GEORGE TOWN: With people getting more health-conscious these days, a home baker here has come up with her own version of mooncakes – palm-sized, nutrient-packed and preservative-free.

Teow Bee Bee, 47, said she was inspired to make mini-sized versions of the traditional delicacy to cater to those who want to balance their indulgence with their health and fitness goals.

“After the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have become more health-conscious and they want to keep fit.

“I decided to be creative to keep up with changing preferences.

“Having a mini mooncake means fewer calories and less guilt when indulging.

“To make my mini mooncakes cuter and more attractive, I used different moulds in shapes of goldfish, lion head, traditional Chinese knot, lotus and bottle gourd,” she said.

Besides making traditional-flavoured mooncakes such as pandan lotus and white lotus, Teow takes pride in making her mixed nuts mooncakes.

“My mixed nuts mooncake is filled with almond, walnut, macadamia nut, dried melon seeds (kuaci), dried winter melon, dried oranges and white sesame filling.

“I am generous with the fillings as I am a foodie and I want people to enjoy the best.

“Besides the gu zao wei (loosely translated to mean ‘old favourite’ in Mandarin), I make mooncakes with a modern twist.

“Although I use the usual traditional mooncake pastry skin, I improvised the fillings and came up with fancy flavours such as longan, red date and walnut; black sesame, pine nuts and mochi; purple sweet potato and yam; green tea and red bean; as well as a Nyonya one which is savoury.

“I also have six trendy flavours, which include green tea, red bean, white coffee, Thai milk tea, chocolate and hazelnut.

“I don’t use artificial preservatives to ensure the freshness of the mooncakes,” she said.

She said that she only started to accept orders a month before the Mid-Autumn Festival.

“The mooncakes can last for two months if kept properly but I always encourage my customers to consume them within two to three weeks.

“This year, I received orders from as far as Johor,” she said, adding that she had no choice but to increase her price a little due to the increase in price of raw ingredients.

Teow said she started baking cakes about 12 years ago and tried her hand at baking mooncakes nine years ago.

“When I first started baking mooncakes, I made the Shanghai mooncake, which was easier and required less work.

“Then, I got more interested in baking them and tried out different shapes and sizes,” she said.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake or Lantern Festival, falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Lunar calendar.

During the Shang Dynasty, 3,500 years ago, this period was deemed the most auspicious for celebrating the harvest season and families would venture out to admire the moon.