It is now in July and sales of mooncakes have started (even before the Hungry Ghost month in the 7th Chinese lunar calendar have started).
Mooncakes are getting more pricier by each year. If you know how to make your own mooncakes, you really save a lot of money because mooncakes sold outside are really overpriced but a necessary item to give to the elders in the Chinese customs.
There are some past posts I have written on where to get supplies for mooncakes. I would like to summarise them in this post. This would be useful for those of you who are staying in Klang Valley (KL and Selangor areas):
1. Where to get mooncake wooden moulds:
a. House of Ingredients (HOI)
b. A shop located in Petaling Street (not sure if they are still stocking the moulds)
For the plastic moulds, HOI, Bake with Yen and many online shops have it.
2. Where to get ingredients to make mooncakes/ mooncake boxes
a. To make from scratch, including the lotus seed itself, you can get from Chai Huat Hin located in Petaling Street (KL Chinatown).
b. If you wish to buy the premix mooncake paste, there are a few options:
– House of Ingredients (HOI)
– Bake with Yen
– Ben Mart in Kepong
Going for different variations
If you are new to making mooncakes, do like what my best friend did- she started by learning making jelly mooncakes:
In subsequent years, she progressed to Shanghai and followed by traditional mooncakes. There are an abundance of YouTube videos available that teaches you to make every type of mooncakes out there. For example for jelly mooncakes:
Personal experience in making our own mooncakes
For many years, we used to set aside few days for baking (cookies for CNY and mooncakes) from the time I was schooling till I was working in corporate. I use to help out of obligation and due to my lack of interest in cooking, it was not really a day I look forward to. After the baking, we have to store and then I had to clean up the entire kitchen. Then I need to drive my mom to distribute to her friends and relatives (I don’t mind the distribution part).
Above are picture of the skin that we used to wrap on mooncakes.
But as my mom got physically weaker as well as getting forgetful (that time was early stage of Alzheimer), we stopped baking and starting buying the mooncakes instead. It was then that the complete realization hit home as to how much my mom managed to save each year through making our own mooncakes. I had to spend about RM500 to buy mooncakes from brands such as Tai Thong or Overseas. And that is the bare minimum- with 2 boxes for my mom to eat as she love mooncakes. We easily make 3 times the volume I paid for and the total ingredients is below RM200- even though we made a lot of nutty (kam tui).
If your mom knows how to make mooncakes (or cook any special or your favourite dishes), my sincere, sincere advise to you from my heart is make the effort to learn your mom’s recipe even though you do not really have the interest now. Write it down properly. Take a video of her making or cooking the dish. It is not only to learn to save money but one day you may miss the taste of her cooking but is unable to produce exactly the same taste because you never made the effort to learn when you have the chance to.
Happy baking mooncakes!