An early happy Moon Festival to all that celebrate! In light of the season, today’s recipe is Moon Cakes!
I’ve always assumed that it would be terribly difficult to make one of these cakes. There are of course a lot of different styles now and different tastes and flavours. The ones that I had were always vegetarian friendly because my dad is a vegetarian. I once asked him what the difference was, he told me that vegetarian moon cakes did not use pig fat when they made it and I’ve always been grossed out by the idea of non-vegetarian moon cakes (because my 7-year-old brain said that pig fat is gross).
My mom and I were the only fans of moon cakes in my house, she liked the salted egg yolk and I loved the sweet lotus paste. We used to finish dinner and my mom would break out the moon cake. She’d cut it into quarters. She’d dig out the egg yolk and leave me with the lotus paste and we would make faces at each other while eating our moon cakes. My mom always told me that one quarter a day was plenty, because moon cakes are very fattening (because a 10-year-old girl totally cares).
I never could wrap my head around the myth associated with the Moon Festival. There’s a woman in the moon? She has a bunny? But why is there a man? Oh, who knows…
I like to think that my recipe is not overly traditional… only because we spent a week experimenting on the best flavours. So…
Here’s my Moon Cake recipe for everyone who wants to eat moon cakes without figuring out the myth(s).
I had a family gathering over the weekend. Despite the terrible weather, we soldiered on and Barbecued to our hearts’ content in my Uncle’s spaciously beautiful backyard.
I love a good family gathering and I love the melding of traditions between my dad’s generation and mine. We had fried rice and fried noodles coupled with the largest roast beef I’d ever seen (we had to feed thirty people though, so I suppose the larger the better). Oh, and I was tasked to create a dessert and (at the very last minute) to pick up 200 mini egg rolls. Ah Family.
Being CBC (Canadian Born Chinese) makes family gathering eclectic. Most of my family is from Hong Kong and we are (apparently) very proud of our Shanghai heritage. Proud enough that my dad’s generation will have a few too many beers/ glasses of wine and start speaking in what can only be called Shanghainese. Mix that with the English and slang of my cousins and I often wonder if anyone understands each other.
In any case, my father (the complainer that he is) wanted me to know that he didn’t approve of the fact that I didn’t know how to make any Chinese cakes, complaining that Western style cakes were too sweet for his taste buds. So (after much trial and tribulation), I made a Malaysian Sponge Cake or 馬拉糕.I’ve only ever experienced this cake during Dim Sum with my family and I never realized how much work it would take to make this cake. I had tons of fun making it though, even during the failures. I actually used it as the base cake for my dad’s fruit themed birthday cake a couple of weeks back.
Oh by the way, bringing this lovely dessert with me today is my unlucky cousin who needed a ride to said family gathering!