Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's Mooncake Time Again!

Went to the store today to get the "fixins" for this year's Moon festival. The Moon festival (also called the Mooncake or Mid-Autumn festival) is going to happen on October 3rd this year. This year's celebration of the harvest moon is going to have a really nice full moon. Hopefully the clouds will be gone and we can really enjoy the sight.

Mooncakes are the ultimate "it is better to give than receive" festival gift item. Seriously. So, where are these famous mooncakes? Right beside this happy guy!

There they are ...

So, I picked one ...

The cakes are stuffed with egg yolks and other "surprises" like lotus seed paste or different kinds of bean paste. The best cakes have four yolks representing the different phases of the moon. Those are exceedingly pricey. Going with just two yolks will save some money. If you get a mooncake with one yolk, smile, and try to remember that there is only one moon after all.

If you have never eaten one before, a word of warning about mooncakes may be in order. I have never been able to force myself to eat a whole one. Why? It's a photo-finish of evil taste, texture, smell and density. The idea of eating
a hard, dry, absolutely UNSWEETENED pastry loaded with texture from dry egg yolks or bean paste inside is so thoroughly revolting that it's beyond me how this became festival food. How bad do they taste? Think of it like this - hide a sulfurous fossilized egg inside a sweaty gym sock inside two week-old bleached white flour bagel that pigeons have used as a bar stool, and take a big healthy bite and then punch yourself in the face twice. Bon Appetite!

OK, if you happen to have a mooncake in your hand at the end of the day, there are many things you can do with it. But there is at least one thing you can't ...


kylie said...

i like mooncake!

Leni Qinan said...

I have never eaten mooncake, so I better not ask...

Technonana said...

Hmmm thought provoking... don't think I would even consider eating that!!!

bindhiya said...

Dear Skeeter,
Thanks for this post. I heard about moon festival but didn't know anything about it till i read this :)
i saw signs from Harding University..
Have a beautiful day/night
♥ & ((hugs))

Amber Star said...

Dude...I'm sticking with a moon PIE
and maybe an RC cola. :) Sounds better than the moon cakes, eh?

Amber Star said...

I found this if you want to make your own. They don't sound too healthy, though. It is pretty much lard, flour, dried beans, with a side of lard.

Mooncakes are the highlight of China's annual Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

Rhonda Parkinson
Mooncake recipe - A recipe for mooncakes, the Chinese snack traditionally served during the Moon or Mid-Autumn Festival.
Learn More about Mooncakes and the Mooncake Festival
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
•1 pound red azuki beans
•3/4 cup lard or oil
•1-3/4 cups sugar
•Water-Shortening Dough:
•2 cups flour
•5 tablespoons lard
•10 tablespoons water
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•Flaky Dough:
•1 cup flour
•5 tablespoons lard
•red food coloring for design
Filling Instructions: Soak red beans in water to cover 2 hours. Drain and discard the water. Cover with 8 cups fresh water and bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat 1-1/2 hours or until skins open. Strain the beans and discard the skins. Place the strained beans in several layers of cheesecloth and squeeze out any excess water.
Place in a saucepan with the lard or oil and the sugar. Cook, stirring continuously, until almost all the moisture has evaporated. Let cool.

Dough Instructions: You will need 2 cups of filling for the mooncakes. Divide this into 20 portions and shape into balls.Mix ingredients for the water-shortening dough and the flaky dough separately until smooth. Divide each dough into 20 equal portions.
Wrap one portion of flaky dough inside each portion of water-shortening dough. Roll out each piece of dough, then fold in thirds to form three layers. Roll out again, and once more fold in thirds to form three layers.
Flatten each piece of dough with the palm of your hand to form a 3" circle. Place one portion of filling in the center. Gather the edges to enclose the filling and pinch to seal. Place the filled packet in the mold, gently pressing to fit. Invert and remove the mold.
Dilute red food coloring with water and pour onto a damp paper towel on a plate. Take some food coloring onto the cookie-design stamp, then press on top of the mooncake.
Repeat process for remaining mooncakes. Arrange mooncakes on a baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool before serving.

(This recipe reprinted with permission from GourMAsia).
User Reviews

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

mad about mooncakes, August 28, 2007
By kinseyjanet

"the lengthy process is a way to relax, the feel of the dough in my hands, a well-kneaded massage!!!
found this while looking up the chinese calendar. thank you. i am bowing in respect."

Bon Appetite

Leah said...

I have to say that I like mooncake too...I haven't had one in awhile, but my memory of them is rather nice! We used to go every year to our favorite Chinese bakery to buy them.

Thanks for bringing back a childhood memory!