The Chinese moon cake is for the Mid-autumn Festival and is so called because it is made in the form of a disc representing the full moon of the festival.
The cake consists of a crust and stuffing. The crust is made in varying ways and with varying degrees of crispness, but the usual main ingredients are wheat flour, oil or fat, sugar and maltose. Part of the flour is mixed with water to make dough, and the rest is kneaded with fat. These arranged in alternate layers become the crust after baking. A wide variety of materials may be used for the stuffing; these include Chinese ham, sausage, walnut meat, pine nuts and almond. The usual flavourings are osmanthus flowers, rose petals and other natural essences.
Moon cakes are normally called by the fillings they contain-assorted fruits, five nuts, rose, ham, jujube paste, pepper and salt, and so on. The stuffing, as already shown may be either sweet or salty or mixed in taste. There are literally a thousand and one kinds of moon cakes made in different regions of China, but it is generally agreed that the best moon cakes are produced by three schools-Jiangsu, Guangdong and Beijing.