Rabbit Black Sesame Snow Skin Mooncake
Rabbit Black Sesame Snow Skin Mooncake might be one of my most adorable creations ever! They remind me of a mix between mooncake (eaten during the mid-autumn festival) and tong yuen (eaten around Lunar New Year). And because it’s the year of the rabbit, I had to make the mooncakes into little rabbits!
Happy Lunar New Year, friends! It’s that time of year where those who celebrate will gather with family and loved ones to share a meals together, wish each other health, happiness, and fortune. Red envelopes stuffed with crisp bills are passed out with giggles, in exchange for words of good fortune and wishes for the future. The elderly will wish for the children to grow fast and work hard at school. The younger generations will wish those who came before them great health and the energy of a horse!
What is Snow Skin Mooncake?
Snow Skin mooncake is like traditional mooncake in that there is a sweet paste-like filling wrapped in a pastry-skin. The biggest differences between the two kinds of “mooncakes” is in the “skin”. Traditional or classic mooncake skin stars golden syrup, potassium carbonate, and all purpose flour. After filling them, you bake the mooncakes with an egg wash so they come out beautifully golden brown!
Snow skin mooncake uses rice flour and glutinous rice flour to make a dough that is soft and chewy, like mochi, and does not need to be baked! Although, it is cooked via steam before being kneaded and chilled before use. In my opinion, snow skin mooncake is easier to make for beginners! Taste-wise, I definitely think there’s room for both versions at the table! I’ll always crave a classic lotus seed paste mooncake with double yolks (DUH), but the ease and yumminess of snow skin mooncakes has the classics beat!
The reason I’m featuring black sesame in these Rabbit Black Sesame Snow Skin Mooncakes is because they’re one of my all time favorite flavors! And they remind me of classic black sesame tong yuen– the sweet soup dumplings filled with a lava of sweet black sesame!
Black sesame seeds are slightly sweet, a little bitter, with a nutty flavor. The sweet and nutty are enhanced when you roast or toast the seeds! Grind them up and balance it with sugar– you got yourself a lovely filling with complex flavors and a great texture! These snow skin mooncakes can also be filled with other cooked mooncake fillings like red bean.
Notes for Making Rabbit Snow skin Mooncake and Make-ahead tips
- USE A SCALE instead of measuring cups! The best way to recreate a recipe is to be as accurate as possible. And the #1 way to ensure accuracy is by using a food scale! PLUS, less dirty dishes!
- Kneading this dough: the snow skin dough is steamed and then requires kneading right away– while it’s still hot. Some people toss the hot dough into a stand mixer and let the mixer do its thing. But I don’t like extra dirty dishes, so I use a silicone spatula to scrape the dough away from the plate it was steamed in, then fold it into itself, kneading it over and over again. At first, it make seem like it won’t come together. But as you keep working it, it will form one homogenous dough.
- Wear food safe gloves: You’ll need to knead this dough further with your hands, and to keep it from sticking, wear gloves and lay a piece of plastic wrap on your surface!
- To lessen the work-load and make things easier, I like the prep the dough AND the filling the night before I assemble it. This makes everything (and the clean up) so much better!
What You’ll Need
- Food scale
- Mixing bowls
- Fine mesh sieve
- Large pot for steaming
- Steaming rack
- Silicone spatula
- Blender or food processor
Ingredients for Rabbit Black Sesame Snow Skin Mooncake
- Glutinous rice flour
- Rice flour
- Corn starch
- Granulated sugar
- Whole milk
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Vegetable or coconut oil
- Black sesame seeds
How to Make Rabbit Black Sesame Snow Skin Mooncake
- Prepare the snow skin dough: whisk the dough ingredients together and steam in a shallow bowl. Once cooked, knead it immediately with a silicone spatula, and then with your hands until smooth and elastic (wear gloves!). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge.
- Toast glutinous rice flour on a pan for 5 minutes until cooked.
- Make the black sesame filling: toast the black sesame seeds (if not already toasted). Blend black sesame seeds with sugar and coconut oil until it’s a lava-like paste consistency. Blend in the cooked glutinous rice flour and honey. Portion out the filling into 25g balls. Use right away or cover and chill in the fridge until needed.
- Assemble rabbit snow skin mooncakes: Measure 20g snow skin dough for the rabbit body + 3g for the tail and ears. Roll the 20g into a smooth ball, dust with a little cooked glutinous rice flour and flatten into a disc. Place a ball of filling into the center and gently wrap the dough around the filling and pinch the seal. Roll in a bit of cooked glutinous rice flour. Then shape gently into the shape of a rabbit. Roll a bit of the 3g dough and press onto the back of the rabbit for the tail. Roll the ears into small cylinders, pinching one end to taper it. Place ears in place and press down the middles of each ear with a chopstick to create an indent. Use black sesame seeds as eyes.
Rabbit Black Sesame Snow Skin Mooncake might be one of my most adorable creations ever! They remind me of a mix between mooncake (eaten during the mid-autumn festival) and tong yuen (eaten around Lunar New Year)
For Snow Skin
- 33g (1/4 cup) glutinous rice flour
- 33g (1/4 cup) rice flour
- 20g (2 tablespoons) corn starch
- 20g (2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
- 150g (2/3 cup) whole milk
- 13g (1 1/2 tablespoons) sweetened condensed milk
- 20g (1 1/2 tablespoons) vegetable or coconut oil
Cooked Glutinous Rice Flour
- 70g (1/2 cup) glutinous rice flour
For Black Sesame Filling
- 156g (1 1/3 cup) toasted black sesame seeds
- 50g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 25g (1 1/2 tablespoon) coconut oil, melted (or vegetable oil)
- 20g (2 tablespoons) cooked glutinous rice flour (from above)
- 20g (1 tablespoon) honey
Make Snow Skin
- Prepare a large pot (or use a steamer if you have one) with a couple inches of hot water and a steamer rack. Make sure the water doesn't reach the very top of the rack. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, In a medium bowl, combine all the snow skin ingredients and whisk until well combined. Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a shallow bowl to get rid of any lumps.
- Carefully place bowl into the pot, on top of the steamer rack, cover bowl completely with an inverted plate. Cover pot with lid, then lower the heat to medium-low and steam for 25 minutes.
- Carefully remove and uncover the cooked snow skin. While it's still hot, using a silicone spatula to scrape the snow skin from the bowl, and fold it into itself, kneading it. It will be a little oily or hard to knead together at first, but it will slowly become one homogenous dough as you keep going.
- Wearing food safe gloves (this ensures that the dough doesn't stick to your hands), knead the warm dough on a clean surface for 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Immediately wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge. I like making mine the night before and chilling it overnight.
Cook some glutinous rice flour
- Place 1/2 cup glutinous rice flour onto a small to medium frying pan over low heat. Constantly stir the flour around and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set flour aside in a small bowl.
Make the black sesame filling
- If your black sesame isn't already toasted, place black sesame in a medium frying pan over medium low heat. Cook, stirring constantly to prevent burning for about 7-10 minutes, until you can hear some popping, or they start to smell very nutty and aromartic. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Place slightly cooled toasted black sesame seeds into a high speed blender or food processor. Add sugar and coconut oil and blend, scraping down the sides as you go. It will look like it won't blend much at first, but as you keep going, the black sesame seeds will become almost like a thick runny lava consistency.
- Add the cooked glutinous rice flour and honey, and blend to combine. It will quickly come together in large clumps. Scrape everything into a medium bowl and fold with a silicone spatula a few times to make sure everything is combined well.
- With a spoon, scoop out and measure 25g portions of the filling, roll each into a little ball, and place onto a parchment lined plate. (At this point, you can use filling right away OR you can cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge until ready to assemble)
Assemble Rabbit Snow skin Mooncake
- When ready to assemble, place a small plate over your scale and measure out 20g of the snow skin for the rabbit body, plus 3g that will be split for the ears and tail. Make sure to wrap up the remaining snow skin as to not let it dry out.
- Roll the 20g piece into a tight ball (if too sticky, wear food safe gloves). Dipping your fingers in a bit of the cooked glutinous flour, start flattening the snow skin ball all around until it's about a 2.5 inch circle (don't have to be exact!). Place a black sesame ball in the center, and with one hand cupping the bottom of the snow skin, use the other hand to gently push and wrap the snow skin up and around the ball. Be gentle and don't tear the snow skin. Keep smoothing the dough up to meet each other and lightly pinch to seal it. Dip the whole ball into a bit of cooked glutinous rice flour and roll gently to form a nice ball.
- Place the ball seam side down on work surface. With your fingers, gently pat and shape it roughly into the shape of a rabbit (refer to photos above). It's basically more of a slight pear shape.
- Taking the 3g portion of snow skin, rip off a small bit for the round tail and two equal pieces for the ears. For the ears, first roll the dough into a ball, then into a fat cylinder. Pinch one end slightly to taper it and pat the other end into a round ear shape.
- Using either a small paint brush or your finger, brush a tiny amount of water onto one side of the tail, gently press it against the back of the rabbit body, holding it there for a second to bind.
- Brush a little water where the ears will go, then gently pat on the ears. Using a chopstick, create an indent in the middle of each ear, slightly pushing it in to secure it at the same time.
- Dip the point end of the chopstick into a little water (tapping off any excess) to stick a sesame seed on the end of the chopstick. Gently press the sesame seed into the face for the rabbit's eye. Repeat for other eye.
- Enjoy right away! Store extras in an airtight container and place in the fridge. WIll be good for up to two days before skin becomes a little hardened.