This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed at home… Alright, in this case several mooncake piggies stayed home. I had a lot of fun making the chinny chin chins of these little confections just in time for the Chinese Moon Cake Festival a.k.a. Mid-Autumn Festival which falls on September 30th this year. Some of the ingredients were fresh off the plane from Singapore and not a moment to lose, into the moon cakes they went!
There was some huffing and puffing to get the whole process going but once I got the rhythm, piglets were taking shape fast and furious. Squeals of delight! So what do pigs have to do with the Mid-Autumn Festival? Not much except that some of us may have seen the traditional budget mooncakes (with no filling) in Chinatowns in Malaysia and Singapore where the brown “piglet” was sold in a little plastic basket, all hung together in bunches. Oink…nostalgia…these are quite different and of so adorable! At this time, I want to point a dainty trotter in Anncoo Journal‘s direction for the wonderful tips she gave for making these mooncake piggies. It was there that the extreme cuteness of these confections inspired me to follow suit.
Ann used chocolate pearls for her piggy’s eyes but I couldn’t find any here. I did find candy eyeballs and mini M&M’s which were the perfect size. Do leave the eyes off until ready to be serve as the moisture from the snowskin and filling can cause the candy eyes to get saturated.
Since I used two kinds of filling – lotus paste and red bean paste, I thought it might be a good idea to identify them by using different candy for the piggies’ eyes. The piggies with the googly eyes have lotus paste filling in them.
These piggies with mini M&M’s for eyes have red bean paste filling. They look so wide-eyed and adorable!
And here is our elusive “blue-eyed beauty”. She is pretty shy but when she turn those big beautiful eyes on you, you can just drown in them.
I used store bought ready made lotus paste, red bean paste, and snowskin premix which may be easily purchased from the bakery supply shops in Malaysia and Singapore. Red bean paste in cans may be purchased at the Asian grocery stores here in Minnesota but unfortunately I have not seen lotus paste. The snowskin premix is a combination of glutinous rice flour, milk powder, sugar, and stabilizer. There are quite a few blogs out there creating their own mix but I have not tried any one of them.
The recipe below was adapted from Anncoo Journal to suit local measuring conditions and availability of ingredients. I used canola oil instead of shortening and inadvertently omitted the powdered sugar. However, I am pleased to say that it did not affect the outcome at all. In fact, I was very pleased with the texture and Ro-Ri San and Ro-Jiro thought it was superb! The dough was soft and smooth after resting two hours in the fridge. It was just as good the next morning. Snowskin mooncakes should be consumed within 3 days.
Please check out Anncoo Journal‘s fabulous step-by-step slideshow and her super cute piggies. You don’t want to miss it!
- ¼ cup (30g) glutinous rice flour plus extra for dusting
- 1 cup (140g) Snowskin premix
- ¼ cup (30g) powdered sugar**
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Several drops of food coloring ( your choice of colors)
- 20 candy eyeballs
- ¼ cup (30g) kuachi (melon seeds)
- 9 oz (250g) lotus paste
- 9 oz (250g) red bean paste
You will also need a pair of plastic gloves, a skewer, and a small measuring spoon.
Dry fry kuachi (melon seeds) over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Remove and allow it to cool. Mix 2 tablespoons kuachi each to lotus paste and red bean paste. Form each filling into 5 balls measuring slightly under 2 oz (50g) each. Set aside.
Dry fry glutinous rice flour over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Remove and allow it to cool. Combine snowskin premix, powdered sugar, and ¼ cup cooked glutinous rice flour in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
Bring 2/3 cup (150ml) water to a boil in a small saucepan. Turn off heat. Add canola oil and vanilla extract. Remove and pour hot liquid over flour mixture. Stir with a spatula to form a soft, sticky, and oily dough. Allow dough to cool. When it is cool enough to handle knead dough until smooth, adding more cooked glutinous rice flour when needed.
Put on plastic gloves and divide dough into 10 balls of approximately 1 oz (30g) each. Take a ball of dough in the palm of your hand. Add 1 to 2 drops of food coloring to dough and knead till food coloring is fully incorporated. Pinch out 4 tiny balls of dough for the snout, ears, and tail. Set aside.
Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough with a small rolling into a disc of approximately 3½ inches (9cm) in diameter.
Place a ball of filling onto dough and wrap dough around the filling. Roll it between your palms to form a smooth ball.
Press a line with the skewer on each side of the piggy’s face. Press out the piggy’s eyelids with the small measuring spoon. Gently press 2 candy eyeballs below each eyelid. Press a tiny ball in the front between the two lines to for the snout. Press two tiny holes into the snout with the skewer.
Next, flatten two tiny balls of dough to form the ears. Place each one above the eyelids to form the ears. Use the skewer to press 2 tiny lines into each ear.
Finally, roll the last tiny ball of dough into a cylinder and attach it to the back of the piggy for the tail. Use a skewer to press a tiny indent just below the tail.
Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
**The recipe calls for powdered sugar but I inadvertently left it out. However, it did not affect the outcome of the pastry at all as there was already some sugar in the premix.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!