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Archive for the ‘Bakery’ Category

Being Chinese, we celebrate Mid Autumn Festival 中秋節 every year. It is always on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, promising the roundest, fullest full moon of the year. Part of the tradition is to eat mooncakes月餅, a baked pastry with fillings. The most popular versions we used to get in HK are with lotus seed paste or mixed nuts filling, plus salted egg yolk(s). Over the years, mooncakes have evolved. Bakeries have introduced other flavours of fillings such as red bean and lava custard; and some places sell a version called “snow skin” where the exterior is not baked and is made with glutinous rice flour.

Origin of Mooncakes

Do you know the origin of mooncakes? The one version that is forever stuck in my head is that it was created by rebellions in the Yuan Dynasty, who hid secret messages inside baked pastries, and distributed them to plan a revolt to overthrow the ruling Mongols, leading to the fall of Yuan and the rise of Ming Dynasty.

Buying Mooncakes in Vancouver

This year, Mid Autumn Festival lands on September 21, 2021. If you are interested in making your own mooncakes, check out Mama Lam’s recipe for Baked Chinese Mooncake with Salted Egg Yolk Custard Filling that I shared last year. Otherwise, if you are looking to support local businesses and buy some at a store, here are some ideas for you.

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Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is back! Given the global COVID-19 pandemic and Public Health Order restrictions in BC, most participating vendors not only offer dine-in hot chocolates, but also to-go options and DIY kits. On the top of my list to try was Mon Paris Patisserie because both flavours on the menu sound so good!

On an almost snow day this weekend, we went to Mon Paris for a taste. I was hoping to sit inside the patisserie actually, but both tables were occupied so we could only take them to-go and enjoy them in our car ride.

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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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Another hot chocolate stop I’ve made was Chez Christophe in Burnaby. I remember meeting Christophe at a work conference years ago when he was doing cooking demonstration. That was before he opened his shop in Burnaby. Since then, I’ve been there a few times for pastries, but this was my first time trying their hot chocolate fest creations.

Both of Chez Christophe’s creations are inspired by popular fantasy stories. First, the Ruby Slippers was true to its name, donning a pretty hue of pink thanks to the use of ruby chocolate. I could taste the fruity, acidic note in ruby, combined with the fragrant, floral note of rose water. The two notes actually complemented each other very well. The ruby covered macadamia nuts were a nice combo of sweet and salty.

The Golden Genie was a tumeric white hot chocolate with turmeric, served with a macaron with caramel cardamom ganache.

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[Editor’s Note: The giveaway is now closed.]

I was quite excited when Mon Paris opened up in Burnaby. I was following them on Instagram and the cakes were just beautiful! I also love that it’s near the Metrotown Skytrain station, which means easy access from Coquitlam or downtown.

I took my mom there, who also loves some good pastries. We had the Passionata (left), Opera (right), and a Canele (back in the pic) over Espresso and Americano. I really liked the tartness of passion fruit and mango pieces in the Passionata; the Canele had a crispy, caramelized exterior and soft centre; and the Opera was rich and decadent. We were there for an afternoon pick-me-up and it just hit the spot!

Mon Paris Burnaby

Giveaway

Continuing with our #vanfoodiesturn8 celebration, now is your chance to try some goodies from Mon Paris. (more…)

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