I had hoped to celebrate last week’s Mid-Autumn Festival by making ice cream moon cakes. My plan was to make lotus ice cream, shape it in a moon cake mold, cut it in half lengthwise, replace its centre with molten crème brulée, reassemble, and freeze briefly before serving.
Unfortunately, the ice cream got stuck in the mold. After many unsuccessful attempts to remove it intact, I gave up and ate my ice cream in a bowl, pouring the crème brulée on top. Although the difference was only aesthetic, I was disappointed to have been stumped by something so seemingly simple.
It’s now been a week and I still can’t think of a good way to get it out of the mold in one piece. So far I’ve tried:
- banging the mold on my kitchen counter - the normal way to remove normal moon cakes,
- soaking the mold in hot water – wood is a poor conductor of heat and the mold didn’t expand much,
- coating the mold with cream, granulated sugar, and icing sugar – none of these attempts were successful, as the ice cream absorbed the coating,
- lining the mold with plastic wrap – the plastic wrap didn’t pick up the mold’s fine detail,
- lining the mold with aluminium foil – it was possible to pick up some of the mold’s detail, but lining the mold took a long time,
- freezing string in with the ice cream and pulling the string to remove the frozen ice cream – the ice cream was really stuck; the string came out first.
Short of finding aluminium or silicon moon cake molds which could simply be heated, I’m at a loss as to how I could get this to work. One way might be to make normal moon cake pastry and stuff it with ice cream and crème brulée after it’s been baked. But even then, I’d still need to find a way to prevent the hollow pastry shell from collapsing.
If all else fails, I suppose I could cut the mold lengthwise and use the bottom of the mold as a stamp. But before I do that, I’d be grateful for any ideas or suggestions anyone might have.