No more moon-dane cakes

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 17 Sep 2020

GEORGE TOWN: The saying that all that glitters is not gold is quite true -- at least in the case of the black mooncake.

A home-based baker here has ventured out of the traditional mould of mooncake-making by dusting her black mooncake with gold glitter.

Going for gold:  Teow  dusting her mooncakes in gold glitter at her shop in Bayan Baru, Penang. — LIM BENG TATT/The StarGoing for gold: Teow dusting her mooncakes in gold glitter at her shop in Bayan Baru, Penang. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

Teow Bee Bee, 45, said she decided to be more creative and make mooncakes with coloured pastry skins, using natural ingredients to keep up with the recent trends of celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Besides the black mooncake, there are green, red and the original brown-coloured ones too.

Mooncakes these days also come in different shapes and sizes such as hare, rose, goldfish and phoenix.

“Instead of the usual traditional mooncake pastry skin, I decided to add on different colours this year.

“I used natural ingredients such as charcoal powder, red yeast and green tea to create the colours.

“We have to keep up with the preferences of the younger generation as most of them go for attractive designs and beautiful packaging apart from the flavour.

“They want their mooncakes to be special and they prefer designs that are more creative.

“I make my mooncakes in different shapes and sizes.

“I decided to come up with six different trendy flavours this year which include green tea, red bean, coffee, Thai milk tea, chocolate and hazelnut.

“As for the vegetarian ones, I omit egg yolk, ” she said, adding that it takes around five hours for the mooncakes to be done.

Teow added that she started baking cakes about 10 years ago and tried her hand at baking mooncakes seven years ago.

“When I first started baking mooncakes, I did the Shanghai mooncake, which was easier and required less work.

“Then I met this person who taught me how to bake mooncakes with mixed nuts such as almond, walnut, macadamia nut, dried melon seeds (kuaci) and white sesame filling.

“I shared them with friends and family and their positive feedback encouraged me to come up with bolder and more creative designs.

“My children are happy to help me out in the kitchen too, ” she said.

To ensure the freshness of her mooncakes, Teow said she does not use artificial preservatives.

“I only start to make mooncakes a month before the Mid-Autumn Festival.

“The mooncakes can last for about two months if kept properly.

“I bake the mooncakes for a longer time to ensure that its skin is dry.

“As people are more health conscious nowadays, I cook my own sugar syrup and use less sugar, ” she said.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake or Lantern Festival, falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Lunar calendar.

During the Shang Dynasty, 3,500 years ago, this period was deemed the most auspicious for celebrating the harvest season and families would venture out to admire the moon.

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