Mooncakes have come a long way since the Yuan Dynasty, when they were used by Ming revolutionaries to distribute secret messages about a planned revolt against Mongol rule.
These days, the only revolt that mooncakes symbolise are that against calorie counts, as purveyors dream up appealingly new and novel flavours year after year.
Here are some that our waistlines are going to be up in arms about.
MILO DINOSAUR MOONCAKE FROM THE FULLERTON HOTEL
To celebrate The Fullerton’s 90th anniversary, the hotel’s chefs created an ode to its colonial location, Mile Zero — the point from which all of Singapore was measured in road distances back in the day. Some latter-day spin doctor must have reworked the words to Mile-O, which isn’t much of a leap to Milo and inadvertently, Milo Dinosaur. The Milo Dinosaur Mooncake still cleaves close to tradition with a velvety snow skin encasing a filling of Milo-flavoured lotus seed paste strewn with crunchy Milo pops.
Tel: 6877 8943. shop.fullertonhotels.com
GINGER ENZYME MOONCAKE FROM SIMPLE INDULGENCE PATISSERIE
This is a satisfying treat for those who must indulge lightly. Secreted beneath a smooth turmeric-infused snow skin is a low-sugar lotus paste filling flecked with chopped toasted pistachios and almonds. Every bite yields the bright, citrusy zip of ginger and lots of nutty crunch. Founder of Simple Indulgence, former banker-turned-baker Christine Ng, has also created a bevy of elegant flavours like a delectable Japanese Yuzu Truffle and Black Sesame Raspberry Truffle. The best part: They all come in mini sizes so you keep your indulgences small.
Tel: 9113 8672. Simpleip.oddle.me
BLUE PEA FLOWER WITH WHITE LOTUS SEED PASTE AND MELON SEEDS MOONCAKE, AND ALMOND BEANCURD WITH LONGAN MOONCAKE FROM GOODWOOD PARK HOTEL
Admittedly, we were taken by the beautifully marbled striations of blue across their pristine white snow skins. Upon sampling, we were pleased to find that they taste as pleasantly delicate as they look. The smooth lotus seed paste filling, studded with melon seed slivers, was on just the right side of sweet.
If, however, you’re up for something less conventional, there’s the Almond Beancurd with Longan Mooncake featuring a filling of wobbly almond milk jelly encased in pink-washed snow skins.
Tel: 6730 1868. goodwoodparkhotel.com
CHOCOLATE MANUKA HONEY MOONCAKE FROM CRYSTAL JADE
If the combination of chocolate and Manuka honey doesn’t whet your sweet tooth, then the Disney’s Mickey and Friends Musical Carousel, which contains the mooncakes, might. This impressive container, gilded in a shade of rose gold, can be lit from within to spotlight the images of Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Ducks, and Goofy. A two-tier dessert tray within the tin holds said mooncakes and is respectable enough to use as a tea table centrepiece. Besides the lightly chocolatey mooncakes with lovely notes of Manuka honey, there are also Pandan Lotus with Gula Melaka mooncakes, their snow skins inexplicably coloured pink.
MINI FRUITY NOON TEA MOONCAKE AND BLUEBERRY WITH VINTAGE HUA DIAO MOONCAKE FROM HUA TING
When it came to flavour, these were our favourite novelty mooncakes. Though indubitably modern, they managed to capture a distinctly oriental spirit through their ingredients. The Mini Fruity Noon Tea mooncakes were filled with a refreshingly tangy green apple-infused lotus seed paste. In their centre was a white chocolate truffle infused with the floral notes of the restaurant’s signature premium tea. Instead of ubiquitous champagne, the unique Blueberry Mooncakes were flavoured with the warm, herbaceous notes of vintage Chinese rice wine. A generous mound of minced blueberries hidden in their middles provided refreshing sweetness.
KUEH SALAT MOONCAKE AND CHEMPEDAK BLACK SESAME MOONCAKE FROM CAFFE PRALET
This kueh salat in mooncake form is a brilliant idea. Beneath the chewy blue pea flower snow skin is a pandan-infused kaya custard and crunchy dessicated coconut. You get all the flavours of kueh salat in delightfully sticky mochi form.
Chempedak lovers will also adore the sweet-pungent fruit custard wrapped in a black sesame skin.
Tel: 6223 5595 (or Whatsapp 8318 0698)