Mid-Autumn 2013 Mooncake Roundup: Beverage flavored, Disney and Musang King mooncakes!

2013 mooncakes

Yup, it’s the annual Mid-Autumn Mooncake Roundup! Oh wait, I don’t think I ever had one. Haha! I believe one of my first mooncake posts was in 2004 – a review on a rather nice licensed S.H.E. limited edition mooncake set. I’ve also made my own mooncakes before.

There’s three batches of mooncakes I got from 3 different manufacturers this year – most of them *new flavors* for 2013:

tai thong mooncake

1. Tai Thong

This is the first mooncake I ate this year. My girlfriend bought it and gave to me coz she knows I love durian mooncakes!

Snow Skin Durian Coulis (RM 18)

durian mooncake

We absolutely adored this mooncake. The durian flesh is unnamed, probably D24 but it’s really good. The skin balances really well with the flesh too so it’s the durian mooncake benchmark for this year!

tai thong durian

We also wanted to get the Imperial Musang King Royale for RM 78 / 2 pieces but it was sold out!

moon cakes

The 2013 new mooncake flavors:

Sweet Paradise (RM 16.50)

This is a snow skin mooncake from the new flavors under Tai Thong’s moooncake offerings for 2013. They’re having a lot of drink and dessert inspired mooncakes and this is a coffee and custard coffering.

Pineapple Sesame Crunch (RM 16.50)

new mooncakes 2013

We didn’t really like this snow skin mooncake – the pineapple “egg yolk” is alright but the sesame doesn’t really go well with it.

Low Sugar White Lotus Single Yolk x 3 (RM 16.50)

A low sugar variant (very popular these few years for the health conscious) of an old classic!

Assorted Fruits, Nuts with Chicken Bits (RM 16.50)

This used to be made with lard but a lot of mooncake manufacturers now use chicken to comply with the halal certification (okay for Muslims to consume) which is a shame as this is one of the real original mooncakes and I really doubt Muslims are a huge target market in mooncakes – not enough to make a difference anyway.

Teh Tarik Delight (RM 16.50)

It’s the national drink of Malaysia – now in mooncakes. I bought one for us and one of my future-in laws. It was a bit of a letdown though – it wasn’t as tasty as I thought it would be and the pulled milk tea flavor is sadly missing.

The good thing about the Tai Thong mooncakes is that we got not only 30% off but also 2 free mooncakes (for every 4 purchased in a box set)

tai thong mooncakes

The free mooncakes are:

Limau Manis (RM 16.50)

This is translated as “sweet lime” and it’s a baked mooncake. It continues the trend for beverage inspired mooncake (it’s a common drink here) and actually has a sweet lime filling and an asam jeruk (salted dried plum, or known in the states as crack seed) filling as the “egg yolk”. I think this isn’t doing well, which is why it’s the designated giveaway mooncake on purchase.

free mooncakes

White Mocha Delight (RM 16.50)

This is another beverage inspired mooncake in the conventional baked format. It has a chocolate and coffee layer but nothing really pops from this. Tai Thong gives out Limau Manis mooncakes for free as default on purchase of every box of 4 but I asked if I can change and the guy there said that this is the only other option he can give out. You can’t change to other similar priced mooncakes and you have to ask to get the White Mocha Delight so I guess these two aren’t exactly flying off the shelves. smirk

2. GODIVA Mid-Autumn 2013 Mooncake Collection

godiva mooncakes

This is a limited edition I got for my better half which cost me RM 159. It’s the most expensive mooncake I ever bought but well worth it. We ate it on the night itself and the entire GODIVA 2013 Mid-Autumn Limited Edition mooncakes was reviewed on a previous post.

3. The Baker’s Cottage

mooncakes discount

We were just getting some bread one day and saw a huge queue of people buying mooncakes. We didn’t get any that day but there was a Musang King durian mooncake that we had our eye on. I swung over on the afternoon of Mid-Autumn festival and saw that they had a 40% discount across the board!

ultimate musang king

Ultimate Musang King (RM 26.80)

disney mooncakes

This was slightly disappointing…at first. It’s a Disney mooncake with Mickey Mouse stamped on it. We both looked apprehensively at the filling since it doesn’t have the same “real durian flesh” groove going for it. However, after a couple of bites, it turned out that it was really good in its own way too! I’ll say it’ll give Tai Thong’s Snow Skin Durian Coulis a good run for it’s money. Note the difference between the fillings though – this doesn’t have an interior “egg yolk” of real durian flesh:

musang king mooncake

The Bakington version is made with Musang King durians, which explains the price premium. It’s a licensed Disney product too.

Cheesy Choc-Oreo (RM 16.10)

oreo mooncake

I know that my dear loves Oreo (have bought chocolate covered Oreos for her before) and this mooncake seems very promising. It’s a baked mooncake and it’s good but it’s nothing to write home about. It’s just passable but not really breaking any new ground. It does have real Oreo cookies inside though.

Supreme Manju (RM 16.50)

supreme manju 2013

This outstanding mooncake is what the both of us liked the most this year! It was heavily promoted by The Baker’s Cottage – there’s a huge poster saying something along the lines of “2013 new flavor” and so I decided to get one of it to check out.

supreme manju mooncake

It’s bubble wrapped and treated with a lot of respect. This one is baked in-house unlike the licensed Disney mooncakes…and it’s delicious!

The Supreme Manju truly lives up to its name (which I take to mean “supreme satisfaction”) – it’s a Cantonese style Shanghai mooncake with flaky pastry and a toasted pecan nut on top. There’s just something about the combination of the style of the mooncake (always loved Shanghai style pastry over baked or snow skin mooncakes) with the salted egg yolk, mung bean and lotus seed paste combined with maple and custard.

supreme manju

It just works! We just opened it last night (as in Saturday night) and we both loved it! It’s not only cheaper than Tai Thong’s offerings but it’s a new flavor that is so edible, so delicious that my dearest told me it makes you want to have another bite just after finishing one. I agree, the flavor profile is amazing and I wish I had gotten more of this flagship bakery mooncake. It get the title of Best of 2013 from us! :)

Godiva 2013 Mid-Autumn Limited Edition Mooncake Collection

Godiva 2013 Mid-Autumn Collection

I saw the Godiva 2013 Mid-Autumn Limited Edition Collection last week at the Suria KLCC shop in Malaysia. I was quite intrigued and thought it would make a lovely gift for my girlfriend. There’s a box that cost RM 463 (I think) and I figured it’ll be worth it since it’s premium chocolate mooncakes and you only get it once a year.

Godiva 2013 Full Moon Indulgence

This is the poster I saw – Full Moon Indulgence.

Godiva 2013 Mooncakes Limited Edition

However, when I came back just 24 hours later, the box set was sold out! This really is a limited edition run. There’s a RM 249 box set but I didn’t quite like that since it has the regular GODIVA range of chocolates inside.

Godiva 2013 Mid-Autumn Limited Edition

Thus, I bought the GODIVA 2013 Mid-Autumn Festival Limited Edition box that was in the poster – it’s RM 159 for one large chocolate mooncake and 8 mini chocolate mooncakes.

Godiva 2013 Mid-Autumn Price

That’s the most expensive box of mooncakes I’ve ever purchased! It’s worth it though coz it’s for my better half. :)

There are two types of large chocolate mooncakes – this Belgium purveyor of fine chocolates produced a dark chocolate version and a milk chocolate version. The RM 159 box only has the dark chocolate version but there are 8 mini-mooncakes called Pepite Mooncake Chocolates that gives you a taste of the entire range of the Godiva 2013 Mid-Autumn Festival collection!

Godiva 2013 Mooncakes

The 3 different flavored chocolate mooncakes are:

White Chocolate Mooncake: Strawberry-Pomegranate Crunchy

This is a white chocolate mooncake with a filling of crispy strawberry crunch and pomegranate chocolate ganache. I liked this one the most – the white chocolate exterior tastes sweet and the strawberries inside has bits of fruit still on it!

Milk Chocolate Mooncake: Apricot-Peach Crunchy

The milk chocolate exterior is made with Ghana milk cocoa, Turkish hazelnut and Louisiana walnut. The two different nuts makes up the two layers inside the chocolate mooncake and the two different fruits makes it taste like a nectarine dipped chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Mooncake: Mango-Passion Fruit Crunch

This is 64% Peruvian dark chocolate as the exterior with soy beans in Hawaiian almond paste and caramel hazelnut to balance the bitter dark chocolate. I like the mango and passion fruit inside too! This is also available in the large size that we’re going to eat tonight!

I think you can buy the large chocolate mooncakes individually for about RM 80 (calculating back from the box price) but I got the 9 piece Mid-Autumn Gift Box since I wanted to try all three flavors and the large mooncakes are only available in dark and milk chocolate.

godiva 2013 collection us

It’s the most expensive mooncake I’ve ever bought but I think it’s also the most unique one! We’ve had the Pepite Mooncake Chocolates (one of each flavor) and we’re saving the big one for tonight. The 9-piece Godiva 2013 Mid-Autumn Festival Collection has one large dark chocolate mooncake and 8 pepeite mooncake chocolates (2 of white chocolate, 3 each of white and dark chocolate).

Godiva 2013 Mid-Autumn Mooncake

The box looks good too – it’s packed in a full moon configuration! :)

Celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival with the Future In-Laws

hb ling ethel

This photo was taken by the little one!

mooncake festival 2013

We just celebrated the Mid-Autumn festival last night! Yup, it’s several days early but that was the date it was decided on since Monday is a public holiday and everyone could make it. I was pleased to be invited by my better half’s parents to come over for dinner.

mooncakes in laws

I bought some mooncakes to bring along as a gift. I spotted a teh tarik (pulled milk tea) version which I wanted them to try while my dear chose more conventional ones like white lotus and assorted nuts with chicken bits. The Imperial Musang King Royale (RM 78 / 2 pcs) has long been sold out.

mid autumn dinner 2013

It’s good to have a home cooked meal while celebrating the mooncake festival in a home setting. My family is partly in Sibu and partly in Singapore so I don’t get that myself.

dragon lantern

There were also a lot of kids playing lanterns – I remember this vividly from my childhood and both of us lit some as well. Haha!

mooncakes 2013

There’s a lot of weird and wonderful lanterns now – the little one got an Angry Birds version while the big one got a rather unwieldy and large dragon, which burned on one side after a while.

mooncake family 2013

It was a good night spent with the future in-laws. Happy Mid-Autumn Festival 2013! :)

7 photos of stuff I did in Singapore

1. Hung out with my mom

food singapore

She’s doing another course of chemotherapy and we’re here for her. My dad flew in too and we’ll usually walk to Hola and eat there. Cheap and decent food. The caterers (old skool Tiffin carriers) come weekday nights.

My mom eats separately; she still can’t stand a lot of food, not even the smell of it. That’s her hiding in the room coz she’s so nauseous from the chemo.

2. Went to church

bedok methodist church

Took a cab to Bedok Methodist Church. Service is familiar but the praise and worship had an unusual twist – women dressed in traditional Chinese garb were dancing and twirling long silk ribbons. How I wish I managed to take a photo…

Got an EZ-Link card so I could use the MRT, bus and pay for food and groceries at places which accepts it.

3. The Gospel of Pool

church pool

Poster stuck beside the pool table at church. Words fail me. Sometimes a cue is just a cue. smirk

Mom got temporarily better and asked me to get her a Mocha soy ice blended drink. I bought it and she had a sip and promptly got sick again.

4. Salted egg yolk mooncakes

mini mooncakes

Dad got this from Sibu. It’s really quite good, there’s an entire salted egg yolk inside that’s almost the size of the puff pastry.

I ate all of them. Heh.

5. Grocery shopping

singapore grocery shopping

Got soy milk for my niece. She’s allergic to nuts, gluten, and most other things. This is the brand that we know doesn’t have any additives or traces of abovementioned. Also got reacquainted with the same brand of cigarettes I smoked last time I was here.

Middle of the night scare from my niece’s talking chair.

6. Timbre @ The Substation

timbre pizza buffulo wings

Lovely watering hole at 45, Armenian Street with live bands playing every day of the week. You can text song requests in for them to perform. Fiona recommended the Timbre Buffalo Wings – love the hot sauce and nuts topping but a tad overcooked for me. They do good pizzas too – got a half and half with Goodfellas and 53A. They’re both names of bands playing there.

Here’s a cover of Oasis’ Stand by Me.

7. Left my keys with Fiona

timbre substation singapore

Had a couple of drinks and hung out at Timbre. I put my sister’s condo keys and tag card in her bag earlier that night (tend to chuck my stuff in her tote due to lack of pocket space, thanks Fiona) and forgot to get it back from her. I only realized after I got back and couldn’t go in. Went back to her place to get it.

It’s a good thing we live near each other. Heh.

Posted: 4:08 pm Singapore time

Can you eat a one-year-old expired mooncake?

how long does mooncakes last

I have a box of mooncakes from last year in the fridge. I know it has expired but I never took the trouble to throw it away. It came in a nice package and my fridge is icy cold, so it’s not like there was an offensive smell emanating from it. *shrugs

expired mooncake date

Anyway, I was a bit curious about the state of the mooncake so I took it out just now. The use by date is 31/10/2010 – it’s almost a year since the manufacturer has deemed it fit for human consumption. However, it looked normal to me – there’s a distinct lack of fungi, so don’t expect a carpet of mold calling the mooncake home. ;)

expired mooncake lotus

It looked edible. Now, that really piqued my interest so I took one of them (the lotus with egg yolk) and sliced it in half. It still looks fit to eat. Hmm…well, I guess there’s just one way to find out.

expired mooncake eat

I bit into the rock hard (it was frozen) mooncake and chewed on a small chunk. I tentatively rolled it around my tongue and hesitantly swallowed a bit of it. It tasted fine!

Imagine that, a mooncake which has expired for one year…but still (at first taste) palatable!

expired mooncake spit

…until I nibbled at the egg yolk. I have great control over my gag reflex so nothing dramatic happened, but the vile taste of the yolk was quite memorable. I had to spit it out.

Well, at least I tried. Mooncakes can keep for ages, if not for the yolk! Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back! :D

Project Ferrero Rocher Mooncake: Balls of Fire

Project Ferrero Rocher Mooncake was initiated to commemorate the Mid Autumn Festival tonight. I haven’t been cooking in a long time and I took advantage of the season to create a dubious sixthseal.com style culinary delight. ;)

stuff

Ferrero Rocher chocolates
Top Gun Exclusive Wine
Dooley’s Original Toffee and Vodka liqueur
Ocean Spray cranberry juice
Golden Circle baby carrots
RugenFisch Mackerel Fillets in tomato sauce
Ideal milk (evaporated milk)
Pudding mooncake premix and molds

You don’t actually need the Ocean Spray cranberry juice, I got that for a friend for her UTI problems. ;)

preload 
 
The first step is to pour out several shots of the Dooley’s Original Toffee and Vodka liqueur (RM 120 at respectable bottle shops) for consumption. You will need it for the tedious task ahead. ;)

water

Next, measure out 300 ml of water for the pudding mixture. The recipe calls for 700 ml but I decided that the remainder should consist of Dooley’s Original Toffee and Vodka for more oomph, so don’t drink too much of that first, start with the wine.

top up

Top up the measuring cup to 700 ml with Dooley’s Original Toffee and Vodka. This will use up more than half of the bottle but fret not – it’s worth it.

clear

Dump the pudding mooncake mixture into a saucepan and put the H2O with ethanol beside it. This is to avoid mistakes during excessive consumption of the latter liquid.

first pour

Put the saucepan with the powder in it on low heat on a regular stove and pour the liquid in slowly.

stir

Stir the mixture slowly while keeping it on low heat for about 10 minutes. It is important not to let it burn or “bruise” the mixture by stirring too hard. I’m not sure about the latter statement, the person in charge told me that.

pour

Pour the liquid into the small mold after 10 minutes and let it set for about 15 minutes at room temperature before chucking it into the fridge for an additional 10 minutes.

small done

You’ll know it’s ready if it doesn’t fall out of the mold when you turn it upside down.

massage

There is a technique to extract the small mooncake without damaging the integrity and aesthetic design which involves massaging the sides, but I never picked up that skill.

small mooncake look

The small mooncake with Dooley’s Original Toffee and Vodka (which is meant to emulate the “egg yolk” in traditional mooncakes) should look like this when it’s done.

ideal

The next step involves making the larger mooncake, which uses a different premix that requires Ideal milk (evaporated milk).

pour into

250 ml of Ideal milk is added to 400 ml of water and poured into the powdered premix.

half capacity

The usual 10 minutes of stirring on low heat is applied before the mixture is scooped into the larger mooncake mold. It is essential to only scoop the liquid to half the mold capacity, as it has to hold the smaller mooncake as the “yolk”.

yolk

The smaller Dooley’s Original Toffee and Vodka mooncakes is to be placed into the larger mooncake mold upside down (design facing down).

ferrero rocher

I took the liberty of adding a Ferrero Rocher chocolate as the “yolk” of one of the mooncakes to make my own variation.

add fr

The Ferrero Rocher chocolate is surprisingly resilient…it doesn’t even melt in the boiling hot temperature of the liquid pudding.

unmelt

It’s much better than M&Ms – melts in your mouth, not on the stove. It’s amazing!

set in fridge

The larger mooncake mold is then filled to the brim and left to set in the fridge for a full 30 minutes.

ferrero rocher mooncake dish

Once that’s done, extract the Ferrero Rocher mooncake from its mold and place it on a plate. Garnish with baby carrots and the mackerel fillets in tomato sauce.

ferrero rocher mooncake

This is the “balls of fire” bit to the recipe – mixing in salty and spicy elements to the dish…and the alcohol (Dooley’s Toffee and Vodka) of course. Serve with wine for a complete meal.

bon appetit

Bon Appetit!

Happy Mid Autumn Festival everyone! :)

Mooncake Making Live Demonstration

live mooncake demonstration

It’s Mid-Autumn Festival again! I chanced upon a live demonstration
of the making of a mooncake at Wisma Saberkas and watched the progress
of a snow skin mooncake from inception to retail.

live mooncake formation

The snow skin mooncake moulds are kneaded from small rotund pieces
of filler before being filled and formed into larger pieces of round
balls.

live mooncake balls

The relatively uniform balls of snow skin mooncake is then powdered
with an unknown but non-psychoactive substance and then transferred to
a mould.

live mooncake mould

The mould is a wooden contraption where the balls of snow skin
mooncake is pushed into, forming the unique auspicious characters on
the top before being knocked out.

live mooncake contraption

It’s a relatively simple process and the molded mooncake is then transferred to receptacles suitable for retail purposes.

live mooncake retail

This is the finished product (Crystalline Twin Flavor) and it costs RM 11.50 per mooncake.

live mooncake bite

The mooncake is a yam snow skin mooncake with a carrot and lotus seed filling, a unique amalgamation of ingredients.

S.H.E. collectible licensed mooncakes

she mooncake

S.H.E. is the Taiwanese three girl pop group that seems to be quite
popular. They have come out with a range of three moon cakes, each
bearing their likeness – one each for Selina, Hebe and Ella. The three
mooncakes have different flavors, which I assume is for their different
personalities.

mooncake girl

This is a licensed product by HIM (which I assume is their
management) and it’s for charity. There are two versions of the
mooncakes…they’re actually both the same, there’s just a difference
in packaging. Mooncakes are eaten during Mid-Autumn Festival, which is
based on the Lunar Calendar, and falls on the 28th of September for the
Gregorian calendar this year.

mooncake booth

The RM 48.50 version comes in a single tin box which has the three
individual mooncakes inside. The RM 52.50 version is more “collectible”
in the sense that there’s an individual metal tin for every single
person in the pop group.

rm 52.50

I bought the RM 52.50 one for the individual printed Selina, Hebe
and Ella tins. The downside to this version is that it comes with cheap
plastic packaging.

nutritional

However, the packing lists down the nutritional facts and other
details at the back. It’s interesting to see the calories difference
between the mooncakes. There are three in total, for the three artists
in S.H.E. and here’s the three mooncakes.

selina

This is the Selina mooncake tin. It has a pink design and has a cartoon version of her likeness imprinted on the tin.

selina wrap

The mooncakes tins all contain a mooncake packaged in an air tight
plastic wrap with a moisture absorber inside. The Selina one doesn’t
seem to be working because I see what looks like mould…

selina mooncake

Here’s a closer look at the Selina mooncake. It definitely has mould
growing on it, but I ate it and it didn’t give me a stomachache so I
guess it’s alright…

selina contents

Mini Lotus 1 Yolk (Selina)

ella

Here’s the Ella collectible tin. It has a blue motif and is also consistent with having a cartoon version of her on it.

ella mooncake

The mooncakes all are embossed and designed with the cartoon version
of the character and their name on it. This one has Ella’s likeness and
her name.

ella contents

Black Sesame Lotus (Ella)

hebe

This one is the Hebe green tin.

hebe mooncake

Here’s what a close up looks like…I think I accidentally took out a bit of her hair. It got stuck to the wrapping. Oops…

hebe contents

Green Tea Mooncake (Hebe)

hebe best

I liked the Hebe green tea mooncake one the most, and most of my
coworkers agree. Mooncakes are traditionally cut into eight equal
slices, but I didn’t have a cake cutter, so I used my el cheapo
balisong (what they call a “butterfly knife”, due to it’s folded but
fast flipping deployment) to do the job.

mooncake balisong

I have a better Benchmade balisong, but I don’t carry that around…it’s reserved for…special occasions. ;)

Mid-Autumn Dinner

I had a belated Mid-Autumn Festival dinner today with a group of my friends from high school.
The list of attendees are: Ung Hing, who arrived 1 1/2 hours late because there was a train
accident which delayed his train, Karen, Fu Liang (the only one who is not from our high school),
Thien Na, who drove her Lancer down from the city, Chuck Fong and his brother Chuck Yong, the
elusive Christopher, Adrian and of course me. We went to Ocean King in Glen Waverley and had one of
their banquets. Off my memory (which is slowly becoming erratic) there was abalone soup, prawns
with noodles, black pepper beef, fish (a meal isn’t complete without fish, or so I hear), spicy
breaded chicken, some tofu dish, fruits and tong shui. Thien Na and I had the misfortune of sitting
beside the rice holder so we were delegated to serving rice the whole night. Heh. The banquet only
came to about A$15 each, so that’s pretty good for the dishes that are available.

Group photo at Ocean King. I forgot to put force flash on, making the picture somewhat
noisy.

After dinner, we headed down to Intencity, an arcade just opposite the restaurant. Chuck Fong
trashed everyone with his Virtual On skillz and I dominated the Daytona race track. Well, perhaps
dominate is not exactly the right term because Thien Na kept catching up to me. Karen on the other
hand was nowhere to be seen. =D

Daytona action. Karen (furthest from camera) is devastated at her loss. Heh.

The fruity looking guns are from…

Point Blank.

It’s not even 10 pm yet, and Karen and Ung Hing are already sneaking off to get some quality
time alone behind the arcade machines. =D

The line forming to dethrone Chuck Fong at Virtual On.

Another victim falls to Chuck Fong’s Virtual On skillz.

Pedal Faster Karen!

You don’t want to meet us in a dark alley. We’ll probably force you to play Point Blank with us
or something. =D

I find pictures in my digicam that I don’t remember taking. Heh. =D

This is me and Thien Na. She sat in the row beside mine in Form Five. Interesting fact: All but
three of the people that came tonight are from the same class in Form Five.

The girls. I’ve been in the same class as Karen since Primary 1. Imagine that. =D

A partial group shot in the arcade.

Mooncakes

Mmm…mooncakes. I’m not doing anything tonight though, gonna have a
belated mid-autumn dinner tomorrow instead with a group of my
ex-classmates. I only had one measly mooncake this year, the one you see
above. I see there is a chick on the top of the container.

Ah…this is the best place to get stuff in Clayton. Not the butcher, the
food clearance center. They have big ass Toblerone bars for only A$8.
According to my empirical chart, a unit of big ass = 750 grams.

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