September 10, 2008

It's Mid Autumn Festival again.

Now... let me get this straight... what's important about the Chinese tradition of Mid Autumn?.....
Harvest? Lanterns? Family? Prayers? Mooncakes (*whispers* but of course!)
We all know the history of the festival by now; why it's celebrated..and how it applies to Chinese culture worldwide. However... think about it this way, we don't have Autumn here in Malaysia! There are only 2 seasons for us. Rainy; MORE rainy. *laughs*

It might also be that Malaysians stress the importance of those tasty little decadent pastries a little too much when this time of year closes in. We often refer to it as the "Mooncake Festival" instead. haha... it's really all about the buying, sharing, gifting and tasting of those cakes! Well...I suppose lanterns and family are important too... but here's the truth. You can't taste a lantern can you? and who are you going to share that chunk of deliciousness with if not your loving family? *giggle*
I've written twice now about the festival a couple years back. I've done the 'red bean bunny mooncakes'..while in university and the funny "walnut piggy ones"the year after.
I've not done anything excessively creative this year... but there are a few chefs in our region who have definitely exceeded my expectations of what a mooncake can actually be!
Remember the good ol day's when mooncake meant, salted egg yolks, redbean filling, lotus paste or mixed nuts? Well.. these days; I'm not sure you can put your finger on exactly what goes into a mooncake anymore! Similar to the way the traditions of Mid Autumn festival have evolved from China to us locals here in South East Asia, the different variations of mooncakes and their fillings have also been significant.

Crisp peanutbuttery treats filled with raspberry filling and then wrapped around a sheen of lusciously smooth milk chocolate.
.... oh; how can you resist. Mandarin Oriental has really outdone themselves this time. I must admit though; it reminded me lots of America and it's candy. *laughs*
How about a petite ball of champagne flavoured lotus paste; covered with a soft supple white skin. Hidden inside is a decadent white chocolate truffle; waiting to explode as you bite through into its liquid ganache center. AHhhhhhh.... Raffles Singapore.. you've done it again. Mom and Dad can't get enough. I was lucky to wake up early last weekend to take photos of these beautiful babies before they wiped the box clean! *tsk tsk*Aunt Veronica made the family a special little box of these 'cold skin' red bean mooncakes. In my opinion; nothing compares to the taste of sincere thoughtfulness and love. They were sensational! She's such a good cook.
Even with the unimaginable hours I put into work all day. I felt I should have done something nice for everyone too... ahh; I've got no excuse. I'm so so slack.


FFichiban said...

OMMGGG I want the chocolate/peanut butter/raspberry onneeeee!!!!! Wow had no idea there were so many new flavours nowadays. Thx for updating me haha

Big Boys Oven said...

OMG they are gorgeous and lovely! wanting a bite is so irresistable. I had tried the chocolat whisky walnut at Prince Hotel, not bad either!

chromatica said...

there's also the cheesecake ones :)

kas said...


Anonymous said...

Do kids still play with lanterns these days? I really miss the ones made out of colourful hamper-like wrapping paper. They use to come in all shapes and sizes, mainly of animals represented in the chinese zodiac calendar. We use to light them with a birthday candle and carry them around the neighbourhood to show them off. It was such a fire hazard and my grandmother use to have extras since they always tip over and go up in flames. I live overseas now and there's nothing like this here in Canada. Can you post pictures? Thanks, Eve

Jessica said...

Hey suyin, i've been reading your blog for a week or so now and would love to link your site so my friends can see all the amazing work you do!!

keep up the GREAT work!

skinnymum said...

I like the blueberry ones from Prince Hotel, ALOT

Anonymous said...

yummy,i like the mooncakes.They always remind me of the happy time I've ever had when I was in junior high school and lived at home.It is a pity that I can't go back home this year,cause it's really too far from here to my family,but I will stay with my friends,eat mooncake and call my family.
you want to know more about chinese culture and learn mandarin go to

Su-Yin -D├ęcorateur said...

ahhh i missed out on the prince hotel mooncakes!!! :(
I hope everyone had a good dinner with family tonight. I was going to take photographs of kids at Thean Hou Temple tonight; but it was raining and plans for some fun outdoors were ruined. Ahhh.. maybe next year :)

SIG said...

The chocolate mooncakes look yummy.