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Master of Mooncakes

Written by Wendi Song

Former chef at The Peninsula, Ip Yun Fat, has launched his new venture “Luna 15” creating an array of delicious custard mooncakes.

Having originated in the Tang dynasty, eating mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn festival is a Chinese tradition dating back more than 1,200 years. In the old days, people would only eat such high quality food during festivals and would therefore put large amounts of sugar and oil into their mooncakes with best wishes for the coming years’ fortune.

Nowadays people are in pursuit of a healthier diet, which has resulted in a revolution for the humble mooncake. Boasting less sugar and lower fat than previously, this is how custard mooncakes became popular.

Custard mooncakes were created by master chef Ip Yun Fat, former Chief Chinese Cuisine Planner at The Peninsula Hotel of Hong Kong, in 1987. Implementing his method of making traditional creamy custard buns, Mr Ip replaced the original mooncake skin with western cookie skin and successfully created the custard mooncake whereby the golden, crispy skin – filled with the aroma of salted egg yolk – melts softly in your month.

Initially, custard mooncakes were only made for VIP guests, but quickly caught on with a wider audience.

Though custard mooncakes are now widespread, Mr Ip’s version remains famous and as they say, it’s hard to beat the original. His secret lies not only in the strict selection of raw, fresh produce but also in Mr Ip’s personal diligence. He constantly improves his formula and develops new flavors for his custard mooncakes.

This year he has launched his personal brand “Luna 15.”

Upholding the principle of evolution, “Luna 15” – apart from supplying its flagship Golden Custard Mooncake – also provides other new creations such as Crispy Chocolate Golden Custard Mooncake, Crispy Caramelized Nut Mooncake, Twisty Golden Custard Mooncake and Golden Custard Mooncake with Rare Sugar, among which the last is worth highlighting.

Rare sugar, a low calorie sweetener which can be extracted from natural products such as figs and raisins, includes 70% of the sweetness of sugar with only 0.2 to 0.4 calories per gram. It has been recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration and is now widely used in Japan and the US.

Mr Ip adopted rare sugar to readjust the recipe of his classic Golden Custard Mooncake and launched Hong Kong’s first rare sugar-adopted custard mooncakes. These are perfectly suitable for those who want to reduce their sugar intake, control their weight or are diabetic.