The Chinese way of making flaky pastry, also known as Huaiyang Pastry 淮揚酥皮, is the bomb! You start with a basic layered dough that produces a wonderfully light and delicate flaky pastry. This basic dough can be rolled out and wrapped in three different ways to produce different pastry skins. In the first the layers are hidden, only showing after the pastry is opened (see our Chinese Flaky Pastry with Lotus Seed Paste 白蓮蓉酥餅 recipe). The second way exposes the flaky layers. We wanted to try something alternative for this year's Mid Autumn Festival 中秋節 so we used the exposed layers method to make this truly elegant Chinese Spiral Flaky Pastry Mooncake 千層紫薯酥, yummiliciously stuffed with a lush soft purple sweet potato filling and a hidden heart of tender white mochi.
|Photo A - basic dough roll ups
|Photo B - Spiral dough roll ups
This follows the basic Chinese flaky pastry dough recipe except for 2 differences. The first difference is that there is an added ingredient of 2 tbsp (20g) of purple sweet potato powder. There are two different doughs, the 'water dough'* and the 'oil dough'*. The purple sweet potato powder is added to the 'oil dough', making it purple. (*For explanation of dough terms refer to Chinese flaky pastry recipe.)
The 'water dough' and the 'oil dough' are rolled together then rolled up to create the flaky layers. Photo A above shows the basic pastry dough roll ups. Photo B shows the spiral pastry dough roll ups; see the two colors?
The second difference is that when you finish the 2nd roll ups for the spiral pastry dough, STOP. For the spiral pastry the next steps differ as shown below:
Take the '2nd roll up' and slice it in half.
When you open up the sliced halves of the '2nd roll up' you will see the beautiful spiral layers exposed like magic.
Each spiral half is rolled out and will make one spiral pastry wrapping skin.
Here are all the pastry skins rolled out and ready to wrap. Looks like mini galaxies spreading out in a big bang!
For the mooncake filling we decided to go for something new (and purple!). We made Purple Sweet Potato Filling Paste 紫蕃薯餡 (click link for recipe). OMG so good! And in place of the traditional salted egg yolk heart of mooncakes we used deliciously tender chewy bits of homemade mochi! Heart of mochiliciousness!
Pssst...If you're going to make homemade mochi with our easy recipe be sure to pour the batter 1/2 inch thick into steaming bowl before steaming. Once steamed just need to powder with starch and slice into cubes. You can also buy mini mochis premade.
Tip: Weight fillings with a food scale to make sure all your mooncakes come out evenly sized. Looks way more professional that way.
One filling to one rolled out spiral pastry skin and you're ready to wrap. Be sure to have the spiral pattern facing outward.
Gather the skin evenly around the filling. Then use one hand to gather and pinch, the other hand to turn. Keep doing this until the dough comes together and can be pinched closed into a nub. Press down the nub to one side. Set down with pinched side down.
Our little spiral mooncakes all wrapped and in a row. Aren't they just amazing? We also have a video that shows the details of the wrapping process:
A bit of a bake and your Chinese Spiral Flaky Pastry Mooncakes are ready for enjoying whilst lantern hanging and moon gazing during Mid Autumn Festival! Delicate, light, flaky pastry wrapped around rich and deliciously purple sweet potato paste infused with a hint of cloves and nutmeg hiding a heart of tender chewy mochi. Happy moon gazing everyone! 中秋節快樂!
Chinese Spiral Flaky Pastry Mooncake Recipe 千層紫薯酥 | 淮揚圓酥
Flaky Pastry Dough prep time: 45 mins Spiral Flaky Pastry Dough prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 30 mins
(makes 22 mooncakes)
1 portion Chinese Flaky Pastry Dough
2 tbsp purple sweet potato powder, 20g
Purple Sweet Potato filling paste, 670g
22 pieces mochi, approx. 1/2 inch cubes, (click for our homemade mochi recipe)
Make the Chinese Flaky Pastry Dough as per the recipe except these two differences:
1) Add 2 tbsp purple sweet potato powder to the 'oil dough' before kneading flour and lard together, making sure the color is even throughout.
2) When you complete the dough's 2nd roll up stage (refer Photo A above for 2nd roll up stage), stop, wrap in cling film and let chill in fridge while preparing the filling.
Make the Purple Sweet Potato filling paste as per the recipe. Weigh out 1.25 oz (35g) portions and roll into 1 1/2 inch diameter balls. Press to flatten out a bit, press mochi to center, then close up the filling around the mochi until a ball is again formed.
Take one of the '2nd roll up' dough pieces and slice in half cross wise. Take each of the halves and place with spiral pattern facing up. Roll out to a 4 inch circles. Repeat for all.
Place one ball of mochi stuffed filling onto one rolled out dough circle. Wrap the pastry dough around the filling, making sure the spiral pattern is facing outwards. Pinch to close. Flatten pinched part to one side. Place mooncake pinched side down onto parchment covered baking tray. Repeat until all mooncakes are wrapped. Cover in cling film and let rest for 30 mins.
Preheat oven to 340°F (170°C) while the pastries are resting.
Bake for 15 mins, turn the baking tray around, bake for another 15 mins. Remove and let cool completely on baking tray before removing. If not eating immediately store in air tight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Reheat in oven for a few minutes to refresh. Enjoy!