And she was right. It wasn't that I ever disagreed with the need for rest - Heck, I even spoke highly of the importance of recovery when discussing the qualms of others! While I try not to be hypocritical, it's difficult to exercise the same type of recovery-based discipline at a personal level.
Being left to stew with a mind full of food pairings with my entire collection of baking equipment within proximity made for another hazard, however. Naturally, I'd be eager to realize these conceptual ideas, and possessed the means - be it access to information or tangible tools - for their materialization.
"Let me know it goes!" she responded with anticipation.
A heaping handful of pistachios were shelled, toasted, then chopped. Originally intending to reserve the chopped nuts for later, I caught sight of the soon-to-expire carton of heavy cream in the fridge, which paved the way towards two-ingredient ice cream within milliseconds. The ratio of sweetened condensed milk to heavy cream was: 170 g condensed milk to 450 g heavy cream. Scaling the amount proportionally, I emerged with a ratio of 151 g condensed milk to 400 g heavy cream. Opting for a milder profile, I further lessened the amount by 37% , yielding a final ratio of: 95 grams sweetened condensed milk to 400 grams heavy cream.
Aerated, sweetened cream infused with the teensiest amount of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt were alternately layered into a plastic container with spoonfuls of pistachio paste (from Costco) and generous dustings of toasted, chopped pistachios. A delectable Pistachio Ice Cream would emerge several hours later.
Fast forward six years to today, the dessert shop has adopted a number of virtual platforms, including a spot on the Too Good To Go app. Seeing as a Small Surprise Bag would set me back just $5.99 plus tax, I willingly undertook the risk and hit the "Reserve" button.
Bestowed upon me was a paper box with three macarons, a cake reminiscent of a potted plant, and an individually packaged cookie. The box's constituents spanned more than I had hoped for! Frankly, I had been mentally preparing myself for a handful of character macarons, aka the equivalent of sheer sadness.
Before departing, inquired for details on the items in my package. Without labels, it was difficult to determine what I would be consuming, and which flavours I could expect. She noted the macaron varieties of mango, peach, and Ovaltine, a cake of matcha and taro mousse, and, lastly, a Japanese Granola cookie. At this point, I would glance over at the display to my left, noting down the cookie's ingredient list and intended appearance.
Meanwhile, the White Peach Lucky Cat was evidently peachy, but lacked a certain freshness. The Ovaltine chick was cute, however gave off an odd, sandy texture. Frequent drinkers of Ovaltine will also notice its filling to be at least two shades darker than the malted beverage and four times as sweet. These latter two had probably made their way into the Surprise Bag selection due to their cracked shells.
While I had my suspicions, Daan Go proved itself to prioritize the appearance of their products. Personally speaking, I merely enjoy the combination of varying flavours and textures in their purest, unaltered form. Decorations are labour-intensive, hence entail a steep price tag for the hours contributed.
Technically, the bake shop did not over-promise, for supplying "one-of-a-kind, beautifully designed edible art" was their motto. Nowhere within their business description had taste been mentioned. Of course, none of the items were warranting of disposal; they were all, indeed, "too good to go". Macarons, in particular, freeze exceptionally well and are great with comprehensive thawing. The cake, on the other hand, earned few favours from me. For those with a strong inclination towards visually pleasing sweet treats centred about familiar East Asian ingredients, Daan Go will likely fill the void with ease. Should appearance be a secondary consideration to taste, I'd propose perhaps one attempt at their macarons. In the case where macarons are not your cup of tea, then I'd suggest moving right along to avoid disappointment. The Japanese Granola Cookie was great, but simple enough to recreate with a reliable recipe and bag of Calbee granola in hand.
Our trip to The Food District entailed orders of Seasoned Spicy Chicken, Garlic & Soy Sauce Chicken, and, of course, Rosé Toppoki. Yangnyum (양념) is a popular pick in Korea, namely for its unique honey-like, gochujang-laced profile. However, too often have North American renditions of this option gone horribly wrong, either lending itself a soggy blandness or irrefutable fieriness. Thankfully, MyMy's was quite enjoyable: it adopted sufficient embers to establish a noticeable kick, yet remained mild enough for to be appreciated by the generally spice-intolerant portion of the population.
Rosé Toppoki is, well, Rosé Toppoki. This creamy, starchy side is one that's earned a unexpectedly extravagant amount of affection from me. The sauce is rich yet spicy; the rice cakes are starchy yet satisfying. Achieving the ideal proportions for continued consumption is no easy feat, but the contrasting elements of the Rosé Toppoki succeed in accomplishing just that. Should one be curious, cabbage strips and sausage slices, indicated by the label of "Contains beef", comprise of the dish's other constituents.
Afterwards, a Ginseng Bulgogi Beef Cup Bap was taken to go. The combination of tender - and slightly smoky this time around - beef strips, chewy japchae, fluffy short-grain rice, kimchi, and crunchy cabbage is always a solid, hearty pick.
- More scaffolding raised at the north end of the main corridor for the mall's Revitalization project
- Old-school arcade machines placed on the third floor, near the Trinity Square Park entrance
- Autumn hues adorning many mannequins
- A widened and brightened interior connection through the former Nordstrom space
- Winter gear already stocked at Uniqlo
Thankfully, CoCo was secured without issues. I dropped their flimsy paper straw into my eco bag and weaved through Chelsea Hotel grounds back to Elm Street. The route assumed a shortcut as well as escape from a disturbing hunched being at the southwest corner of Yonge and Walton. (Oh, Toronto!)
Once payment had been relinquished, the cashier began to prepare my order. Bewildered was I to have the whopping $8.48 purchase materialize as a mammoth-sized swirl with overflowing coconut shreds.
"This is much larger than I expected." I gasped in awe, thinking about how the hindrance it would pose to my speedwalk back to the office.
"That's a good problem to have right?" came the cashier's meek attempt at a joke.
In the meantime, I inquired of the establishment's vegan soft serve offerings, for only the vegan flavours extended beyond basic vanilla and chocolate. She first responded with an absent-minded non-answer, that the shop had "vegan flavours that were great and tasted like gelato".
"But what's it made of?" My curiosity would lead me to press for details.
The second response was brimming with awkwardness, an even greater degree than her initial correspondence had radiated. With hesitation and sluggishness, she fumbled to conjure up ingredient names of rice milk and almond milk, then ceased to elaborate further.
After a few moments of silence, the cashier disappeared into the back room, yet peered from behind the curtain until my departure was confirmed.
Had the trip not been constrained by time, I would have rather relished in Bloom Cafe's astounding matcha soft serve, or undertaken a trial of Uncle Tetsu's Matcha Yuzu. Super Serve was not at all super in my books, definitely at their given price.