Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!
Do you have any idea why we celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival?
This festival is very much celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month which is also the full moon night. The 3 main reasons behind this celebration are :
1) Gathering for family and friends and also means harvesting crops
2) Thanksgiving to give thanks for the harvest or harmonious reunions
3) Praying for good things in one’s life (eg. babies, good fortune, career, love life, etc)
There are many interpretations, histories and mythologies of how this festival comes about.
Some call it lantern festival as part of the tradition of carrying brightly lit lanterns with riddles written on them and people guessing and solving them.
Some call it mooncake festival because we eat mooncakes only during this festival. In Chinese, the roundness of mooncakes signifies completeness and reunion among family members. It is a tradition to give mooncakes to family members to maintain unity.
For the kids, this period is a favourite to them because they get to play with lanterns, sparklers, candles, and eat mooncakes.
And for me, I enjoy carrying a candle lit lantern and see how the candlelight flickers in the dark as it shines from the inside of the paper lantern.
This year, since I am not too capable of making a DIY lantern for the kids, I found a super duper simple recipe to make a chocolate coated ice-cream mooncake with the kids.
(makes 6 ice-cream mooncakes)
Things you need:
A set of mooncake moulds or any mould you like (preferably silicone mould which makes an easy job in removing the mooncakes)
2 or 3 bars of 200mg chocolate (get your favourite pure choc bars without nuts or fruits, we used Van Houten and it was perfect!)
1 tub of ice-cream (any flavour, we use mint ice-cream and cookies n cream)
Melt the chocolates
Line the melted choc on the bottom and sides of the moulds
Refrigerate for 10 minutes
Take out and line a second layer of melted choc
Refrigerate for 10 minutes
Scoop in ice-cream and freeze
Pour a layer of melted choc to seal the moulds, this will be the base (I skipped this step because I ran out of melted choc! But it still tastes great and looks great!)
It’s so SIMPLE, isn’t it?!
Here are some details to take note of:
Melting the chocolates
Put the break up pieces of chocolates in a bowl and put into a microwave oven. Melt over bursts of 20 secs follow by 10 secs. I started by 20secs on high heat, but it did not melt, so I put on another 20secs on high heat. This time it started to melt and I continued heating in bursts of 10 secs high heat. Be careful not to overheat or else it will get burnt. You can also double boil over a pot of boiling water to melt the chocolates. However, I find microwave much faster.
Line the melted chocolate on the moulds
The chocolate will stick to the sides but we find it not too easy to fill in the small gaps here and there. So, it is better not to scrimp on the chocolate and line a thicker layer. Once, you are done with this, put into the fridge to refrigerate for about 10 minutes, take out and line a second layer of chocolate again.
The chocolate base
I skipped this step because I ran out of melted choc as we worked on 2 sets of moulds (one for XX and one for YH). You need to have enough melted choc for this step because upon contact with the cold ice-cream, the chocolate solidifies very quickly. Pouring abundance of melted choc would solve the problem.
Taking out the frozen moulds
Be prepared to wait for at least 24 hours before you take out the ice-cream mooncakes from the moulds. I took them out after only 8 hours and I find that the ice-cream was still not as frozen and started to get soft fairly quickly within seconds. When it was left for another 12 hours, it was just perfect texture!
We like the thickness of the chocolate layer. The amount used here will be sufficient to have a thickness like the Magnum ice-cream outer layer choc. In fact, it tastes like Magnum!
Right now, our kitchen is our favourite bonding place 🙂 Too bad I do not have an oven to do more baking stuff with the kids. Well, perhaps I will buy an oven after all. But l will have to try to find a space for it.
So, till then, if you have a simple no-bake recipe, please share with me!