Susan's Blog

Susan's blog was created to share with friends and relatives related to Special Occasion,Traditional Chinese Festival,Chinese Lunar New Year & Festival Dishes,Chinese Lunar New Year Cookie Recipes,Nonya Kueh and Cake Recipes.

Susan's blog was created to share with friends and relatives related to Special Occasion, Traditional Chinese Festival, Chinese Lunar New Year & Festival Dishes, Chinese Lunar New Year Cookie Recipes, Nonya Kueh and Cake Recipes, Chinese Zodiac sign for Year 2006.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mid Autumn or Mooncake Festival

Mid Autumn or Mooncake Festival Chang Er

Mid Autumn or Mooncake Festival
The Mid-Autumn or Mooncake Festival falls on the 15th day of the Chinese eighth lunar month and it has been delayed until October this year because the lunar calendar needed to catch up with a double-Seventh month. It is celebrated to signify the end of the harvest season. As it is associated with paper lanterns, it is also called the Lantern Festival.

This year it fall on 6th October 2006, in Singapore the Chinese and non-chinese celebrate the festival with family gatherings, prayers, mooncakes and lantern parades by children. Weeks before the festival, Chinese families present gifts of mooncakes to friends and senior relatives to foster better ties with them.

On the 15th night when the moon is shining its brightest, offerings of mooncakes, pomelos, water calthrops, baby yams, oranges ,Chinese tea and many other traditional delicacies that are made to deities and ancestors, on the praying altar. Lighted lanterns are also hung conspicuously in front of homes. Prayers are offered with the customary lighting of joss-sticks, red candles and golden joss-paper are burnt. After prayers, there is feasting and merry-making with children carrying lighted lanterns around the neighborhood. Here they are sometimes joined by their non-Chinese friends in celebrating with lanterns.

Mid Autumn or Mooncake Festival Mooncakes
As early as one month before the event, Chinese restaurants in Singapore sell mooncakes. In Singapore the best place for mooncakes is non other than in Chinatown. To the Chinese, the round shape of mooncakes symbolises family unity. Each mooncake is about the size of a human palm. Among the popular varieties are the black bean paste (tou-sha), brownish lotus paste (lien-yung) yellow bean paste (tou-yung). Usually the paste contains the yolk of a preserved duck’s egg to enhance the flavour.

Mid Autumn or Mooncake Festival Lanterns
They usually come in various shapes like dragon, butterfly, rabbit, carp and others. In keeping with the times battery operated lanterns are also available, but they are much popular as those lit by candles.

History behind the Mooncake Festival
Back during the Soong dynasty when the Chinese were oppressed by the Mongols, their rebel leaders sought to overthrow the Mongol overlords. As meetings were banned it was impossible to make plans. Liu Fu Tong of the Anhui Province came up with a plan by requesting permission to distribute cakes to his friends to bless the longevity of the Mongol emperor. He made thousands of cakes shaped like the moon and stuffed with sweet fillings. Inside each cake however was placed a piece of paper with the message: ‘Rise against the Tartars on the 15th day of the 8th Moon’. Reading the message, the people rose against the Mongols on a local scale. This rebellion enabled Chu Hung Wu, another rebel leader to eventually overthrow the Mongols. In 1368, he established the Ming dynasty and ruled under the name of Emperor Tai Tsu.

Henceforth, the Mid Autmn Festival was celebrated with mooncakes on a national level.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

D.I.Y. Snowskin Mooncake

D.I.Y Snowskin Mooncake

D.I.Y Snowskin Mooncake
Like the light aroma of green tea to the bitter-sweet taste of chocolates, snowskin mooncakes can be as varied as you like. And it’s easy to make – just use edible cooked flour (no more baking!), add your favourite paste, and voila – you are set to impress your friends!

Snowskin Mooncake Ingredients:
400gm Premix Flour
50gm Vegetable Shortening
155ml Water and green tea essence
5ml Green tea essence
466gm Green Tea Paste

D.I.Y Snowskin Mooncake Step by Step:

D.I.Y Snowskin Mooncake

1. Pour all the premix flour into the baking blender or mixer. Add shortening, water and green tea essence.

D.I.Y Snowskin Mooncake

2. Stir to ensure consistency of the dough.

D.I.Y Snowskin Mooncake

3. Spread a little flour on a clean table. Put dough on table, and knead it thoroughly.

D.I.Y Snowskin Mooncake

4. Roll the dough into a long, cylindrical shape.

D.I.Y Snowskin Mooncake

5. Cut the dough up into small pieces, measuring about 3 cm long, and weighing about 30g depending on mould size.

D.I.Y Snowskin Mooncake

6. Flatten the dough – this is the snowskin of one mooncake.

D.I.Y Snowskin Mooncake

7. Roll the green tea paste into a round ball, weighing about 35g. Put the paste in the middle of the snowskin.

D.I.Y Snowskin Mooncake

8. Fold in the dough slowly so as to envelope the green tea paste filling.

D.I.Y Snowskin Mooncake

9. Coat the traditional wooden mould with a bit of flour (to prevent sticking). Put the mooncake in one of the moulds.

D.I.Y Snowskin Mooncake

10. Press the dough in firmly but gently and take away the access dough.

D.I.Y Snowskin Mooncake

11. Then knock the mould on all sides until a perfectly shaped mooncake slides out, voila you just make yourself a tea flavour Snowskin mooncakes.

Store the Snowskin mooncakes in the fridge for a cold, refreshing bite. Snowskin mooncakes can keep for 10 days, as compared to the traditional baked mooncakes, which can keep for up to 3 months.