Home / Lifestyle / Sweet Nothings

Pastry enthusiast enjoys cooking for friends

By Ye Jun | China Daily | Updated: 2013-09-19 07:48

She says what inspired her to learn how to bake was Korean TV drama Kim Sam-Soon.

"When I saw the female lead holding a Madelin cake in her hand, and a French book in another, explaining the cake to somebody, I thought that was lovely, and became very interested to learn how to bake," she recalls.

The mooncakes Wang made this year for her friends are Su, or Suzhou-style crispy cakes with an egg and lotus paste stuffing.

Besides Suzhou, the most common mooncakes are Cantonese and Yunnan styles. Wang distinguishes the mooncakes according to the texture of the crust.

"Cantonese style has a soft crust. Suzhou style has a crispy crust. Yunnan style has hard crust. Beijing style has a similar hard crust," she says. "Suzhou-style is more delicious, but more complicated to make."

She buys half-processed salty egg yolk from an Internet shop. Lotus paste is from Lianxianglou, a famous supplier in Guangdong province.

She uses butter instead of pork oil to make the crispy crust because it tastes better when cold. Also, pork oil can be a bit greasy.

The whole process includes kneading the dough to make crispy crust, wrapping salted egg yolk with lotus paste and putting the egg stuffing into the dough. Making 40-80 mooncakes takes three to four hours.

Wang says the most mooncakes she has baked in one day is 180.

The mooncakes she makes are mostly salted egg yolk with lotus paste, red bean paste, pineapple, and milk and egg.

Cantonese-style mooncakes are much easier to make, she says. It needs "just one helping for the crust and nine for the stuffing".

"But Cantonese-style has been made too much," she says. "Su style has a novelty and doesn't taste so greasy."

Many of Wang's friends have also begun learning how to make pastries. It is a good hobby, especially at a time when food safety has become a big concern. The pastries they make will be a much-anticipated gift among their friends.

Does Wang still ever buy mooncakes? Usually not, but sometimes when she discovers something that looks "top-grade" or different, such as the "fresh flower" moon cake and "French style" moon cake, she buys one to try it. She likes to pick up ideas from other cooks that she can also use.

Pastry enthusiast enjoys cooking for friends

Pastry enthusiast enjoys cooking for friends

 An eclipse of the mooncake

A simple but pure festival tradition