History of mooncakes? Checked. You have finally mastered the history of mooncakes. Now, it is time to get into the juicy details of the world of mooncakes. Welcome to beginner’s guide to the types of mooncake and everything in between. Mooncake is not just a food – it is a profound cultural tradition symbolising a spiritual feeling.
Similarly, its round shape symbolises a deeper meaning of completeness and togetherness. When measured, it is approximately 10 cm in diameter and up to 5 cm thick. Across China, mooncakes style and flavour vary according to different regions, depending on local eating culture and traditions.
1. Cantonese Mooncake
Out of all the different types of mooncakes, the traditional Cantonese mooncake is definitely the most commonly found version in China (and Malaysia!). Originating from South China’s Guangdong Province, the mooncake has up to 200 variations.
However, the classic treat is primarily baked and filled with lotus seed paste, melon seed paste, ham, roast pork or egg yolks. An elaborate version may contain four egg yolks which represent the four phases of the moon underneath the thin brown crust. It is rich with sweet fillings.
2. Beijing Mooncake
Representing the northern side of Beijing and Tianjin, the mooncake features the meticulous decoration. There are two variations of the mooncake skin. One has a light, foamy dough influenced by the Suzhou, whereas the other has a flaky, white dough.
It has the right balance between the crispy crust and soft fillings with a hint of sesame oil fragrance. Ratio wise, it has a skin and filling ratio of 4:6, perfect for you, omnivores out there.
3. Shanghainese Mooncake
On the other hand, Shanghai style mooncakes are baked using short crust pastry. Yes, you guessed right! That is exactly why the skin is unbelievably buttery and crumbly with every bite. From afar, these fragrant mooncakes may look like a large scone, but it has an authentic aroma like no other.
4. Suzhou Mooncake
With more than a thousand-year history, the mooncake is as rich as its history. The generous amount of lard adds an extra layer of flakiness to the dough. Although it may be smaller in size than most other regional varieties, you don’t have to worry about the flavors. The sweet, soft crust balances the savory minced meat perfectly and best eaten hot! If you’re in a sea of mooncakes, it is easily disguised with the edible red ink stamp.
5. Teochew Mooncake
If we’re going to talk about Teochew mooncake, we obviously can’t miss their crust. The spiral-like flaky crust wraps around the sweet filling of local favorites, such as mung bean and black bean paste. It is distinct concerning its large shape in comparison to Suzhou but thinner than Cantonese style mooncakes.
6. Snow Skin Mooncake
Snowskin mooncakes are inherently different from its traditional baked mooncakes family. It manages to take a different cooking route of refrigerating, making it the only non-baked variations. Also known as crystal mooncakes, the mooncake is surprisingly not made of ice.
The name is derived from their fair skin made from roasted glutinous rice flour. The delicate mooncake bears an uncanny resemblance to a soft, chewy mochi. The fillings range from red bean paste to a champagne infused lotus paste.
You are now a level higher as you have acknowledged the different types of mooncakes out there. You know the history and the types of mooncakes. But what good does it do if you do not know the taste? Everyone knows the best teacher is experience. It only makes sense for you to taste them to understand mooncakes, in every aspect fully. Although frankly speaking, you do not exactly need a reason to eat a mooncake expect that it’s delicious and you want it!
Whatever and however it is, here’s a list of places you can go for mooncake shopping:
1. Tai Thong
Get immersed in the beauty of autumn indulgence only with Tai Thong mooncakes. Having crafted its mooncake creations for two decades, there is only more in the box with them. This year they take their inspiration from the famous Hong Kong “Ying Yong” drink, resulting in a charcoal baked mooncake of mocha coffee and royal milk tea infused lotus paste.
If you want something a little more daring, opt for their innovative local inspired creation of Salted White Lotus with Belacan Dried Shrimp and Chicken Floss which packs a punch with its salty and spicy flavours.
C: 1800 88 2338
A: 12, Jalan Teknologi, Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
2. Grand Millenium
In Grand Millennium, it is where traditional mooncakes and contemporary flavours meet. Their newly launched Ferrero Rocher mooncake combines the taste of decadent chocolate cream and a surprise of nutty hazelnut. For a truly decadent experience, they drizzle and dust the mooncake with edible gold dust.
Other perennial favourites include the fragrant green tea mooncake or the assorted fruits and nuts. The mooncakes are presented in a stylish dual-colored gift box with intricate oriental details, boasting a wholesome combination of arts and flavours in one.
C: +603 2117 4888
A: 160, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
3. Intercontinental Hotel
Celebrate the blooming beauty of this year festival with Intercontinental Hotel Kuala Lumpur. Offering six eclectic selections of baked skin mooncakes and four delectable snowskins handmade individually, they are exquisitely packed in a luminous gold or pulsating charcoal grey box. Our favourite is their Scarlet Baked Snow Skin with Pandan and Salted Egg Bean Paste which a lot of other people recommends as well.
C: +603 2782 6000
A: 165, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
4. Dorsett Grand Subang
This Mid-Autumn festival, Dorsett Grand Subang is showcasing their mooncake with a theme of “Once in a Blue Moon.” True to its name, the hotel’s signature mooncake “Crystal Skin Pandan Lotus Paste with Single Yolk” is infused with sky blue color earned from the blue pea flower extract.
They have also introduced a series of new baked mooncake flavors: Coconut Pandan Paste with Single Yolk, Six Coarse Grains Paste, and Green Tea Paste with Single Yolk, on top of their traditional mooncake selection.
C: +603 5031 6060
A: Jalan SS 12/1, Ss 12, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
Shangri-La is celebrating the best of both festive seasons: Mid-Autumn and durian season. This year, their special mooncake is a limited edition of mini Golden Ping Pei Musang King Durian that comes in a box of 6.
Nestled in an elegantly designed two or three-tiered oriental box, you can also opt for their other classic and snow skin flavours, such as the Black Sesame Seed Paste with Single Yolk or the Ping Pei Custard with Bird’s Nest.
C: +603 2074 3560
A: 11, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang, 50250 Kuala Lumpur
Presenting their 2017 mooncake collection is a surprising medley delight of Japanese flavours from miso, Japanese fermented soybean paste to Shiso, Japanese mint leaf with encased in baked or snowskin. Our favorite is the Mochi Skin with Miso yolk and Pandan Paste – it bursts a hint of saltiness from the Miso Yolk which complements the sweetness from the pandan paste and the chewy mochi skin.
To top off its elegance, Nobu is presenting the mooncakes in a luxurious, lacquered box with gold finishings and adorned with commemorative motifs of traditional Koi Carps.
C: +603 2164 5084
A: Level 56, Menara 3 Petronas, Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur
7. Ritz Carlton
If you fancy your mooncake with a touch of alcohol, Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur mooncake is perfect for you. The highly demanded mini delicate Snow Skin which encases a silky Cream Cheese center with rich, sweet Port Wine is making its comeback along with perennial favourites Mini Snow Skin Moët & Chandon Rosé Imperial Champagne Mooncake.
The elegant, distinctive aroma and taste of champagne are infused into the fine snow skin and piquant lotus paste. The culinary team at the award-winning Li Yen restaurant specially handcrafted the mooncakes for the joyous occasion of tradition.
C: +603 2142 8000
A: 168, Jalan Imbi, Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
8. Haagen Dazs
For a little twist to your usual mooncake, why not you try Haagen Dazs beautifully crafted premium ice cream mooncake Twinkle Night Mix or Harmony Mochi Set collection. The twinkle night mix comes with a variety of 6 thinly coated chocolate mooncakes with 4 variety of ice cream flavours.
On the other hand, the harmony mocha consists of refreshing fruit-based ice cream flavours delicately wrapped in a premium soft Japanese mocha skin. Whether it is a special treat to your loved ones or a decadent indulgence for yourself, there is more than enough for you!