Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mid-Autumn Festival II or 中秋節 II

Today being Mid-Autumn Festival or 中秋節 (Zhongqiujie), I wonder how many of you are old enough to remember this mooncake as being the most commonly available and eaten ...

This is the White Mooncake and made of rice flour, sugar and water. This is the main choice available for normal folks in the not-so-distant poorer days of yesteryears! The slightly more expensive variety comes with roasted black sesame seeds in the cake mix.

When I was a young boy, my mum used to make them at home. The rice flour was toasted and then knead into a dough with caster sugar and water. 

The two-pieces mould was of brass - a flat round pan with a heavy top that fitted nicely into the pan. The top piece had the design for the mooncakes and there were a number of top pieces with different designs. A weighed ball of dough was placed into the base pan and then shaped to fit the base. The top piece was then placed into the pan and pressure was applied on the top piece of the mould to fix the shape of the mooncake and to create the pattern. Once done, you have the white moon cake. 

Sad to say, the brass moulds are no longer available - mum threw them out years ago once such mooncakes cakes became available commercially at a reasonable price! :-(

Nowadays, such mooncakes are rarely eaten and, if eaten, it's purely for nostalgia - considering that it is not very tasty, just sweet.  Still, eating it brings back memories of a long lost childhood. 

Such mooncakes are still in production though as they are being used for religious ceremonies on this day - the mooncake in the picture was used for our ancestor worship ceremony this morning.

Tonight, we will have a family gathering - steamboat, BBQ and, of course, the lanterns for the children. Part of the fun will also include the release of the Chinese flying lanterns (孔明燈) (kongmingdeng).


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