-this is sickeningly long entry so please bear with it.
I guess most of us are used to the commercial lotus paste that we always got outside. they are normally sweet, thick, and semi transparent and of coz much more convenient. many people thought that a good lotus paste should be like that and thought commercial lotus paste are made of pure lotus. but lo and behold!
the commercial lotus are not made of lotus seeds purely. buyers must know that the reason why the paste is so thick, sweet and semi transparent is because factories normally add in either sweet potatoes or pumpkins.
reason being is that they can cut down on the amount of lotus seeds and sugar. and also, pumpkin or sweet potatoes are definitely much more cheaper than lotus seeds, hence cutting down on the cost of product.
another thing is by adding some sweet potato or pumpkin paste, it cuts down alot of effort and time in cooking the paste. so again, save time and gas.
i never like to take short cuts when it comes to baking or cooking. hmm maybe its because i am a huge perfectionist, i always thought that food that are prepared in this way may taste nice, but then still, the effort is missing and somehow i wont feel satisfied.
and so this year... i told my mom, i am gonna take charge of the mooncake making totally all BY MYSELF. *grins*
haha its not easy ya know? first gotta prepare the lotus paste and make the snowskin. since young i have been helping my mom making snowskin mooncakes every year for the Mooncake festival. so i've more or less have picked a bit of skills in wrapping the dough around the fillings and press it onto the mould. but then... its gonna be my first time making everything from nothing to something... all start from the scratch
so i started off with the filling.
first of all.. you gotta make sure have you good lotus seeds. never use white lotus seeds because they are normally bleached and wont be that fragrant. i used red lotus seeds which are definitely darker and stronger in both color and smell. so after soaking and cooking the lotus seeds, i puree them in the blender and off it goes to the wok!
my first batch of lotus... hmmm. it wasn't that nice. i boiled the seeds with a green tea bag but nothing came out. and while pureeing the lotus seed, i was too fast and the puree didnt came out smooth. didnt take much picture coz... my hands are simply too sore for that and i gotta keep a watch out for the bubbling puree. so i just snap whenever i remember to and please pardon me for the poor picture quality. they were all taken in a hassle *so much for this blog!!!
getting ready to be pureed
and now pureed!
mom added some stuffs while i was stirring. if i am not wrong she added some glutinous rice flour which i dunno for what. and the most sucky thing was while cooking, i didnt add enough oil and caused the paste to be tad dry. but it could be the flour.
but oh well anyway.
well made some moonies and i left the leftover paste (i made bout 1.5kg) in a wok covered. and guess what. the next day, the bloody paste actually fermented and SPOILT.
my god...IT BLOODY WENT SPOILT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 hours in the kitchen GONE~!
cant blame much right? its my own fault.
so the next day, i whipped up a new batch of lotus paste again. this time round is really totally without my mom's help coz she wasn't around. i started from the scratch again but hey. this time, i was more careful. while pureeing i make sure i added ample water and blend it till the blender went a bit haywired.
haha. and this time i added more oil and cook it under small and steady fire. the boiling was more this time and heck, it hit my thumb and i now have a blister on it =(
hand pain pain... ='( somehow it took a bit more while despite that i've cut down alot on the quantity.
after 1.5 hour or stirring+staring at the wok+yawning+finger skin coming off+blister on thumb (see the white spot on my thumb? thats the lotion i applied)
this time i added only sugar, oil (more oil) and a pinch of salt and no flour. i believe this is why i took a bit more while to cook this time.
but hey! this time round, the paste turned out really more smoother, more fragrant and moist! haha so well... it did paid off for the little blister on my thumb!
cooking the paste aint something fun... in fact, IT IS SUPER TORTUROUS. one has to be standing by the wok and keep stirring UNTIL the damn puree thickens and starts to form into a dough. man i tell u... IT SUCKS. my fingers were sore and my legs were numbed. coz just for the puree to thicken, it takes already at least an hour or so. and for the thickened puree into a dough will take bout another half an hour.
another thing is while thickening, the damn puree will have hot air puffing up and sometimes the hot puree will go splatting everywhere including onto your hands! man i swear i have never got burnt till such a state before. and trust me, after everything is done, you wont feel like moving your hands ever AT ALL.
haiz but ok la... the 2nd batch of lotus paste came out really nice and yummy so...its all worth it! will post up more on the mooncakes tomorrow la. my fingers are really sore now.
so till then...tata~!