Obesity: How many calories are there in a moon cake?

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also referred to as August Moon Festival for its lunar date of August 15, celebrates the full harvest moon. Families gather for moon watching (賞月) and to enjoy quality time together.

However, moon watching is no longer the main event. Instead, moon cakes now represent the holiday. There are four traditional types of moon cake, which are rich, decadent and caloric nightmares. What’s inside a moon cake and how can you watch your weight?

Moon cake is generally round and stuffed, which are purchased as gifts rather than for personal consumption. A dough wrap is stuffed with sweet fillings of lotus seed paste or red bean paste, which encase nuts or salted egg yolks. There are four different types of dough used to wrap moon cake.

The most common moon cake is the Cantonese style, with sweet fillings wrapped in oily dough. Traditionally, the wrapping dough consists of nearly 20 percent fat from pork fat or peanut oil, along with flour, syrup, salt, baking soda and water. A 150-gram or 5.3-ounce Cantonese moon cake stuffed with a salted egg yolk and lotus seed filling (蛋黃豆沙餡廣式月餅) clocks in at 500 calories, according to a 2013 study conducted by the Taiwan Health Promotion Administration’s Ministry of Health and Welfare (HPA 台灣衛生署國民健康局). A 150-gram or 5.3-ounce Cantonese moon cake stuffed with date paste (棗泥廣式月餅) goes up to 620 calories.

Taiwanese moon cake also uses a rich dough wrap made from butter or pork fat, along with flour, syrup, milk powder, salt, eggs, malt extract, baking soda. A Taiwanese moon cake weighing 140 grams or 4.9 ounces is roughly 400 calories, according to the HPA study.

Egg yolk pastries are not technically moon cakes, but are still given during August Moon as stuffed pastries. The dough wrap is also oily, with flour, sugar, shortening, unsalted butter, water and oil. The HPA study found an egg yolk pastry weighing 60 grams or 2.1 ounces is about 280 calories.

Finally, translucent “ice skin” moon cake dough is made from powdered sugar, shortening, cold water, and fried rice powder. This newest iteration of moon cake was found to be about 180 calories for a 60-gram or 2.1-ounce moon cake.

All wrappers are high in fat and sugar, making moon cake an indulgence. For comparison, a bowl of rice is about 280 calories, making a Cantonese date-stuffed moon cake equivalent to 2.2 bowls of rice.

Moon cakes are certainly a wonderful treat. However, the HPA recommends eating lighter meals if you indulge in a moon cake. Happy August Moon!

 

通常廣式月餅的皮其材料多為低筋麵粉、花生油(或豬油)、糖漿、鹽、小蘇打、水等

台式月餅的皮也是低筋麵粉、糖粉、奶粉、鹽、蛋、麥芽膏、小蘇打、奶油(或豬油)等

蛋黃酥的油皮材料則為—中筋麵粉、糖、無鹽奶油、水,油酥材料—低筋麵粉、無鹽奶油

冰皮月餅:皮的材料—糖粉、白油、冷開水、糕仔粉  ,都是高油高糖的食物

一個150克蛋黃豆沙餡廣式月餅熱量約500大卡,一個150克棗泥廣式月餅熱量約620大卡

一個140克的台式月餅熱量約400大卡

一個60克的蛋黃酥熱量約280大卡。

一個60克的冰皮月餅熱量約180大卡

通常一平碗飯的熱量為280大卡

 

Bad mooncakes

http://www.ylh.ntuh.gov.tw/ylh/paper/94/9403/moon.ppt

 

About Ling-Mei Wong 黃靈美

Editor of the Sampan, the only bilingual Chinese-English newspaper in New England 舢舨報紙總編輯。舢舨是全紐英倫唯一的中英雙語雙週報。
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