No matter how many interesting, newflangled snowskin creations chefs come up with every Mid-Autumn Festival, we always go back to the classic baked varieties, such as the single and double yolk with white lotus paste, that we've been enjoying for generations.
Made using time-honoured recipes—with little to no tweaks—skilled pastry chefs today do their best to ensure we enjoy the same delicious flavours our grandparents first fell in love with. Of course, there are enhancements made over the years—some as recent as a couple of decades ago— that have endured to become new classics.
Here are some of our top picks.
(Related: 10 Best Snowskin Mooncake Flavours To Savour)
White Lotus Paste with Single Yolk and Macadamia Nuts
It has been more than two decades since Hua Ting introduced this flavour; a firm favourite with its silky smooth and nutty lotus paste that has remained consistent—thanks to the brigade of chefs who have been preparing this variation from day one.
Much of its success depends on the ingredients; the team starts by sourcing premium ingredients in Hong Kong months before the celebration. Using an age-old recipe, they perfect the fragrant lotus paste filling, which, even today, may take many rounds of tastings to achieve the perfect balance.
Amy Ang, director of marketing communications at Orchard Hotel, confesses that this flavour sells out easily, with loyal customers reserving their order months ahead. “A few years ago, we had an Indonesian customer who tried it by chance and loved it so much, she instantly wanted to purchase 50 boxes as gifts,” she shares. But the mooncakes were already sold out, so every year she would reserve her boxes way in advance.
Available until October 4 at Orchard Hotel’s lobby kiosk. For enquiries and orders, please call 6739 6577 or email email@example.com. orchardhotel.com.sg/mooncakes2017.
Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant
Mini Egg Custard with Yolk
Dim sum chef Cheung Kin Nam had already perfected this recipe in Hong Kong before bringing it to Singapore 28 years ago. He had wanted Singaporeans to try a unique offering, traditional but not your average white lotus paste with yolk. And he felt a smooth, creamy custard balanced with the saltiness of the egg yolk and covered with light pastry, was just right.
He still prepares the mooncake to ensure consistency, taking as long as six to seven hours a day to make sure all the ingredients are balanced and the custard is not overpowering. Singaporeans still have an appetite for this every Mid-Autumn Festival, with over 1,500 boxes purchased every year.
Available until October 4 at the hotel lobby. For enquiries and orders, please call 6731 7173 or visit singaporeatrium.holidayinn.com/festive.
Mixed Nuts and Chicken Ham
The culinary team has been selling this variety for more than 20 years—from the time Crystal Jade began selling mooncakes. And every year, it’s still the top-selling flavour among the traditional baked options.
Not only is it the perfect balance of sweet and savoury, it’s crafted using a time-honoured recipe, which is passed down to the culinary heads who then train their team to create the mooncakes to their exacting standards. The mooncake also goes through a number of in-house tastings by a panel of food lovers and experts to ensure the quality and consistency remain.
Available until October at all outlets. Orders can be placed at crystaljade.com until October 1.
Perfect Duo (White Lotus and Red Lotus)
The chefs at TungLok wanted to offer their customers more variety, so they created the Perfect Duo eight years ago. Each pretty box contains the double yolk-white lotus and the double yolk-red lotus, which marketing manager Lau Li Li says remains a hot favourite, especially with their corporate customers. “On average, we produce and sell about 6,000 boxes every year.”
Each mooncake is made using an original recipe, and is painstakingly prepared by the experienced team of ‘mooncake masters’ at the central kitchen for quality and consistency. Adds Lau, “our customers have complimented us on the quality and taste of our lotus paste and egg yolk.”
Available until October 4 at all TungLok outlets (while stocks last). For enquiries and orders, please call 9088 8008 or visit tunglok.com.
Flaky ‘Orh Ni’ Mooncake with Single or Double Yolk
The restaurant re-introduced this signature Teochew-style mooncake in 2009, but its history goes back more than a decade before, when a former chef at the Crown Prince Hotel started making it in 1988. To this day, Peony Jade crafts the signature mooncake using the original recipe and technique. That means no preservatives, no stabilisers, but the same delicious and light-as-air, flaky pastry skin and a decadent yam filling fans have come to love. Robert Han, general manager of the Quayside Group, shares that since they re-introduced it, "we've seen a 25 to 30 per cent increase in yearly sales".
Available until October 4 at Peony Jade restaurants and selected mooncake booths. For enquiries and orders, please call 6276 8327 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Related: 5 Of The Best Chinese Restaurants)