It's the time of the year again.
What announces the arrival of the Mid-Autumn Festival better than the rows and rows of mooncakes that will line the shelves in shops? Step into any mall and you will find temporary stalls and pushcarts popping out at malls all over Singapore, stacked high with boxes of plump and round mooncakes.
Meanwhile, restaurants, brands and even Starbucks tries to undo themselves (and of course each other) in creating the most exotic flavour of the season. This year, even Guinness joined in the fun!
Before we go into the creative flavours, here's a brief background of the delicious snack and festival that brings it to us.
Celebrated as a harvest festival by the ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese, the Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. Families and friends come together, as the full moon symbolises reunion.
Mooncakes are a traditional sweet eaten on that day – along with Chinese tea which is drank without sugar or milk. Consisting of a thin skin layer wrapping around a dense filling, they are typically round, measuring around 10cm in diameter and 4-5 cm in thickness. Common fillings include lotus seed paste, sweet bean paste, jujube paste, as well as a whole salted egg yolk placed in the centre of a mooncake to symbolise the full moon.
In the recent years, 'snowskin' mooncakes have gained traction. These non-baked, chilled desserts have a glutinous rice outer layer with a similar texture to mochi. This makes it easier to innovate on the flavours, as compared to the traditional flour-crusted ones.
Without further ado, here are some delectable creations this Mid-Autumn you definitely need to get your hands on:
Matcha fans will love the Green Tea with Red Bean mooncake, created using Starbucks' popular green tea. For the coffee lovers, the Coffee with Walnut mooncake comprises their signature microground coffee mixed into white lotus paste – with chopped walnuts tossed in for an added crunch.
Of course, no gathering is complete without the White Lotus Paste with Egg Yolk mooncake that’s filled with smooth white lotus paste and a creamy salted egg yolk centre.
The mooncakes are valid at all Starbucks Singapore stores from 13 August 2018. Starbucks Rewards members enjoy 15 percent off when you purchase two boxes or more.
Stout-flavoured moonakes? Yes you heard that right!
What's more, these are not for sale. Simply spend S$90 on any Guinness products and redeem a box of four snowskin mooncakes for free. They have received raving reviews as of now, and Stout loves definitely don't want to miss out on this.
The mooncakes from Raffles Hotel are legendary.
The Chef’s latest creation is the Açaí Berry and Chia Seeds Snow-Skin Mooncake. A superfood rich in anti-oxidants, the açaí berry carries a delicate taste. It is interlaced with organic chia seeds and Greek yoghurt, making this a nutrition-packed confectionery.
InterContinental Singapore unveiled an exquisite collection of ten mooncake gems, boasting of rich tradition and fresh modernity.
There are four new exquisite tea-infused snowskin mooncakes inspired by the refined selection of premium tea blends in Man Fu Yuan. Savour black sesame with ambrosial osmanthus tea, alongide rich green tea and white chocolate, and white lotus with mandarin peel tea. Sharing the limelight with a touch of Western inflection is the equally divine Earl Grey with strawberry chocolate.
Those with a penchant for classic flavours will enjoy the selection of six palate-pleasing baked mooncake flavours. These include the perennial favourites baked mooncake with double yolks and white lotus paste, and baked mooncake with macadamia nuts and low-sugar white lotus paste for a healthier indulgence.
Durian lovers have to give the popular Peranakan Durian Snowskin Mooncake a try. Other irresistible snowskin flavours include Green Tea Lotus Seed Paste with Baileys Cream Praline, Passion Fruit and Plum as well as Pandan White Lotus Seed Paste with Champagne Praline.
Baked classics such as the Signature Mini Egg Custard with Yolk Mooncake are not to be missed. The award-winning mooncake features a rich, creamy egg custard complemented by a flavourful salted egg yolk. While you're at it, give the Teochew Yam Paste with Single Yolk Mooncake a go too!