Red Date Baked Mooncakes with Wolfberries & Pumpkin Seeds

Recipe courtesy of executive Chinese chef Brian Wong of Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel

Syrup Ingredients
1.5kg water
2kg sugar
2 whole lemons, cut into small pieces
1 pineapple (skin on), cut into small pieces
250g dried hawthorn berries

Making the Syrup
1    Bring water to boil, add sugar and mix till dissolved. Add the other ingredients and simmer for 3 to 4 hours.
2    Set aside to cool. Reserve a quarter of mixture for the mooncake skin and filling.

Dough Skin Ingredients
100g sugar syrup
200g plain flour
10g lye water
75g peanut oil

Making the Dough Skin
1    Mix sugar syrup and flour well.
2    Add lye water gradually to intensify the mixture colour, till sufficiently dark.
3    Pour peanut oil into the mixture and mix thoroughly by hand to form a dough. Set aside overnight.

Filling Ingredients
300g red dates, cored
100g unsweetened red bean paste
35g corn oil
100g plain flour
80g sugar syrup
1g lye water
10g wolfberries
200g pumpkin seeds

Making the Filling
1    Bring red dates to boil for 20 minutes then cool overnight.
2    Blend the red dates into a paste using a blender. Scoop paste out into a saucepan.
3    Simmer paste over low heat and stir continuously with a spatula till it no longer sticks to the spatula.
4    Fold in the other ingredients. Mix to achieve a uniform consistency. Set aside to cool.

1    Roll 37g of dough into a disc using a rolling pin.
2    Round 210g of filling by hand. Then wrap it up with the dough skin.
3    Press firmly into a mooncake mould. Knock mould lightly against tabletop to unmould.
4    Repeat previous three steps to use up filling and dough skins.
5    Bake mooncakes at 180°C (top heating) and 190˚C (bottom heating) for 20 minutes. Remove mooncakes to brush a thin layer of yolk on the surface. Continue baking in oven for about 8 minutes.
6    Rest in a cool place before serving.