It's been four years since I last made mooncakes from scratch. Evidently this is how long it takes for me to forget how fiddly and time-consuming they are! But it was Mid-Autumn Festival while I was away in September, so I'm making up for it with an updated recipe. This one, while not strictly authentic, is much simpler and a little healthier than the average recipe out there. To make 12 piggies...
4 tbsp peanut oil
1 tbsp water
150g plain flour
24 Sichuan peppercorn kernels
2 tbsp milk
12 tbsp red bean paste
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C. Stir 90g honey, 4 tbsp peanut oil and 1 tbsp water until combined. Add 150g plain flour and knead until a dough forms. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least one hour. Split the dough into 13 equal balls – 12 will form the pigs' bodies while the 13th will make all the noses and ears.
Fill each cake with red bean paste (or lotus seed paste works too) and then get creative! Brush the pigs with milk and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush with milk again, and bake for another 10 minutes at 130°C.