Tale of the Mooncake Part 2 – The Quest for Healthy Mooncakes in Singapore

As per the annual custom, hotels and restaurants have concocted a vast array of delicious mooncakes to rake in the Mid-Autumn Festival. In the second part of our Mid-Autumn special, we searched Singapore for mooncakes that have incorporated wholesome ingredients or cooking methods, reviewing them in terms of their skin, the types of nutritious ingredients used and sugar levels. Combining these three, we will rate each mooncake on how healthy they are or their “Healthy Factor”.

Mooncake Skin

BrandNatasha’s ReviewMelissa’s Review
Shangri-La HotelThe baked skin was the thinnest among all. It was so tender that it melted in your mouth, and not at all sweet. It’s a mooncake connoisseur’s dream, but that does mean that it might contain a lot of oil.Can’t complain about the skin as it wasn’t thick nor too crumbly. I liked how the mooncakes tasted pretty traditional and this is definitely mooncakes that your parents as well as grandparents will appreciate.
Pine GardenBoth the traditional baked skin and snowskin had thick and chewy skins. Based on mooncake wisdom, chewier skins tend to have a higher amount of maltose syrup, usually added to increase shelf life. This also increases the sugar levels in it.

The traditional skin was not sweet but it had an oily sheen on it. The snowskin ones also have a bit of sugary crunch to it, but one of the tastier ones in the lot.

The skins were considerably thicker than the rest but no complaints because I’m one of those weird people who actually likes the crust and skins of mooncakes. Especially snowskin ones!

Straight off the back, these mooncakes looked a lot less traditional in terms of flavours and they tasted a lot chewier, leaving a bit of cloying sweetness in the mouth.

Conrad HotelThe traditional baked skin was thinner than Pine Garden’s and it was quite chewy too i.e. more maltose syrup has been added. I found the snowskin relatively thick, though not unpleasant, giving the mooncake almost a mochi-like quality. This might mean that the skin have a higher amount of icing sugar.I loved their snowskin mooncakes! In my opinion, there should be a decent amount of skin (especially the snowskin ones) as it imparts a bit of flavour in a bite. This is where most chefs will use fruit juices to flavour and colour the skins.
Baker’s WellThe snowskin was the prettiest of the lot, and was thinner than some of the others but still had the crunch of icing sugar in it. On the plus side, most of them, like the matcha and black sesame, had key ingredients incorporated into their skins.I wasn’t too impressed with the texture of the snowskin mooncakes and the skins dried out really fast compared to the rest of our samples. Oddly crunchy too…and I am not refering to those with sesame seeds inside.
Dean & DelucaThe traditional baked one came a close second lose second in flakiness to the Shangri-La’s one, but it was on the thicker side. It was also quite rich and buttery.Really, really liked their Charcoal Black Sesame mooncake, which is making it’s first appearance this year.

The gold dust against the black base looks really luxe and when you cut through the middle, I found it really intriguing that you don’t know where the skin ends and the black sesame paste starts. Two thumbs up!

Hong Kong MXThe traditional baked mooncake had a relatively thin chewy crust. However, the sheen on the surface is more obvious than the other ones, possibly indicating that there was more oil in these.Very faultless, traditional mooncakes in perfect skin to paste ratio.
Fullerton HotelThe traditional baked ones had a skin that was a good combination of chewy and flaky, possibly meaning that it has a balance of oil and maltose. The snowskin is quite thin and crumbly, not sweet or chewy, but did feel a little doughy. More rice flour, less shortening and sugar perhaps.Can’t really fault the skins of the mooncakes from Fullteron Hotel. Even the snowskin ones were the perfect thickness where you could taste a bit of the skin while still enjoying the paste.

The Low-Sugar Range

BrandNatasha’s ReviewMelissa’s Review
Shangri-LaPersonally, I felt that the Shang’s reduced sugar white lotus seed paste range had the least sugar compared to the other low sugar varieties. The paste was also the smoothest and had the most velveteen texture. Quite an achievement considering it was not cloyingly sweet.I do agree with Natasha that I think Shangri-La managed to get the smoothest paste with the least cloyingly sweet taste. All the mooncakes tasted very light when compared to the rest.
Baker’s WellThe great thing about the Baker’s Well Truffle Snowskin range is that they are made with less sugar in the lotus paste wrapped around truffle centre. Also, being a mini mooncake, there isn’t a lot of room for the sweet lotus paste with the huge truffle in the middleWhile the paste has less sugar, I do think that the chocolate truffle centre kind of makes up for the sugar levels. I will take it as a full sugar version and you will end up eating more than usual because it is rather hard to share half a truffle when cutting these mooncakes up.
Dean & DelucaThe low sugar range delivers on using less sugar in their main mooncakes. Indeed, not only are they not sickeningly sweet, they have also tried to use ingredients that impart a natural fragrance, such as pandan and macadamia.You can tell that these mooncakes are indeed lower in sugar because you can really taste the natural ingredients such as the black sesame and macademia nuts used. I reckon that they also lowered the oil used in the paste because their paste, although smooth, was a bit drier compared to the rest.
Hong Kong MXThe usual assortment of white lotus seed paste mooncakes, with and without yolks (with pine nuts instead), was on offer in the reduced sugar selection. Coming a close second to the Shangri-La’s range, the paste was well blended, with a great consistency that doesn’t leave an excessively sweet taste in your mouth.As mentioned earlier, Hong Kong MX’s mooncakes are very traditional and so it tastes exactly like how it should be, even when they reduced the amount of suga

The Ingredients

Pandan Leaves & Coconut

Often paired together, these two ingredients have become increasingly popular given that a lot of eateries are increasingly attempting to infuse elements of local food. Little is known about the benefits of these two ingredients. From lowering blood pressure to reducing menstrual cramps, pandan leaves should really be called a superfood. The essential oils in them can also boost your health. One coconut can provide you with almost all the crucial nutrients: electrolytes, lauric acid (helps lower levels of “bad” cholesterol), and even elements that improve the ability to absorb magnesium and calcium.

Conrad Hotel’s Ondeh Ondeh Snowskin Mooncake

 

BrandFlavourNatasha’s ReviewMelissa’s Review
Pine Garden Pandan Jade & Coconut DodolThis mooncake showcases pandan paste combined with toasted black and white sesame seeds, with a stick-chewy and somewhat starchy coconut dodol centre made with coconut milk, jaggery (type of unrefined sugar), and rice flour. The strong floral essence of the pandan pairs well with the light crunch of the seeds, but I did find the dodol too sweet and sticky, overpowering the flavour of the paste.

Sugar Level: High. I’m tempted to say that it was a little off the charts. Although jaggery is an allegedly healthier alternative to refined sugar (advocates have even term it a “superfood sweetener”), the addition of it in an already sweet paste definitely pushes up the sugar level.

Healthy Factor: 3/10. Despite the inclusion of plenty of nutritious ingredients, this one ranks low on our scale due to the excessive sugar.

I enjoyed the coconut doldol centre because it was chewy and added an interesting texture, but I was a bit disapointed with the lack of pandan flavour.

Sugar Level: ModerateI still think it’s quite acceptably sweet and I liked the texture.

Healthy Factor: 4/10. Not surprising, considering that there’s startch, coconut and sugar all combined.

Conrad HotelOndeh Ondeh SnowskinInspired from the traditional Peranakan ondeh ondeh, it features pandan and coconut infused lotus paste is filled with a gula melaka and fine coconut morsels centre. Though tasty, I did not really get the Peranakan feel of an ondeh ondeh; it tasted a little more like a kueh dardar. Very pretty to look at though.

Sugar Level: High. The gula melaka was a little on the sweet side.

Healthy Factor: 6.5/10.

Impressive mooncake at first sight. They did get the taste spot on except for the gula melaka. Since it wasn’t bursting with a gula melaka centre, it did end up resembling a kueh dardar mooncake. Delicious nonetheless!

Sugar Level: Moderate to high. Although it didn’t taste too sweet, but there is gula melaka inside as well as regular sugar in the paste.

Healthy Factor: 5/10

Baker’s Well Gula Melaka Lava Truffle SnowskinThey nailed it with this one: pure fresh pandan juice, fresh coconut milk, desiccated coconut, melted gula melaka, couveture chocolate…With the oozing gula melaka centre, I loved the touch of desiccated coconut throughout, including in the skin. It did not even need the chocolate bit around it.

Sugar Level: Moderate. Surprisingly, the gula melaka did not shoot the sugar level off the roof, though it was still pretty sweet.

Healthy Factor: 7/10.

Dean & Deluca Baked Pandan PasteThe low sugar certainly allowed the strong pandan flavour in the paste to stand out, leaving you with a floral and fragrant aftertaste. When paired with single yolk in the centre, the balance of sweet and salty is delicious.

Sugar Level: Low.

Healthy Factor: 7/10. Points had to be deducted for the salted yolk centre unfortunately.

While it was delicious, I wished that there was a bit more pandan flavour to this as the yolk kind of overpowered it.

Sugar level: Low.

Healthy Factor: 5/10.

Fullerton Hotel Pandan with Gula Melaka SnowskinThis is one of Fullteron’s signature flavours. The gula melaka centre was similar to the truffle one from Baker’s Well’s. Another plus is that the lotus paste that was infused with pandan was not too sweet, therefore allowing taste of gula melaka to shine through.

Sugar Level: High. Despite it being delicious, the gula melaka does add quite a bit of sweetness to it.

Healthy Factor: 6/10 I hesitate to rate it higher in terms of healthiness, bearing in mind the sugar level.

Nuts & Seeds

Almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, melon seeds, even the typical lotus seeds… they all contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats, protein, fibre, and plant stanols, all of which may help lower cholesterol, and boost antioxidants including vitamin E.

Fullteron Hotel’s White Lotus Seed Paste with Macademia Mooncakes

 

 

BrandFlavourNatasha’s ReviewMelissa’s Review
Shangri-LaMixed Nuts Chicken HamThe chicken ham is barbequed, tasting like bakwa, which gives a nice smoky flavour to the mooncake but it is quite sweet. Generous stuffing, filled with huge chunks of nuts like almonds, walnuts and melon seeds. The chicken ham bits are a tad fatty, probably for added flavour. Overall the combination of flavours and texture work very well together.

Sugar Level: High. Inclusion of the citrus peel in the filling attempts to offsets the overall sweetness, but I still found it quite sweet.

Healthy Factor: 5/10. The sweetness and the possible fattiness from the chicken ham might not make this one the healthiest option out there.

I was very sceptical when I read “chicken ham” on the label and although I can understand adding savoury to sweet to create a nice balance, I’ve never been a fan of mixed nuts mooncakes. Especially when they add in orange peel. However, I do think that Shangri-La has managed to strike a good balance.

Not that I’m going for slice no. 2 though.

Sugar Level: Moderately High. It is a lot like granola bars – you think it’s healthy due to the nuts but there’s a lot of hidden sugars.

Healthy Factor: 4/10.

Pine GardenBaked Skin Scallion Mixed NutsI definitely liked this one the best out of the mixed nuts lots. Inspired by scallion pancakes, these delicious and multi-layered mooncakes are jammed packed with nuts in each mouthful, all of which were carefully balanced with the scallion sweet sauce. You could actually see the bits of green scallions wrapped around the nuts. The flavour of the candied citrus peel was a little light but I could definitely get the taste of winter melon.

Sugar Level: Moderate. The sweet sauce and the candied citrus peel elevate the sugar levels.

Healthy Factor: 7.5/10. Being vegetarian and chockfull of nuts and seeds, it is indeed healthier than meat filled varieties.

Conrad Hotel Traditional Baked with Mixed NutsThis one came a close second. The skin encased plenty of almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds with a strong flavour of lemon peel. Again, this was vegetarian and the sauce was not too sweet either.

Sugar Level: Moderate. I found this the least sweet of all the others.

Healthy Factor: 8/10. I rated this one higher than Pine Garden’s only because it was less sweet.

This mooncake is vegetarian so there’s no weird Chinese ham flavour in it (yay!) and kudos for using whole almonds but alas, the citrus peel ruined it for me. I loved the nuts but I’m not a fan of orange in my desserts or cakes. Otherwise, this would be a nut lover’s dream because it wasn’t too sweet and there’s no off-putting ham taste.

Sugar level: Moderately low.

Healthy Factor: 7/10

Hong Kong MX Baked Mixed NutsThis one was the sweetest of the mixed nuts varieties, likely due to the fragments of crystallised winter melon and orange peel, was not as many nuts and seeds (though the use of pecans was novel). I did like the whole globes of lotus seeds in it, adding a refreshing softness between all that crunch.

Sugar Level: High.

Healthy Factor: 6/10. Despite it being vegetarian, it did not quite meet up in terms of amount of nuts and level of sugar as compared to the others.

Another vegetarian mooncake, which means no weird ham taste in it but the orange zest definitely makes its appearance in order to subdue the sweetness from the winter melon. I liked the pecans and although the sweetest, I think that I’d rather have it from dried fruits rather than syrup.

Sugar Level: Moderate.

Healthy Factor: 7/10

Fullerton Hotel Baked Mixed Nuts & PineappleAgain, not as filled with nuts and seeds as some of the other similar ones (a notable lack of walnuts) and the pineapple bits make it quite sweet. There is also a limey taste, likely from the inclusion of citrus peel, which cuts through the sweetness of the pineapple.

Sugar Level: High. Having less nuts, the sugariness of the filling can be a little overwhelming at times.

Healthy Factor: 6.5/10.

I actually quite like this version because of the pineapples. It lessened the taste of the citrus peel, allowing it to come through more as an aftertaste.

Sugar Level: Moderately High

Healthy Factor: 6/10

Baked White Lotus Seed Paste with Macadamia & HazelnutEven though this was a white lotus seed paste mooncake, each bite gives you a good crunch of hazelnuts or macadamia. They were definitely generous with the amount of these rich nuts.

Sugar Level: Moderate. Both hazelnuts and macadamias are naturally creamy; combined with the sweetness of the lotus paste, it might be delish for those who like a sugary treat but might be a little much for those who don’t like their desserts too sweet.

Healthy Factor: 6.5/10. Hazelnuts and macadamia, though nutritious and healthful, can add up those calories.

Very generous with the nuts and you are sure to have bites of macademia regardless how small you cut the mooncake up. The paste was also very smooth and flavourful, making this a very delicious mooncake.

Sugar Level: Moderate

Healthy Factor: 5.5/10. While it was yummy, the mooncake was mostly lotus paste and the nuts used are also known to be high in fat content. Thus, this isn’t the healthiest mooncake to munch on.

Dean & Deluca Macadamia Nut with White LotusThe Macadamia nuts occasionally comes through the less sweet white lotus paste taste, but there was a need for more macadamia.

Sugar Level: Low. Not the least sugar level out there, but still on the lower range.

Healthy Factor: 6.5/10. It felt more like a regular low sugar lotus paste with bits of macadamia in it, making it quite heavy on the palate.

While Dean & Deluca’s version has less macademia nuts compared to those from the Fullerton, I think they managed to infuse more macademia nut flavour into the paste or they had roasted the nuts a lot better because I could taste the macademia without chewing on the nuts.

Sugar Level: Moderately Low.

Healthy Factor: 6/10. Won half a point over Fullerton Hotel merely due to the fact that they use less sugar.

Charcoal Baked with Black Sesame with Melon SeedIn terms of appearance, this is one gorgeous looking mooncake – black charcoal skin with a dusting of gold, it has been made to look like a solar eclipse. A delectable concoction of black sesame paste and melon seeds, this one isn’t too sweet despite not being of the low sugar variety. This could quite possibly due to the naturally bitter taste of black sesame seeds. The charcoal in the skin also imparts an earthy, smoky taste.

Sugar Level: Low.

Healthy Factor: 7/10. Low sugar, oozing with black sesame, it’s quite a healthy treat in the right portions.

I’ve already waxed lyrical about how I love this mooncake. And the taste? It makes you go back for more, so be careful and try not to gobble up the whole mooncake in one sitting.

Sugar Level: Low.

Healthy Factor: 8/10.

Baker’s Well Salted Black Sesame Truffle SnowskinAnother winner by Baker’s Well with probably the most authentic black sesame flavour that explodes in your mouth, thanks to the inclusion of black sesame seeds in the skin as well. The addition of a touch of sea salt gives it a hint of savoury that works really well with the slightly nutty and bitter taste of the black sesame.

Sugar Level: Low. The touch of salt equalises the sugar.

Overall Healthy Factor: 8/10.

Fruits

Aside from being high in vitamins, minerals like potassium and minerals, fibre, flavonoids and carotenoids, some fruits also help in lowering blood pressure and improve bone health. The best thing about using fruit such as black dates and durians? They’re naturally sweet, thereby decreasing the need for excessive amounts of sugar in the mooncakes.

Fullerton Hotel Yuzu with Chia Seeds Snowskin Mooncakes

One fruit that has been especially popular is yuzu. Best described as a cross between a grapefruit, lime and mandarin orange, this fruit has a distinctly sour tang and strong scent. Valued for its mood-enhancing and anti-inflammatory properties, recent studies have also shown that it prevents cognitive decline.

BrandFlavourNatasha’s ReviewMelissa’s Review
Pine GardenTraditional Baked Winter MelonThere were proper chunks of winter melon but I found it way too sweet. The inclusion of pine nuts and white sesame seeds did little to even out the almost syrupy filling.

Sugar Level: High. Maybe even slightly off the charts.

Healthy Factor: 3/10.

While it is meant to be a traditional tasting mooncake, they haven’t quite nailed it in terms of overall flavour when compared to old brands such as Hong Kong MX. The taste kind of got stuck to the roof of the mouth too.

Sugar Level: High

Healthy Factor: 4.5/10. Giving them a bit of leeway as they probably used the oils from the pinenuts to smoothen and flavour the paste, which is healthier than pork lard for sure.

Conrad HotelPassion Fruit SnowskinWhat I really liked about this one was that the white lotus paste comes with a crunch of the passion fruit seed. Although described to contain pulp and juice, however, you can only taste the slightest sour twang of the fruit. It was not as refreshing as passion fruit tends to be either.

Sugar Level: Moderate. Sugar was added to the lotus paste to enhance the sweetness of the fruit, making it quite sweet.

Healthy Factor: 6/10. Passion fruit has numerous nutritional benefits, putting it high up on being a healthy food. However, the white lotus paste overpowers the passion fruit flavour, making it sweeter than necessary.

Wasn’t too impressed with this as I expected a more refreshing passionfruit flavour. Instead, there was a fragrance to it but was a tad disappointing. Not thrilled with the seeds in the paste either.

Sugar Level: High.

Healthy Factor: 4.5/10. Although they did use the pulp and juice of the passionfruit, they obviously added quite a bit of sugar to sweeten the lotus paste which negates the health factor.

D24 Durian SnowskinThis one really tastes like ice cream. The creaminess D24 shines through the snowskin and melts in your mouth, giving way to the pulpiness that attests to how fresh the durian is.

Sugar Level: Low. There was no added sugar aside from the natural sweetness of the durian.

Health Factor: 8/10. Durians have surprising health benefits like being rich in Vitamins B and K, and having a positive effect on anaemia. As long as you’re not popping these like mints, overall these can be considered quite healthy.

Durian lovers will definitely LOVE this. They didn’t do much except pack in 100% fruit pulp into a snowskin mooncake and kept frozen to retain its freshness.

Sugar Level: Low.

Healthy Factor: 8/10.

Fullerton HotelBlack Dates Baked MooncakeThe richness of the black date encased in the buttery skin made for a mouthful of fantastic flavour. It almost feels like biting into an actual black date fruit.

Sugar Level: Moderate. Even without sugar, the natural sweetness of the black date does raise the levels a little.

Healthy Factor: 8/10. Black dates have numerous nutritional benefits. These tiny dried fruits contain iron, calcium, sulphur, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folic acid, irons, sugars, proteins and vitamins. And just a small amount can leave you very satisfied.

You can immediately taste the black dates upon first bite and it really helps to cut back on the sweetness of the paste in general.

Sugar Level: Low.

Healthy Factor: 7/10. There’s still added sugar within the paste that the black dates were incorporated into, thus making it less healthy.

Cranberry Baked MooncakeCutting into this mooncake, you are immediately hit by the fragrance of cranberries. Biting into it however, you realise that the bulk of it is white lotus paste with smatterings of dried cranberries. You’re left wanting to taste more of this tarty fruit.

Sugar Level: Moderate.

Healthy Factor: 5.5/10. The bulk of it was lotus paste, and the cranberries don’t add much to the healthy factor of this mooncake.

The search for the cranberries in this mooncake continues. I see the red in the paste but that’s the only hint of this tart fruit being used in the mooncake. Tastewise? You’re better off eating the whole dried fruit.

Sugar Level: Moderate

Healthy Factor: 5/10

Yuzu with Chia Seeds Snow Skin The pulp of yuzu blended into the paste imparted a strong tangy taste, so much so that you hardly get the lotus paste taste. The scattering of chia seeds was a little disappointing; I had hoped for more of a chia seed crunch.

Sugar Level: Low. This could possibly be due to the sourness from the yuzu that overwhelms the sweetness of the paste.

Healthy Factor: 8/10. Despite the lack of chia seeds (which most of us know as a “superfood”), I would still proclaim this a winner on the scale.

This mooncake flavour sounds a little bit like my favourite food trends being forced into an unhealthy marriage. While I enjoy drinking yuzu juice with chia seeds, I wonder how it’ll taste like in a mooncake. Well…I prefer the juice drink although it was a nice attempt to have a novel flavour.

Sugar Level: Moderate. No way there wasn’t copious amounts of sugar inside to reduce the tartness of the yuzu.

Healthy Factor: 6.5/10. Hidden sugars > superfoods (not a lot inside anyway)

Pine GardenYuzu Pop Rocks SnowskinThis one puts an interesting spin on yuzu – tangy yuzu steeped white lotus seed paste with effervescent pop rocks and zesty candied citrus peel. One bite brings with a refreshing and crackling yuzu taste (thanks to the pop rocks) and the candied citrus peel isn’t that sweet either.

Sugar Level: Moderate. Although it doesn’t taste that sweet, the candied citrus peel and pop rocks (which is essentially a concoction of sugar, milk and flavouring) undeniably hike up the sugar levels.

Healthy Factor: 5/10. The potential benefits of the yuzu is likely cancelled out by the candied peel and pop rocks.

Baker’s Well Yuzu Truffle SnowskinThe yuzu flavour permeates from the truffle core, giving you a burst of wonderful tartness that works well with the slightly sweet lotus paste.

Sugar Level: Low. The yuzu centre does not seem to have excessive amounts of sugar and the sourness from it balances out the sugar from the skin and surrounding paste.

Healthy Factor: 8/10.

Well, there’s no hiding from the tartness of the yuzu in this one for sure. But, I did not quite like it because I didn’t feel that it went well with the paste.

Sugar Level: Moderately low.

Healthy Factor: 7/10. There’s still chocolate with sugar in there.

Taro, Yam & Sweet Potato

Similar to fruits, these roots are high in fibre, but they contain even more vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants like beta-carotene which have been purported to protect against diseases and slow down the aging process. Moreover, they also have anti-inflammatory properties and are immune system boosters too.

Conrad Hotel’s Sweet Potato in Crispy Filo Pastry

BrandFlavourNatasha’s ReviewMelissa’s Review
Conrad Hotel Sweet Potato in Crispy Filo PastryIf you love your traditional Teochew pastry, you’re going to love this one. Buttery, flaky, airy pastry meets a pure Japanese Sweet Potato centre (no sugar added). Oh so tasty!

Sugar Level: Low. Doing away with the traditional taro filling, the natural sweetness from the sweet potato negates the need for any sugar.

Healthy Factor: 4/10. Though butter in moderation is beneficial, overall this one is a definite health bust, especially if you pop more than one in your mouth.

Traditionally, such flaky skins are made by having several layers of dough that are full of butter – much like the croissant. However, the chef decided to make this a healthier version by alternating layers of normal dough with oily ones, using the steam produced during the baking process to bring about the flakes. While it was flaky, there was a bit of a clump of pastry at the bottom. Not as light and fluffy as your full buttered version.

And instead of the usual Teochew orni filling, this one used Japanese sweet potatoes which are very sweet.

Sugar Level: Low

Healthy Factor: 5/10. Can be addictive. Especially since they’re so tiny. You’ve been warned.

Shangri-La HotelMini Baked Salted Taro with Red Bean and AlmondsFrom the first bite you get a full-on taro taste before you the nutty flavour of the red bean, but not so much the almond, which seems to get lost amongst the other flavours.

Sugar Level: Low. The sweetness comes primarily from the mixture of taro and red bean, balanced out by the hint of salt.

Healthy Factor: 7.5/10. Though I want to give this one a higher rating, the addition of salt warrants some minus in points.

Super delicious and addictive!! You will not want to share this with anyone, which can be rather bad for the waistline. Definitely for the yam/taro lovers out there. You can’t really taste the almond, but that’s ok with the yumminess of the taro and red bean, which surprisingly balances out and doesn’t overpower each other.

Sugar Level: Moderate

Healthy Factor: 6/10

Baker’s WellSalted Yam SnowskinThough this one was another tasty treat by Baker’s Well, with the concentrated, sweet yam, I preferred the one from Shangri-La. The touch of salt was a little much, even though it served to balance the yam.

Sugar Level: Low. The sweetness comes primarily from the yam centre and the skin.

Healthy Factor: 7.5/10. Once again, a little deduction for the salt.

 

Tea

Antioxidants come to mind when we talk about tea. Compounds in tea known as flavonoids may reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. They also encourage weight loss, lower cholesterol and perk you right up! But…in a mooncake, let’s just say that it balances out the bad to make the mooncake less sugary.

Pine Garden’s Kyoto-Uji Matcha Snowskin Mooncake

BrandFlavourNatasha’s ReviewMelissa’s Review
Pine GardenKyoto-Uji Matcha SnowskinThe green tea comes through much stronger than some of the other green tea ones, perhaps due to less sugar in the lotus paste. A hint of jasmine is detectable as well. If you are a white chocolate fan, you’d probably find yourself wishing for a more white chocolate crunch, but I found it just right.

Sugar Level: Moderate. Sweeter than expected probably due to the white chocolate.

Health Factor: 7/10. As much as I enjoyed it, the green tea was a little lacking and white chocolate increases the sugar and fat content.

Finally…a bakery that isn’t using jasmine green tea in their “green tea” flavoured mooncakes! I liked the richer, intense tea flavour and while I know that the white chocolate crunch was meant to balance the bitterness out, I don’t quite love it…nor did I really dislike it.

Sugar Level: Moderate. Mostly raised thanks to the white chocolate crunch.

Health Factor: 5/10. Again, the white chocolate really weighed this down.

Conrad HotelJasmine Green Tea SnowskinThe jasmine flavour overpowered the green tea, and I found myself wishing for a stronger green tea flavour in the lotus paste.

Sugar Level: High.

Health Factor: 5/10. The lack of green tea leaves you wanting more from this one. It seems like a regular snowskin lotus seed mooncake with a jasmine scent.

They used jasmine green tea, which meant that it was high in terms of fragrance but low in terms of bitter tea flavour. Most people would like this but I’m a matcha fan so this doesn’t do it for me.

Sugar Level: Moderately high.

Health Factor: 4/10. Is as good as any traditional mooncake.

Baker’s WellMatcha Green Tea Truffle & Earl Grey Lavender Truffle SnowskinIt would not be fair to compare this one with the above two as the green tea is concentrated in the truffle centre. You get the spurt of strong matcha flavour the moment you bite into the soft snowskin. Ditto with the Earl Grey, which is made even more flavourful with the aromatic lavender flavour throughout, both in the skin and the surrounding paste.

Sugar Level: Low.

Health Factor: 7.5/10. Small size, big flavour, good mix of wholesome ingredients, it rates high on this scale.

Fullerton HotelGreen Tea Baked MooncakeBiting into this one, you can get the taste of mild jasmine green tea fragrant flavour with the combination of the green tea lotus paste. Keyword here being “mild”; there wasn’t quite the bitter kick of green tea.

Sugar Level: Moderate.

Health Factor: 6/10.

Similar in taste as Conrad Hotel’s version except that this is baked. Rather traditional and panders more to those who like the fragrance of green tea but not the bitterness of matcha.

Sugar Level: Moderately high.

Health Factor: 4/10.

Osmanthus Baked MooncakeOsmanthus sweet essence surprisingly emanates from the lotus paste quite strongly. Upon inspection, you notice that there are specks in the paste, which are the in fact dried strings of osmanthus. This embeds an almost buttery taste to the mooncake.

Sugar Level: Moderate. Perhaps dues to the natural sweetness of the osmanthus flower, this mooncake was quite sweet.

Health Factor: 6/10. Osmanthus is in fact a flower that is often steeped to make tea. It has been purported to improve complexion and detoxify the body. For these nutritious properties, a few more points on the scale for sure.

Was surprisingly impressed with this mooncake! Loved the subtle sweetness but yet strong fragrance from the osmanthus flowers which permeated the lotus paste. As a result, this was a very refreshing slice of mooncake.

Sugar Level: Moderate.

Health Factor: 5.5/10.

 

Conclusion

The decision now lies in your hand. Is there a truly healthy mooncake? Well, so long as you follow some of the tips we mentioned in Part 1, we reckon you’ll be fine. So long as you don’t pop these without stopping, go ahead and enjoy the delights this Mid-Autumn Festival brings. To all readers of The Wellness Insider, Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, 中秋节快乐!

Special thanks for all the hotels and restaurants who offered us their tasty treats for this feature! For our readers in Malaysia, fret not as we’ll be reviewing a couple of healthy mooncakes found there in Part 3.

To purchase any of the mooncakes we reviewed:

 

BrandPromotionOutletsRoadshowsWebsite
Baker’s Well20% off online pre-order (till 9 Sep 2018)

20% off cash & carry/ pre-order at East Coast Shop (till 20 Sep 2018)

15% off cash & carry (min. 2 boxes) at Roadshows (till 9 Sep 2018)

East Coast
35 East Coast Road
Singapore 428754
Takashimaya Square
391 Orchard Road,
Basement 2 Atrium
(22 Aug till 24 Sep 2018)
Vivo City
1 Harbourfront Walk, Level 1 Central Court
(28 Aug till 24 Sep 2018)
www.bakerswell.com
Conrad Hotel10% off (1 till 24 Sep 2018)

Citibank, UOB and HSBC cardmembers enjoy additional 5% discount.

Golden Peony Restaurant
2 Temasek Boulevard
Takashimaya Square
391 Orchard Road,
Basement 2 Atrium
(22 Aug till 24 Sep 2018)
Millennia Walk
North Galleria
(25 Aug till 24 Sep 2018)
www.connoisseur.sg/mooncakes
Dean & DelucaLimited Edition Pink Tote Bag was launched in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Available at all outlets at S$35 from 22 Aug 2018 onwards.

Orchard Central 
181 Orchard Road
#01-09/10/15HillV2 
4 Hillview Rise
#01-01

Far East Square 
47 Pekin Street
#01-01

http://www.deandeluca.com.sg/category/dnd-cat-21/Festive-Mooncake/
Fullerton HotelDiscounts available for bulk purchases. Please refer to website for details.The Fullerton Cake Boutique
1 Fullerton Square
https://www.fullertonhotels.com/the-fullerton-hotel/mid-autumn-treasures-2018-english.html
Hong Kong Mei Xin
(FROSTS Bakery)
FREE Delivery for purchases above S$150 (not applicable for snowy mooncakes)Change Alley @ Chevron House
Chevron House Ground Level
30 Raffles Place, Push Cart 10
(20 Aug till 24 Sep 2018; closed on weekends)Takashimaya Square
391 Orchard Road
Basement 2 Atrium
(22 Aug till 24 Sep 2018)Causeway Point
1 Woodlands Square, Level 1 Atrium
(10 till 23 Sep 2018)

Tampines Mall 
4 Tampines Central 5
Level 1 Atrium
(12 till 23 Sep 2018)

Vivo City
1 Harbourfront Walk, Level 1 Central Court (28 Aug till 24 Sep 2018)Nex Serangoon
23 Serangoon Road
Level 1 Atrium
(3 till 24 Sep 2018)Westgate
3 Gateway Drive, Level 2 Atrium
(10 till 23 Sep 2018)

CompassOne
1 Sengkang Square, Level 2 Atrium
(11 till 24 Sep 2018)

 

Plaza Singapura 
68 Orchard Road, Level 1 Atrium
(12 till 23 Sep 2018)

www.frosts.com.sg
Shangri-La HotelDiscounts available for bulk purchases. Please refer to website for details.Shang Palace 
22 Orange Grove Road
https://slsfestive.oddle.me
The Pine Garden15% off on premium box orders placed by 5 Sep 2018.

Bulk orders and customisation services available.

Main
Blk 529 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10
#01-2369AMK Hub
53 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3
#01-13

Compass One 
1 Sengkang Square
#B1-39

Northpoint Shopping Centre 
930 Yishun Ave 2
#B2-01

Century Square 
2 Tampines Central 5
#B1-33

https://www.pgcake.com/category/mid-autumn-18

Photo Credits: Shangri-La, The Pine Gardens, Conrad Hotel, Hong Kong Mei Xin (FROSTS Bakery), Dean & Deluca and Fullerton Hotel. 

 

Kusmi Tea
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