Mid Autumn Festival is literally around the corner, just tomorrow. Unlike other Chinese majority countries, this festival is not a Public Holiday in Singapore and the significance of it is pretty much unknown to the younger generation, together with most other festivals like Dragon Boat festival for example. I have no idea when that occurs. However, the pastry known as Mooncake is still a thriving tradition and I guess that’s all that matters!
Year after year, my favourite is still the snowskin mooncakes from Raffles Singapore. I did a post about last year’s selection too. The hot favourites appeared again this year like Earl Grey and Chocolate Pearl Truffle, Dark Chocolate Crunchy Pearl, Raffles Cognac Truffle, and the highlight being Champagne Gananche Truffle as usual. The Peanut Butter flavour from last year got swapped with a pretty pink Strawberry Yogurt Truffle flavour.
Among these, Strawberry Yogurt was my least favourite. The Yogurt made it sour and I don’t think sour goes well with mooncake. But at least it exists to look pretty among the other assortment of colours in the box. My favourites are still the Champagne Truffle and the Earl Grey and Chocolate Pearl Truffle.
Same mooncakes as last year, but different experience this year.
From my mooncake lesson at ABC Cooking Studio, I learnt that snowskin mooncakes should be consumed within 2 days when kept in the fridge! 3 days max, if you are pushing it. This is an awfully short lifespan as I know many of us buy it way early and ration it up till mooncake festival day. The mooncake filling will not go bad, but the snowskin will dry out and become hard and lose it’s optimal texture.
To prevent that from happening – store it in the freezer! Yes that’s right, it will freeze up. With a high fat and sugar content in these, it will not freeze up like water, but rather just become a little more solid. When brought to room temperature, it will become soft again and definitely not dry like it would be in the fridge! I am not sure how long you can store it but a week should be fine.
Also, I realised that you should slice it when frozen! Now if have had these Raffles Hotel snowskin mooncakes before, you would know that they are buttery soft. They’re different from neighbourhood bakery standard of snowskin mooncake which are usually way firmer. The skin and filling of Raffles Singapore mooncakes are buttery soft while the chocolate truffle is hard. When slicing it, it becomes a mess, sometimes the chocolate truffle falling out of place. The sticky filling and chocolate will also stick to your knife. But when it’s frozen, the whole thing is a lot firmer and with a sharp knife, you can cut neatly through it without messing it up. When cut open, it thaws much faster too and within 3 – 5mins of being exposed to room temperature, the texture becomes buttery soft once again!
Anyway, a main reason why Raffles Singapore mooncake trumps other snowskin mooncakes is because of their snowskin pastry. The skin is so soft, it can easily be pinched out of shape if you are not gentle with it. If you do side by side comparison, you will realise that the skin of the Champagne Truffle mooncake is a little softer and bouncier than the coloured ones. I suspect this is due to more kneading of dough required when mixing in colours. For snowskin dough, the less kneading you do, the softer the texture will be. The more you mix, the drier and tougher it becomes. I had first hand experience with this during my mooncake class at ABC Cooking Studio. So the secret to making mooncake with very soft skin is to not add colour! Every extra time you knead that dough, the quality just drops. Having no colour added (or leaving the colour unevenly marbled) will for sure allow you to have the least kneaded dough and result in softer and better snowskin pastry.
Raffles Singapore Mooncakes: http://www.rafflesmooncake.com/
Raffles Singapore – Martini Bar at Bar & Billard Room
20 August to 04 October 2017
9:00am to 8:00pm daily
Festival Booth at Chevron House
04 September to 04 October 2017
11:00am to 7:00pm (Monday to Friday)