SINGAPORE: It’s that time of the year again, when friends and family gather to admire the moon, sip tea and widen waistlines with moon-shaped pastries, traditionally filled with sweet lotus seed paste.
In food-obsessed Singapore, these customary Mid-Autumn festival sweet treats have evolved over the years to reach new heights of exoticism, decadence and luxury. The old-school recipes have now given way to trendy contemporary versions, with a smorgasbord of fillings ranging from durian and foie gras to parma ham and alcohol.
While many oddball combinations don’t quite work, some surprisingly do. So for all non-fans of the traditional yolk-centered goodies, here are five unique flavours that are definitely worth the calories.
Chang Ho Sek Mao Shan Wang Snowskin Mooncakes
It might be the current flavour du jour but when they come as pulpy and creamy as these gems, there’s really no denying a great durian mooncake, however ubiquitous they’ve become. Chang Ho Sek’s Mao Shan Wang mooncakes will please even the pickiest durian connoisseurs or purists who only like the King of fruits fresh and off a seed. Here, the ratio of soft snowskin and Mao Shan Wang durian is perfectly balanced, and its rich, buttery filing is countered by the delicate casing to make for a firm but luscious bite. Altogether, a bittersweet indulgence worth the decadence.
Goodwood Park Hotel’s Root Beer Snowskin Mooncake
Yes you heard this right. For those who can’t wait until 2018 for the Singapore comeback of fast-food chain A&W, you can get your fix with this unusual treat. Using root beer as a base, this mooncake is given an added boost of flavours with vanilla beans and a tinge of rum. This cream-coloured mooncake really brings you back to the days of enjoying your root beer float straight out of that frosted mug. Curly fries with mooncake anyone?
Grand Hyatt Singapore’s Violette & Gin
This is not your grandmother’s mooncakes, that’s for sure. Determined to elevate the humble mooncake to another level, Grand Hyatt Singapore introduces the very adult Violette & Gin. With layers of distinct flora notes infused with Tanqueray No. TEN gin and crème de violette liqueur, this combination stands out as particularly inspired and harmonious. This new flavour will be joining the hotel’s popular stable of alcoholic snowskin mooncakes, including the Lychee Martini mooncake and Strawberry-Lime-Tequila Truffle.
Cat & the Fiddle’s Strawberry Cheesecake mooncake
Known for their expertise in all manner of cheesecakes, Daniel Tay’s Cat & the Fiddle has joined the Mid-Autumn festival fray with five different snowskin cheesecake mooncakes. Flavours range from cookies and cream, chocolate and strawberry to blueberry and yes, durian. For those game enough, the latter is lotus paste filling boosted with real Mao Shan Wang durian pulp, enveloped around cream cheese in a white chocolate shell. But our favourite has to be the alcohol-laced strawberry flavour. The sweet and tart combination of cream cheese, lotus paste and a centre of white chocolate martini ganache with a burst of mint leaves is especially unforgettable.
Raffles Hotel’s Strawberry Yoghurt and Crunchy White Chocolate Pearl Snow-Skin Mooncake
Nationally feted and one of the most consistently beloved mooncakes in Singapore, everyone is familiar with the iconic hotel’s signature Champagne Truffle and Ganache Snowskin Mooncake. But a surprising new contender is set to take over throne – the Strawberry Yoghurt and Crunchy White Chocolate Pearl Snowskin. Specially concocted for its 130th anniversary, the juxtaposition works because it reminds us of crunching through our favourite strawberry milk chocolate candy and washing it down with Yakult during our childhood days.