The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is rapidly approaching (15 September) and no foodstuff is more synonymous with the festivities than Chinese mooncakes, the small pastries filled with lotus seed or red bean paste and often a salted duck egg yolk. (Indeed, the festival is sometimes referred to as the 'Mooncake Festival').
In Mooncake: a Lost Art by filmmaker Andrew Gooi, we meet Mr Tam, a veteran pastry and dim sum chef who still makes Chinese mooncakes by hand, the “traditional way.”
We see him weighing the ingredients with a very simple set of scales, then bringing the dainty cakes together, layer on layer, with a patient technique, before placing them in a mooncake mould. The Chinese mooncakes are then glazed. He makes it look so simple, but you know it's taken him many years of practice.
The results, like the film, are beautiful. If this has inspired you to make your own Chinese mooncakes, check out this Chinese mooncake recipe, and if you’re really feeling adventurous, you could try making jelly Chinese mooncakes too.
Watch the film below. You'll also find a video tutorial at the bottom.