Product Review: My solution for a cake emergency~ the very chocolate cake from Gakuden (家庭聚會少不了的樂天麵包屋生巧克力蛋糕)

My role for most, if not all family gatherings is to “bring dessert.”  In the past, on occasion, I would either bake a vanilla bundt cake,  or a honey cake. In more recent times, I would whip up a quick batch of blueberry and lemon friands.  I love baking for these occasions, and I love watching my family members enjoy my desserts.

However, when the mid-Autumn moon festival rolled around this year, I was knee high in paperwork and other sundries of life, and simply could not find a spare moment to bake.  I thought of staying up late the night before to whip up something quick, but I couldn’t quite muster up the motivation or energy to do even that.  In my fog of exhaustion, I suddenly remembered a delicious slice of chocolate cake that I purchased on impulse on my way home after a tedious work meeting.

The cake was from Gakuden, a Japanese style bakery.  Don’t be put off by the lackluster sample cake in the chill case.  The staff will bring you out a fresh one from the freezer in the back.  The cake is sold frozen, but defrosts in about a half hour. Which meant I could pick it up on my way to the gathering, and it would be perfectly ready to eat by the time we are ready for dessert.

The cake comes packaged in a gold cardboard box, and handily comes with a plastic knife. You can also request  paper plates and forks if you need them.

The cake serves 6-8 people, depending of course on how generous you want to slice it.  It’s a little difficult to see from the photo, but it’s one top layer of chocolate ganache, and then more ganache is sandwiched between  three layers of chocolate chiffon cake.  The cake is baked with Valrhona cocoa powder, and the ganache is made from cocoa beans from Madagascar. The overall flavor is delightfully bittersweet, with just enough sweetness.

I went to two family gatherings this past month, and I bought the same cake each time~ and it was a hit.  My family members range between die-hard chocoholics, or “I don’t eat desserts (I know).  But everyone was fighting for the last slice.

Gakuden has several branches in Taiwan.  Each bakery usually has a supply of these frozen in the back of the shop, so I’ve never had to call ahead and reserve one.  But it may be a good idea to do so, if you are really counting on bringing this cake to a special occasion.  You can also order the cake online here. 

When life gets a little crazy, it’s reassuring to know that there is a back-up plan. And when faced with the option of no dessert, or buying dessert, I definitely recommend popping into Gakuden for this cake~ everyone will  enjoy it and compliment you for your good taste (literally).

Enjoy!

This was not a sponsored post. I paid for all items, and all experiences and viewpoints expressed are my own.

 

Advertisements

Field Trip: Paper & Tea 柏林選茶

Information: Paper & Tea| Address: Zhongshan North Road, Section 2, Alley 36, No. 18, Zhongshan District, Taipei, Taiwan| Phone:  02 2523 9860| Hours: 11:00am-9:00 pm| MRT Station: Zhongshan, Red or Green Line| 中山區中山北路二段3618

One of my favorite places in Taipei is the Zhongshan (中山)area.  It’s not as crowded as some areas in Taipei, and there is always something new to discover in the many lanes and alleyways off the main road.  The time, we visited Paper & Tea, which is a combination eatery and homewares shop.

Continue reading

Review: Visit Minuit, Taipei for your midnight dessert cravings 深夜裡的法國手工甜點

Information: Minuit| Address: Nanchang Road, Section 2, No. 207-1, Taipei, Zhongzheng District| MRT: Guting Station (Green line) Exit 2, 1 minute walk |台北市中正區南昌路二段207-1號(捷運古亭2號出口步行1分鐘)

One day, I noticed an intriguing ad on Facebook… something about a secret dessert place…where they only serve desserts at midnight?  I did a little sleuthing online, and found out it was quite a complicated process, involving lining up at midnight, in a dark office building, which to be honest, sounded a little creepy to me.  So I promptly forget about the idea.  However, a few months, later, I saw this video on their Facebook page, announcing the opening of their shop.  Curiosity got the best of me, and I knew I had to visit!

I was relieved to see that the shop now has a front door located on the first floor. The shop is open on Wednesdays from 2pm-7:00 pm, and from 4:00 pm to midnight on other days of the week.  It’s just a takeaway shop, so you pop in through one door, order the dessert that you would like, and rush home to eat it before the cream melts.

Continue reading

Field Trip: Eggs’ n Things, Taipei 台北微風松高店

Information: Eggs’n Things |Breeze Song Gao Branch, No. 16 Song Gao Road, 1F | 02-2725-101| MRT: Taipei City Hall, blue line

When I  first moved back to Taipei we really didn’t have that many choices for a brunch. Fast forward a decade, and we are now absolutely spoiled for choice, and some of my favorites are Sarabeth’s and Daylight.   One of the newest brunch places to add to my list is Egg’n Things. Eggs’n Things is conveniently located in the Breeze Department store, Song Gao branch.  It opened this past July and lines were out the door for about a month or so. The fervor seemed to calm by August, and there was just a short 2 minute wait for a table, around 1:00pm on a weekday.

Egg’n Things originated from Hawaii, and now has branches in Japan and Singapore.  After a quick glance at their websites, I think the menu in Taipei is modeled more after the Japanese version, rather than the American version.

Continue reading

Monthly Roundup for August 2018

I always have mixed feelings about August.  On one hand, I want to clutch at the tail end of summer and shriek “summer, don’t go!”  Because with the end of summer, my workload and office hours increase by two-fold, and I feel like my freedom is severely curtailed.  But, on the other hand, I want to give the roasting weather of August the boot, and enjoy wearing sweaters and drinking hot beverages again. The bright side to this month is that  I  think I achieved a little work-life balance and hopefully it will carry through to the months to follow.

This month, I took a trip that was just long enough for me to feel refreshed and inspired. This photo was taken during a ferry trip to Tap Mun.  I guess the tour guide really wanted to make sure our group got our money’s worth, because he had the captain steer us all the way to Shenzhen, before looping back to Hong Kong. The waters were choppy, but the view was quite spectacular. At the time, I was definitely a bit scared, and kept an eye out for the life jackets hanging above our heads, but now I’m glad that I got to see such an stretch of sea.  (Such an expansive view makes me feel that some of those niggling little problems in life are very small in proportion).

Continue reading

Hello Hong Kong! Star Street Precinct, Monocle Shop, King-Tak Hong Porcelain Co., Wanchai (星街小區)

Information: Star Street Precinct, MTR Admiralty Station Exit F, follow the subway signs to the Three Pacific Place Link, which leads directly to the Star Street Precinct.

After my professional development workshop,I had just a little bit of time in Hong Kong for a short holiday.  Unlike previous visits, where I had detailed lists of places to go, sites to see, and desserts to try, this time, I decided to take it easy, and just schedule a short trip to see the “Star Street” area in Wanchai. Hong Kong Electric’s power plant used to be located nearby, but now it is home to a selection of eclectic shops, chic restaurants, and the Monocle shop.

The Star Street precinct is easily accessible by MTR.  Take the blue line and get off at Admiralty Station, and find Exit F.

It’s a pleasant walk in the Three Pacific Link. ( PS- If you need to stock up on snacks, the Admiralty MTR stop has a Marks and Spencer’s shop, a 7-11 convenience store and a Pret a Manger.  It’s definitely one of the better equipped MTR stations)

Continue reading

Hello Hong Kong! Tap Mun (Grass Island) New Territories, Hong Kong 香港塔門一日遊

As I mentioned last week, I was in Hong Kong during the first part of August for some professional development workshops.  At the end of the workshop, the coordinators arranged for us to take a field trip out to Tap Mun (also known as Grass Island). Tap Mun (塔門) is located in the northeastern part of Hong Kong territory.  It’s an island that is 1.69 km in size, and consists of gentle rolling hills and grasslands.  The island is only accessible by ferry, and the workshop organizers were kind enough to charter one for our large group (of around 100 people or so).

We arrived at Tap Mun and one of our first sights was of the port, and some small fishing boats.

Continue reading