Photos provided to Shanghai Star
From making the dough to the final baking, each Xing Hua Lou moon cake goes through 18 traditional procedures to make sure its flavors are authentic.
Xing Hua Lou's recipe is a closely guarded secret, and has been developed over decades of making moon cakes. In 1997, Xing Hua Lou placed the details of its more than 80-year-old recipe in a safe at the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank. This valuable document details all of the brand's moon cake formulas and techniques.
The moon cakes presented either in paper or a tin, with the image of Chang'e (the goddess said to live in the moon) on them, has remained unchanged for many years. The company does not want to change the style because customers recognize it instantly. Sales of these boxed moon cakes account for more than 30 percent of Xing Hua Lou's boxed moon cakes.
The fine rose and red bean paste moon cakes are completely hand-made and produced as limited editions. The red bean paste tastes smooth because the red beans are all unshelled. This year, 30,000 boxes of these special moon cakes were produced.
The brand's best selling flavors include four classic moon cake fillings: red bean paste, lotus seed paste, shredded coconut, and assorted kernels.