September 2, 2020
It’s the time of the year where we all gather around with our loved ones, sipping on tea and gazing upon the roundest, brightest moon of the year after family dinner while indulging in some sweet and savoury mooncakes… Always wanted to try making your own mooncakes? Forget about the difficult to make traditional baked mooncake or snow skin mooncake. Try out this super easy and fragrant tea-infused jelly (agar agar) mooncake recipe from us and surprise your loved ones with some handmade-with-love Mid-Autumn treat that is wallet-friendly yet equally delish!
- A twist on the traditional mooncakes, our tea-infused jelly mooncakes require no baking and uses agar agar, a vegetarian jelly that give them structure. Breaking away from tradition where mooncakes are usually paired with a strong, palate-cleansing cup of Chinese tea, we also tried infusing our mooncake with one of our best-selling Pearl of the Orient tea and were surprised at how fragrant and light the jelly mooncakes tasted on the palate!
Pearl of the Orient Jelly Mooncake
– makes 8 mini mooncakes
- Drawing inspiration from our Botanically Cold Brewed™ Pearl of the Orient with Lychee Sparkling Tea, we used lychee as one of the fillings for the jelly mooncakes, as well as vitamin C and antioxidant-rich purple sweet potatoes.
You’ll need to get some agar agar mooncake moulds. We got ours in squares and ovals.
Ingredients for mooncake skin:
- 2 tsp Agar Agar powder
- 8 tsp brown sugar, or you can adjust to taste and preference
- 450ml water
- 2 sachets Gryphon Tea’s Pearl of the Orient
- 30 – 50ml coconut milk, or you can adjust to taste and preference
- Few stalks of pandan leaves
- Rose Pink colour paste
- Butterfly Pea extract
Ingredients for lychee filling:
- Canned lychees
Ingredients for purple sweet potato filling:
- 2 small purple sweet potatoes, around 130 – 150g
- 1 ½ tsp brown sugar
- 1 ½ tsp agar agar powder
- 100ml water
Steps to make mooncake skin:
- 1. Prepare Pearl of the Orient tea. Bring water to boiling temperature <90°C. Steep Pearl of the Orient tea sachets in the hot water for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove sachets and set brewed tea aside to cool for later use.
2. While waiting for the tea to cool off completely, prepare the purple sweet potato filling:
a. Peel the purple sweet potato and steam until fork tender before mashing it down.
b. Add the rest of the ingredients with the mashed purple sweet potato and stir to mix until well blended.
c. Pour the purple sweet potato mixture into a saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil. This is to make sure we activate the agar agar. Let it cook for about 5 minutes and pour the purple sweet potato filling into a plate or smaller mould to let it set at room temperature.
d. Once the purple sweet potato filling is set (it should be about medium firm to touch once set), unmould and set aside at room temperature for use later. You’ll need to cut the filling into cubes if you have used a plate in the previous step.
- 3. Next, put together brown sugar, agar agar powder and pandan leaves in a saucepan. Make sure the Pearl of the Orient tea has completely cooled off before pouring it in and stir to mix well.
4. Bring the saucepan to the stove and boil all ingredients together until the brown sugar and agar agar powder has completely dissolved. Add in coconut milk and bring the jelly mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow it to be kept warm.
5. For the pink jelly mooncake: Scoop around half of the jelly mixture out into a separate saucepan and add in 1 drop of Rose Pink colour paste. Mix well and pour in the pink jelly mixture into each desired mould until about ⅓ full. Let the layer in the mould set in room temperature and keep the remaining pink jelly mixture warm.
6. For the purple jelly mooncake: In the first saucepan, add in 1 drop of Rose Pink colour paste and 1 tbsp of Butterfly Pea extract. Mix well till the colours combine and pour in the purple jelly mixture into each desired mould until about ⅓ full and let it set at room temperature. Remember to keep the remaining purple jelly mixture warm.
7. Once both the first jelly layer and sweet potato filling has set, use a fork and gently poke holes all over where the layers will meet. Place purple sweet potato fillings in one of the mooncake moulds. In the other mooncake mould, slice one whole lychee into halves and place in the halved lychees.
8. Continue to fill up the moulds with the remaining jelly mixtures till they are entirely covered.
9. Allow the jelly mooncakes to set completely before unmoulding.
- 10. Serve chilled with a comforting pot of Pearl of the Orient tea. Enjoy!
1. The different layers don’t stick together – The agar agar layers will tend to fall apart into pieces or not hold well together if they are set too solid and it’s cold if you put them in the refrigerator. Hence, we recommend to let the agar agar layer set at room temperature, so they are firm enough to hold the next layer.
2. The agar agar won’t set – The agar agar powder needs to be cooked until it’s well dissolved for it to be activated.
3. Customising a flavour to suit your taste and preference– The good thing about homemade mooncakes is that you’re able to choose what goes into your mooncake, how sweet and healthy you want these Mid-Autumn treats to be! We opted for brown sugar in replacement of normal sugar and went with sweet potatoes, which are naturally sweet as well. We also used homemade Butterfly Pea extract as a natural colouring – something that is relatively easy and filled with anti-inflammatory compounds.
Get creative, get experimental and do let us know if you have tried this recipe! Don’t forget to tag us in your creations!
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!