Monday 20 April 2015

Sheperd's Pie Mooncake

Recently I entered the Foodie Simplot Mooncake Challenge where you had to use 40% Simplot products in a mooncake (mashed potato powder and potato starch). To start I went to the foodie office where I was given the most gigantic can of instant mashed potatoes I have ever seen and a few bags of potato starch, after managing to carry it home, I proceed to try and open the can and cover myself and most of the counter in instant mashed potato powder! After getting the potato under control I decided to make a western version inspired by the Sheperd's pie with a layer of mash potato and a layer of meat, pork because its more common in Hong Kong and a quail egg in the centre to represent the salted egg yolk the is in the centre of most mooncakes.
I picked a traditional mooncake mold from Shanghai street to use for my mooncake. After a few attempts and flavour combinations I came up with an asian inspired Sheperd's pie with flaky pastry and flavours of ginger, soy, sesame and spring onion with a perfectly cooked quail egg in the centre.

After submitting my entry I was called back for the finals and cooking lesson at the Mixing Bowl on April 15th! When the 15th arrived I spent the morning making a few batches of mooncakes until I made one that looked just right and then headed to the the Mixing Bowl that night. After laying out the mooncakes we were sent upstairs for the cooking lesson, where Kyle from the Mixing Bowl taught us how to make a cake and gnocchi using simplot products. After awhile and bit a of deliberation I think we were a called back downstairs for the prize giving. After a few introductions was awarded 1st runner up, just missing the prize of a trip to the US to the potato farm! I was awarded a giant cheque, trophy and $3000hkd in taste grocery store coupons, which I was pretty excited about considering it was my first attempt at mooncakes and meat pies! Hope you enjoy the recipe.

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 45minutes
Makes: Six large mooncakes or meat pies

Pastry ingredients:
100g butter
250g flour
50g Simplot potato starch
33g milk
33g water

1. Cut butter into flour and starch.
2. Add water and milk.
3. Kneed until incorporated. (Add a small amount of water if dough to dry)
4. Wrap with cling film and refrigerate for 15 minutes

Quail eggs:
6 quail eggs (you may want to boil extra incase any are broken during cooking)

1. Boil quail eggs for 2 minutes, then plunge into cold water ice bath.
2. Peel once cool.

Meat filling ingredients:
360g ground pork
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 Tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
4 Tablespoons chopped spring onions
2 Tablespoons Simplot potato starch

1. Mix all ingredients together, set aside.

Mashed potato ingredients: 
1/4 cup Simplot mash potato powder
1 cup boiling water
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
regular mashed potato with butter and white pepper

1. Add butter and white to mash potato powder.
2. Add boiling water and whisk well until mash potatoes form and ingredients well mixed in.
3.Set aside

Tools and ingredients:
Mooncake mould 7cm*7cm 3.5cm deep
1 egg (whisked)

1. Divide dough in 4-6 pieces depending on mooncake mould size.
2. Roll piece of dough out to around 4mm thick, lay over mooncake mould and push into making sure to push into the grooves so pattern can be seen.
3. Put a layer of mash potatoes into bottom of mould, fill about 1/3 of the space.
4. Carefully put the quail egg inside some of the meat mixture inside your hand.
5. Place meat mixture with quail egg inside of the moon cake, pat down carefully so meat goes to edges of mooncake, add a little more mince to make sure mooncake is filled to just below edge.
6. Fold pastry over the meat making sure to seal edges.
7. Put hand over mooncake mould and whack upside down until it comes out.
8. Place on mooncake on baking tray and brush with egg mixture.
9. Bake for  10 minutes at 200C. Lower to 180C and bake for 35 minutes.

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