Hong Kong Style Chocolate Mooncakes

Makes 8 small mooncakes, 50g each.

I. CHOCOLATE FLAKY SKIN

Ingredients:
40g butter, room temperature or softer
35g demerara sugar
1 egg yolk
30g raw cocoa
70g all-purpose wheat flour
15g arrowroot starch
1/4 tsp baking powder

Utensils:
a mixing bowl
a rubber spatula
a sifter
plastic cling wrap

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1. Cream the butter in a bowl until it is very soft.Use the spatula to really work the butter against the side of the bowl. Add in the sugar, mix well.

2. Beat in the egg yolk. Fold the mixture to really incorporate the egg yolk.

3. Sift together the remaining dry ingredients. Add half to the wet ingredients. Mix well. Add the remaining half progressively, until the dough forms. It’s ok to have a little flour leftover: the goal here is to control the texture of the dough – it should be barely¬†sticky to the touch.

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4. Lightly knead the dough in the bowl to form a ball. If your dough is too dry, a spoonful of cream should help it stick together.

5. Wrap the ball of dough in cling wrap to chill for at least an hour. It can stay in the fridge overnight, but will start to dry out when kept longer.

 

II. CHOCOLATE CUSTARD

Ingredients:
9g butter, slightly cool
50g demerara sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup 35% whipping cream
10g raw cocoa
10g all-purpose wheat flour
10g coconut flour
5g arrowroot starch
3g tapioca starch
Optional: 1/2 tbsp condensed milk, a few dark chocolate pastilles

Utensils:
a mixing bowl
a fork
a heat-proof bowl
a steamer
plastic cling wrap

1. In a bowl, rub the butter and sugar with your fingers until crumbly. Beat in the egg yolk with a fork.

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2. Incorporate the cream to the egg mix. If your cream fat has separated a little, use the cream fat part first to get the highest fat content possible. For a sweeter custard, add condensed milk.

3. Sift together the cocoa, flours and starches over the wet ingredients. Incorporate well.

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4. Pour the custard in a heat-proof bowl and place in the steamer on high heat. Steam for 25 minutes, stirring well every 5 minutes. If you find the custard is getting too hot, add a few chocolate pastilles to cool it down. Don’t add too many, or the cocoa butter in the chocolate will separate from the custard and form an oily layer over the custard (if that happens, get rid of the oil while it’s hot!).

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5. Take the custard out of the steamer to cool a little. When it is cool enough to manipulate, knead it to help cooling and mixing. The finished custard should have a doughy consistency.

6. Wrap the cool custard in cling wrap and chill in the fridge. The custard can be kept for up to a week.

 

III. ASSEMBLE MOONCAKES

Ingredients:
minimum 240g chocolate flaky crust (let it warm up a little at room temperature if kept overnight)
minimum 160g chocolate custard
1 egg white (saved from one of the two eggs used for the egg yolks), beaten slightly
Optional: a handful of dark chocolate pastilles, melted

Utensils:
a scale
a mooncake mould or a circle cookie cutter
a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
a brush

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1. Weigh out everything: 30g per portion for the dough, 20g per portion for custard, give or take a gram, as long as everything is used in the end.

2. Form balls with every portion of dough or custard. Line them up on your work surface to keep count.

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3. Take a ball of dough, flatten into a disk that is thinner at the edges than at its centre. Place a ball of custard in the middle of the disk. Wrap the custard in the dough, taking care to cover it entirely and making sure the dough does not crack. Do not stretch or smear the dough when you do this. Try it out at first without pressing down too hard. If it looks like the dough won’t reach around the custard, readjust by unfolding the dough and making the disk bigger before wrapping again. Roll the mooncake into a perfect ball between your hands. Do this for the remaining portions.

4. Take each mooncake and press in the mooncake mould, or through a circle cookie cutter. The goal here is to get uniform shapes for even baking.

5. Place the mooncakes on a lined cookie sheet. Brush the top and and sides with egg white. Pre heat your oven at 325F (go higher to 350F if not fan-assisted).

6. When your oven is ready, brush the mooncakes again with egg whites, this time really insisting on the top. Bake for 25 minutes. It’s normal for the flaky skin to crack a little. If you want to avoid this problem, make the dough without using baking powder. You won’t have flaky skin, but it will look better, especially if pressed in a mooncake mould.

7. Let cool for a few minutes on the sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

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To decorate mooncakes: brush or pipe melted dark chocolate on the mooncakes.

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