Mooncake Moulds and its Uses
Traditional mooncake moulds are carved from wood. These are used to make mooncakes with the brown baked skin. Only the almost heart-shaped one is mine; the rest are my mother's, collected over 25 years. When I bought that 10 years ago, it cost RM18.50. The price has since maybe doubled since the trend is moving towards metal (in mooncake factories) or plastic moulds. Even the wooden ones which can be found now are no longer hand-made, I'm sure. I just called up a shop and was told the price ranges from over RM20 (for small ones, see below) to over RM40. Anyone wants to collect mooncake moulds as an investment?
The following are smaller moulds for making the chue chai paeng (piglet biscuits). Well, they used to be carved or formed piglets and are sold in little baskets. Kids love them. It is made from the traditional mooncake skin, usually with no filling, but recently, they come with lotus paste or red bean fillings too. A chinese version of gingerbread man.
I just bought this one last week. It's hard plastic and bright pink (rolling eyes heavenwards). One can't appreciate it like the ones made from wood, but the crevices are nice and deep and produces good impressions. I used this to make the ping pei. No need to dust at all. The ping pei mooncake slips out with only one knock or two. Costs only RM6.50. It's good for making jelly mooncakes too.
Jelly mooncake moulds are made from medium-hard plastic; the designs are getting really innovative. I see new ones every year. This is the cheapest...less than RM2.00 if I remember correctly.
Teochew Spiral mooncakes and Shanghai mooncakes do not require moulds.