Vietnamese Traditional Snow Skin Mooncake

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A: Hello and welcome to VOV 24/7’s Food Delight. We’re A and B. And we’re so excited to share with you a range of cooking tips on today’s program.
B: Hello you guys. Hello A. Beautiful autumn has arrived here in Hanoi. This is my most favorite time of the year. 
A: Yep. Autumn and especially September is also associated with some very special days. Hey, A. Could you name them all?
B: Of course. First is the National Day, a Vietnamese public holiday observed on September 2nd. The next one is Sept 7. This year is the 71st anniversary of Radio Voice of Vietnam, and also the English section’s birthday.
A: We never forget the Mid-Autumn festival held annually on the 15th day of the eight lunar month. This year, the festival falls on September 15 
B: Oh. And talking about the Mid-Autumn festival, Moon cakes should be the things that pop into our minds first. Am I right?
A: Agreed. And that’s why in today’s program, we are gonna introduce to you the recipe for Banh Deo or traditional Vietnamese snow skin mooncake. The name of the cake says it all; it’s a non-baked cake with a soft and beautiful-like snowflake, which shouldn’t be missed on the festival.
B: And B, I also have good news for you. I’ve met Nguyen Duc Thinh, a very famous chef and cuisine expert with 10 -years-experience in baking. He will share some tips on how to nail the Snow Skin cake. 
Vietnamese Traditional Snow Skin Mooncake - ảnh 1
Chef Nguyen Duc Thinh and his students (Source: Thinh's official FB)
A: That’s gorgeous. Let’s start with the ingredients. “Preparation is the most important step with many notes to follow. The glutinous rice must be carefully selected and roasted over a medium low heat until it turns a light golden color; then ground until the rice flour becomes very fine and smooth. For the best quality cake, you should only use the glutinous flour which is completely cold as a hot one may ruin the shape of the cake. The next important ingredients are sugar water, which should be cooked 1 or 2 days earlier, and pomelo blossom essence to improve the fragrance of the cake.”
Vietnamese Traditional Snow Skin Mooncake - ảnh 2
The name of the cake says it all; it’s a non-baked cake with a soft and beautiful-like snowflake, which shouldn’t be missed on the festival (Source: Quantrimang.vn)
A: With just some very basic ingredients and the skillful hands of the bakers, the cakes are absolutely delicious and attractive. Have you ever tried making moon cakes at home?
B: Not yet. Every year as the holiday approaches, I wish I had more time to make these beautiful moon cakes.  How about you?
A: Uhm. It seemed like an impossible mission for me as the baking is terribly hard.
B: I think shouldn’t give up as Thinh still has many instructions that may help. “You should always check the quality of the flour and sugar water before cooking as the cake crust made from unqualified ingredients could cause the decoration to be lost in just 15 minutes after being un-molded. Some people mix the glutinous rice flour to sugar water at 1:1 ratio, but the dough then turns tough and hard to form shapes. I recommend the 1:2 ratio instead as it is much easier to knead. We should leave the dough to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before molding to create the cake a shiny and elastic crust”. 
Vietnamese Traditional Snow Skin Mooncake - ảnh 3
With just some very basic ingredients and the skillful hands of the bakers, the cakes are absolutely delicious and attractive (Source: Kenh14.vn)
A: Now I know why I failed all the time. Just prepare the ingredients well and change the ratio of flour and sugar water a little bit, it will absolutely perfect for this moon cake. But I still want to know more tips. Thinh, can you tell us a little bit about the moon cake filling? “In the past, people preferred traditional moon cakes filled with bean paste, and "Thap cam", or "ten ingredients" fillings. Nowadays, we diversify people’s choice by creating a wide variety of fillings from sweet to savory and traditional to trendy, like taro, green tea, green bean and salted egg, and so on. We also color the traditional snow moon cake with natural colors like beet root, strawberry syrup, mangeta leaves, pandan leaves, or red dragon fruits.”  
Vietnamese Traditional Snow Skin Mooncake - ảnh 4
.The traditional snow moon cake is added with natural colors like beet root, strawberry syrup, mangeta leaves, pandan leaves, or red dragon fruits (Source:lambanhngon.com)
    
A: Hey, B. The moon cakes brings back memories of my lovely childhood times. Remember, how much I and many kids like me desired to have a pig-shape-moon cake and star-shaped lanterns. 
B: Me too. Snow skin moon cake in the past was something precious for each family, particularly kids. I used to spent time just adoring the cakes instead of eating them right away.
A: Hey! It’s not a smart way to treat your cake. Choosing the best time to eat is also important. “The snow skin moon cake should be served 2 or 3 days after it’s made. You will be pleased to find the cakes are softer and sweeter after they’ve had enough time to rest. The crust then turns from a milky white into a crystal shade, so the filling will be highlighted and eye-catching, and the cake has such a gentle beauty that it could please event the hardest customer.”
Vietnamese Traditional Snow Skin Mooncake - ảnh 5
Instead of glutinous rice flour, the cake crust can be made of agar, and gelatin and flavored with a wide variety of fruit flavorings (Source: Eva.vn)
A: The snowy moon cakes are molded in many different shapes, according to the customer’s desire. Instead of glutinous rice flour, the cake crust can be made of agar, and gelatin and flavored with a wide variety of fruit flavorings. And, to adapt to today's health-conscious lifestyle, fat-free mooncakes have also appeared.
B: The mooncakes are best when served with hot tea. The mild fragrance of the aromatic tea blends perfectly with the sweetness of the crust and filling. So, go ahead and treat yourself to these heavenly snow skin mooncakes. For now, good bye, we will catch you next time on VOV 24/7 Food Delight. 

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