- crystallized winter melon (dried sweetened winter melon mash) -- 4 taels (explain below)
- sugar -- 2 taels
- glutinous rice flour -- 3 taels
- sesame -- 1 tael (about 37.8g)
- coconut mash -- 1 tael
- flesh of dried watermelon seed -- 1 tael
- water -- 0.5 catty (about 300g)
- vanilla oil -- 0.5 tsp
of the oily skin
- flour -- 3 taels
- lard -- 1.5 taels
of the watery skin
- flour -- 3 taels
- sugar -- 1 tael
- lard -- 1 tael
- water -- 2 taels
Recipe for the wife cakes (15 pieces):
- Combine all the filling ingredients, mix it in a food processor thoroughly until even incorporated, divide the mixture to 15 balls.
- Combine all the watery dough ingredients, mix it thoroughly, knead the dough and form it to 15 balls.
- Repeat the same for the oily dough.
- On a floured surface, roll the watery dough balls on the edge to form rounds (from the centre of the dough to the outside when rolling into a round) the result of which will produce little rounds of about 3.5 inches in diameter.
- Wrap each oily dough ball up with the watery dough round and knead into one.
- Roll each dough into a long rope of even width.
- Starting with one end, wind the rope into a flat spiral.
- Press the dough again into a 3 inches round.
- Put fillings on half the dough, fold over plain half to enclose fillings and press edges to seal.
- Brush with egg wash (1 egg yolk and 1 tsp water) to make the skin looks glossier.
- Insert the cakes into a pre-heated oven and bake at 200C, 15-20 minutes.
Tricks of the trade:
- Though I have never been to a China town myself, I reckon it is quite easy to find the crystallized winter melon in there given its popularity among Chinese population. If still can't fetch it, it's possible to make the dried sweetened winter melon mash at home in the same way of potato mash. To retain the smoothness and fluffiness of the mash, use a drum sieve or a mouli.
- If you find it hard to come by items 4-6 and 8, I think it is possible skip one or all of them all together. Most of them are in the recipe to enhance texture. But alas, the most important thing in this cake is still the winter melon paste. The glutinous rice flour, however, is equally important to hold the fillings sticky.
- Tael (liang) and Catty (jin) are Chinese measurement units.