There’s a time and a place for traditional mooncakes, but for those of us who have a serious sweet tooth, push the boat out during the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival by trying some of the new breed of modern mooncakes.
For years now, Haagen-Dazs has led a mooncake revolution, creating luscious ice-cream mooncakes in an array of flavours. Popular in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, these delectable mooncakes are encased in chocolate with a crunchy praline base, and feature a center of mango sorbet in place of the traditional salted egg yolk.
Bite-sized chocolate mooncakes make a delicious alternative to the pastry-based cakes, presented in beautiful boxes for gifting. Last year, the Four Seasons Hotel in Beijing created luxury Valrhona chocolate mooncakes flavoured with green tea, salted caramel, or Chinese five spice, for example.
A healthier alternative to the lard-based mooncakes (which can come in at a whopping 800 calories per serve), delicate jelly mooncakes can be made with layers of agar-agar, or set with gelatin and filled with fruit.
Snow skin mooncakes
One of the biggest mooncake trends in Asia is the snow skin mooncake, which ditches the high-fat lard pastry in favour of a mochi-style rice flour skin. Frozen, rather than baked, these light and lovely mooncakes boast exotic fruit centres of guava or rambutan.
Coffee or tea mooncakes
Starbucks came to the party in Asia last year with a range of coffee-laced mooncakes, but we’re more taken by the simplicity of the Japanese-inspired matcha (green tea) mooncakes with a red bean filling. Not too heavy, not too sweet, they’re just right.
Lava custard mooncakes
If you love those steamed egg yolk bao at your local yum cha restaurant, then lava custard mooncakes are the variety for you, thanks to their molten centre of custard with crushed salted egg yolk. They’re all the rage in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Buy a mooncake mould, and then transform your favourite cheesecake recipe into a modern mooncake, complete with a berry compote or mango centre.
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