We’ve been surrounded by boxes and boxes of mooncakes for months in anticipation of this year’s Mid-autumn Festival, an age-old harvest-time celebration involving lantern displays, dragon dances and, yes, lots and lots of mooncakes. These traditional Chinese pastries usually feature fillings such as red bean, lotus seed and egg yolk, which are normally on the very heavy side. So this year we’ve been on the lookout for mooncakes that are just that little bit different, with both creative fillings and packaging. Here are our lucky 8 picks:
We like this French patisserie’s mooncakes for their flaky sablé pastry shells, which seem lighter to us than the norm. Fillings include red bean for traditionalists and, for those who like to walk a bit on the wild side, rum raisin and chocolate dice. Prices start at $298 for the Paris Moon gift box (8 mini mooncakes). For enquiries and orders, phone 3185 8330, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.dalloyau.hk.
Fans of this Argentine steakhouse’s dulce de leche cheesecake can rejoice now that it’s been transformed into a one-of-a-kind mooncake. Gaucho’s dulce de leche mooncake gift set ($288 for 4 pieces) can be pre-ordered until 5 October 2017 by phoning 2386 8090 or emailing email@example.com.
This French bakery by way of NYC takes the cake (pun intended) for the most showstopping mooncake gift box this year, featuring a pretty pastel pink lantern inspired by the Big Apple’s famous brownstone townhouses. And it’s battery lit from within, so it even glows! Inside the Grand Lantern Mooncakes gift box ($388) four individually packaged white lotus seed and egg yolk mini pastries await. We found Lady M’s mooncakes lighter and more delicate than their counterparts. Visit one of the Lady M boutiques in Central, Causeway Bay, TST or Sha Tin to purchase a voucher for the gift box, which can be redeemed until 3 October 2017.
Lai Yuen Restaurant
This new cha chaan teng in TST has launched Lai Yuen–themed mooncake gift sets that pay tribute to the iconic Lai Chi Kok amusement park of yore. The retro, colourful box design is seriously funky, belying the classic creamy custard and salted egg yolk pastries within. Get yourself a set of Lai Yuen’s mid-autumn pastries ($256 for 8 mini mooncakes) by visiting the Lai Yuen website.
L’Éclair de Génie
This eclair master is branching into mooncakes with the launch of four innovative pastries crafted with milk or dark chocolate shells filled with handcrafted fruit jellies or caramelised nuts. The La Lune gift box (4 pieces) is priced at $208. Two seasonal eclair flavours have also been released to commemorate the mid-autumn festivities: chestnut umeboshi and red bean sesame ($42 each). Go to L’Éclair de Génie’s web shop to order.
This local Hong Kong brand made itself famous for its delectable Taiwanese-style pineapple shortcake, and it’s now branched out to a range of seasonal mooncakes filled with either pineapple and salted egg yolk or white lotus seed and salted egg yolk. We love the cool, contemporary packaging of these little guys. Each mooncake gift box (4 pastries) is priced at $328. Order Moreish online here – boxes can be collected at Papillon Caffe in Wanchai. Delivery is also available.
Created in collaboration with French pastry king Pierre Hermé, most famous for his macarons, this luxurious four-piece mooncake gift box is amongst the priciest at $580. But oh the mooncakes are divine, with a light and lovely cake consistency. The four different fruity and floral fillings – Qi Qiao (almond and orange blossom with kumquat), Qin Yin (almond and jasmine with grapefruit), Vanilla (almond and vanilla) and Ispahan (almond, raspberry and rose with lychee) – are coated with decadent white chocolate. Purchase Mott32 mooncakes here.
Ms B’s CAKERY
Ms B’s beautiful lantern-inspired fresh mooncakes are made with an unbeatable combination of ingredients that sing of Hong Kong: mango and coconut mousse, pomelo pearls and vanilla chiffon cake. Prices range from $280 for a box of two, $520 for four and $880 for a whopping 500 grams. Stunningly packaged traditional lotus seed with egg yolk mooncakes are also available – what sets these apart is the use of natural maltose instead of sugar, making them a lower-calorie treat than the usual mooncake bombs around town (gift box of 9 mini mooncakes for $620). Visit Ms B’s CAKERY’s website for more information.