mooncake Tag Archive

4 Best Mooncake Flavours in Sydney

Written by Editor’s Picks, Entertainment

What is your favourite type of mooncake?

Mooncakes are eaten during the annual Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival on the 15th August of Chinese Lunar calendar. Originally, this festival celebrated the moon. The moon is seen as a symbol for family unity and harmony as well as an abundance of harvest. Since it is a very popular festival, mooncakes are sold in almost every Asian food shop.

Cre: Purple Cane Malaysia

There are various types of fillings based on the culture or the region’s tradition. In Australia, since it is a very popular festival, mooncakes are sold in almost every Asian food shop or bakery. One of the most common places that have the most types of Chinese mooncakes is Breadtop or Market City. In Breadtop, besides the traditional flavors, there are a few more special fillings such as white lotus seed paste with triple yolks, lava custard, low sugar white lotus seed paste and macadamia nuts, mixed nuts with ham and so on.

Lava custard mooncake (Cre: Miss Tam Chiak)

Cre: Purple Cane Malaysia

Interestingly, new generations of mooncakes can have transformations in taste and dietary needs, since people are more conscious about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, bakers created low-fat, low-sugar mooncakes with ingredients such as yogurt, jelly, and fat-free ice cream. They also offer a healthier choice of filling like green tea, ginger, fruits or veggies. According to some brands, one baked lotus seed paste mooncake with one egg yolk weighs about 180g, has 790 calories, and contains 45g of fat.

Jelly Mooncake (Cre: http://kay.vn)

Here are more types of mooncakes around the world:

1/Vietnamese Mooncakes

Mooncakes in Vietnam are widely known as ‘Banh Trung Thu’ with two common kinds: Baked sticky rice cake and plain sticky rice cake. Both are prepared from cooked glutinous rice. The mooncakes have a crust consisting of cooked glutinous rice powder, sugar and water. The filling consists of delicious ingredients like jam, mung beans, eggs, lotus seed and watermelon seed.

Banh Nuong (Baked Mooncake) (Cre: thegioiphunu.net)

Homemade Vietnamese mixed fruits and nuts mooncake (Cre: Savourydays.com)

Colorful Banh Deo (Colorful Sticky Rice Mooncake) Credit: http://kenh14.vn/

2/Green Tea Mooncakes

Mooncakes and tea are a traditional combination of Chinese food and together they create a new flavour. The green tea mooncakes are made by adding green tea powder to the other fillings and some lotus paste.

                         Mövenpick Green tea Mooncake and Tiramisu with Cheese Mooncake (Cre: Mövenpick)

3/Geppei (Japanese Mooncakes)

Mooncakes in Japan are known as Geppei. The red bean paste (Azuki) is the most popular filling, followed by chestnuts and beans. Unlike other mooncakes, Geppei does not make use of egg yolks as it is not preferred by many Japanese people.

Rabbit Wagashi Mooncakes (Cre: Little Miss Bento)

4/Ice Cream Mooncake

Sounds exciting, right? The ice cream mooncakes are usually square or round in shape. The crust is made from dark or white chocolate and the fillings can be an ice cream flavour of your choice. It also consists of egg yolk and is popular among youths.

Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream Mooncakes open yolk (Cre: Häagen-Dazs)

***Tip: Buying a box will be cheaper! Have a wonderful evening tasting mooncakes with friends or family with cups of hot tea!!!

What are your favourite flavours?

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Celebrating the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

Written by Entertainment, News

The Mid-Autumn Festival has always been a huge holiday in China. In fact it is the second most important holiday behind Chinese New Year. On the 5th day of the 8th lunar month with the arrival of autumn and appearance of the full moon, this festival originally celebrates gratitude for good crops and harvest, explaining its importance to the large farmer population in China.

“Legend has it that Hou Yi, the powerful hero who shot down nine of ten suns, received an elixir that has the power to send him to heaven and transform him into a god. He secretly gave the elixir to his kind-hearted wife, Chang E, for safe keeping, unaware that Peng Meng saw it. Once Hou Yi went out hunting, Peng Meng rushed to Chang E and demand she hand it over. Refusing to hand it over yet knowing she wouldn’t win, she swallowed the elixir and immediately flew up into the sky. It was her love for her husband, however, that drew her towards the Moon, the nearest place to Earth. Devastated by what happened to his wife, he offered her favourite food on the altar as a sacrifice . After hearing that Chang E became a goddess, folk people have since offered sacrifices to Chang E to pray for peace and good luck”

The festive atmosphere starts as early as one-month prior  with lanterns decorating the streets, vendors in markets selling moon cakes and families beginning to prepare for gatherings.  However, decorations aren’t a common sight on the streets now; only certain areas hang lanterns or  red banners with yellow Chinese characters saying “庆祝中秋”(Celebrating Mid-Autumn).

In addition to lanterns on the street, occasional street performances can be seen featuring the vivacious dancing dragon, the rhythmic drumbeats and loud golden clash cymbals.

During the days leading up to the festival, moon cakes  are the most popular item in a supermarket (and often the most common gift my dad received from his colleagues).

Traditional moon cakes consist of a soft pastry with a chewy, flaky or tender crust,  chewy, flaky or tender, enveloping a type of filling inside.

  1. On the top: an imprint on the crust with Chinese characters meaning “longevity” or “reunion”, designed with additional fancy prints around the characters.
  2. Inside the moon cake:
  • various fillings, but lotus seed paste (with or without egg yolk)
  • red bean paste
  •  jujube (dates) paste
  • five kernels (walnuts, pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, peanuts, sesame seeds, or almonds) held by maltose syrup have remained as the four classics.

Today, a wide range of exotic options exist such as fruit, ice cream and even seafood fillings!

My fondest memories are of my dad coming home with boxes of moon cakes in which my family and I would indulge in (my favourite were, and still are, red bean, egg yolk and pork fillings).

Moon cakes have always been a staple of the Mid-Autumn Festival and eaten to experience this holiday in the traditional style. .

Of course, there are more to just moon cakes on this special occasion.

The most important aspect of the Mid-Autumn Festival is family, cousins, uncles and every family member unite at the same place, same time to celebrate in their own fashion. Families that are more into tradition might light incense to pray to the gods before heading outside to sit on wooden stools and chatter under the goddess Chang E  living on the round, silver moon. Families of the new generation like mine look forward to preparing a big celebratory feast at home or finding a nice restaurant to enjoy.

Fireworks and lanterns light up the skies while large light figurines of dragons or lotuses float on small bodies of water. Families go out together to appreciate the scenery, yet still others  choose to stay at home on the couch and watch the Mid-Autumn Festival Gala while eating sunflower seeds.  Some may find the gala  a bore, but it’s one of those traditions that complete the festival in a way.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of Chinese holidays, seeing the banana that I am, but the Mid-Autumn Festival has got to be one of my favourites. As I grew up, my celebratory traditions have changed, but one tradition remains the same: family gathering.

My family might not be in Sydney with me to celebrate, nor are my senses able to pick up any of the usual Mid-Autumn festiveness in China but I have my new family of friends to eat moon cakes and attend the Cabramatta Moon Festival to feel at home with.

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