Breads. Cakes. Pastries.
I love them all. Who doesn’t really?
Baking? Now that’s another matter entirely. I have a RM9,000 oven sitting at home, bought with all good intentions of baking and mastering the artisanal breads that I love so much. As of now, the money would have been better invested on hedge funds.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not harbouring the little hope that one day I’ll be some baking extraordinaire. Meanwhile, I’ll just stalk great bakers, attend as many baking classes and well, EAT as much pastries as my dress size would allow – all in the name of research of course. 😀
Meet Grand Chef Yukichi Matsubara of Bonjour Garden Bakery, a man whose poster I admire each time I buy Bonjour breads at the pop-up store at 1 Utama and Jaya Grocer Tropicana. (You can read about my obsession HERE.)
A man I finally got to watch in flesh, and even spoke to and joked with during an intimate baking session.
It was a busy week, but I won’t miss out on seeing him in action for anything. However, the recipes demonstrated were really simple. I was hoping for some challenging ones like the baguette or well, I don’t know, croissant? These are harder to get right. But it explained that Chef had wanted to share simplified recipes which are convenient but he made sure it did not compromise taste.
He started off with lavash, followed by gougere and finally the famous Japanese cheesecake. Here’s the recipe for those who would like to attempt this at home. 🙂
Combine the required ingredients, knead, roll out and bake.
While the lavash was in the oven he moved on to the gougere.
If you don’t already know, gougere is a baked savory choux pastry made of choux dough mixed with cheese. Like all French pastries it sounds fancy and complicated to make but Chef Yukichi made the whole process looks very manageable!
Throughout the demonstration, Chef Yu joked with the media and offered useful tips and advice. He is certainly not quite the broody, silent Japanese chef that one normally expect.
Below: Chef Yukichi assisted by Chef Fun Jian Zhong prepared the gougere mix in less than 30 minutes.
All the while, we were kept entertained with kneading, piping and rolling out the dough; as well as eating the results of course!
Ready for the oven.
Last was the cheesecake, which took some time for the egg whites since it needs to be whisked till stiff.
But the fruits of the labour was worthwhile. These babies were really good!
The final results after 2 hours – a lovely tea time treat!
Since I’m a lover of breads I did ask about the flour used for the breads at Bonjour.
Chef Yu shared that his preferred choice of flour is made of Canadian wheat processed in Japan. Japanese flour is difficult to obtain in Malaysia and costs twice the price of American flour. He doesn’t use preservatives and his recipes are not altered for the Malaysian palate. As such, Chef Yu insists on using certain specific ingredients to maintain the taste of his bread.
Well, it certainly explains why Bonjour breads are my preferred choice too, and I have personally ate a lot of breads in my lifetime, both in Malaysia and abroad.
If you have yet to try any of Bonjour breads The Bonjour bakery at The Intermark offers a section for dine-in as well so do drop in for a cuppa, breakfast sets and pastries.
Just before I left The Intermark I picked up a RM16.50 loaf of Cranberry and Fig and something. Unfortunately I was disappointed as this is a far cry from the similarly priced and much more ingredient-packed Levain Cranberry cheese and Levain Mangorange.
There were no figs at all (I ate every slice) and the texture certainly isn’t what I expected for the price.
I’ll stick to my former favourites next time, one of which I highly recommend which is the and the RM26 Rye Fruits. 🙂
You can find Bonjour outlets at :
1. Bonjour Garden Bakery and Café at The Intermark (You can read more about the Jaya Grocer at The Intermark HERE)
2. Central Park Building, Jalan PJU 5/13, Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya
3. Jaya Grocer, Tropicana