As our Muslim friends observe the holy month of Ramadan, there are plentiful supply of dates in the market. There are several varieties of dates available. Medjool dates, also known as the "king of dates", is one of the best varieties. It is very soft, has a naturally sweet caramelised taste and its flesh is moist and juicy. Initially, I just bought one box of Natural Delights Medjool Dates to try. But after tasting it, I went back to the supermarket to grab 2 more boxes! These dates are really tasty!
With the natural sweetness in dates, I add them in yogurt for breakfast, blend with banana and milk for a healthy milkshake, or simply mix some chopped dates in salad green. Without realising, I finished one box of dates in no time!
I tried the popular Shanghai Mooncake recipe last year, and really loves the crumbly crust. I prefer a less-sweet lotus paste, but somehow even the reduced sugar lotus paste still tastes very sweet. And we all know very well that too much salted egg yolk is bad for health. So I come up with this healthier version - Shanghai Mooncake with Medjool dates and walnut filling! The slight savory crust balances perfectly with the sweetness from the date and the nutty flavour from the walnut.
(Half dough recipe: 9 pieces)
90g butter (add 1/4 tsp salt if using unsalted butter)
90g Planta margarine
60g fine sugar
2 tbsp milk
4 tbsp cheese powder
100g top flour (I used super lite flour for this batch)
140g plain flour
40g custard powder
Extra cheese powder (as topping)
Filling (for half recipe)
9 Medjool dates, pitted
9 walnut halves, toasted in oven
(Remove pit from dates and stuff dates with toasted walnut halves)
1) Beat butter, margarine and sugar till creamy. Add in milk and cream well to combine.
2) Sift together the top flour, plain flour and custard powder. Mix in cheese powder. Add this flour mixture to the butter mixture to form a dough. Chill in fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up the dough.
3) Divide the dough (half recipe - 9 pieces, about 30g each). Wrap each prepared date/walnut with the dough.
4) Bake in preheated oven of 180C for about 10 minutes. Remove and apply egg wash. Sprinkle top with extra cheese powder. Bake again for about 20 minutes or till light golden brown.
5) Transfer to rack to cool completely before storing in air-tight container.
Wishing all Muslim friends a blessed Ramadan! Happy Weekend to all!