These snow skin mooncakes with custard filling are perfect for Mid-Autumn Festival! Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, they're also filled with a fragrant custard and wrapped in pleasantly chewy snow skin.
We all look forward to mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival, and this year it's on October 1st! Although, I'm late to the party, I am proud to say, the time was well spent. We finally master these super trendy snow skin mooncakes with custard filling! Not only are they cute and pleasing to look at, they are quite tasty. They're absolutely worth a try!
What are snow skin mooncakes
Snow skin mooncake is a recent popular mooncake style from Singapore, eaten during Mid-Autumn Festival. These mooncakes are different than traditional style mooncakes both in appear and taste. "Snow skin" literally translates to "bing-pi" (冰皮) or "ice skin," referring to the slightly translucent look the wraps have. The snow skin wrap is made similar to the process and ingredients of mochi, giving the mooncake a tender, mochi chew.
Besides the non-traditional snow skin wrap, these mooncakes can be filled with traditional fillings such as red bean paste, black sesame paste, lotus paste, and salted egg yolks. Although, ice cream filled snow skin mooncakes have become very popular in Singapore. As for this snow skin mooncake recipe, we decided to fill it with a classic egg custard with gooey matcha filling.
Snow skin flour
Normally, snow skin wrappers are made with a premix flour called "gao fen" (糕粉), which is equivalent to cooked rice flour that's also been flavored. These flour makes the snow skin dough making process very easy because no cooking or steaming is needed. All you have to do is add liquid and knead it. Sounds nice doesn't it?
Unfortunately, "gao fen" is hard to find in most grocery stores, Asian markets, and even Amazon. So, we had to experiment with other substitutes. Which led us to using combinations of glutinous rice flour, regular rice flour, and wheat starch!
Our ratio of glutinous rice flour and regular rice flour gives the snow skin a pleasant chew that stays soft at room temperature but not so tacky that it's difficult to eat and mold. The wheat starch on the other hand gives the snow skin mooncakes their iconic almost translucent look.
Two ways to make the snow skin dough
After making the batter for the snow skin dough, you can either microwave the batter on high for 2 to 2.5 minutes to cook the dough. This method is much faster. Just make sure the bowl is microwave safe and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. You can also poke some holes in the plastic wrap to release steam as the dough cooks.
The other method is to have the batter in a heatproof bowl and steam the batter on medium high heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. Either methods, if the dough has no more liquid batter, it's cooked.
How to keep the snow skin mooncakes soft
Unfortunately for snow skin mooncakes, it is inevitable that the snow skin hardens up and loses its integrity over the course of a few days. That's why it is best to enjoy the snow skin mooncakes the day they're made.
However, there are a couple of factors that help with keeping the snow skin softer, longer.
- Knead the dough for a few minutes, until the dough is smooth after its cooked.
- Using a little oil in the batter will help the dough from harding up and staying moist.
- During and after making the snow skin mooncakes, make sure to keep them covered under plastic wraps or in an airtight container.
- Before eating the mooncakes, let them temper out at room temperature, if you refrigerated it to allow the snow skin to soften up.
Filling the custard
This is totally optional, because sometimes I'm just extra, lol. I wanted to give the mooncakes a bit of an extra surprise when you bite into it, and gooey matcha fills your mouth. If you want to be extra like me, this is how you do it:
- Form something like a hollow ball with the 20 gram custard. Try to keep the wall of the ball about ¼ inch thick all around. Also, keep the opening the the custard ball as small as possible, so that there's less patch-up work to do.
- Pipe the loose matcha filling into the custard ball. With the extra 5 grams of egg custard, flatten it slightly and patch up the hole. Smear the edges of the extra custard to smooth and seal up the hole. Roll the custard ball gently to make it more circular.
Snow skin mooncake assembly
It make look and be challenging when you attempt the first couple of mooncakes, but I promise, by the fourth or fifth one, you'll say that it's a piece of cake!
- If you want marble effect on your snow skin, twist two color doughs together then roll it back into a ball. Flatten the dough in your palms, between gloved hands. Try to get it as even as possible and make it about 3 inch wide in diameter.
- Place the prepared custard filling in the center of the snow skin wrapper. Flip the custard ball over so that the wrapper is on top and smooth the wrapper over the custard ball.
- Slowly and gently, smooth and stretch the wrapper over the entire custard ball and pinch together the edges to seal the seam.
- Roll the mooncake to smooth any crease. Dust it lightly with cornstarch and dust off all excess cornstarch. Gently, roll the mooncake slightly to make it cylinder.
- Attach the mooncake mold with your desire pattern and place the mooncake in it. Place the mooncake and the mold on a flat surface. Gently but firmly, push the mold's level down on the mooncake and hold for 5-10 seconds to create the pattern. Lift the mold and the mooncake should come out. If the mooncake is stuck, simply give the level a push.
Snow skin mooncake storage
Snow skin mooncakes are best eaten the day of making. However, if you have leftovers, keep them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge. They will be good for about 3 days. You can also freeze these mooncakes for up to 2 weeks. Thaw them out in the fridge or at room temperature and consume immediately.
If you're looking for other Asian desserts and treats, you may like these:
- Sweet potato mochi pancakes/ hotteok
- Ube mochi will black sesame filling
- One egg matcha soufflé pancake
- Japanese cotton cheesecake
Bake with love!
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Snow Skin Mooncake with Custard Filling
For the custard filling:
Optional: gooey matcha center
- 13 grams custard filling (about a skimp Tablespoon)
- ¼ teaspoon ceremonial grade matcha
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter , melted
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1½ Tablespoon milk
For the custard filling:
- Combine the milk powder, cornstarch, sugar and milk into a bowl and whisk until no more lumps are visible. Whisk in the eggs and melted butter until well combined.
- Transfer the custard mix into a saucepan and heat over medium heat while constantly stirring. Once the custard starts to form a layer and thickens on the bottom of the pan, reduce the heat to low and keep constantly stirring until the entire custard is thick and kind of resembles scrambled eggs, about 5 minutes.
- Once the custard has visibly thickened, cook for another 3-5 minutes until the custard is stiffer and dry enough to hold shape.
- When the custard is stiff enough, transfer it into a fine mesh strainer. Push the custard through the strainer to remove any stubborn lumps and to make the custard smoother. Scale the custard into 30 gram balls and place it onto a plastic wrap covered plate. Wrap the custard refrigerated until needed.*If you are making the optional gooey matcha center, save 13 grams of custard filling for later. Then, divide the custard filling into 20 gram and 5 gram balls instead of 30 grams.*
For the optional gooey matcha center:
- Scale out about 13 grams or about 1 Tablespoons of the prepared custard filling and transfer into a small bowl. Add the matcha powder and sugar and mix until everything is well combined. Stir in the melted butter until emulsified, then mix in the milk. Transfer the mix into a pipping bag and refrigerate until needed.
For the snow skin wrap:
- In a microwavable bowl, whisk together the two types of rice flour, wheat starch, and sugar. While whisking, slowly pour in the milk and mix until no lumps remain. Add the condensed milk and oil, then whisk to combine.*If needed, you can strain the batter to push out any stubborn lumps of flour.*
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the wrap. Microwave the batter for about 2 to 2½ minutes on high, or until the batter is cooked through and no more liquid batter is visible. *You can also steam the batter on medium high heat for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the dough is cooked.*
- Cut the dough into pieces with a rubber spatula to cool it faster. Once the dough is at a comfortable temperature for handling, knead the dough into a smooth ball with gloved hands.
- Divide the dough into 20 gram pieces and place them on either plastic wrapped surface or parchment lined sheet pan. Keep the dough covered until needed.*If making marbled snow skin, divide the white snow skin dough into 15 gram pieces.*
- Optional for a marbled look:Scale out 100 grams of the dough and add about ½-1 teaspoon of matcha powder to the dough (depending on how green you'd like the dough). Knead the matcha powder into the dough until the powder is evenly spread out. Scale the dough into 5 gram pieces and keep them with the white snow skin doughs.
Snow skin mooncake assembly:
- With gloves on, roll the snow skin dough into a ball, then flatten it evenly into a circle between your palms to about 3 inches wide. Place the custard filling in the center of the wrap and gently work the snow skin around the filling, then pinch together the edges to seal the mooncake. Repeat with all filling and wraps while keeping everything covered to prevent drying out.
- For gooey matcha center:Make an indention in the 20 gram ball of custard filling and try to mold the custard into a hallow ball with ¼ inch wall. Try to keep the opening as small as possible. Pipe in the prepared matcha filling just under the rim. Gently flatten the 5 gram ball of custard filling and patch up the opening. Smooth the patched area and gently roll the custard into a ball.For the marbled snow skin:Twist together the 15 grams white and 5 grams green snow skin dough, then roll it back into a ball. Flatten the dough evenly with your palms, into 3 inch wide circles. Wrap the custard filling gently and seal up the opening. Repeat with remaining dough and filling while keeping everything covered.
- Fit the mooncake mold with your desired pattern. Working with one ball of mooncake at a time, dust the mooncake with a small amount of cornstarch and dust off the excess. Gently roll the mooncake to into a cylinder so that it'll fit in the mooncake mold and insert it into the mold.Gently but firmly, press down on the mold level and hold for 5-10 seconds to form the pattern. Release the level and the mooncake should come out of the mold with no problems. If the mooncake gets stuck, just lift the mold off the surface and push on the lever. Cover the mooncake and repeat with the rest.
- Enjoy the snow skin mooncakes as is or chill for 1-2 hours for better flavor! Make sure to keep them in airtight containers.
- Snow skin mooncakes are best enjoyed the day of. If you have leftovers, keep them in airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 3 days. The longer they are kept refrigerated, the more the snow skin's texture will lose integrity. So enjoy as soon as possible!
- You can also freeze the snow skin mooncakes, but the snow skin will behave the same as when they mooncakes are refrigerated. If freezing these mooncakes, keep them in airtight containers. Thaw them in the fridge or at room temperature before enjoying.