I haven't been able to bake my own mooncakes last year like I'd promised myself I would the year before. Apart from being lazy I'm also trying to lose some weight (since when have I not been trying to lose weight you'd say) so it would be crazy to start baking dozens of the sweet and oily stuff much as it would be nice to have a few nice pictures to show for the effort.
Then came the neighbours to the rescue. In anticipation of the Mid-Autumn festival J attended 2 mooncake-making classes and kindly agreed to share her new-found skills with a few of us. She brought over all the necessary ingredients and all I needed to provide was my table top, coup de main and hot oven. Charming company thrown in, of course.
You should see the amount of golden syrup, oil and sugar that went into those mooncakes. I had to provide a lot of cling wrap if I didn't want the table top to be over moisturised. Though it was fun making them because you could more or less fill them with whatever you like. But I'm a simple girl, I either like red bean paste or lotus seed paste with double egg yolks.
Incidentally I ended up eating quite a number of lotus seed and red bean paste mooncakes last year in spite of my good intentions (not to). The Chinese cousin sent up 2 boxes from the South (containing dried tangerine peel though you couldn't really taste it - thank God) and a local friend offered me a box (that also came from the South).
I also ate a number of the local savoury pork mooncakes that were really good when eaten hot off the oven. Though ask me not what they filled those stuff with, one couldn't really make out what was meat and what was fat but eat everything together and I can tell you it was good (though not for the heart).
So I start off 2013 with the resolution (once again) to make my own mooncakes this year. I will buy a few of those modern plastic moulds (see picture) that may not be sexy or ecological, but oh so easy to use. Another good reason to spend more time on Taobao.