We love our mooncakes, but only once a year. Rich with lard, cloyingly sweet with all that sugar and maltose syrup, dense with the egg yolk, the little buggers are typically carved up and eaten in minute wedges accompanied by a strong cup of pu-erh tea to cut the grease. This calorie-packed treat is comparable to traditional festival food like Christmas puddings and meatpies, a sugary indulgence eaten once a year. Cantonese mooncakes contain the time-honored filling of white lotus seed purée with a whole salted egg yolk in the center, symbolizing the full moon. But soon everyone wanted a bit of the yolk, so it became the norm to have two salted egg yolks in a cake. It’s customary to give mooncakes as a gift, so order them now before Mid-Autumn hits. Almost every Chinese restaurant and bakery will be serving mooncakes, but here are some of the more interesting offerings, with new crusts and innovative fillings. Sweet n’ Light Besides their signature custard with egg yolk, Ming Court’s Michelin-starred chef Tsang Chiu-king has created a new addition for their mooncake series, the Almond Kiss. It’s a mini mooncake filled with a combination of crushed and puréed almonds enveloped in a feathery puff pastry. Delicate and aromatic, it’s sure to be the new star this Mid-Autumn. You get eight of Chef Tsang’s mooncakes in a gourmet gift box for $170 from now until Oct 2. Complimentary tastings of Ming Court mooncakes will also be available to all who drop in to dine at the Place from Sep 11 to 30. Ming Court, 6/F, Langham Place Hotel, 555 Shanghai St., Mong Kok, 3552-3300. Iberian Chinese Inspired by the Suzhou and Ningbo styles of mooncake making, which use intensely flavorful Chinese ham as a savory ingredient, Yan Toh Heen has come up with a Spanish Iberico ham with mixed nuts mooncake. Don’t fret, traditionalists—time-honored lotus seed purée with double salty egg yolks and the modern mainstay mini custard cream ones are, of course, also available. Prices range from $178 to $238. Yan Toh Heen, G/F, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, mooncake enquiries: 2313-2323 Nouveau Cantonais Chef Chan Yan-tak and the team at the Michelin-starred Lung King Heen have created a limited-edition collection with white lotus paste, preserved egg and pickled ginger. The preserved egg lends the lotus purée its rich, round, unctuous flavor while the tart-pickled ginger gives it a sweet and sour kick. For a mooncake more friendly to western palates, try the ones filled with cream custard and toasted pine nuts, which have a deep, nutty flavor. $128-$258. Lung King Heen, Podium 4, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance St., Central, 3196-8886, email@example.com Boozy is Best Denice Wai’s 6 Senses Cooking Studio aims to promote a healthier and yummier lifestyle to our local communities. As such, the skins of their modern Mini Mooncakes are made of cookie dough (look ma, no lard!) and they come in four flavors (coffee with chocolate, sweet potato with yolk, sweet taro, egg custard). For a bit of extra fun, try their Mini Fruit Wine Snowy Mooncakes—yes kids, it’s got alcohol content—they creatively blend apple Chardonnay with a pineapple filling, plum wine with a green tea filling, gold nectarine with strawberry, and white peach with mango. Denise hails from Canada, so she’s also designed a line of Mini Ice Wine Snowy Mooncakes using Canadian ice wine, produced in Ontario from grapes frozen on the vine. The H20 freezes but the sugars don’t, so after pressing, the result is a saccharine sweet and floral dessert wine, tasting of melted gummy sweets. The wine is mixed with fillings like lotus paste and chocolate, coffee, pineapple, and green tea. $148-$198 ($118-$158 before Sep 22). Order over three boxes and get free delivery to select areas. 6 Senses Cooking Studio, 3E Worldwide Centre, 123 Tung Chau St., Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon, 2838-9905, firstname.lastname@example.org Extravagant Eats Besides their mini crispy custard mooncakes with mashed egg yolk, Michelin two-starred Shang Palace has created two posh versions of the Chinese pastry. Nothing says luxe to the Europeans like this particular black fungus and, to the Cantonese, nothing says even luxier than regurgitated swallow spit. Shang Palace has created mini crispy custard mooncakes, one with black truffle shavings, and one with pieces of birds’ nest. Mini versions of these mooncakes are available for ladies with a dainty diet. There are also mini mooncakes with the traditional egg yolk and sweetened white lotus seed purée filing. Prices range from $188-$388. Shang Palace, LG/F, Kowloon Shangri-la, 64 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2733-8754 Mooncake Trends Snowy mooncakes, or “ice skin” mooncakes, have become a mainstay since their inception in the late 90s. The mochi skin is made of translucent glutinous rice, and the mooncakes are served chilled. Downsized mini mooncakes are also showing up everywhere, and custard cream as a filling is gaining ground. And of course, there are the notorious moon cakes from lifestyle guru G.O.D. It’s a double pun, as “August 15” (the date of Mid-Autumn’s full moon night) is Cantonese for your derriere. The “moon” cakes are made with the traditional lotus filling, and this year, there are eight distinctly rude designs, to ensure the recipient is the butt of all moon fest jokes.