Wait, did I miss the Mooncake Festival aka Mid-Autumn Festival already!!!?!?!? O_O Hurriedly looking up the date online…
OH. PHEW. This year, Mooncake Festival falls on 19th September. Mooncakes are eaten during the annual Mid-Autumn Festival, also sometimes called the Mooncake Festival. This popular festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese Lunar calendar and celebrates the moon and the abundance of harvest. People eat mooncakes to express their love for their family and their hope for a happy life. It is associated with the autumn equinox when the moon is supposed to appear at its roundest. The roundness of the moon symbolises family unity and harmony.
While I’m generally not big on eating mooncakes (they’re kinda dense, heavy, greasy and I feel like my arteries are getting clogged whenever I eat mooncakes), I was pleasantly surprised to receive a box of Snowskin Chocolate Truffles Mooncakes from Smoulder – the softcore baker known for their bite-sized molten lava cakes. I LURV their mini molten lava cakes, so I had a feeling the mini mooncakes they make will be exceptional.
Traditionally mooncakes are round-shaped with a rich thick filling usually made from red bean or lotus seed paste is surrounded by a thin crust and may contain yolks from salted duck eggs. Mooncakes are usually eaten in small wedges accompanied by Chinese tea. A typical 10cm mooncake contains approximately 1,000 calories (varies with filling; the more salted duck eggs the higher caloric content obviously). Yikes, and I enjoy the salted duck eggs most. -__-”
These chocolate truffles version with snowskin outer layer from Smoulder are smaller in size and the filling isn’t as rich or dense as traditional mooncakes. No grease. Inside, the core filling is enclosed by a nice round thin white chocolate truffle. Four mini mooncake flavors are available: Dark Chocolate, Raspberry, Green Tea and Rum & Raisin.
Raspberry and Dark Chocolate.
Green Tea and Rum & Raisin.
And I was right: These are so easy to eat! Absolutely yumm-o. They have to be kept frozen until you’re ready to eat; thaw in room temperature for a few minutes for best texture. I like all the flavors but my absolute fave has to be the Rum & Raisin (alcoholic mooncakes, whoohoo!). Smoulder is currently taking orders: 8 mini Snowskin Chocolate Truffles Mooncakes at S$46 a box. I highly recommend these, they are lighter to eat, more delicious than traditional mooncakes, and the sweet fillings go great with a cup of tea.
Even though Mid-Autumn is a popular Asian festival I don’t celebrate it primarily because I haven’t lived with my family for a really long time. However, there was one year when I was invited by a bunch of Taiwanese-New Yorker friends to a Mid-Autumn BBQ which I thought was a really nice and yummy way to celebrate! Apparently in Taiwan, they celebrate by having BBQ outdoors and if I really must clog my arteries, I’d totally prefer bingeing on grilled Taiwanese sausages anyday. The street vendors in Taiwan serve them with thin slices of raw garlic, so I think I’m good – the antioxidants in the raw garlic will offset the grease. Heh!
There are many so folklores and stories revolving around Mid-Autumn festival, but the one I find most interesting is about an extraordinary archer named Houyi, who was awarded an elixir of life. And one day his beautiful wife Chang-e takes the whole elixir and finds herself, and her jade rabbit, floating all the way to the stars and getting trapped on the moon, forever being known as the Moon Goddess. On that day each year, when the moon is at its fullest, Houyi prepares Chang-e’s favourite food, looks at the full moon and misses her.
That story is so friggin’ bizzare because Chang-e ended up becoming a Moon Goddess when she’s actually a thief who stole her husband’s immortality elixir, and she also managed to drag her jade rabbit along in her exile. She probably knew that being trapped on the moon is gonna be one heckuva lonely existence that spans eternity since she had become immortal.
What’s that date again – 19th September? Maybe I will have me a mini BBQ on my balcony while peering up at the moon trying to spot that conniving thief and rabbit-kidnapper. :x