Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy (belated) Mid-Autumn Festival! Mom's homemade mooncakes~

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to all! 中秋节快了!And what better way to celebrate than with mom's homemade mooncakes?

Red bean and mixed nuts mooncakes
 The mid-Autumn festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar calendar, and is a celebration of the autumn harvest. My dad tells me that in China, during his childhood days, everyone had to make sure they feasted until they were stuffed, and then the next morning, everyone would be lining up outside the outhouses. Ha ha, dad. Lovely dinner conversation. But it's basically a day of feasting and festivities, and last but never least, mooncakes!

Red bean and mixed nuts mooncakes

My mom is a pretty amazing cook. She's one of those people who have a natural knack for the art of cooking; she can eat something once and be able to reproduce it at home. So when she found out about the amount of preservatives that go into the store-bought mooncakes, she decided to take it upon herself to supply our family and friends with fresh and homemade mooncakes.

Green bean mooncakes

I don't know how my mom makes them, but I do know that when they come out of the oven, they're delicious. The crust is crisp on the top and doughy all around. The bean filling is smooth and moist and the mixed nuts filling is sweet and fragrantly nutty. Some of the red bean ones have a nice fat duck egg yolk in it, which balances out the sweetness with a bit of saltiness. My mom believes in healthy cooking, so she always puts too much sugar and butter in her baked goods, but they're still yummy! And the best part? Absolutely no preservatives!

Sweet cured ham mooncake
This particular mooncake is native to my parents' home province of Yunnan. It contains bits of cured ham, honey and sweet fried dough all mixed together into a delightful sweet and salty combination. Oddly enough, even though we couldn't find the Yunnan ham in the supermarkets here, we managed to find an Italian cured ham that was very similar. Guess Italians have more in common with us than just noodles/pasta. :P

Mochi mooncake with Green tea and Mocha filling
 This is my mom's 'invention of the year', if you will. The outer shell is made with sticky rice, much like what you would find on mochi, the squishy Japanese confectionary. The filling is made with white bean paste that we split into two, and respectively mixed with matcha and chocolate and coffee. I told me mom that we should make Matcha mooncakes and Mocha mooncakes, but she decided to fold the matcha and the mocha together, and use that for the filling. And surprise, surprise... It turned out really good! The filling was fragrant, with slight hints of bitterness from the coffee and a subtle sweetness from the matcha. It was a hit success with my friends, and I think it'll be gracing our table for the next couple of Mid-Autumn festivals!

All-in-all, we had a really good Mid-Autumn festival. We took my dad's words to heart and stuffed ourselves silly with mooncake, boiled peanuts and soyeans (edamame). For the readers who celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival, I hope you all had a great time! And for those who don't, I hope you'll be able to partake in the festivities in the future, and join us in our epic feasting! Also, there's always Spring Festival, ohohoho!

1 comment:

  1. oh my gosh... I'm so jealous, I can't even tell you how awesome all of those cakes look! your mom really is talented. the ones with duck eggs and the new mochi-matcha ones, yes please! ^.^