Mooning over tradition

From time-honored favorites to fresh creations, check out this mooncake guide to brighten your Mid-Autumn Festival.

Maxim’s lava custard mooncake comes in two new gift boxes this year. The Lava Duet (HK$348) and Quartet (HK$380) contain custard, chocolate, caramel macchiato and a new cheese flavor. The lava cheese mooncake (HK$380) is filled with Gouda cheese and has an intense aroma of nuts and fruit.

Maxim is known for its “snow-skin” series, but this year, Ikea is jumping into this market. Its collection (HK$49) is sold in sets of four with each coming in a different flavor: mango, chocolate, elderflower and lingonberry.

In addition to its time-honored supreme mooncakes and Sanrio collaboration, Kee Wah Bakery keeps up with trends by introducing the new health-driven mini-assorted nuts mooncake with dried figs (HK$248).

Specially selected figs create a redolent balance of sweet and tart. With dates, apricots, cashews, walnuts, almonds and cranberries, the new creation offers a rich, textural delight that appeals to Eastern and Western palates.

Vegan restaurant Green Common has also joined in the festivities with two new flavors: crunchy figs with pistachio and oat and the nutty blueberry and purple sweet potato, boxed with three of each flavor (HK$328).

Local homemade cookies brand Blesscuit Bakery’s Almond Blossom Mooncake giftbox (HK$338) sources the healthier sugar replacement, maltitol, in its egg yolk lotus paste and almond red bean mooncakes.

But half the fun of a mooncake gift is its packaging and the bakery has collaborated with gift shop Van Gogh Senses to cover the box with Vincent Van Gogh’s Almond Blossom painting.

Luxury chocolate and cake brand Lucullus has launched a Spirit of the Dragon Chocolate Mooncake giftbox (HK$328). Cocoa flowers decorate the outside while inside, there are chocolate lava and egg custard mooncakes plus six chocolate pieces: 73 percent dark truffle, noir, match truffle, Robert bunny marshmallow milk chocolate, oolong tea truffle and hazelnut praline.

At Rosewood, the hotel’s culinary team presents delectable mooncake gift boxes (from HK$428), featuring six flavors created by executive chef Li Chi-wai and pastry chef Holger Deh. The gift boxes feature artwork Endless Vista by local artist Frank Tang, depicting panoramic circular cityscapes and highly detailed trees.

Hong Kong Tramways never misses a chance to flirt with its fans. Working with mooncake brand Patisserie La Lune, it has launched a limited-edition lava custard mooncake gift box (HK$398). The color of the box is the signature green of the trams.

Tea is the perfect pairing with mooncakes. And two brands associated with the brew – Tea WG and Fortnum & Mason – are again releasing gift boxes to celebrate the festival.

Tea WG’s Sky Lantern Tea Mooncake collection (HK$488) consists of Sky Lantern Tea, green tea blended with notes of ripe black cherry and pale rose petals, and two traditional mooncakes, Constellation and Moonlight, which are infused with Singapore Breakfast Tea and Sky Lantern Tea.

Fortnum & Mason pairs the flavors of its signature Royal Blend with lotus seed mooncakes in a beautifully packaged gift box (HK$688).

Available at its K11 Musea store, the three-tier box, which can be reused as a jewelry box, stores a tin of Royal Blend and four double-yolk traditional mooncakes.

(This article was published at The Standard on September 18, 2020: Weekend Glitz: Mooning over tradition )

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