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Friday September 17, 2010

218kg mooncake to be star attraction at Mid-Autumn fest

BUKIT MERTAJAM: A group of eight pastry workers has come up with a 218kg fragrant mooncake, which has been billed as the largest and heaviest handmade mooncake in Penang.

Eight people are needed to carry the “rainbow” mooncake, which is multicoloured and has eight layers of filling. When cut into bite sizes, it can feed 6,000 people.

The mooncake, which costs RM18,000, will be a major attraction at the state-level Mid-Autumn Festival 2010 celebrations in Kampung Baru here tomorrow.

The workers spent 12 hours baking the mooncake, which has a height of 33cm and a diameter of 96.52cm.

Leong Yin Pastry Sdn Bhd chairman Leong Seng Yoon, who headed the team, said the baking on Wednesday took merely an hour but the preparation of the ingredients consumed a longer time.

Big yummy treat: Leong showing the mooncake at his factory in Juru yesterday.

“We used 21kg of wheat flour to make the hand-carved crust while pure lotus paste was used to prepare the mooncake filling, which was separated into eight portions and blended with different flavours.

“The pastes were arranged in layers from blueberry, cranberry, emerald pandan, white lotus, US lemon, apple and white coffee to the original lotus paste on the top,” he said at his factory at Jalan Industri Beringin in Juru yesterday.

The 65-year-old said the mooncake would be served to the people who attended the celebrations.

Leong, an international juror and adviser in mooncake-baking competitions with 30 years of experience, said that among the difficult tasks when making the pastry was to ensure the mooncake’s crust did not get burnt as it was a mere 4mm.

Leong’s son, Kok Fei, who is the firm’s managing director, said the 20-year old company, which supplies high-quality lotus pastes locally and internationally, had over 100 lotus paste flavours to its record.

The company, which has its own research and development unit and laboratory, also received gold awards from the China Food Industry Association for its white coffee, pure lotus and emerald pandan pastes recently.

Kok Fei said the eight tiers for the filling was made possible because of the 100% usage of pure lotus paste that enabled the structure to “stand firm”.

“We will give away three replicas of the eight-layer mooncake, weighing 1.25kg each, to those who answer a quiz on the history of the Mid-Autumn festival during the event,” he added.

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