Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Recommended Posts

There's a company here in HK called GOD (goods of desire) which has a slogan of "Delay No More" (Cantonese speakers will know another meaning to this - it's extremely rude). Anyway, they've put an alternative meaning on "moon cakes" - theirs are in the shape of "the full monty", "t-back", "spread my cheeks" and "mind the gap". It's hard to describe them; you'll have to use your imagination.

The filling of the mooncake, surprisingly, is "normal".

 

Here ya go... http://nookmag.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/GOD-mooncake-5.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was going to ask others about their local prices for mooncakes. The prices just seem too high to me. $9 for one mooncake? No thanks. Or maybe Chinese people wait till after the moon festival is over and buy the mooncakes at half price like my parents do.

I suspect, having waited this late, I'm gonna get whatever is leftover.

Maybe we'll go on a Convoy-crawl tomorrow evening, and hope to find a happy single.

The prices are indeed daunting.

IN SE Asia mooncakes basically disappear "overnight" after the conclusion of the Moon Festival, a.k.a. 八月十五 [literally "eight(h) month fifteen(th) (day) - in the lunar calendar].

Good quality mooncakes in the USA imported from HK or environs *will* cost that much or more. The tin of cakes I commented on upstream (from which I had just sampled one of the cakes) were something like ~US$45 or so for the tin when I bought them last year. There were cheaper ones available, and also this year, also from HK - ranging from the twenty-ish range to forty-ish and so on. I've bought "locally produced" mooncakes from bakeries in Chinatown in Chicago in the past - individual ones were around US$4-5 or so IIRC. They were not as good as the better ones imported from HK, at least those I got and/or those available to me. I have not sampled the locally-produced ones in California or the US West Coast.

The ice-skin mooncakes (冰皮月餅) are ever more popular, it seems, with each passing year - especially in E/SE Asia and are the ones which are evolving and mutating the most, incorporating far-ranging and *very* fusion-y (across cuisines) and creative ingredients/tastes/approaches. (I have not tried these myself) The range of these ice-skin mooncakes (some of which include actual ice-cream) are astonishing, from what I read, and these mooncakes appear to represent the direction in which "mooncakes" are going - so, yes, the "trend" appears to be persisting and continuing, to answer a query from a poster way back on this thread from more than 9 years ago.

There are many threads on these (as well as the more traditional ones and on regional variations - e.g. Northern Chinese vs Cantonese vs Fukienese vs Taiwanese versions of "mooncakes" on a certain other food forum. :-)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some mooncakes are extremely expensive. I have seen $150 a can of four. People buy them as gifts. They are like $5,000 bottles of brandy. 

 

Isn't it true that there are many fake mooncakes made of sweet potato fillings, not lotus seend paste?

 

 

dcarch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some mooncakes are extremely expensive. I have seen $150 a can of four. People buy them as gifts. They are like $5,000 bottles of brandy. 

 

Isn't it true that there are many fake mooncakes made of sweet potato fillings, not lotus seend paste?

 

 

dcarch

 

$150 a can of four is relatively cheap. In recent years they have been selling for ten times that or more. Hence the clampdown I mentioned here.

 

I wouldn't call mooncakes without lotus seed paste fake. There are many types of mooncakes and fillings. Most of them oversweet, but not all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are four mooncakes, snowskin/ice-skin variety, which were the favorite of that poster this year.  Note the pure durian-filling one.  Yes, they are all considered "mooncakes".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, regarding "sweet potato mooncakes" - yes, they are "modernized variations upon a theme" and are considered bona fide mooncakes within the devolving meaning of the term, not "fake" mooncakes.  Here's one recipe amongst many others.  Perhaps a better descriptor would be "non-traditional" mooncakes.

:-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, regarding "sweet potato mooncakes" - yes, they are "modernized variations upon a theme" and are considered bona fide mooncakes within the devolving meaning of the term, not "fake" mooncakes.  Here's one recipe amongst many others.  Perhaps a better descriptor would be "non-traditional" mooncakes.

:-)

Fake because the container says "All Lotus seed paste".

 

dcarch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fake because the container says "All Lotus seed paste".

 

dcarch

 

Ah, that's a different story then!  Yes, OK, if it is claimed to be lotus seed paste but is not then of course it is "fake".  I was thinking that there was an uncertainty about whether "mooncakes" could be made with sweet potato.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a box of 4 from Kim Hung Bakery in LA yesterday - shipped to an Asian store in Tucson.  $44.  They were not like others I've had but I liked them - almost like a Christmas pudding or mincemeat filling...and salted yolk.  How do you make the yolk?  Because I was traveling today I'll be making mine tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gfron1, just buy them.  :-)  They can be had by the bagful (i.e. just the salted egg yolks) from certain Chinese supply shops/groceries.

 

Otherwise - I'm not entirely sure how the large commercial batches of salted egg yolks are made – separated yolks then salted; or whole eggs salted then opened and the yolk retrieved w/ the whites tossed or repurposed.  If you are making just a few mooncakes I might be inclined to simply extract the yolks from whole salted eggs. 

p.s. if you don't already have the salted egg yolks in hand it's too late to make your own AND make the mooncakes the next day.

p.p.s. the usual/traditional egg is DUCK egg.

p.p.p.s. Note that these salted egg yolks are different from the ones one can see/read about being prepared and used in various Western-idiom dishes/cuisines.  The salted egg yolk (not fish roe) that is grated over pasta, for example, is HARD (it's being grated) and very dark in color; the salted (duck) egg yolks needed for mooncakes are soft, oily, slightly chewy and definitely not hard, if they are any good.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've made cured yolk but they always flatten, not round like in the mooncakes, and I didn't think to buy them when I was in the big city yesterday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are going to make your own, chicken eggs will do, just smaller.

 

dcarch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Chinese Communist Party has just banned their 88 million members from indulging in gluttony and moon cakes (along with other noxious things like golf and philandering). I gather there may be a whole lot fewer moon cakes on the market in China next season (or a whole lot of contraband).

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/10/22/chinese-communists-ban-gluttony-adultery-moon-cakes-golf/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Chinese Communist Party has just banned their 88 million members from indulging in gluttony and moon cakes (along with other noxious things like golf and philandering). I gather there may be a whole lot fewer moon cakes on the market in China next season (or a whole lot of contraband).

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/10/22/chinese-communists-ban-gluttony-adultery-moon-cakes-golf/

 

The clampdown on mooncakes isn't new. I mentioned it in this thread in September 2014. See post #374 above.

 

It was getting ridiculous. Bribing some with a new Porsche became to dangerous, so instead give him a box of moon cakes (containing a 'gift voucher' for a new Porsche.) Everyone records the gift as a box of mooncakes and everyone is happy. It happened.

 

Since Xi Jinping became General Secretary of the party in 2012, there has been a clampdown on many facets of the food industry. The hotel and restaurant industry is especially hurting. Lavish banquets held, at public expense, by middle-rank civil servants because the wind was in the right direction and the chicken entrails looked promising are now banned. Even when a banquet is deemed appropriate, the number of dishes allowed is now extremely curtailed.

There were many restaurants solely catering for this corrupt market, who are now struggling or have already gone to the wall. 

 

Similarly over-lavish wedding and funeral banquets are outlawed and more simple events held instead, again hurting the restaurant venues.

 

The previous system was unsustainable as people tried to outdo the last with more and more expensive mooncakes or 'gifts'. Most people I have spoken to are quite glad to see the new policies.

Mooncakes won't disappear. They will just become more sensible.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, so it isn't really the mooncakes themselves that are the issue. Nor is it really gluttony that is a problem. They are merely symbolic of the underlying publicly funded 'extravagance' (corruption) the government is trying to control.

Thank you for explaining, Liuzhou. I apologize for not 'getting that' earlier. I seriously thought it amusing that something so innocuous in itself - a mooncake - was being banned. It just seemed a bit wacky - especially when I had the mistaken idea that often mooncakes were viewed as fruitcakes are in the States - received as a gift and either tossed in the garbage or handed off to someone else because few really 'like' them and they have become the butt of a joke in the US.

I just didn't realize that it is more 'gifts of Porsches' that were being banned. But, will people now not just buy a bag of prawn crackers or something like that and put the 'gift certificates' in a pretty box with them? Or just include a gift certificate for a Fiat instead?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But, will people now not just buy a bag of prawn crackers or something like that and put the 'gift certificates' in a pretty box with them? Or just include a gift certificate for a Fiat instead?

Perhaps, but the most difficult part of that scenario would be finding the bag of prawn crackers. I've only been ever been served one in China. One cracker. Not one bag. Chinese friends don't even know what they are.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oops. I messed up again and showed my North American ignorance of the real Chinese marketplace. I should have known better too. Sorry.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

It's that time of year again. Mid-Autumn Festival is on Wednesday (October 4th) so time to get out the mooncakes.

 

This year, the fashion seems to be for what they call 'fresh mooncakes'. These do not keep like the traditional baked ones. A friend gave me some a few days ago and sternly warned me to keep them in the fridge and eat within three days. They were mainly lotus seed paste, although some were blueberry and coconut flavoured.

 

20170924_153144.thumb.jpg.05d9c8a9dd9436cc939ba77e69cec8b4.jpg

 

20170924_153253.thumb.jpg.87eea9a59eafef9ab540ee5628fdf6ef.jpg

 

20170924_153259.thumb.jpg.96530356bbadd677b2b7f04323e51af4.jpg

 

20170924_153357.thumb.jpg.415e38d09fd9752e8b0e7334e1e7df23.jpg

 

This specimen is 1¾" in diameter.

 

Then this morning, I was given this box by my dear friend, J. These are the traditional type and produced by the government-owned 5 star hotel* in the city centre and are considered the best in town. There will be huge queues there on Wednesday.

 

IMG_6192.thumb.jpg.7ed2f60b5fb2d8bb605aefb5faded92c.jpg

 

Nice box.

 

IMG_6189.thumb.jpg.08ad38c4a2f5150cc4724a2091c7648f.jpg

 

These are a bit bigger at 2¼". But if that doesn't satisfy you, you could always buy this one which I also saw this morning.

 

20171001_112402.thumb.jpg.ef1f44f2d4811ea2f56a3a12287d26b1.jpg

 

* It has 5 stars because it's owned by the Chinese government, the same organisation which rates hotels and awards stars. It wouldn't even get three stars anywhere else and their "Western" restaurant is awful.

 


Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm so proud of myself :) I actually planned ahead this year. I have both duck and quail eggs brined so I can have the salted yolks and I have all of the ingredients! Hopefully the recipe I'm using will work better than others in the past.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Kasia
      ORANGE CREME BRULEE WITH MILLET GROATS
       
      One of our friends said recently that he doesn't cook for himself. He eats what his wife prepares: sometimes it is something healthy and other times something yummy. It was a joke, of course, because his wife cooks really well, but this sentence is now in our friendly canon of jokes.

      Inspired by our talk about groats, flakes and healthy food, I prepared a dessert which combines excellent taste and healthy ingredients. The original recipe comes from the Lidl cookery book. I would like to share with you my version of this dish. I recommend Crème brûlée with millet groats to everybody who counts calories. It is mild, not too sweet, wonderfully creamy inside and with an incredible crunchy crust on top. That's why we love crème brûlée, don't we? I prepared a cranberry-orange preserve to offset the sweetness of the dessert. The whole dessert looked beautiful and tasted perfect.
       
      Ingredients (for 4 people)
      crème brûlée
      100g of dry millet groats
      350ml of almond milk
      1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
      2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar (3 additional tablespoons for the sugar crust)
      juice and skin from one orange
       
      confiture:
      150g of fresh cranberries
      juice and peel from one orange
      4 tablespoons of brown sugar

      Put the millet groats in a sifter, clean them with cold water and then douse them with hot water. Put the groats, almond milk, sugar and vanilla essence into a saucepan with a heavy bottom. Boil it with the lid on without stirring for 15-18 minutes until the liquid has evaporated. Leave to cool down. Add the orange juice and peel, mix it in and blend until the mixture is perfectly smooth. Put the dessert into small bowls and leave in the fridge for one hour. Wash the cranberries. Add the orange juice and peel and the sugar and boil for 10-15 minutes. Try it and add some sugar if you think the dessert is too sour. Take out the bowls from the fridge. Sprinkle them with the sugar and burn it with a small kitchen burner to make a crunchy caramel crust. Decorate the dessert with a small teaspoon of the cranberry preserve. Serve the rest of the preserve separately in small dishes.
       
       


    • By MrJonathanGreen40
      One of my friends is leaving for Spain next week, and I’m planning to surprise her with a party before she leaves. Since she’s a huge lover of sweets, I decided to buy her a cake. I don’t know where to start looking, but my brother suggested that I buy from this online provider of custom cakes. I checked their website, and I think they have cakes that my friend will love. I haven’t bought anything yet because I want to be 100% sure that their cakes are truly excellent. Do you have any idea how I should examine cakes through the Internet? What are the things that I must take into consideration? Thanks!
    • By Kasia
      My Irish Coffee  
      Today the children will have to forgive me, but adults also sometimes want a little pleasure. This is a recipe for people who don't have to drive a car or work, i.e. for lucky people or those who can rest at the weekend. Irish coffee is a drink made with strong coffee, Irish Whiskey, whipped cream and brown sugar. It is excellent on cold days. I recommend it after an autumn walk or when the lack of sun really gets you down. Basically, you can spike the coffee with any whiskey, but in my opinion Jameson Irish Whiskey is the best for this drink.

      If you don't like whiskey, instead you can prepare another kind of spiked coffee: French coffee with brandy, Spanish coffee with sherry, or Jamaican coffee with dark rum.
      Ingredients (for 2 drinks)
      300ml of strong, hot coffee
      40ml of Jameson Irish Whiskey
      150ml of 30% sweet cream
      4 teaspoons of coarse brown sugar
      1 teaspoon of caster sugar
      4 drops of vanilla essence
      Put two teaspoons of brown sugar into the bottom of two glasses. Brew some strong black coffee and pour it into the glasses. Warm the whiskey and add it to the coffee. Whisk the sweet cream with the caster sugar and vanilla essence. Put it gently on top so that it doesn't mix with the coffee.

      Enjoy your drink!
       
       

    • By Kasia
      Pumpkin muffins with chocolate
       
      Today I would like to share with you the recipe for a dessert which was made with internet inspiration and the combination of two other recipes: carrot cake and pumpkin muffins with fruit stew. These muffins were an immediate hit at my Halloween party last year. I had to use baked and blended pumpkin for them. This time I used raw, grated pumpkin. I prepare carrot cake in exactly the same way. One of the ingredients in both desserts is cinnamon. It gives baked goods a slight taste of gingerbread. Thanks to the juicy vegetables, the muffins are moist and yummy even the next day.

      Ingredients (for 24 muffins)
      210g of grated pumpkin
      2 eggs
      200g of flour
      180ml of oil
      180ml of milk
      130g of brown sugar
      1 teaspoon of baking powder
      1 teaspoon of cinnamon
      100g of chopped dark chocolate
      150g of white chocolate

      Heat the oven up to 180C. Put some paper muffin moulds into the "dimples" of a baking pan for muffins.
      Mix together the dry ingredients of the muffins: flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix together the grated pumpkin, oil, milk and egg in a separate bowl. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix them in. Put the dough into some paper muffin moulds. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Melt the white chocolate in a bain-marie. Decorate the muffins with the chocolate.


    • By Kasia
      Today I would like to share with you the recipe for swift autumn cookies with French pastry and a sweet ginger-cinnamon-pear stuffing. Served with afternoon coffee they warm us up brilliantly and dispel the foul autumn weather.

      Ingredients (8 cookies)
      1 pack of chilled French pastry
      1 big pear
      1 flat teaspoon of cinnamon
      1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger
      2 tablespoons of brown sugar
      1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar
      2 tablespoons of milk

      Heat the oven up to 190C. Cover a baking sheet with some baking paper.
      Wash the pear, peel and cube it. Add the grated ginger, cinnamon, vanilla sugar and one tablespoon of the brown sugar. Mix them in. Cut 8 circles out of the French pastry. Cut half of every circle into parallel strips. Put the pear stuffing onto the other half of each circle. Roll up the cookies starting from the edges with the stuffing. Put them onto the baking paper and make them into cones. Smooth the top of the pastry with the milk and sprinkle with brown sugar. bake for 20-22 minutes.

      Enjoy your meal!
       
       
       

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×