Mooncake Piglets As Mascots Of The Mid-Autumn Festival

This is my first attempt making mooncake piglets, after a break of about 2 years. The last time I made snowskin mooncakes was in 2010, before I left for my studies. I have originally intended to bake just simple piglet biscuits – those that can be commonly found in heartland bakeries, contained in the small colourful baskets. Unfortunately, Phoon Huat no longer sells the baking moulds for these piglets; which means I have no other choice but to shape these animals with my own hands plus the little bit of creativity that I have left in my greying cerebral remains.

First of all, a big thank you to Anncoo for sharing her wonderful recipe online. Below is an adapted version of her recipe, to accommodate all the salted egg yolk lovers out there.

Ingredients:

  • Sugar syrup: 360g
  • Alkaline water: 12g
  • Peanut oil: 150g
  • Hong Kong flour: 600g + extra for dusting
  • White lotus paste: 1.5 kg (or any other flavoured pastes)
  • Salted egg yolk: As many as you’d like to have, 1 per piglet
  • Black bean: 72 pieces, washed and dried
  • Egg wash: 1 egg yolk + 1 drop yellow egg colouring + 1 tbsp water
  • Glaze: 1 tsp butter (melted) + 1/2 tsp honey

Method:

  1. Combine sugar syrup, alkaline water and peanut oil. Mix well.
  2. Sift flour into a mixing bowl.
  3. Make a hole in the center of the flour. Add in sugar syrup mixture.
  4. Mix everything together with a spatula to form a soft dough.
  5. Cover with cling wrap and leave to rest for 20 min.
  6. While dough is resting, measure out balls of lotus paste & egg yolk of (70g per ball).
  7. Wrap yolk inside paste and roll to form ball shape.
  8. Dust table top with some flour. Knead dough till smooth.
  9. Measure out 50g of dough for each piglet.
  10. Flatten dough and wrap a ball of paste and yolk inside it.
  11. Roll the whole thing to form a smooth oval-shaped ball.
  12. Form the eyelids of the pig by impressing the front of the dough with a small teaspoon.
  13. Press 1 black bean underneath each  eyelid to form the eyes.
  14. Make an indentation with a toothpick at the bottom of the body, to form the legs.
  15. Do the same at the back of the body to form its butt.
  16. Roll out 5 small pieces of dough the size of your small fingertip.
  17. Press 1 piece under the eyes to form the nose. Flatten and use a toothpick to poke 2 nostrils.
  18. Press 2 pieces onto the top left and right of the head to form the ears. Flatten and press out the ear contours with a toothpick.
  19. Roll out the last piece into a tail. Press onto the top of the butt line and twist to form a curve.
  20. Place the pig gently onto a lined baking tray. Brush over body gently with egg wash, leaving out the eyes, nose, ears and tail.
  21. Bake in preheated oven at 175 degrees for 5 min.
  22. Leave piglets to cool for 10 min. Brush with egg wash again, including eyes, nose, ears and tail.
  23. Bake at 175 degrees for another 10 min.
  24. Glaze piglets with butter and honey. Bake for another 3 min.
  25. Decorate with colourful ribbons as gifts for your loved ones!

Tricks:

  • Applying the glaze at the last step makes the end product even more enticing and appetising.
  • Baking it first before brushing the impressed portions (ears, nose, tail) would prevent the brush from evening out these details.
  • Brush over each part of the body only once. I realised that the areas which I brushed over more than once appeared browner and darker, resulting in uneven browning during the baking process.
  • This exact same recipe could be used to bake the traditional mooncakes.
  • For the cookie version of mooncake piglets, please refer to ‘Mooncake Piglet Cookies With Fanciful Piglet Moulds‘.

Disclaimers:

  • Made a deal with HIM that I’ll be making standing pigs the next time round to commemorate all our pet pigs at home. These pigs don’t look too good currently, what with the slanted noses and drooping eyes.
  • Took me almost 6 hours to complete this gargantuan task!

Serving:
Makes 36-40 piglets or 12-15 mooncakes

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