It 's the season formoon. You can see this by the mountains of aluminum cans stacked on top of each other in elaborate wrappers, containing one to four salted egg yolks; lotus seed paste; red bean paste; nuts and half-sugar in any Asian grocery store.
But what exactly is it and what is it who is so important about mid-autumn? Even in Australian spring?
Traditionally the festival celebrates the fall harvest which coincides with the moon being the fullest and brightest. It falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar, which is September 21 for 2021. In the past, families would come together (mainly to harvest), give thanks for a bountiful harvest, and pray for an equally good one. harvest in the future, so that babies carry on the legacy and long life.
Nowadays, due to the introduction of technology and modernized farming practices, the middle The Fall Festival is about giving, receiving and eating as many moon cakes as possible.
So what is moon cake? To explain it in the simplest way possible, it is a small round dough filled with a sweet or savory filling. There are many variations of the moon cake, depending on where you are from in Asia - the only common element being the symbolism of the moon.
The square or lotus - dense golden crust-shaped mooncakes with the name of the bakery you see in most Asian grocery stores are the Cantonese version . They are the most recognized moon cake in Australia due to the boom financOriginally from Hong Kong in the 1960s, when they became commercial alised and a popular gift item. They are usually filled with lotus seed paste and one or two salted egg yolks.
With the trend of extreme gifts and the auspicious nature Of all the Chinese celebrations, some bakeries fill up to four salted egg yolks in one moon cake, because the more moons you have, the more bounty for the receiver. You'll also see red bean paste, mung bean paste, sesame paste, and a five-seed mix in some moon cakes, though they're not as easy to find.
Some bakeries have also introduced half-sugar moon cakes (which are exactly what they sound like) because the biggest compliment a Chinese can give about of a candy is that it is "not too sweet". These moon cakes are best shared and enjoyed with a teapot.
Suzhou moon cakes are smaller than the Cantonese variety, encased in flaky lard or butter- made from a crust made from lotus seed paste, red beans or salted pork, and can be identified by the pinch of black sesame on top. Traditionally, these moon cakes are baked in deep cast iron pans, but they are now more commonly baked for mass production.
Teochew mooncakes are also called moon cakes to a thousand layers because of their appearance. The dough is made by rolling a water-based dough and an oil-based dough into each other. FromToppings of taro, yam, red bean or mung bean paste are added before frying.
The toppings differ from region to region. 'other because moon cakes are a way to show off the best produce from each region. The climate of Yunnan province is perfect for curing meat, making Xuanwei ham the star of sweet and sour Yunnan moon cakes . These moon cakes have a crispy exterior and a chewy filling of diced Xuanwei ham, lard, honey and sugar.
Sara Tan, the self-taught pastry chef of Buttermilk Pantry has had a go at making Mooncakes at home this year. "Growing up surrounded by the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations, it brings back special memories. Due to the lack of international travel, Iwanted to take the time to learn the process "says Tan.
So are they hard to do? It depends on how thorough you want to be , says Tan. If you are a beginner, you can buy lotus seed paste (but check the ingredients as sometimes it's mixed with bean paste) and salted precooked egg yolks of any kind. what an Asian grocer. In this case, just make the dough, shape it around the filling, press it into the mold and bake it.
But if you want to control the amount of salt and sugar in each element, you can go as far as making your own salted eggs by separating the yolks from the whites and steaming them; or even soaking, cleaning and cooking your own. own lotus seeds to make the dough.
After the baking process, moon cakes require a few days of storage in aairtight container to allow the skins to soften to the right texture and deepen the color. "I regard moon cakes as a dedication to time and attention ", says Tan.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is here. one of the rare traditions to have evolved over time. "I love how moon cakes have evolved into containers for new flavors and new baking concepts," says Tan.
If you're a rule-breaking flavor hunter, Young on Instagram you'll likely find a lot more appeal in contemporary-style moon cakes. Enter the data without cooking, snowskin mooncake . The skins are made from cooked glutinous rice flour that can be dyed and flavored, filled with anything that can be skin-bound. The garnituCommon res are custard, chocolate, durian, mango, and boba milk tea ice cream, but it can get as wild as your imagination can handle. Jelly moon cakes are a thing too, and pretty easy to make at home, as long as you have a fridge and a pan - and there's even vegan recipes for them .
At its core, the festival is a celebration of a harvest, so as long as you enjoy a moon cake that showcases great produce, it doesn't matter if the style whichever you prefer is modern or conventional - don 't forget the tea pot.
Although many bakers have already sold this year in Australia you can always order local products, national shipped, moon cakes too.
Ommi 's in Sydney was founded by Omar Hsu, after having worked as a chef in Taiwan and Australia. This year, Ommi 's offers two types of moon cakes: one made with salted duck yolk and organic walnuts. The other, 'the Golden Goddess ', is stuffed with mung beans.
Amour Desserts in Melbourne live in step -mantra too sweet, "like those found at home " in Malaysia or Singapore, says owner Er Rin Tan. Amour's "Exotic Nyonya Sambal" moon cake has a homemade filling of sweet-spicy shrimp paste and a kernel of salted egg yolk, all wrapped in a soft buttery dough. Their flagship cake is t The Taiwanese 3Q moon cake, which consists of meat thread, jalder of salted egg and red bean paste.
Buttermilk Pantry in Melbourne are also selling moon cakes this year, but you must subscribe to their mailing list for order details.