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Try something new for the Mid-Autumn Festival with the puff pastry mooncake known as Dan Huang Su, featuring flaky layers of pastry crust stuffed with a sweet filling and salted duck egg yolk.

Dan Huang Su (Pastry Mooncake with Salty Egg Yolk, 蛋黄酥)

Try something new for the Mid-Autumn Festival with the puff pastry mooncake known as Dan Huang Su, featuring flaky layers of pastry crust stuffed with a sweet filling and salted duck egg yolk. This recipe requires accurate measurements and you will need to use a kitchen scale to make it. I did not include cup measurements because doing so would cause a lot of problems.
Prep Time: 45 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Course: Bakery, Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 16 pastries

Ingredients

Water Dough

  • 70 g all-purpose flour
  • 20 g low-gluten flour (pastry or cake flour)
  • 12 g (1 tablespoon) powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 35 g unsalted butter , softened
  • 40 ml ice water

Oil Dough

  • 110 g low-gluten flour (pastry or cake flour)
  • 55 g shortening

Filling

Wash

  • 2 to 3 egg yolks
  • Black sesame seeds

Instructions

Make water dough

  • Sift the water dough flours, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the butter and ice water. Mix with a spatula until a rough dough forms. Place the bowl in the mixer with the dough hook attachment. Drape a piece of the dough over the hook. Turn the mixer to setting 4 and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Depending on the size of your mixer, it may be necessary to stop the kneading occasionally and lift the dough over the hook (*Footnote 3). To test the dough, stretch it into a thin semi transparent sheet and it should hold well. Knead in the mixer for a bit longer, if needed. Once done, cover the dough and rest for 10 minutes.

Make the oil dough

  • Combine the low-gluten flour and shortening in a medium-sized bowl. Mix and press it together using your hands, until dough shapes. Further shape and knead it on a working surface until uniform and smooth. Cover and rest for 5 minutes.

Make the filling

  • Divide your choice of filling paste into 25g balls. Flatten each ball into a 2.5”(6.5 cm) disc and place a yolk in the center. Gently press the paste around the yolk to cover the yolk completely. Try to press out any air bubbles and prevent from damaging the yolk. Once the yolk is fully covered, roll it between your hands to smooth it out until it forms a smooth ball.

Prepare the pastry dough (*Footnote 4)

  • Divide the water dough into 16 even pieces, 10 g per piece. Work on one dough at a time, use your hands to pull the dough towards the center, until it forms a ball. Pinch to seal the end and set aside. Always cover the dough with plastic wrap.
  • Divide the oil dough into 16 even pieces, 10 g per piece. Form each piece into dough balls using your hands and cover them.
  • Flatten a ball of water dough with your palm and spread it with your fingers so that the center is thicker than the edges, about 2.5” (6.5 cm) wide. Place a ball of oil dough in the center. Lift the edges of the water dough over the oil dough to wrap it and pinch at the top to seal it. Set it aside and cover it. Repeat with all pieces of dough.

Assemble

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).
  • Take a formed ball, sealed-side down, and flatten it with your palm. Gently roll it into a 5” (12.5 cm) long strip. Flip it over so it’s seam-side up. Starting from the short side, roll it into a thick jelly roll. Turn the roll 90° and flatten it with your hand. Again roll it into a 5”(12.5 cm) strip and then into a jelly roll. Cover and set aside. Repeat with the remaining balls.
  • Beginning with the first roll you made, take a roll and press into the middle so the swirled ends are pressed out. Then fold the swirled ends into the center and press them down so that a flat disc is formed. Roll this disc out so that it is 5” (12.5 cm) in diameter. Place the filling in the center. Lift and stretch the dough over the paste ball to cover completely, and pinch to seal. Roll between your palms to smooth it out. Repeat with all the dough and cover all the dough pieces with plastic wrap as you do so. (*Footnote 5)
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the pastries on it, at least 1” (2.5) apart.
  • Lightly beat the yolk. Brush a thin layer of the egg wash onto the tops of the pastries. Wait 5 minutes and brush with a second layer of yolk.
  • Wet your fingertip with water and dip it into the sesame seeds so the seeds stick to your finger. Tap the top of each pastry to decorate.
  • Bake at 350°F (176°C) for 15 to 20 minutes, until the egg wash turns golden and the pastries are cooked through and flaky. Once done, remove from the baking sheet from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Storage

  • After completely cooling, you can store the baked mooncakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, in the fridge up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 3 months.

Notes

  1. If you plan to use raw egg yolks, you’ll need to bake them before wrapping them into the mooncakes. Preheat the oven to 325°F (162°C) and line a baking tray with foil. Spread the yolks on the tray and sprinkle with a small amount of alcohol, such as vodka or baijiu. Bake for 8 minutes then allow to rest to cool completely.
  2. I prefer the homemade version because it’s less sweet and will make a more balanced pastry once you are done baking.
  3. If your stand mixer is too big for the dough, the dough may flatten on the bottom after kneading for a while. You’ll need to lift the dough onto the hook and restart again.
  4. You can store the dough and the filling before shaping the mooncakes.
  5. You can store the assembled uncooked mooncakes and bake them later. To store, wrap each mooncake with plastic wrap and place it in a ziplock bag. Store in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months. To bake the mooncake, let it thaw in the fridge, if frozen. Then brush with egg wash and garnish it with sesame seeds before baking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 182kcal, Carbohydrates: 15.8g, Protein: 5.8g, Fat: 10.5g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 241mg, Sodium: 115mg, Potassium: 51mg, Fiber: 0.9g, Sugar: 0.9g, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 1mg