New Years may have passed in a flash, but remember, we still have the Lunar New Year!
What is Lunar New Year?
Typically referred to as 'Chinese New Year', this holiday is also celebrated by many different Asian cultures and signifies the beginning of spring and the start of a new year.
One way many celebrate this joyous occasion is by enjoying mooncakes!
What are Mooncakes?
Mooncakes are beautifully designed pastries that are typically round or square, and have some kind of rich filling that can be sweet or savory. They have been around for many years and may also symbolize Family Reunion.
You can read more about the history of mooncakes here.
Even though typically, mooncakes are not vegan, we've found a recipe that will taste just as good and allow our vegan readers to also enjoy this meaningful treat!
Recipe is from: https://theveggiewifey.com/
For The Pastry (adapted from KP Kwan's recipe, from Taste of Asian)
- 200 g All-Purpose Flour (unbleached, organic)
- 120 g Golden Syrup
- 48 g Grape Seed Oil
- 1/2 tsp Lye Water (KP Kwan recommends mixing one part baking soda with one part water if you do not have access to any lye water. Read here for his full instructions.)
For The Filling
- 200 g Pitted Dates
- 2 tbsps Peanut Butter (You can add 1 tbsp more if you like a more peanutty flavor)
- 50 ml Oat Milk
- 50 g Cashew Nuts
- 1/4 Mashed Banana
- 1-2 tbsp Room Temperature Water
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
For The Pastry
- Whisk the wet ingredients together in a bowl
- Sieve in the flour
- Knead the pastry into dough and store in the fridge for 30 minutes using the beeswax/soy wax wrap
For The Filling
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor
- Blend and store in a container, in the fridge for 30 minutes, alongside the pastry
Filling The Pastry
- Roll the pastry into a long cylinder and divide into 10 parts
- Roll each pastry part into a ball, the size of your mold. I used a mold that was a smaller, 2" in diameter. If your mold is larger, you may need to divide your pastry into 5 parts instead of 10.
- Scoop a tsp of date paste and roll that into a ball, a little smaller in size compared to your pastry ball
- Using your hands, gently flatten your pastry into a circle, the size of your palm. You don't want it too thin, and you don't want it too thick. You're aiming for a nice level of pastry and a thick filling for your mooncakes.
- In the center of the pastry, add the date paste ball and slowly surround the date paste with the pastry, covering the entire surface of the date paste. If you have a gap, don't worry. The warmth of your fingers can help push the pastry together, or 'glue' any tears. Be gentle, and use your clean, flat kitchen countertop to help roll it all up into a ball. If you have too much pastry, you can simply squeeze that excess off, and keep aside.
- Place your date-filled pastry into the mold and press into the mold 5-6 times, ensuring you get a beautiful engraving on the pastry.
For The 'Egg' Wash
- In a small bowl, add the mashed banana and water. Mix together.
- Using a silicone brush, gently brush the surface of your mooncakes 1-2 times ONLY. The more you brush, the design will fade. Be gentle.
Baking The Mooncakes
- Line your baking tray with parchment paper
- Add your mooncakes to the baking tray
- Bake your mooncakes for 15 minutes (or until golden brown)
- Serve hot! You can store this in the fridge for about 5 days until it starts getting soggy.