Legend tells of a myth that in the old days, there were ten suns revolving and taking turns to illuminate the earth. One day, the suns suddenly began to shine all at once. This made life on earth unbearable and almost everything was scorched and burnt.

Hou Yi, a skilled archer, saved the world by shooting down nine of the ten suns. As a result, he was crowned ruler of the people. Much to the dismay of the people, this hero soon became a tyrant. In order to enjoy longevity, he ordered for an elixir to be concocted. The elixir was believed to help him immortality. His wife, Chang Er, worried that he might live to tyrannise the people, swallowed the elixir herself.

Upon taking the elixir,Chang Er found herself flying towards the moon. The people were grateful and they set up altars to offer mooncake to their saviour. This brought about the Mid Autumn Festival, when the moon is reputed to be at its brightest and roundest. Till today, this damsel of yore is still believed to be residing on the moon. It has since become a tradition for family and friends to gather and enjoy mooncakes while admiring the moon on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar every year.

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About one more month, we are celebrating Mid Autumn Festival again! It’s a day where we enjoy mooncakes with our loved ones and buy them as gifts to show appreciation to our bosses, families and friends. Over the past few weeks, I am honoured to have received so many mooncakes from many hotels and restaurants. Thank you for the love (and thank you Comb Head for giving me pretty hair)! I have tried all of them and painstakingly wrote this post while trying to keep my waistline the same. Hope it helps you to decide which mooncake to buy this year. All the photos are taken by me, with my beloved aunty assisting me during the photoshoots. So here’s presenting to you, MissTamChiak’s Mooncake Guide 2013.

P/S Please read to the end as there is a GIVEAWAY for all of you!

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MUST TRY: Raspberry‐Rum and Chocolate Paste

Made using the finest ingredients, Jiang Nan Cun‘s traditionally baked mooncakes feature familiar favourites such as Silver Lotus Paste with Double Yolks and Melon Seeds and Silver Lotus Paste with Honey and Pine Nuts. Mooncake aficionados will also delight in the new varieties: Pandan and White Lotus Seed Paste with Melon Seeds and Silver Lotus Paste with Cassia Flowers, Oolong Tea and Melon Seeds.

Those with a sweet tooth will relish the distinctive flavours of mooncakes filled with Raspberry‐Rum and Chocolate Paste, Grand Marnier and Chocolate Paste, and Macadamia Nut Chocolate Royaltine Paste.

Price:
– Silver Lotus Paste with Cassia Flowers,Oolong Tea and Melon Seeds $58/4 pcs
– Raspberry‐Rum and Chocolate Paste $55/8 pcs
– Macadamia Nut Chocolate Royaltine Paste $55/8 pcs

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MUST TRY: Purple Sweet Potato with Single Yolk

The most traditional form of Teochew mooncakes, created by PUTIEN for the first time! It is created by one of their staff, Madam Leong. She makes mooncakes at home every year and when she brought it to let the bosses try it last year, they were very impressed and decided to do it this year.

The velvety yam and purple sweet potato filling are made lovingly from scratch and bursting with flavour. Crafted in a two-layered pastry shell, the unique pastry shell ensures luxurious buttery consistency in every bite.

Price:
– Yam with Single Yolk $52/4 pcs
– Purple Sweet Potato with Single Yolk $55/4 pcs

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Peony Jade

MUST TRY: Mini Bamboo Ash Snowskin Mooncake with Premium Golden Phoenix Durian

This year, Peony Jade presents four new tantalising flavours, Pink Guava with Avocado and Passion Fruit Mooncake, Power Berries Berries Mooncake, Cream Cheese Mango Mooncake, and Salted Gula Melaka with Coconut and Valrhona Dark Chocolate Pearl Mooncake, and Golden Phoenix (Jin Feng) Durian Mooncake that is making a comeback, that will satisfy and surprise the palates of the most curious of food fanatics. I enjoyed their Salted Gula Melaka mooncake as it borrowed flavours from the well-loved Peranakan desserts like Sago Gula Melaka, Pengat Pisang, and Chendol.

If you ask me what I love most, it is definitely their Mini Bamboo Ash Snowskin Mooncake with Premium Golden Phoenix Durian. Wins hands down! It is known for its naturally sweet pulpy flesh encased in the delicately soft bamboo charcoal powder skin. They also have Top Grade Pure Mao Shan Wang Durian Mooncake in Organic Pandan Snowskin. Another crowd-pleaser among the different generations is Peony Jade’s signature flaky Teochew ‘orh ni’ traditionally baked mooncakes for the past-running 5 years.

Price:
– Mini Bamboo Ash Snowskin Mooncake with Premium Golden Phoenix Durian $74/8 pcs
– Mini Salted Gula Melaka with Coconut and Valrhona Dark Chocolate Pearl Mooncake $48/8 pcs
– Original Ex-Crown Prince Flaky Teochew ‘Orh Ni’ Mooncake with Double Egg Yolks $35/2 pcs, $62/4 pcs

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MUST TRY: Pulot Hitam Mooncake

This year, InterContinental Singapore’s award-winning signature restaurant Man Fu Yuan partnered with the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in a design competition and featured the winning calligraphic artwork in its mooncake packaging. The calligraphic profile of ‘满’ is shaped in the form of a rabbit, whilst incorporating the circular structure of the moon, which symbolises reunion.

One must try is Man Fu Yuan’s “Pulot Hitam” Mooncake, filled with creamy centre of black glutinous rice pudding, which melts in the mouth with delicated snowskin wrap. Back by popular demand, the “Mao Shan Wang” durian mooncake with coconut has a decadent blend of durian pulp and fragrant coconut milk. Man Fu Yuan’s traditional mooncakes feature assorted nuts, white lotus seed paste with macadamia nuts, and red bean paste with melon seeds.

Price:
– Snowskin “Mao Shan Wang” durian mooncake with coconut $54.80/4pcs, $32.80/2pcs
– Snowskin Mooncake Combination (with pulot hitam, green tea, white lotus seed, sesame paste) $53.80/4pcs
– Traditional Low Sugar White Lotus Seed Paste with Single Yolk $54.80/4pcs, $32.80/2pcs

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MUST TRY: Royal Milk Tea Snowskin Mooncake with Red Bean Paste and White Chocolate Champagne Truffle

Yan Ting’s five snowskin mooncakes are new creations exuding heavenly aromas from the frist bite. Enjoy Pure “Mao Shan Wang” durian snowskin mooncake which will tickle the senses with alluring aroma. I love their purple sweet potato snowskin mooncake, with indulgent smooth sweet potato paste and bits of purple sweet potato within.

Another beautiful addition is the royal milk tea snowskin mooncake with red bean paste and white chocolate champagne truffle – a splendid union of flavours. Berries lovers will like the Mixed berries snowskin mooncake with strawberry paste. Not forgetting the rousing fragrance from Green Tea snowskin mooncake with melon seeds. The mooncake collection is encased in an elegant packaging, which resembles an ornamental jewellery box.

Price:
– Pure “Mao Shan Wang” Durian Snowskin Mooncake $108/8 pcs
– Green Tea / Mixed Berries / Purple Sweet Potato $66.80/8 pcs per flavour
– Royal Milk Tea Snowskin Mooncake with Red Bean Paste and White Chocolate Champagne Truffle $68.80/8 pcs
– Assorted Snowskin Mooncakes $67.80/8 pcs

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MUST TRY: Mixed Nuts with Iberico Ham

Li Bai celebrates Mid-Autumn with a meld of tradition and innovation as it creates three new traditional baked mooncakes with no artificial flavourings or preservatives. A twist in the traditional Lotus paste, the Black Dates, Longans and Wolfberries mooncake is wrapped within a baked crust promises a flavoursome treat whereas the fruits add a pleasant texture to the traditional Lotus paste in Mooncakes.

For the Green Tea lovers, look out for the nutrient-rich Green Tea & Black Sesame infused Lotus Seed paste Mooncake. It is studded with Melon Seeds, giving it a delightful crunch. Those with an adventurous palette can try their unique flavour – Mixed Nuts and Iberico Ham. Li Bai’s Classic Scarlet Box features a cross-hatched luxe finish in auspicious red complemented with a hinged gold clasp.

Price:
– Yellow Lotus Seed Paste with Black Dates, Dried Longan and Wolfberries $57/4 pcs
– Mixed Nuts with Iberico Ham $60/4 pcs
– Green Tea and Black Sesame Lotus Seed Paste with Melon Seeds $57/4 pcs

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MUST TRY: Yam with Coconut Truffle

Paying homage to this enduring and well-loved tradition, Grand Hyatt Singapore presents a selection of artisanal mooncakes, handmade by our skilful team of gourmet pastry chefs, in both classic and new flavours of the snowskin and traditional baked variety. This year, three new snowskin flavours are added to the collection: Green Tea with Sake Truffle, Yam with Coconut Truffle and White Lotus with XO Truffle.

Adding a touch of luxury to this celestial occasion is the Black Sesame Yuzu Truffle topped with a delicate sprinkling of gold dust. In addition, popular snowskin mooncakes including the Champagne Truffle, Lychee Martini Truffle and Durian flavour, will also be available. All the handcrafted mooncakes come stylishly presented in an elegant turquoise-topped acrylic gift box.

Price: $62/8 pcs (can mix and match any flavours)

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MUST TRY: Blueberry Cream Cheese Snowskin Mooncake

Cheesecake lovers are in for a treat! New this year is the delightful Mini Blueberry Cream Cheese Snowskin Mooncake. With the sweet and smooth cream cheese paste enveloping the refreshing blueberry jam that is placed in the centre of this handcrafted snowskin mooncake, this perfect combination akin to the mouthwatering blueberry cheesecake is sure to be a crowd pleaser this Mid-Autumn Festival!

Carlton’s all time favourites is the addictive Mini Walnut Moontart with white lotus paste and egg yolk. For the health conscious connoisseurs, this signature mooncake also comes in a low sugar option without egg yolk. The hotel also has mini Durian Snowskin Mooncake packed with fresh durian pulp so fresh and without preservatives that they are best consumed within four days.

Prices:
– Mini walnut moontart with egg yolk $56/8 pcs
– Blueberry Cream Cheese Snowskin Mooncake $56/8 pcs

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MUST TRY: Mini Baked Mooncake with Dried Barbecued Pork “Bak Kwa”

Savour perennial favourites from Golden Peony which includes the signature creations of Traditional Baked Mooncake with Double Yolk Lotus Paste and the unique Sweet Potato Mooncake in a Crispy Filo Pastry.

For discerning gourmands who delight in a little culinary adventure, sample the delightful new creations of Mini Baked Mooncake with Dried Barbecued Pork “Bak Kwa” and Yolk in White Lotus Paste as well as dainty Snowskin selections of Chestnut with Red Bean, Mango with Pomelo and Nata de Coco and Oreo Cheese with Cranberry.

Price:
– Mini Baked Mooncake with Dried Barbecued Pork “Bak Kwa” and Yolk in White Lotus Paste $56/8 pcs
– Sweet Potato Mooncake in a Crispy Filo Pastry $56/8 pcs
– Golden Peony Snowskin Treasures $56/8 pcs

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MUST TRY: Pink Guava with Passionfruit and Rambutan

Presenting a collection of fruity snowskin delights, this year’s mooncake highlights for Goodwood Park Hotel include Pink Guava with Passionfruit and Rambutan. A fine refreshing balance of sweet and tangy flavours, which comes with unique natural taste of the pink guava, as well as rambutan bits for bite.

The Snowskin Combo features a selection of the hotel’s famed fruit-based mooncakes and is a great way to sample a variety of different flavours. Each box contains one piece each of Pink Guava with Passionfruit and Rambutan, Mango with Pomelo, D24 Durian and Cempedak snowskin mooncakes. UOB, Citibank, DBS Credit & Debit Cardmembers enjoy a 15% discount while Goodwood Park Hotel Gourmet Cardmembers enjoy a 20% discount from 5 August to 19 September 2013.

Price:
– Pink Guava with Passionfruit and Rambutan $26/2 pcs, $46/ 4 pcs
– Snowskin Combo $54/4pcs

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MUST TRY: Floral Tea Konnyaku Mooncakes

With gifting in mind, Crystal Jade’s Mystical Treasure set comprises four premium flavours of Gold Leaf Mooncakes encased in a newly-designed, limited-edition treasure chest. The lavish chest has also been designed to make a terrific jewellery box. Each set includes Crystal Jade’s premium offerings: Gold Leaf White Lotus Paste with Double Yolk, Gold Leaf Red Lotus Paste with Double Yolk, Gold Leaf Plain White Lotus Paste, and Gold Leaf Mixed Nuts & Ham.

For those who prefer lighter, more contemporary mooncakes, Crystal Jade offers chilled selections of yogurt pudding mooncakes and Konnyaku jelly mooncakes. Perfect for tea-lovers, Floral Effulgence features four Floral Tea Konnyaku Mooncakes, each fragrantly infused with tea – Osmanthus & Plum Konnyaku Mooncake, Chrysanthemum Honey Konnyaku Mooncake, Roselle & Hawthorn Konnyaku Mooncake, and the new Rose & Red Date Konnyaku Mooncake.

Price:
– Mystical Treasure set $89.00/4 pcs
– Flora Effulgence set $20.00/4 pcs

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MUST TRY: Yuan Yang

All Teochew Ah Hiang raise your hands! For 3 generations since 1943, Thye Moh Chan has been conjuring these much anticipated mid autumn delights. Beautifully packaged in elegant royal purple boxes with intricate peony motifs, enjoy the traditional sweet and salty tau sar with single yolk. The sweet rendition is topped with white sesame, while the savory encompasses a blend of salty mung bean paste with fried shallots, white sesame and is seasoned with white pepper.

A unique flavour which I like is their Yuan Yang. It is brimming with generous filling of savoury mung bean paste, fried shallots, white sesame, spicy pork floss and salted egg yolk. My grandpa loves its double delights of red bean and a crystal filling made with winter melon, melon seeds, dried orange peel, white sesame and glutinous rice flour.

Price: $24.80/4 pcs (can mix and match flavours). Buy 10 boxes & above, each box $18.60.

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MUST TRY: D24 Oreo

Hailed as one of Lifestyle Asia’s Top 5 Snowskin Mooncakes (2012), take pleasure in Emicakes’ signature Mao Shan Wang mooncake. Delight your senses with the strong flavour of the finest and freshest Mao Shan Wang flesh enveloped in a delectable crystal skin.

Making its debut in our mooncake collection is the new D24 Oreo. The smooth blend of fresh D24 filling brings any mooncake experience to new heights of satisfaction. And just when you think the flavours are scrumptious enough, the finely crushed oreo biscuits add an irresistible texture, which will surely ignite your mooncake craving! Enjoy 15% OFF for all mooncake boxes from 19 August to 15 September 2013 with FREE delivery to 1 location plus Free Allerines Premium Tea Sample!

Price:
– Mao Shan Wang Mooncakes $76.90/4 big pcs
– D24 Oreo Mooncake $56.90/4 big pcs

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MUST TRY: Pandan Lotus with Custard

To celebrate this year’s Mid Atumn Fetival, popular French bakery chain Delifrance is offering their patrons exquisite selection of traditional mooncakes with unique flavours. It comes in an attractive packaging, which depicts Paris’ famous Eiffel Tower and hints at Delifrance’s Frence heritage.

The six new flavours include the White Lotus with QQ Milky Green Bean, Mango Lotus Paste with Diced Mango, Walnut Tiramisu, Pandan Lotus with Custard, White Chocolate with Cranberry Paste and the Pure Lotus with Melon Seed, which would appeal to those who are less adventurous. Delifrance’s mooncakes are Halal certified.

Price: $10.80/1 pc, $42.80 for a box of 4.

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MUST TRY: White Lotus Seed Paste with Taiwan Songshan Pineapple Filling

Din Tai Fung unveils its very first baked mini mooncakes for this upcoming Mid-autumn festival. Bite into delicate velvety white lotus paste mooncake and relish the delightfully aromatic pineapple filling in the centre. Using only Songshan pineapple paste imported from Taiwan, this golden treat reveal just the right amount of tanginess and low acidity that will delight enthusiasts of this fruits.

Traditionalists with a penchant for salted egg yolk mooncakes will find instant gratification in this version by Din Tai Fung. Each mini baked mooncake is a filled with a smooth, white lotus and salted egg yolk paste dotted with crunchy pine seeds and slivers of orange peel. The sweet, savoury and tangy combination titillates the taste buds and will leave one coming back for more!

Price: $23.80 (4 mini mooncakes with 2 flavours each)

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MUST TRY: All taste the same, but I like 不求人Cover-Up design. Haha!

For the first time in Singapore, the wildly popular Butt Mooncake collection by Hong Kong brand, Goods of Desire, will be available for sale here during the MidAutumn festive season this year. Drawing inspiration from the Chinese lingo referring to the resemblance of a person’s butt to a full moon, the traditional round mooncakes are now given a fresh and tongue-in-cheek twist by Goods of Desire with its unique butt-shaped mooncakes. Just for humour, they have four popular designs namely 一筒Bunny, 不求人Cover-Up, 单吊T-back and 卡窿The Split.

Produced by Mei-Xin Fine Goods, a household brand in Hong Kong known for its high quality confectionary goods, the lightly fragrant skin of each of these Butt Mooncakes are baked using traditional techniques to enfold the velvety smooth Lotus Seed Paste accompanied by the single egg yolk. The mooncakes comes in a mooncake box that resembles a traditional Chinese calendar.

Price: $14.50 each, $52 for a box of four mooncakes

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The best way to enjoy mooncakes is with a good cup of tea. The perfect balance of the sweetness from mooncakes complimented by the gentle aroma of a soothing tea can bring such sheer delight. Tea also helps in digestion and easing the stomach from the bloated feeling when one consumes too much rich and oily food.

Lipton, the largest tea brand in the world, has extended its range of Pyramid Tea to introduce six new specialty teas last month to meet customers’ growing demand for specialty teas. The six new additions include Calming Chamomile Tea (non-caffeine), Refreshing Mint Tea (non-caffeine), Uplifting Lemon Ginger Tea, English Breakfast Tea, Passion Raspberry Tea, Peach Mango Tea. Each pyramid tea bag contains whole tea leaves handpicked from top two leaves and a bud of the tea plant, flowers, herbs or real fruit pieces and blended to ensure the delicate balance of tea and flavour. The new specialty teas will be available at all major supermarkets.

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Thank you for reading all the way here. To reward you for reading this blogpost, here’s a giveaway for you to win a box of snowskin mooncakes from Grand Hyatt SingaporeTHREE LUCKY READERS will each walk away with a box of snowskin mooncakes. How to win? Just answer a simple question! (*HINT: Answers can be found in the blog post)

QUESTION: Name 3 new mooncake flavours Grand Hyatt is offering this year.

CLOSING DATE: 28 August 2013 (Wednesday). A random generator will be used, everyone has an equal chance of winning. We will mail the vouchers to the winners so that you can go to Grand Hyatt to collect fresh box of mooncakes. Good luck!

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