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20
Apr

mooncakes-box close up copy

I should have people over for lunch every day. Well, perhaps every week. I just had a super lunch party. Friends came from all over, Honk Kong, New York, Putney, Fitzrovia, Hampstead, Dalston and Sussex and each came with one or more wonderful present: chocolates from l’Artisan du Chocolat, spicy peanuts from Beijing (the best ever), a special red rice from Dimen village (will write about it and Joanna, Ken and uncle Kit in a separate post), beautiful jars of fried garlic, lovely wine, and the most amazing mooncakes from Honk Kong.

As you know, Jenny and I were in Honk Kong recently and as we waited for our ferry to go to Cheung Chau island, we spotted a bakery in the ferry building where we bought all kinds of Chinese pastries.ย They were all awful. Not so much because none were really sweet — the Chinese don’t like their sweets sweet — but because the place was a kind of fast food bakery and the quality was very poor. I don’t remember if we bought mooncakes but if we had, they were nothing like the Wing Wah mooncakes Wendy, my lovely friend who lives there, brought with her. Not only were they amazing to eat but they were also packed in the most gorgeous tin. Even the plastic wrapper that each mooncake was wrapped in was gorgeous.

mooncakes-box & wrapped

I immediately joked with Wendy saying I would revert to how I was as a child and not share. Which is what happened, but only because of the bounty everyone else had brought. And I have been eating them ever since By the time I read that each clocked up to 1200 calories, it was too late. Still, I have saved one for Jenny but if she doesn’t come soon to share it, it’ll be bye bye mooncake for her. I have to say, they are really extraordinary; and what is even better, is that they are my Easter replacement for our cookies, ma’mul (my first blog post!). The principle is the same, a very thin pastry shell encasing a filling, pressed into a mould, then baked.

mooncakes-unwrapped copy

But this is where the resemblance stops. The mooncake pastry shell is very thin and very soft. In ma’mul, the pastry is crumbly. The filling is lotus seed paste and salted duck egg yolks instead of nuts or dates! And where our cookies are sweet and fragrant, these are a combination of slightly sweet (the paste) with slightly salty (the yolks), which makes for very intriguing eating whenever you get some of the yolk in the same bite as the paste.

mooncakes-cut copy

mooncakes-inside 1 copy

Heavy but really good. And now that I have only one left, I need to check if Wing Wah export these culinary treasures to England. Mind you, it may be safer if they don’t otherwise I may have to survive on just mooncakes given that they take up almost all of my daily calorie allowance!


There is 14 comments on this post


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    I can’t believe you actually still have one left. Such restraint! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    well, it’s only because of jenny but i think she lost her chance ๐Ÿ™‚ tomorrow is another mooncake day and more calories piled onto my hips!! but the pleasure will be worth it. they are soooooooo good, and the packaging is so pretty. thanks again wendy. oh, and love the look of the shop. must go there when i come back to HK. x


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Yes – the calories: why I restrict myself to eating them only once a year, during the appropriate season! But they are delicious. We’ll go to the shop next time you visit. Actually, I think Joanna said they know the original place/owner out in the far reaches of HK – even better! xx


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    can’t wait. and tomorrow morning, i will have my last one. very suitable for good friday. xx


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    here we are saturday night… is that last mooncake gone i wonder ?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    so glad you enjoyed, and wooh they do sound rich. i am intrigued by the lotus seed paste, but less so by the salted duck egg yolks. you know what i’d rather have – your date ma’muls, but of course.

    joyeuses pรขques, anissa !


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    yup, all gone. and yes, the dates cookies are delicious. if i had the courage, i’d make some ๐Ÿ™‚ joyeuses paques a toi aussi. x


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    That tin is AMAZING! A treasure, for sure. I get a little silly when I visit an Asian market and see all of that gorgeous packaging.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    one day, it’ll be yours ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    I’m late to this party! And too late for mooncakes… Anissa, the bakery definitely didn’t have these, or at least we didn’t buy them. We bought one of everything else, of course, gluttons that we are. And yes, they were all suitable for fish food. Though I was quite taken with the bizarre black charcoal cake. Made for a pretty, hillbilly smile.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    gosh, the hillbilly smile in delivrance. yikes. shame you missed out on the mooncakes. they were fab. i should have been more generous and given you one to take away ๐Ÿ™‚ xxx


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    so anissa, if you are desperately in need of mooncakes, let me know. i live in HK and can send them over any time you need them.

    to be honest, mooncakes are generally only eaten during the mid autumn festival (???) here which is around September/October each year (depending on the moon)

    the funny thing is, people normally give mooncakes as gifts to people when visiting their homes during the festival as well as companies giving them to clients etc. what ends up happening is, because the taste is so dry and pasty, people generally dont like them and then pass them on to the next guest that visits or give them to their grandparents who like eating them because it reminds them of the “good old days”.

    i actually made some Maamoul with the mooncake molds here before (i should have taken some photos). the mold they use is exactly the same as the Maamoul molds and made from wood (and now from Bamboo because its cheaper), but some of the patterns they have (dragons, chinese characters for luck etc) look pretty nice .
    also the look on your friends face when they expect it to taste like a mooncake and then realising its filled with festok or tamar is quite fascinating ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    i love the idea of using the mooncake moulds for ma’mul. they’re even prettier than our moulds. and jilbert, i would love you to send me some mooncakes. would be very kind and very exciting. how will you do it? by post? i didn’t realise that people didn’t like them much. they are heavy but really good and even at 1200 + calories per cake, i started by wanting to eat half a one but ended up finishing each ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Mooncakes are available on line from several sources — you will have no problem ordering them. They should be widely available in the UK — not only do stores like Harrods import mooncakes from Singapore and HK, you will find fresh mooncakes made by Chinese bakeries. There are also several detailed recipes online, but they take a lot of work! If it is the filling you like, you can make or buy similar pastries filled with bean paste or winter melon in either a flaky or fried pastry (although unlike you I find Chinese pastry quite sugar-laden, so beware!). .


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    thanks michele. i will check suppliers here although i wouldn’t be wanting some for a while as i’ve eaten a whole box in the last month or so. i really like them ๐Ÿ™‚

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