Thursday, 20 August 2009

Binge - SimplyFab's Mooncake Gift Guide

It’s a snow skinned sea of pastel baubles out there which have taken over the mooncake scene! With chefs going crazily creative, all sorts of inspired ingredients and interpretations have been rolled into their skins. At the end of the day, most people – including Auntie here – just wants a good, basic mooncake – leen yong please, no yolk. But if you want to give them away as gifts, there’s lots to choose from to match the intended recipient. Here’s our quick guide to mooncake gifting:

For Mom & Dad – Give them what they really want. Basic but good is always a winner. Fairmont Hotel Singapore’s baked mooncake with red lotus paste and single yolk (less sugar) was really nice, a richer taste and the reddish colour of the paste was interesting ($46 for 4; available from 28 Aug – 3 Oct), or Majestic Restaurant’s rather delectable baked white lotus seed paste mooncake ($36 for four) with no yolks on account of cholesterol levels, or Orchard Hotel’s White Lotus Paste with Macadamia Nuts ($11.50 per piece) by Chef Chan Kwok himself.

Sweet Old Grandma – Go ahead and spoil her. Anything you give her, she’ll appreciate, so go all ladylike and pretty. Meritus Mandarin’s delicate Osmanthus Snow Skin Mooncake with Black Bean Paste, Pine Nuts and Egg Yolks ($25 per box of 2) is gorgeous and fragrant, but if dentures can’t work round the seeds, take on her adventurous spirit with Goodwood Park Hotels’ Mango with Pomelo Snowskin Mooncake with smooth mango puree with mango cubes and pomelo sac. So sweet, healthy and ‘masticable’ ($22 for two pieces; S$40 for four).

Crusty Granny – Don’t rock the boat or you’ll never hear the end of it. Nice and traditional with all the necessary symbolism always works. Anything baked with all four yolks will get you out of the firing line, unless she accuses you of trying to kill her with cholesterol. In this case, go for Meritus Mandarin’s Baked Mooncake with Reduced Sugar White Lotus Paste and Macadamia Nuts ($46 per box)…though you may have to pick out the nuts for her on account of her dentures.

Finicky in laws – See above

Chinese Towkay Client – Must to have dragons and macho, auspicious symbolisms! Definitely Meritus Mandarin’s Fortune Dragon Mooncakes ($118), a behemoth so grand it’ll puff him up and land you the contract no doubt. Five moulded baked mooncakes lined up to form a dragon, it comprises cakes filled with Double Yolks & Lotus Paste; Lotus Paste and Macadamia Nut; Pandan Custard; Assorted Nuts and Kam Hua Ham and Green Tea Paste. Of the lot, I like the pandan custard best. (Available at the deli 25 Aug – 3 October.) If not, it’d be Shangri-La’s XO Cognac Chocolate Truffle in cocoa snowskin ($45 per box of 8).

Female Towkay-Neo Client – Let’s keep up with the times. These days, towkay-neo’s call the shots, too. So if you’ve got a client that fits the profile, go for Majestic Restaurant’s Mini Snow Skin with Kwei Feh Liqeuer Mooncake ($42 for 8, Avail 24 Aug – 3 Oct), comprising snowskin infused with kwei feh lychee liqeuer, encasing lotus past and red wine, or Shangri-La’s Bird’s Nest and Custard in Snow Skin ($76 per box of 8). Perfect also for aspiring tai-tais who can imagine themselves the famed concubine of old.

Just Us Girls – No need to keep up appearances, we just want some fun….and if you can spout out some Li Bai while you’re at it, why not? How about Swensons ice cream mooncakes for a bit of childish fun. Of the eight flavours, I’ll pick Sticky Chewy Chocolate, Durian Supreme (with new improved recipe, they say), black sesame, and Milo. ($25.90 for four) from 1 Sept – 3 October.

If not, get Fairmont Hotel’s snowskin mooncake with Champagne truffle and chocolate ganache, and mini snow skin feulletine hazelnut with wafer crunch nuts ($45 for 8); Shangri-La’s Champagne Chocolate Truffle in chocolate snowskin ($45.80 per box of 8) or the Hilton’s chic-chi but so cute mini cheesecake mooncakes. Of the flavours, we like the Cranberry & Raspberry combination, Mandarin Orange & Hibiscus and Strawberry & Ivory – white chocolate and vanilla. ($38 for four, 15 Aug – 3 Oct)
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