Wei Ya/Chun Jiu

In many Asian companies, there is a tradition called “Wei ya”, a dinner right before Chinese New Year to celebrate the end of another year and to congratulate workers on all their hard work. There is usually a draw, and some offices sing karaoke.

There’s also another event called “Chun Jiu”, and this dinner happens right after Chinese New Year, and happens when the company is doing extra well that year and with extra funding to spare.

This year, there was no Wei Ya at my company because: a) the company didn’t do well and b) the bosses were too busy to arrange one until Chinese New Year had already passed. So we only had a Chun Jiu this year.

It was held on the 17th floor of the Sheraton hotel, and I was quite excited because it would be the first Chun Jiu that I’ll be attending in Taiwan, and there was also a draw. For the draw, there was a prize for everyone (some are obviously better than others), and the draw is fair in that you draw twice: the first time you draw your drawing order. The second time you draw for the actual prize. I was number 39, and there were 44 people and prizes in total. Our company buys home electronics for prizes every year. This year, there were soy milk machines, hot water bottles (the worst prize), small oven, and many others, with the grand prize being an ipad mini. In the end I drew a Panasonic DVD speakers set, which was quite disappointing as I already had speakers that worked fine at home. However, the good news was that V drew a bread machine, so we switched prizes. :D <3

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I brought it home yesterday, and MM and I are already putting it to good use! Dough is rising silently inside right now as I’m typing this. We decided that we’re only going to use the machine to make our dough for us, and shape and bake the bread in our small oven, because we can get more creative that way. How exciting! I’m going to add brown sugar mochi into this bread. :) Hope it turns out!

Dad’s creation

My dad has really gotten into baking these days. The thing with my dad is that once he decides that he likes to bake/make something, he’ll keep making the same thing until he gets tired of it. He went through a soy milk phase (that one is on and off now), and went through a mantou phase, sponge cake phase, and meat bun phase.. Now he’s decided to bake bread.

I must say that the bread he bakes tastes delicious! It’s amazing because he doesn’t refer to any recipes. It’s mostly trial and error on his end, and trusting in his instincts. My mom said that we’re not going to buy bread from the stores anymore because there are always additives in those breads.. (Sad face.. I love Taiwan’s breads!)

Dad’s creation: whole wheat bread with walnuts, cranberries, and raisins. Yum!

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Bonchaz Bakery Cafe

Before going to Bonchaz bakery cafe, I have never heard of a “bonchaz” bread. Milk Tea informed me that it was a yeast milk butter bun that is topped with a crumbly topping and then baked; it’s the Mexican version of the Chinese “pineapple buns”. I really like pineapple buns, so I thought that I would give Bonchaz a try.

So on a cold and rainy January afternoon, Mochi, Milk Tea and I took the number 44 bus from UBC to Bonchaz, which is located near Waterfront skytrain station.

Upon arrival, we were greeted warmly by the server. The interior of the cafe was actually quite large, even though it didn’t look big from the outside. The menu looked very cute too, with all the items written with neon-coloured chalks on a blackboard.

Interior of Bonchaz Bakery Cafe

Bonchaz has a lot of things on the menu, such as sandwiches, coffee, soup, and of course the bonchaz pastries. We only had bon chaz in mind, so we were not really interested in the other items on the menu. However, we were told by the server that they actually ran out of bonchaz and were preparing more. She said that we would have to wait one hour before they would be ready. We had nothing else to do that day anyway, so we decided to wait. Also, my mom was coming to visit from Taiwan that very night, and we wanted her to try some too.

While waiting, we discovered a cozy seating area near the back of the cafe, with a bookcase full of board games beside it. Mochi wanted to try Scrabble, so we learned how to play Scrabble while waiting for the bonchaz. One hour went by very quickly, and the next thing we knew, the bonchaz were done!

We got a box of 6 for $8.95, and got all four flavours: the Original Bonchaz, Banana Walnut, Chocolate Truffle, and Flavour of the day (which was green tea).

Mix and match 1/2 dozen $8.95

The Original Bonchaz 3/5

This original bonchaz is dusted with icing sugar. The bread tastes soft and is topped with a sweet and crumbly topping. It is not too sweet and it tastes the best after heating it for a few minutes in the oven because if it is left out for too long, the topping becomes soft and less crumbly.

Banana Walnut Bonchaz 3/5

This bonchaz is topped with California walnuts and filled with a fresh banana filling. Again, it is not too sweet and the crunchy topping with the toasted walnuts tasted great with the banana filling.

Chocolate Truffle 4/5

This one is my favourite flavour out of all four of them. It is topped with chocolate sprinkles and filled with a 70% cocoa filling that tastes rich and chocolatey.

Flavour of the day: Green tea bonchaz 2/5

I didn’t really like this one as much as the other flavours. The green tea bonchaz is topped with toasted coconut and filled with a green tea filling. I thought the green tea filling tasted a bit sour compared to the rest of the pastry bun.

Overall the service was great though. The server who helped us gave us a discount since we waited over an hour for our order, and she was very friendly and nice.

It was nice to spend a cold and stormy Friday afternoon in this cozy cafe, listening to nice music and playing Scrabble with Milk Tea and Mochi. I was temporarily able to forget all my worries from school and life and just lived in the moment. :)

Food 3/5
Service 5/5
Ambiance 3/5


Bonchaz Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon

Korean Mochi Bread

今天我想要教大家怎麽做韓式麻糬麵包~ 我第一次吃這種麵包時,是一個朋友帶麻糬麵包來學校當午飯吃,但是不喜歡,所以跟我交換。(是的,你知道你是誰~)

Today I am going to teach everyone how to make Korean mochi bread~ (Yes, I am translating some stuff into English today for the readers out there who can’t understand Chinese) I first tried this bread when a friend brought it to school for lunch but didn’t like it, so traded lunches with me. (Yes, you know who you are~)

其實做法很簡單,因爲是用預拌粉做的。

It is actually really easy to make because it’s from a mix.

這個預拌粉可以在韓國超市裏買到。我去的是H-mart.那時候剛好特價,所以就打算買回家做做看。

This mix can be purchased from Korean markets. I went to H-mart. It was on sale at the time, so I decided to buy it and try making it at home.

包裝後面其實有寫要怎麽做,但是是用韓文,所以我看不懂。最後妹妹上網查了一下我們才知道要怎麽開始。

The back of the package actually has all of the instructions, but they are in Korean so we couldn’t understand. In the end, sis went online to find the English instructions so we would know how to get started.

材料

- 預拌粉一包 (250g)
- 蛋一顆 (50g)
- 水 (70mL)

(我用牛奶代替了水)

Ingredients

– 1 Package mix (250g)
– 1 large egg (50g)
– water (70mL)

(I substituted milk for the water)

做法

1/ 把烤箱溫度調到180C
2/ 準備一個大碗,將蛋跟水在裏面攪拌均勻。
3/ 倒進一點預拌粉,攪拌均勻。再倒一點,攪拌,直到倒完爲止。
4/ 用手把麵糰和平均。
5/ 把麵糰分成8粒,放在烤槃上。
6/ 在麵糰上噴一點水。
7/ 放進烤箱裏烤35分鐘。

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Mix the egg and milk together in a large mixing bowl.
3. Pour in some of the mix, stir thoroughly, pour some more, mix, until all of the mix has been poured in.
4. Using your hands, knead the dough a bit until it’s firm
5. Divide the dough into 8 balls.
6. Spray some water on the dough balls. Place onto baking pans
7. Place into the oven and bake for 35 minutes.

完成了~

Finished~

麵包裏面的芝麻是預拌粉裏面原本就有的。有些地方會賣原味的,所以可以在裏面加自己喜歡的東西,比如説起司。

The sesame in this bread was already part of the mix. Some places sell the original mix, so you can add things inside according to what you like, for example cheese.

Enjoy~


D+ Natural Yeast Bread

Another entry from my old blog on D+ natural yeast bread.

D+ Natural Yeast Bread

This interesting looking bread is a D plus natural yeast bread. Why is it called D plus? In Japanese, the D is pronounced “day”. So it’s a “day plus” bread. This bread is well known for having a long shelf life and can last days beyond other breads. I thought that was really interesting and after further research by my sister, she told me that it can apparently have a long shelf life with no added preservatives because of the special way that it is prepared. Also, every bread comes with a green pad known as an “alcohol pad”. This is also supposed to help extend its shelf life.

D+ alcohol pad

So the flavor that my sister and I got was chocolate. The other 2 flavors available were red bean and cheese. On the official D+ website, there are 8 available flavors. In addition to the ones already mentioned, there is Hokkaido cream, maple, melon, blueberry and pumpkin.

The bread tasted extremely soft and smelled a bit yeasty when we first opened the package. The taste of chocolate was also really light, marbled delicately into the bread itself. All in all I must say.. the Japanese really know how to make a good yeast bread!