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Archive for the ‘Baked Goods’ Category

Mid Autumn Festival is happening on October 1 this year and mooncakes are a must at home. In the past we usually bought mooncakes from local bakeries (Maxim’s has been our favourite), but for the last few years Mama Lam has attempted to make some at home as well. I recently posted on Instagram some pictures of her creations this year, and some of my followers have asked for a recipe. The one recipe she has perfected is a baked mooncake with custard filling. I’m happy to share this one with you.

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Origin of Mooncake

Do you know where mooncake comes from? The version I’m most familiar with is that mooncake was created by revolutionaries in the Yuan Dynasty. They would hide secret messages inside these pastries and distributed them to plan a revolt to overthrow the Mongolian rulers, which eventually led to the fall of Yuan and the rise of Ming Dynasty. Can you picture this tasty treat being used as a political move?!

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Last year, a pop-up bakery took Vancouver by the storm with a cookie made with the Asian White Rabbit candy. This summer, Chef Andrew Han turned his pop-up into a cafe. Kouign Cafe is now open in Chinatown.

Since its opening, many have followed the white rabbit and tried the various cookies and pastries Kouign Cafe has to offer. The original vision for the cafe was to offer dine-in options with the addition of sandwiches and beverages. At this point, they are only offering pastries to go. I suspect Chef Han’s plan, like many others, was disrupted by COVID-19. The shop has been very popular, though, and some items would even be sold out before closing. While I was in the area, I swung by and purchased one of everything that was available at that time. I’ve never bought pastries from their pop-up shop before so this would be my first time trying them.

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Have you been taking advantage of the blueberry season? It’s so easy to grab a bowl of fresh blueberries and just munch on them. They make perfect snacks! Have you tried them frozen? Slightly frozen blueberries also make great frozen treats.

Mama Lam and I got our hands on some fresh, local BC blueberries, so we decided to have some fun. We looked up a number of recipes, and found this pull-apart bun recipe that seemed fun and interesting. It was successful even for our first attempt. Here is the recipe after some adjustments.

Ingredients

  • 400g Bread Flour
  • 240g Blueberries
  • 80g Water
  • 20g Butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 teaspoon Milk Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Instant Yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt

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Taro and yam balls weren’t the only food item I’ve grown fond of from our Taiwan trip last fall. There’s also pepper bun 胡椒餅. In fact, my first memory of having pepper buns went all the way back to my family trip to Taipei more than 10 years ago. After all those years I still vividly remembered the piping hot, peppery filling inside the crispy bun — it was so delicious and memorable that I include it as a must-have for everyone visiting Taiwan. And I couldn’t stop telling Mr. about it before and throughout the trip. Taipei was our last stop, so we had to wait till then to get our fill. I told Mr. to wait, but we did succumb to the temptation and get some pepper buns at our other stops, but it was a bad decision because it was nothing like the ones in Taipei.The very night we arrived in Taipei, we immediately went for some pepper buns. We didn’t go to Raohe Night Market 饒河街觀光夜市 as it was reserved for another day, but we went to the brick and mortar storefront of the same vendor at the night market 福州世祖胡椒餅. We waited for the pepper buns fresh out of the clay oven, and boy were they hot. Pretty sure we burned the roof of our mouths when we took our first bite. And it was soooo good! It’s just as good as I remembered. The meat was juicy, peppery, and the crust was crispy and flaky.

When we went to Raohe two days later, I couldn’t help myself but crave for one more pepper bun before we flew home to Vancouver.

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It’s a yearly tradition that I would take Mama Lam out for either afternoon tea or brunch for Mother’s Day. I can’t believe we’re only one week away! Planning for this year is a bit different since there’s no dining in service, so we’re resorting to to-go offerings and they don’t require reservations weeks in advance.

If you are looking to do something similar with your mom, here is a round-up of afternoon services available as to-go this year. Pre-order is required but deadline is different for each place. Delivery may also be available.

afternoon-tea-mothers-day-graphic

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