring together into a beautiful smooth dough. Leave to rest for at least 30 minutes but up to four hours

3. Fly me to the moon(cake)

Preheat your oven to 190°C. When everything is either cool or rested, divide your dough into balls weighing 40g and the filling into balls weighing 50g

Roll out a ball of dough between two sheets of clingfilm sprinkled with some cornflour until around 10cm wide

Add a pre-weighed ball of bean paste into the middle of the dough

Carefully gather the dough around the filling and roll into a ball, protecting the sweet beany cargo. Dust with cornflour so it doesn't get stuck in the mould

Press this into your mooncake mould and repeat with the rest of the filling and dough balls until you have 10 perfectly formed mooncakes good enough for the Hongwu Emperor to lead a revolution. Flick a little water over them, or spray if you have a spray bottle and put them into the oven for 5 minutes

Take them out, reduce the oven temperature to 165°C. Brush lightly with egg and put back in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and brush lightly with egg again, then cook for 10-13 minutes until they are golden brown and crispy. Leave to cool completely before tucking in

Dink and sink!

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "I am still somewhat dubious about the use of beans as a dessert item.. however, with the sweet flaky pastry of these moon cakes it really works. The process was pretty long and unwieldy, and you have to plan ahead for the bean soaking, but when it came together and you got to press your ugly little moon baby into the mould so that it came out like a beautiful moon butterfly, all the hard work was worth it. I thought that these were the perfect snack, whether celebrating the mid-autumn festival or not, even if they did taste a little like a sweet sausage roll. 9/10"

Kate says: "Trying to find the ingredients for these mooncakes was a bit of a challenge from the get go, but luckily I bought the right kind of beans and walked away with a control mooncake to test against too! I had never had one before so I wasn't sure what to expect but these are surprisingly moreish. The filling is pretty savoury, but the sweetness of the pastry balances it out. Also, it was so much fun to use the mooncake mould and see how the patterns came out. I'm not sure how frequently I would make these, it's a pretty involved process but a solid 9/10 nevertheless"

9/10 Gasps


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