Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lunar Delights

Food and travel guest blogger hkLifestyleGeek gives us her next scoop on fantastic restaurants around town and travel tips. Contact her at
Mooncake season is already upon us, and press releases from various hotels and restaurants are flooding my inbox promoting their style of mooncakes. But one of them caught my eye. Celestial Court at Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers has shunned churning out factory-made mooncakes in favour of making them by hand and invited the press along to make mooncakes themselves so I decided to give it a shot.

Executive chef Chan Siu-kei brought us into the kitchen where some assistants were either rolling dough or pounding the steel tabletops with wooden paddles to get the mooncakes out of the mould.

The hotel makes both the traditional lotus seed paste with egg yolks and the updated mini custard cream with egg yolk ones. The traditional ones aren't too sweet or heavy (or was that because I had a small slice?), while the custard ones have an egg tart-like pastry on the outside. Both were yums.
After we washed them down with tea we were invited to get rolling... or pounding.
The fillings and dough were aleady made -- we just had to wrap the fillings in the pastry dough. I tried wrapping the smaller custard ones first. The yellow-coloured dough was rolled into a ball and then flattened. The filling, also shaped like an orange ball was put in the middle of the dough and then we tried to wrap it up. After a few it wasn't too difficult, though they were quite oily.

These were then dusted with flour and then rolled slightly cylindrically before putting it in the wooden paddle mould. It was pressed in there to make sure it filled all the empty spaces and then wacked left and right before being knocked out of the paddle.

We baked some of the ones we made, but after putting them on the baking tray I completely forgot where they were located. So someone out there will be eating a few of my mooncakes!

Wrapping the traditional ones were more difficult as the filling was so large! But again because the dough was more on the oily side, it was more elastic and did cover the entire brown mixture with whole egg yolks in it.

Celestial Court prides itself on making its mooncakes fresh and so in total only a few thousand mooncakes of each kind are made each year. That means Chef Chan and his team will be busy rolling and whacking mooncakes out for about a week.

And the price? Not much more expensive that other comparable places. The traditional mooncakes are HK$348 per box of four, HK$238 for eight pieces of the mini custard cream with egg yolk.

Put your order in before August 1 and get 5 percent off. Call 2369 1111 ext. 2777

Celestial Court
2/F, Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers
20 Nathan Road
Tsim Sha Tsui

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