I went to the Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus for brunch a while ago, it has taken me this long to follow with the post. When we arrived, it was a Saturday around lunchtime. As expected, the place was fairly busy. I ordered the herb butter pannenkoeken. It made for a substantial meal. The side salad was a nice fresh accompaniment to the substantial pannenkoeken. Hubby preferred mine over his Mediterranean.
The icing on the cake (literally!) was the Black Forest pannenkoeken. It was big enough for three or four people to share, after the main meal. It came with a cupful of liquor in a chocolate cup! Good thing I was driving home, as hubby had it all to himself. It was definitely a chocolate and cherry lovers dream. Need to go back…
I was lucky enough to get a behind the scenes look at the St Laurent Cake House. One of my co-workers is a co-owner of the bakery and this is how I stumbled upon this opportunity. The owner has also worked as a baker in China and at Maxim’s in Vancouver.
My friend Joanne, and I managed to fit ourselves awkwardly in the tiny space that was the bakery. The first thing that came out of the oven was the Chinese style “pigs in a blanket”. I love the taste of fresh from the oven baking. The taste of a freshly baked bao right out of the oven is indescribable. I sampled the BBQ pork, hotdog bun and egg tart.
Being a baker is hard work. The owner typically works from 7am to 10pm. The prep for the next day, which includes fillings and dough is done the previous day. They are fast, and they are efficient. All the baking is done by noon so that is the best time to head down.
In the morning, the items are fresh baked. For the second proofing, they use a specialty oven that maintains humidity at 70%. I think I need something like that for my kitchen, as my buns are never as light and fluffy as they are from a bakery.
They have a large variety of buns and items for a 1-2 person shop. They are known for their delicious cakes which are also made fresh the day they are picked up. Their mango cream cake is super good. The egg tarts are delish, and they are also known for raisin twists.
I also sampled their peanut butter napoleon. The light creamy peanut custard was a nice foil for the layers of puff pastry. There was huge pasta roller like machine for rolling dough to an even thickness, as you would need for this type of pastry.
Their other offerings included: BBQ pork bun, meat roll (pork), curry beef bun, chicken pie, coconut tart, red bean paste bun, taro buns, pineapple custard bun, cocktail bun, walnut bread, sponge cake and an assortment of other pastries similar to a napoleon.
Enjoy the baking while it lasts, as the owners are looking to sell the bakery. It has a put a lot of demand on their life outside of work.
I give credit to Joanne for some of the lovely photography.
Going to Chinatown is a bit out of my way, but I discovered that one of my coworkers is a co-owner of St Laurent. The store had changed ownership in the last couple of years. In the past, I remember fondly that their mango cakes were quite good. I placed an order for my friends’ farewell party. They are moving to California. The cake was freshly made; the classic Chinese style fruit and cream cake. The cake was soft and light, filled with a sweetened whipped cream filling with chunks of mango. Just right, but not overly sweet. It was topped with mango slices and strawberries. It reminds me of a similar style cake my Mom used to make for our birthdays. I also ordered a couple of their egg tarts which were tasty. I would say that they are a “Cake House” as their cakes are quite good.
It’s been a long time since I have cooked homestyle Cantonese. What I mean by that is food that is not found in Chinese restaurants. Food my Mom made for dinner at home.
Three Kinds of Steamed Egg with Pork (xiam dan jing che yok)
4-6 eggs, reserve ½ egg shell
1 *pickled or salted duck egg (ham dan)
1 century duck egg (preserved egg)
1/2 lb ground pork
1 diced green onion
Vegetable oil, ground pepper, soy salt, soy sauce and water
Saute ground pork, ground pepper, and salt with oil until almost cooked through. Chop preserved duck egg and salted duck egg. Beat regular eggs; try 4 first. Also beat in pickled egg if using. Add ½ egg shell of water for each regular egg (3T). Mix the eggs and water together.
Put ground pork in 9” pie plate, add chopped eggs and egg mixture. Boil water, steam for 10 minutes in a suitable pot. Halfway through steaming sprinkle green onion on top. Drizzle with soy sauce before serving. Serve with steamed rice.
*Some salted eggs looked like a medium boiled egg with orange yolk. Some pickled duck eggs have a raw white with orange liquid yolk.
The recipe for a jazzed up version of steamed pork (yuk beng) was courtesy of Eat Your Heart Out. The traditional version uses steamed pork and mushroom only.
To steam the dishes, I used a 10″ pie plate, a plate lifter, steaming rack and canning pot. It works really well, but for a plate of this size, a larger canner is needed. The plate lifter and steaming rack can be bought at Asian food stores or Asian restaurant supply stores.
2 lbs chicken breast, skinless, boneless, sliced
4 cloves minced garlic
1, 5” piece ginger, peeled and julienned
8 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked and sliced
3 tbs oyster sauce
3 tbs soy sauce
¼ C Chinese cooking wine
2 tbs corn starch
2 tbs vegetable oil
Marinate chicken with oyster sauce, soy sauce, wine, corn starch and black pepper to taste. Add enough water to make a sauce. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. When ready to cook, brown garlic in vegetable oil in a frying pan. Add the chicken. Cook the chicken until some pink remains. Add the mushrooms and ginger. Add more water if required to thin the sauce. Cook until chicken is no longer pink. Serve with sesame oil drizzled on top, and with rice.
For dessert, my dinner guests brought over some homemade strawberry meringue tarts. They were absolutely delicious! It’s not Chinese, but it is dessert.
I went to Kelowna last week. The main reason was to run in the Okanagan Marathon Race Weekend, but also to rock climb, and of course eat. I wonder if fall is the best time to visit this area. We didn’t go by any wineries; I’ve done that in past visits. Kelowna is the kind of place where you have a subdivision, and right next to it; the cows are grazing and the fruit is growing in the orchards. Farms in the city, got to like that.
I was in search of some dessert for some dinners we would be having. My Aunt discovered that the grocery store she frequents makes homemade pie. I was looking for an alternative to Log Barn, which was up the road in Enderby. Their business practices are less then stellar; so I have heard. Back to the pie. Quality Greens Farm Market (not to be confused with Quality Foods) is a local produce store in the Okanagan. They sell local and imported produce, as well as organic grocery items. They also have a deli counter where they serve food, and pies. I pre-ordered an apple and a pumpkin pie. They were so good! The 10 inch pies were $9.99 +tax. The apple was chunky and not too sweet or mushy. The pumpkin was just good. I ordered two more of each for the trip home.
It’s also apple and pear season. My Aunt gave me some ripe Bartletts and some Boscs. The Bartletts were overripe by the time I finished them, and the Boscs ripened nicely. The Ambrosia apples were delicious! I love fruit that is local and fresh.
We were also looking for ice cream a couple of nights after dinner. I was rather disappointed that the Okanagan Fudge and Sundae Company were closed during the week, even though they advertised being open for the latter part of the week. They were open on Thanksgiving weekend, when the races were on. The other shop, Moo-Lix was closed as well.
On our way back to Alberta, we stopped in Sicamous. We found D Dutchmen Dairy just off the highway. They are the real deal. They sell ice cream and dairy products. The cows are right next to the store; we could definitely smell them. They had a good selection of flavours. I had the “above average” which was two scoops. The “mammoth” was three. The pumpkin pie was really good and I also had the chocolate cheesecake. They even sell their milk in glass bottles. Definitely worth a stop while passing through town.
We arrived in Golden looking for a coffee shop and a place to stretch our legs. We decided to go into town to the Big Bend Cafe, rather then stop at the commercial strip off the highway. It was around 2pm and they were closed. We walked further down the street noting most of the places were closed, on a Friday afternoon. We found the Golden Bakery and Deli. It is run by a local family; a no frills bakery and diner. I had the soup of the day, which was cream of asparagus and a homemade brown roll. My friend had a pizza bun, which was nice and soft. I like supporting local business.
We celebrated hubby’s belated birthday tonight with a visit to Death by Chocolate dessert buffet. I admit, I could only ever do this once every five years. To prepare adequately for this culinary indulgence, one must have something savory before dessert. To coat one’s stomach. I prepared by indulging in a bison hamburger before I left. One could also order the dinner buffet for twenty dollars more and accomplish the same thing.
We were seated promptly, but it took about five minutes before our server took our drink order. I might have forgiven the oversight but it was not busy when we sat down. Ten minutes later, many more people showed up.
Onto the food. They had a buffet table of dessert; not all chocolate. My previous visit, about five years ago, I recalled a dessert table twice the size of what I saw tonight. Recession perhaps? In appetite. I tried to balance out the chocolate with equal servings of non chocolate delights. I enjoyed almost everything, except for the strawberry slice. The flavors were too artificial. After two plates, I hit the dessert wall. The point where one’s body announces that it has quite enough. Given an hour’s respite, I could have went back for another plate. I contemplated the foolishness of this and decided that it was enough. My stomach will thank me later.
Death by Chocolate, indeed. If you are a diabetic. Good food, nice ambience. See you in five years.
I hosted brunch for some friends on Saturday and I was looking for something light to finish off the meal. One of hubby’s favorite desserts is macarons, so that was an easy decision. Our friends were generous enough to bring us one of each kind that was available that day. I don’t remember all the flavors, but they all tasted good.
For some reason, this place is not easy to find. We were coming up from Bow Bottom Trail and Google maps got a little creative with the routing. The location is very easy to miss and I would not say pedestrian friendly with the sidewalk next to it blocked off for construction. But what a gem. This little place, and I do mean little has only about 10 flavors at a time with a few seasonal ones. What they lack in quantity is made up for in quality. The salted caramel was rich and flavorful, and the regular (not vegan) toasted coconut was full of flavor. This place is out of the way, and I would go out of my way to eat there again.