Over The Moon – Celebrating Mooncakes This Mid Autumn Festival
With the Mid-Autumn Festival being one of the most significant traditional festivals in Chinese culture, you’ve probably been at least acquainted with some of its rituals. Perhaps this time of year brings back memories of lighting lanterns with family and friends, or passing by grander lantern displays along a street. Maybe what your mind rushes to is the delight of biting into a mooncake slice and savouring the combination of sweet lotus paste and rich, salty egg yolk for the first time that year, knowing that there’ll be more to indulge in the days to come.
Did you know that Mid Autumn Festival is also known as Mooncake Festival? Celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Chinese lunar calendar, this is when the moon is the brightest in the year. The Mid-Autumn Festival heralds the arrival of the brightest full moon and a time to gather with close ones and give thanks. According to Chinese beliefs, a full moon symbolises prosperity and reunion for the whole family.
In Singapore, traditional mooncake crusts are typically glossy and chewy, and crumble at the edges when cut into. They have a mild flavour to complement the more rich fillings. Essential to any mooncake is a paste. These can come in flavours like lotus seed paste, sweet bean or red date. While some mooncakes comprise of these two parts, popular additional fillings include one or two cured duck egg yolks, or mixed nuts. The design and ingredients of baked mooncakes embody the festival they’re derived from best. Traditional mooncake moulds include Chinese characters for words like “longevity” or “harmony”. Aside from how the savoury flavour of cured egg yolks perfectly cut through the almost syrupy sweetness of the paste, its inclusion in traditional mooncake recipes was meant to symbolise the full moon associated with the festival.
If you are a fan of flaky yam mooncakes, you’ve got to try @pieceofcake8618’s Rainbow Flaky Mooncakes! With its colourful thin swirls of pastry, coupled with the traditional yam paste and oozy salted egg filling – surely a decadent treat for you and your family. If you are a fan of oozy salted egg fillings, you might just fall in love with its rich flavour. Aside from eating it yourself, this pretty mooncake together with the packaging is a good fit for a gift of any occasion!
For many of us, our childhood memories of Mid Autumn Festival consists of having fun with our cousins while playing with lanterns and sparkles, ending the night with yummy traditional mooncakes and chinese tea. @nothingbattersg offers 4 in 1 traditional mooncakes, available for preorder. With flavours such as Black sesame with Walnuts, Mixed Nuts, White Lotus with nuts and Matcha with Adzuki paste, these mooncakes are sure to bring you back to that particular night in your childhood! Remember to bring lanterns and sparklers for the full experience! 😉
While being rooted in Chinese tradition and culture, mooncakes have also been consistently reimagined by home bakers with new recipes, flavours and designs being innovated year after year. What has remained as hallmark traits of mooncakes are their round shape, their components being a crust and a filling and the pressed designs on the top of the crust, being derived from their shaping in moulds.
If you prefer colder desserts and fruitier flavours, perhaps you might find the perfect dessert in the snow skin mooncake. Makers of this version of the mooncake often use its bake-free preparation to experiment with a wider variety of flavours and designs. The crust has a soft, mochi-like texture that is often coloured to complement the appearance and flavour profile of its filling. In addition to traditional paste fillings like lotus, other popular flavours include custard, matcha, fruits and chocolate.
Le Beurre is currently selling boxes of 12 mini snow skin mooncakes in three flavours reminiscent of other well-loved Asian desserts: red bean, black sesame and matcha. If you’re curious to try the full selection, they are available for purchase in boxes of 12 pieces in assorted flavours, or you could buy the box of 12 pieces in one flavour when you’ve found your new favourite. While most mooncakes are sliced and shared, the petite size of Le Beurre’s mooncakes make them an easy and refreshing dessert to savour by yourself.
If you are a firm believer that everything tastes better with some alcohol, you got to try @whiskcraftsg’s Alcoholic Snowskin Mooncake. Each set of mooncakes contains exciting flavours such as Yuzu Sake Lotus Paste Mooncake, OMG Cream Cheese Mooncake infused with Monkey Shoulder Whisky, Lychee Martini Cream Cheese Mooncake and Bailey’s Chocolate Lotus Paste Mooncake. With 3 months of research and development and countless figurative guinea pigs sacrificed, you can be assured that these snowskin mooncakes will taste so good that they will leave you wanting more! These mooncakes contain only natural ingredients with no preservatives and less sugar, freshly made one day before delivery. What else is stopping you from buying a box to try?
Love you to the Moon and back
As we move on from sultry summer months to a damp, drizzly season to close out this year, perhaps we could take this time to reflect and celebrate what has come before in line with the spirit of the Mid-Autumn Festival. If you’d like to do so by participating in traditional festivities this year and sharing mooncakes with family and friends do consider supporting the home bakers mentioned in this article to get your share of this delicious delicacy.