A MID-AU­TUMN SPE­CIAL

De­li­cious treats to sweeten your Mid-Au­tumn Fes­ti­val

Wine & Dine - - CONTENTS - WORDS CHEONG SHU JUAN, CHAR­LENE CHOW, FOO JIA-EN, SIM EE WAUN & JOYCELINE TULLY

Cel­e­brate Mid-Au­tumn Fes­ti­val with these sweet treats

Cel­e­brated ev­ery 15th of the eighth lu­nar month, the Chi­nese Mid-Au­tumn fes­ti­val has al­ways been a so­cial ac­tiv­ity re­volv­ing around moon­cakes, whether you’re mak­ing them with loved ones or sim­ply en­joy­ing them un­der the full moon. This year, it will be cel­e­brated on 4 Oc­to­ber. Tra­di­tion­ally, moon­cakes were baked with a thin and crumbly crust sur­round­ing a deca­dent fill­ing of ei­ther red bean or lo­tus seed paste. The only vari­a­tions from these fill­ings were the ad­di­tion of sin­gle or dou­ble salted egg yolks, or a stuff­ing of five types of nuts. Today, the moon­cake scene has changed dra­mat­i­cally. For starters, the hum­ble moon­cake has lit­er­ally taken on a new skin—from pillow soft snow skin made of gluti­nous rice flour to filo pas­try and even hard cho­co­late shells.

When it comes to the fill­ings, the flavours avail­able are lim­ited only by your imag­i­na­tion. This year’s moon­cake scene is the most com­pre­hen­sive thus far, tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from myr­iad in­gre­di­ents, sweet and savoury alike—from tom yum, sea salt caramel, on­deh on­deh to gin­ger, cheese and even root beer. We take a closer look at what’s on of­fer. It’s choices ga­lore at Man­darin Or­chard

Singapore this year. Ja­panese in­gre­di­ents come un­der the spot­light with its lim­ited edi­tion mini baked moon­cakes. Avail­able in four flavours, they are crafted from pre­mium in­gre­di­ents sourced from Ja­pan—specif­i­cally, pur­ple potato, ch­est­nut, matcha red bean and white kid­ney bean ($75 for eight in as­sorted flavours). Sweet without be­ing cloy­ing, the pur­ple potato ver­sion makes an im­pres­sion with its deep, rich flavour and pretty pur­ple fill­ing. Or opt for the pop­u­lar mini snow skin moon­cakes such as the crowd­pleas­ing ly­chee mar­tini and cho­co­late. Tra­di­tion­al­ists will also be pleased with the se­lec­tion on of­fer: Sweet and savoury mixed nuts stud­ded with Iberico ja­mon ($75 for four), and tra­di­tional dou­ble or sin­gle yolk and white lo­tus paste ($74 and $72 for four).

Mer­i­tusho­tels.com

At Fairmont Singapore, you’ll find four snow skin moon­cakes in pretty pas­tel hues, shaped del­i­cately to re­sem­ble peaches. We rec­om­mend the as­sorted box of four flavours ($72 per box of eight), which in­clude crowd favourites Im­pe­rial Yuzu, a yuzu and crunchy cho­co­late pearl con­fec­tion en­cased in white cho­co­late pra­line (which oth­er­wise goes for $68 per box of eight). There is also the rum and raisin cho­co­late truf­fle ($68 per box of eight) and the cho­co­late truf­fle and cho­co­late ganache snow skin ($70 per box of eight). Also in­cluded in this as­sort­ment is the new Golden Caramel Crunch moon­cake. Sport­ing a del­i­cate robin-egg blue, these feuil­letine cho­co­late snow skins are in­spired by ex­ec­u­tive pas­try chef Sebastien Coc­query Ber­aud’s French roots, and are also avail­able for pur­chase in boxes of eight ($68). cel­e­bra­tionscen­tral.com.sg

Li Bai Can­tonese Restau­rant at Sher­a­ton Tow­ers Singapore un­veils three new flavours this sea­son: Salted egg cus­tard ($72 per box of eight), a baked moon­cake with a ‘liu sha’ molten lava cus­tard and salted egg yolk cen­tre; and two fruit-in­spired snowskin flavours ($60 per box of eight)—white lo­tus seed paste with a straw­berry sea salt truf­fle cen­tre; and green tea white lo­tus seed paste with passion fruit truf­fle. sher­a­ton­sin­ga­pore.com

Gourmet cake bou­tique Lady M re­leases its in­au­gu­ral Grand Lan­tern moon­cake collection this year. Avail­able ex­clu­sively on­line, it fea­tures four pieces of white lo­tus paste snowskin moon­cakes with a lus­cious cho­co­late cen­tre ($109.50 per box). Cus­tomers will have the choice of two truf­fle cores: the savoury peanut but­ter cho­co­late, or the del­i­cately sweet cran­berry cheese white cho­co­late. Ac­com­pa­ny­ing these desserts is an elab­o­rately crafted, yet func­tional lan­tern in­spired by New York City’s brown­stone town­houses. The lan­tern comes com­plete with bat­tery and a metal­lic chain for those tra­di­tional Mid-Au­tumn Fes­ti­val strolls. la­dym.com.sg

Cherry Gar­den at Man­darin Ori­en­tal, Singapore rolls out four new flavours this year. Start with the pan­dan moon­cake com­pris­ing a creamy lo­tus paste in­fused with aro­matic pan­dan, and stud­ded with dried cran­ber­ries and chopped pis­ta­chios ($34 for two). Or try the three new flavours of mini snow skin moon­cakes ($72 for eight). The cus­tard paste, rose petals and ch­est­nut moon­cake with a whole ch­est­nut in the cen­tre makes a de­light­ful dessert, as does the de­lec­ta­ble lo­tus paste moon­cake in­fused with passion fruit and pis­ta­chio com­bin­ing sweet and tangy flavours. The fra­grant os­man­thus and wal­nut snow skin moon­cake plays up on tra­di­tional Chi­nese flavours, and is per­fect with a good cup of Chi­nese tea. man­dari­nori­en­tal.com

Dessert cafe Bak­erzin has re­leased seven moon­cake col­lec­tions, each tai­lored to ap­peal to dif­fer­ent palates. If you’re feel­ing ad­ven­tur­ous, try the Bold collection ($61.68 per box) which com­prises four baked moon­cakes with stronger flavours like gin­ger, tom yum, Amer­i­can Gin­seng and Sakura ebi. Black sesame fans will es­pe­cially en­joy the newly launched Heav­enly snowskin collection ($52.84 per box of eight), with four vari­aties: Orig­i­nal, but­ter­scotch, peanut but­ter and co­conut egg cus­tard. bak­erzin.com

Top-of-the-range at Wan Hao Chi­nese Restau­rant this year is the lim­ited edi­tion Wan Hao Baked Trea­sures Pre­mium Gift Set. It com­prises salted white lo­tus seed paste with parma ham, pis­ta­chios and sin­gle yolk baked moon­cakes and a bot­tle of Per­rier-Jouët cham­pagne ($228 nett for a box of four). The gold­dusted, char­coal-skinned moon­cakes man­age to bal­ance a host of strong flavours. Other new flavours from the restau­rant in­clude white cho­co­late with apri­cot snow skin moon­cake ($63 for a box of four) and honey lemon lo­tus paste with ly­chee mar­tini truf­fle snow skin moon­cake ($63 for a box of four). But don’t miss their stal­wart best­sellers like white lo­tus seed paste with chicken bak kwa and as­sorted nuts baked moon­cakes ($66 for four) and pure Mao Shan Wang pre­mium grade durian snow skin moon­cakes ($73 for eight). sin­ga­pore­mar­riott.com

Good­wood Park Ho­tel sees three ad­ven­tur­ous new additions to its range of snow skin moon­cakes this year (all priced at $32 for a pair). The first is prickly pear and berg­amot, a del­i­cately sweet moon­cake with crunchy diced pears and aro­matic cit­rusy notes. Then there’s its ap­ple cider moon­cake, which of­fers a re­fresh­ing take on the tra­di­tional con­fec­tion, show­cas­ing a per­fect bal­ance be­tween sweet and tangy. Fi­nally, the play­ful root beer moon­cake is a lovely whim­si­cal twist with flavours of sar­sa­par­illa—think of the retro soda called Sarsi—spiked with a tinge of rum. good­wood­parkho­tel.com

Call­ing all Dis­ney fans. Crys­tal

Jade’s latest snow skin moon­cake collection comes in a lim­ited edi­tion box sport­ing a gold-em­bossed Mickey Mouse. Inside are eight mini snow skin moon­cakes ($78) of four de­li­cious new flavours. The pan­dan lo­tus moon­cake with gula me­laka plays up on local flavour pair­ings, while the cho­co­late Manuka honey moon­cake com­prises rich and vel­vety smooth cho­co­late paste with a hint of honey. An­other cho­co­late op­tion is perked up with an in­fu­sion of zesty Ja­panese yuzu, and fi­nally, the white lo­tus paste moon­cake en­cases a surprising cen­tre of liq­uid rasp­berry. crys­tal­jade.com

Feng Shui Inn at Re­sorts World Sentosa keeps health in mind this mid-Au­tumn sea­son. New this year is a black gar­lic with white lo­tus and cus­tard paste moon­cake ($68 per box of six). The baked moon­cake fea­tures house­aged or­ganic black gar­lic, a superfood known to be a good an­tiox­i­dant. But be warned, the flavour takes some get­ting used to. The molten lava-like black gar­lic cen­tre tastes a bit savoury and tangy, like prunes and soy sauce all rolled in one. More con­ven­tional baked moon­cakes with egg yolk, as­sorted nuts, or black sesame with matcha red bean (from $56 per box of four) are also avail­able. rwsen­tosa.com Con­rad Cen­ten­nial Singapore’s new moon­cakes are fun and play­ful this year, some of which take in­spi­ra­tion from pop­u­lar drinks. Its Golden Peony Snowskin Trea­sures ($68 for eight) come in four flavours. The mango cream cheese moon­cake en­cases a full-flavoured cream cheese fill­ing in­ter­spersed with de­light­ful chunks of mango, while the green tea with yuzu truf­fle fea­tures a flavour­ful green tea paste hold­ing a yuzu truf­fle cen­tre. For the ad­ven­tur­ous, there’s bub­ble tea with but­ter­scotch which takes its in­spi­ra­tion from the Tai­wan tea bev­er­age, sweet­ened with a but­ter­scotch cen­tre. Cock­tail lovers mean­while can en­joy the gin and tonic moon­cake, with a lo­tus paste burst­ing with flavours of the well-loved cock­tail and a sim­i­larly flavoured truf­fle cen­tre. con­nois­seur.sg/moon­cakes

The Fuller­ton Ho­tel’s signature flavours, pan­dan with gula me­laka snow skin moon­cake and golden cus­tard mini moon­cake are back (from $60 per clas­sic box). But there are four new flavours to tempt the palate— kopi with salted Hokkaido milk snow skin moon­cake, tan­ger­ine lemon and pis­ta­chio snow skin moon­cake, pan­dan with co­conut baked moon­cake and salted taro with peanut but­ter baked moon­cake. We love the mini cus­tard moon­cakes best for its egg yolk-cus­tard savoury-sweet combo, but the tan­ger­ine lemon is also de­light­ful with its sim­ple, zesty flavours. shop.fuller­ton­ho­tels.com Two new moon­cake of­fer­ings at Sum­mer Palace restau­rant at Re­gent Ho­tel Singapore this year pay trib­ute to Singapore’s his­tory as a spice hub. The pineap­ple pep­per­corn mini snow skin moon­cake

($69 for a box of eight) has a chilli-in­fused snow skin that en­velopes a tangy pineap­ple paste and pink pep­per­corn cho­co­late pearl core. The cin­na­mon red bean with spiced wine mini snow skin moon­cake

($69 per box of eight) is made up of a red bean paste and spiced wine ganache fill­ing rounded off by a soft cin­na­mon spice-in­fused snow skin. The box that the moon­cakes come in is a thing of beauty too. Made of pine wood, the cover is etched with a strik­ing il­lus­tra­tion of Singapore’s old spice trad­ing port. Within the box, each moon­cake is placed in in­di­vid­ual gold-tinted tins that can be re-used as spice con­tain­ers. Signature moon­cakes like mini black sesame paste with melon seeds snow skin ($67 for a box of eight), mini durian snow skin

($72 for a box of eight) and parma ham and pork floss with as­sorted nuts baked moon­cake (from $49 for two) are also avail­able. re­gen­tho­tels.com

Man­darin Or­chard Singapore

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