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As promised, I have created a video that demonstrates the process for making these beautiful thousand layer spiral mooncakes.
I made these pastries as part of a larger pumpkin themed post for Round 8 of Project Food Blog. Together with pumpkin mochi cake and savory Chinese pumpkin cakes, this mooncake was part of a post that highlighted ways to use pumpkin in more unusual ways.
These pastries are a bit complicated to make, as the method involves making two types of dough - an "oil dough" and a "water dough." Have you heard the old saying, "oil and water don't mix"? That is the loose principle behind why this dough works. You wrap one type of dough over another, and then you flatten, roll it up, flatten again, and roll it up a couple times in order to create the layers.
Check out the 2-minute video to see it in action!
Click here to see the video in full size
Tips & Lessons Learned
Traditionally, Chinese people make their desserts using pork lard. As that is more difficult to obtain, shortening is the easiest substitute with which to work. I also tried using butter, which does work, but is more complicated because you have to cut in the butter with a pastry cutter whereas with shortening you can just mix it in by hand. Overall, the dough performed the most beautifully when I used shortening.
I have seen recipes that say you can use vegetable oil as well, but I have not tried this.
Make the Filling Sweeter Than You Might Think
Because the outside is rather flaky and hardly sweet at all, it helps to make the filling quite sweet so that the overall pastry is balanced
The dough will dry out over time and be less easy to work with.
Refrigerate the Filling
The first time I tried doing this I used normal pumpkin puree, which was quite watery and did not hold its shape well. I found that if I drained the pumpkin puree a bit (to remove some water) and then refrigerated the puree, I had a much easier time forming little balls to place inside the dough. [Trust me, it's much easier to wrap around a solid sphere than a liquidy glob of goo!]
Thousand Layer Spiral Mooncakes
adapted from Cafe Nilson
100 g all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon white vinegar
25 g shortening
15 g sugar
50 g water
90 g all purpose flour
50 g shortening
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pumpkin butter mochi
for the water dough
Mix all ingredients together (easiest with hands) until a soft dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes. Divide into 4 balls. Set aside.
for the oil dough
Mix all the ingredients together until a soft dough forms. Divide into 4 balls. Set aside.
Wrap water dough over the oil dough (for all four balls). Take one of the wrapped balls and roll itout flat to about ⅛ inch thin. Once rolled out, roll up like a swiss roll. Using a rolling pin, flatten and roll out the swiss roll lengthwise. Using your fingers, roll the flattened dough up again into another Swiss roll. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half.
With cut side down, flatten a dough half and roll it out to about 4-5 inches in diameter. Measure about 100g of filling for each ball. Wrap the dough over the filling.
Bake at 350 ° F for about 30 minutes or until the edges are browned.
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