Hi.

Welcome to my site. Here you will find exciting mashups of my very own recipes for the everyday home cook. I draw influences from my days working as an Executive Chef at my own Chinese restaurant in Downtown San Francisco, as well as inspiration from various cuisines I experience from all my travels. 

ENJOY!

Chef Kathy Fang
Best Mooncakes in San Francisco

Best Mooncakes in San Francisco

The signature no frills paper boxes from Golden Gate Bakery, San Francisco Chinatown

The signature no frills paper boxes from Golden Gate Bakery, San Francisco Chinatown

Mooncakes have been a long time tradition in Chinese Culture dating back to the Song Dynasty (420). It's a pastry that is to be eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival also now known as the Mooncake Festival.  Mooncakes are to be purchased, shared and gifted amongst friends and family. It's almost like fruitcake exchange during the holidays.  My absolute favorite ones are from Golden Gate Bakery,  a super famous bakery located in Chinatown. People actually wait in long lines for their famous Egg Tarts and BBQ Pork Turnovers throughout the year. But what they don't know is that this place also becomes the number one spot for Mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival. One Mooncake will set you back $12/piece. That's right, these babies are more expensive than a piece of pastry at Tartine Bakery or Craftsman and Wolves. One box of 4 will set you back by $50. It's freshly made and comes out warm unlike many other versions sold in beautiful tin boxes that are vacuum sealed from some factory. You come for the freshness and the high quality ingredients.

Beautiful Pair of Mooncakes brought back fresh from the bakery

Beautiful Pair of Mooncakes brought back fresh from the bakery

Without a doubt, the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the biggest Festivals in China and is celebrated by Chinese People all over the world...Which means, during this time, tons of Mooncakes are being sold. There are so many varieties now that are available, sold with different fillings and packaging that it's hard to keep track. In fact in many parts of Asia, Mooncake Packaging as gotten so creative and competitive that even high end luxury brand names are getting into the business. This year, it seemed the general consensus was that luxury designer brand Fendi came out with the most impressive packaging, with a cylindrical box with a screen that rotates. 

Here are some luxury brands from Hong Kong making splashes in the Mooncake foray. Hermes, Fendi, I.T. and Joyce (Hong Kong's version of a high end Barney's) 

Here are some luxury brands from Hong Kong making splashes in the Mooncake foray. Hermes, Fendi, I.T. and Joyce (Hong Kong's version of a high end Barney's) 

Here are some more traditional examples of creative packaging and Mooncake varieties. Look how beautiful these cakes are!

Here are some more traditional examples of creative packaging and Mooncake varieties. Look how beautiful these cakes are!

Here's a fancy Mooncake Set made courtesy from The Peninsula Hotel. This luxury hotel along with many other hotels, like St Regis and Four Seasons all join in the festival hype and create their own mooncakes with over the top packaging in hopes of appealing to the high end buyers of mooncakes for gift giving. 

Here's a fancy Mooncake Set made courtesy from The Peninsula Hotel. This luxury hotel along with many other hotels, like St Regis and Four Seasons all join in the festival hype and create their own mooncakes with over the top packaging in hopes of appealing to the high end buyers of mooncakes for gift giving. 

My favorite version of Mooncakes are the Cantonese Style versions from Golden Gate Bakery. The one shown above is the 5 nut smashed version with a salted egg yolk in the middle. The yolk represents the full moon. There are pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, almonds, sesame seeds, ham, and sugar jelly in this one. It's less sweet than the other versions filled with dates, lotus paste, or red bean. The skin is thin, a little chewy and slightly sweet.

My favorite version of Mooncakes are the Cantonese Style versions from Golden Gate Bakery. The one shown above is the 5 nut smashed version with a salted egg yolk in the middle. The yolk represents the full moon. There are pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, almonds, sesame seeds, ham, and sugar jelly in this one. It's less sweet than the other versions filled with dates, lotus paste, or red bean. The skin is thin, a little chewy and slightly sweet.

Due to the decadent and highly caloric nature of these pastries, we generally slice them into quarters and eat only a slice or two with tea. 

Due to the decadent and highly caloric nature of these pastries, we generally slice them into quarters and eat only a slice or two with tea. 

Now that you've gotten a quick little rundown on this highly celebrated tradition of ours, you to can try to venture into this tradition next year by perusing the new offerings of Mooncakes. Just looking at the packaging and varieties is a sport in itself. And if you want to try one, go to any local Chinese Bakery and buy one. And of course if you are ever in San Francisco, then go to Golden Gate Bakery and get the Smashed 5 Nut Blend with one yolk. It's absolutely the best I've had to date. It's fresh, soft, slightly sweet, and loaded with so many crunchy goodies. It's worth the $12 in my opinion and we've been going there as early as I can remember. 

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