The forthcoming Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival, is one of the most significant events following the Chinese New Year. It is traditionally held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month and follows Ghost Month. Despite its Chinese origins, many Filipino-Chinese and Filipinos in the Philippines celebrate this.
The Mid-Autumn festival is often celebrated by eating mooncakes and giving them as presents. Additionally, these pastries come in a variety of flavors. For example, Cantonese-style mooncakes, which have a soft exterior, flower-like crimped borders, and a careful design imprinted on top, and Suzhou-style mooncakes (or “hopia“), which are prepared with crispy layers of flaky dough.
All of these mooncakes are all spherical, packed pastries constructed of pastry skin and filled with a rich, sweet filling. Traditional fillings include lotus seed paste, red bean paste, and mung bean paste, but several bakeries have recreated this well-loved classic by introducing unusual tastes, some of which are only available locally. With that being said, here’s 5 unique mooncake flavors to try and where you can get them too:
1. Choco Banana Lava Mooncake
Although Eng Bee Tin rose to prominence with its ube hopia, the company has continued to reinvent hopia by providing a variety of distinctive tastes. Mango jam, durian, pandan, and wintermelon are just a few examples. However, for chocolate lovers, the Choco Banana Lava hopia (Php 220 per can) is a must-try! This taste combines the sweetness of banana with the delicious richness of chocolate, making it appealing to both adults and children.
2. Matcha Mooncake
High-end hotels, like Shangri-la Mactan, provide fusion treats to coincide with the event. The hotel’s in-house restaurant Canton Road provides a superb Matcha mooncake that goes well with tea. This Japanese-Chinese mooncake combines tastes from two cultures, yielding an earthy yet somewhat bitter tea-based filling and a sweet crust that balances matcha’s naturally green undertones. Celebrate this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival with a selection of mooncake varieties such as Red Bean, Green Tea, White Lotus, and Black Sesame, priced at Php 3,708.65 net for a box of four pieces.
3. Lava Custard Mooncake
Hong Kong is famous for its mooncakes, so getting one right from the source is a must! These Lava Custard mooncakes (Php 2,550 for 8 pcs.) from Hong Kong MX Mooncakes are rich, creamy, and a perfect balance of salty and sweet. The filling is produced using their novel “twice bake” process, which involves baking the salted egg yolks before roasting them with the custard. The end product is a perfect blend of salty egg and creamy custard for a delicious taste.
4. Black Sesame, Mango, and Red Bean Crepe Mooncake
Paper Moon Cafe is known for mille crepes and crepe cakes, but they’ve combined the expertise of French dessert manufacturing with the Chinese technique of mooncake production. The end result? A unique mooncake created with snow skin, as well as their characteristic crepes! This East-meets-West delicacy has interlocking layers of crepe, cream, and filling in the center and is available in three variants: Red Bean, Mango, and Black Sesame. A box of 3 is only Php 350!
5. Modern-inspired Mooncake
Usually mooncakes have one to two flavors per slice. KO Patissier takes this to the next level. Their mooncake (P2,500/good for eight) is a bit of a Eurasian situation, with Chinese flavors mingling with classic French dessert elements. They describe this culinary marvel as a Modern-inspired Mooncake, with layers of Lotus Seed Mousse, Dark Chocolate Shell, Mango Yuzu Gelee, Soft Caramel, Chocolate Pain de Gene, and Salted Egg Crumble.