"Mooncakes" For Those Who Don’t Love Mooncakes
The Mid-Autumn Festival is almost here again, which means mooncakes are everywhere you turn. If we’re honest, however, we can’t say we are that excited. Lotus seed paste and oil-based pastries don’t excite us as much as, say, ang ku kueh or ondeh ondeh.
If anything, what we really look forward to during mid-autumn is the pretty packaging that mooncakes come in. Those jewel chest-inspired boxes and printed metal tins come in really handy when we need to tidy our desks of the little knack-knacks that seem to accumulate all on their own.
But the Mid-Autumn Festival is all about rediscovering bonds with family and friends under the full moon. So, what to eat at that mooncake party? Happily, there are plenty of mooncakes that are not mooncakes at all. They may take the shape of mooncakes, but could be made entirely of chocolate (yay!) or as abstract as a French fruit tart.
Godiva Mid-Autumn Festival Mooncake Collection
Fine chocolate truffles pretending to be mooncakes? We’ll take them! Godiva’s “mooncakes” come in six flavours that can be packaged in lovely celestial blue boxes making for great gifts.
There’s a Black Truffle Apricot Dark Chocolate number featuring black-truffle-infused milk chocolate ganache and an apricot pate de fruit beneath a dark chocolate shell; or a Lychee Oolong Tea White Chocolate mooncake with a layer of buttery French biscuit for crunch.
The other flavours are Matcha Citrus White Chocolate, Raspberry Rose White Chocolate, Ginger Mango Dark Chocolate and Passion Fruit Hazelnut Milk Chocolate. Prices start from $65 for a box of four.
Janice Wong Signature Chocolate Mooncake
Made from scratch at her Pure Imagination outlet at Great World, Janice Wong’s Signature Chocolate mooncakes (from $66 for a box of eight) are designed to showcase beloved Singaporean flavours.
Under their dark chocolate shells are layers of chocolate ganache made from 70 per cent dark chocolate from Thailand and infused with aromatics like kaffir lime leaf, laksa leaves and lemongrass, coconut and curry leaves, and torched ginger flower. Each morsel is marked by colourful drizzles of pastel food paint… because #art.
Tiger Tubbies from Goodwood Park
If you’re training young children to appreciate traditional mooncakes, these Year of the Tiger confections ($48 for six pieces) from Goodwood Park Hotel could do the trick. Shaped like cute kitten heads, their baked pastry shells are filled with lotus seed paste and a quartered salted egg yolk. Just enough to help the little ones learn to love those quintessential flavours.
Tugether Again Mooncake Basket from Sunday Folks
If you cut through the fluff, these are almost traditional mooncakes save for the fact that in place of lotus seed paste, Sunday Folks have used shiro-an as the filling. Calling white bean paste by its Japanese name, shiro-an, is also quite genius, ’cos it sounds so much more… premium, right?
And then the pastries are shaped as elegant little bunnies that look so pretty against a white marble backdrop for Instagram (take our money!).
On top of that, the six individually wrapped mooncakes are packaged in a bamboo and leather basket made by Bynd Artisan that’s pretty useful around the house. All of which just goes to prove that aesthetics are everything.
Moon Tarts from Paul
Paul’s French-style tarts are a great mooncake alternative, especially since they’ve themed them for the season. Among the flavours in each box of eight petite Moon Tarts ($40) are Fit To The Tea – black tea mousse and yuzu jam on chocolate sable pastry; Berry Delight – redcurrant jam and yoghurt mousse on a vanilla sugar tart; and Nuts Over Coconuts – a chestnut coconut mousse and coconut jam tart. Order at least three days in advance.