Like many people, I enjoy DIY activities. Here is a chance to be spontaneous in creating something in a group setting and having fun. There is no judgement if the craft doesn’t turn out perfect, like the the work of the teacher/leader and that is a big deal for those of us that are perfectionists in daily life.
So when I landed at the demo table of Vigor Kobo , Taipei, to try my hand at making Taiwan’s famous pineapple cake pastries, I was very happy. I love rolling dough (I’ve always had, being inspired as a child when my mother used to roll the dough for chapattis or tuna cutlets).
The first thing I noticed is that the dough is very greasy and it was also very tough to roll it out. The other thing is that while we rolled the dough with our bare hands (we did wash our hands thoroughly before we started the DIY!), when the pastries are made in the kitchen, it is made in sterile and hygienic settings (as you will see in the photos).
Step by Step DIY on making a Taiwanese Pineapple Cake – the board is plastered on the wall in the DIY area in Vigor Kobo
The huge hall where DIY foodcraft sessions take place at Vigor Kobo. The DIY craft sessions are very popular, it would seem.
Starting point. Two blobs per person. One is made of pineapple essense and the other is made from the pastry base.
Time to roll it out – both need to be the same length.
The chef cuts through the dough and the pineapple essence. We end up having five ‘slices’, each of which will become a pastry cake with a unique shape.
The chef shows what to do with the flattened piece of pastry dough.
And I try to follow up through. The brownish pineapple essence should be encased in the yellow pastry dough.
The encasing of the pineapple essence needs to be encased completely with the yellow pastry dough
Starting point. Two blobs per person. One is made of pineapple essence and the other is made from the pastry base.
This is how it looks like once loaded into the moulds. Now it’s ready to be popped into the oven
Group photo call!
Pastries are baked under sterile and hygienic conditions
Two staff are decked in their sterile gear, down to the gloves. Reminds me of my lab days!
The baked pastries. It’s time to pack them. Can you see the transparent plastic mould that I’m holding up?
Once baked, it’s time to fit them into plastic moulds before loading the baked (yummy!) pasties into the yellow pineapple shaped box seen on the left of the photo
Once it’s wrapped, it’s time to pose (again!), according to the chef.
Under the gift box, the name of the student is inscribed.
Our handmade pastries last for only 3 three days, according to the charismatic chef (who I am sure would make a great comedian!). The pastries made under sterile factory conditions last for a month. You can also buy halal cakes and pastries at Vigor Kobo. I chose the milk sun cakes.
I purchased the halal Milk Sun Cake. Absolutely flakey on the outside blended with a moist delicious core.
Photos courtesy. Unmarked photos were taken by James Chen, Pro Tours Taiwan