Mooncake(Moon festival or Mid-Autumn festival)

The Moon festival (also called the Mooncake or Mid-Autumn festival) falls on September 14th in the year. What is the Moon festival? Every year on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, when the moon is at its maximum brightness for the entire year, the Chinese celebrate "zhong qiu jie." Children are told the story of the moon fairy living in a crystal palace, who comes out to dance on the moon's shadowed surface. The legend surrounding the "lady living in the moon" dates back to ancient times, to a day when ten suns appeared at once in the sky. The Emperor ordered a famous archer to shoot down the nine extra suns. Once the task was accomplished, Goddess of Western Heaven rewarded the archer with a pill that would make him immortal. However, his wife found the pill, took it, and was banished to the moon as a result. Legend says that her beauty is greatest on the day of the Moon festival.Finland

There is this story about the moon-cake. during the Yuan dynasty (A.D. 1280-1368) China was ruled by the Mongolian people. Leaders from the preceding Sung dynasty (A.D. 960-1280) were unhappy at submitting to the foreign rule, and set how to coordinate the rebellion without being discovered. The leaders of the rebellion, knowing that the Mooncake was drawing near, ordered the making of special cakes. Backed into each moon caked was a message with the outline of the attack. On the night of the Moon Festival, the rebels successfully attached and overthrew the government. Today, moon cakes are eaten to commemorate this legend and was called the Moon Cake.

Mooncake, Moon festival, Mid-Autumn festival, China, Chinese

Mooncake(Moon festival or Mid-Autumn festival)


For generations, moon cakes have been made with sweet fillings of nuts, mashed red beans, lotus-seed paste or Chinese dates, wrapped in a pastry. Sometimes a cooked egg yolk can be found in the middle of the rich tasting dessert. People compare moon cakes to the plum pudding and fruit cakes which are served in the English holiday seasons.

Nowadays, there are hundreds varieties of moon cakes on sale a month before the arrival of Moon Festival.

The round moon cakes, measuring about three inches in diameter and one and a half inches in thickness, resembled Western fruitcakes in taste and consistency. These cakes were made with melon seeds, lotus seeds, almonds, minced meats, bean paste, orange peels and lard. A golden yolk from a salted duck egg was placed at the center of each cake, and the golden brown crust was decorated with symbols of the festival. Traditionally, thirteen moon cakes were piled in a pyramid to symbolize the thirteen moons of a "complete year," that is, twelve moons plus one intercalary moon.

Most mooncakes consist of a thin tender skin enveloping a sweet and slightly oily filling. The mooncake may contain one or more whole salted egg yolks in its center to symbolize the full moon. The saltiness of the yolk balances well with the sweet filling in the mooncake. Rarely, mooncakes are steamed or fried.
Traditional mooncakes have an imprint on top consisting of the Chinese characters for "longevity" or "harmony" as well as the name of the bakery and filling in the moon cake. Imprints of a moon, a woman on the moon, flowers, vines, or a rabbit may surround the characters for additional decoration.

Many types of fillings can be found in traditional mooncakes according to the region's culture:

Lotus seed paste (lían róng): Considered by some to be the original and most luxurious mooncake filling, lotus paste filling is found in all types of mooncakes. Due to the high price of lotus paste, white kidney bean paste is sometimes used as a filler.One Piece Game
Sweet bean paste (dòu sh): A number of pastes are common fillings found in Chinese desserts. Although red bean paste, made from azuki beans, is the most common worldwide, there are regional and original preferences for bean paste made from Mung bean as well as black bean known throughout history.
Jujube paste (zo ní): A sweet paste made from the ripe fruits of the jujube(Dates) plant. The paste is dark red in colour, a little fruity/smoky in flavour and slightly sour in taste. Depending on the quality of the paste, jujube paste may be confused with red bean paste.
Five kernel (w rén): A filling consisting of 5 types of nuts and seeds, coarsely chopped and held together with maltose syrup. Commonly used nuts and seeds include: walnuts, pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, peanuts, sesame, or almonds. In addition, the mixture will usually contain candied winter melon, jinhua ham, or pieces of rock sugar as additional flavouring.
Yam Paste (yu ní): A sweet paste made from Yam, a tuber from certain parts of Asia. The colour of the paste in the mooncake is purple and is most commonly used in Teochew crusty mooncakes.

Snowy mooncakes first appeared on the market in the early 1980's. These non-baked, chilled mooncakes were initially filled with traditional fillings such as lotus seed, red bean, or mung bean paste. However, the launch of a champagne truffe snow-skin mooncake in 1994by Raffles Hotel in Singapore, triggered a wave of modern mooncakes. Häagen-Dazs quickly followed on from this innovation, and were one of the first to create an ice-cream mooncake, with a choice of either the "traditional," snow-skin, or Belgian white, milk, and dark chocolate crusts. Moon Cakes have lately become Americanized very much in the United States. Instead of a filling of egg yolk, you can have them filled with marshmallows or chocolate.

snowy mooncake: mung bean and mango filling

Modern varieties of mooncakes are also different from their traditional counterparts in that their crusts typically do not require baking. However, they require refrigerating. There are two main varieties of modern mooncake crusts:

Glutinous rice: A crust with texture similar to that of a mochi. These moon cakes are know colloquially as "snow-skin mooncakes" or "ice-skin mooncakes".

Jelly: A crust made of gelling mixtures such as agar, gelatin, or konjac and flavoured with a wide variety of fruit flavourings.
purple/pink jelly mooncake: dragon fruit with blueberry filling

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