Temper Pastry (Summer Soirée and New Menu Launch)

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NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary as part of the Temper Pastry media event.

Last week The PR Company invited me to Temper Pastry for their summer soirée and new menu launch. Temper Pastry is located in the village of Dundarave in West Vancouver, which is an area I am not too familiar with. However, going along Marine Drive, I realized how beautiful this area is! Tons of cute cafés and boutiques in this seaside village. Temper has both seating indoors and outdoors. The patio was perfect to enjoy the sunny evening.

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Owner and chef, Steven Hodge was on site and greeted me as I arrived. Steven actually grew up in Dundarave, but later moved to California to study business administration and then at Le Cordon Blue, specializing in pastry and chocolate. Steven has years of experience from all over the world, from apprenticing at Dominic’s Restaurant in West Hollywood to working in England at Gordon Ramsay’s 3 Michelin star restaurant. He then returned to Vancouver to work with Thomas Haas to fine tune his culinary skills. And just last January, he decided to open Temper to follow his culinary dreams.

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Temper offers many take home chocolates and are perfect for gifts. I especially loved the chocolate animals.

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And of course they offer their gourmet handcrafted chocolates. Any items that are coffee flavoured feature Stumptown coffee.

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Temper offers some items for the summer. That evening, we got to sample some of these summer items as well as new menu items.

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Pink Grapefruit Iced Tea

I started off trying their Pink Grapefruit Iced Tea, which was extremely refreshing and pretty to look at. There is just a slight grapefruit flavour without it being too tangy or sweet.

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Almond Croissants

We also got to sample various croissants. Temper’s croissants go through a three-day process: a 17 hour-polish and 24 hour dough. He also uses high quality ingredients like European butter to ensure that the croissants are the flakiest they can be. I got to try the Almond Croissants, which I had high expectations for, knowing that he had trained under Thomas Haas. Thomas Haas definitely makes the best croissants in Vancouver in my opinion, and you can tell that Steven has learned to do just that. These croissants were flaky and melted in your mouth. There were also various truffles, which were also exceptional.

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Lime and Coconut Fruit Tart, Passion Fruit Dessert (Back – left to right)
Rum Baba Parfait, Pistachio & Strawberry Parfait, Eton Mess Parfait, Lemon Yoghurt Mousse Parfait (Front – left to right)

Next were some of the new desserts, featuring a variety of parfaits. I didn’t actually end up trying all these, but I did get to sample the Rum Baba Parfait. Just like how a rum baba should be, the cake was moist and saturated with rum, although I found it rather sweet than strong in alcohol flavour. There was just the right amount of cream and there were some crunchy bits at the top to give it some texture. Delicious treat and I liked how it wasn’t too heavy.

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What’s great about Temper is that they also support the local community. They actually feature their neighbouring business, Sebastian & Co Fine Meats Ltd. We got to sample some charcuterie and the meats were delicious! I especially enjoyed their salami and prosciutto.

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Sebastian and Co. also sell cheese, so we got quite a variety of cheese to sample that night.

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Loved the Smoked Gouda!

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Drinks were also being served that evening. For wines, Tightrope Winery was a featured sponsor, and I got to try the Pinot Gris (2014). I liked how it had a fruity aroma to it.

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Several breweries also sponsored beer that night. This included Bridge, Grolsh, Hoyne, Black Kettle, and Postmark. Unfortunately, I did not get around to trying all these.

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Mini Ice Cream Bars

And then the Mini Ice Cream Bars rolled in! These are homemade and featured just for the summer. The perfect size without feeling too guilty! There are three flavours: almonds, chocolate, and vanilla. The little cups featured a caramel dessert which I forgot what the name was, but other guests mentioned they were really delicious!

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Chocolate Mini Ice Cream Bar

I went for the Chocolate Mini Ice Cream Bar, which was absolutely delicious! Just the right amount of sweetness, and the chocolate inside was creamy smooth!

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A snapshot of the interior of the chocolate mini ice cream bar.

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Affogato Espresso with Vanilla Ice Cream

Next up, I sampled the Affogato Espresso with Vanilla Ice Cream. I’m not a regular coffee drinker, but I loved the contrast of hot and cold in this drink. The espresso is from Stumptown Coffee and the drink was smooth and creamy. If you love coffee and ice cream, then this is the perfect drink for you.

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Longaniza Sausage

Last but not least, Temper had a barbeque going on, so we got to try some of Sebastian and Co.’s specialty sausages. That night, they had three sausages being grilled: Hot Italian, Longaniza, and Classic Pork. I believe I got the Longaniza since it tasted like chorizo. The sausage was flavoured with chilies and spices, and I added some grainy mustard to my hot dog. Super tasty without an overwhelming amount of heat.

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Guests left with a gift bag, which featured some of Temper’s chocolates. This included Temper’s Signature Dark Chocolate Bar, which I really enjoyed. A slight bitterness to it, but extremely smooth chocolate.

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We also got some truffles and chocolates including, a Ganache, Pina Colada Truffle and Salty Ball, which has won an award. The Salty ball is chocolate enrobed in liquid caramel! Delicious!

Overall, I was extremely impressed with Temper’s chocolates and pastries. Steven’s creations show the years of experiences he has gone through in perfecting his skills. I guess I will have to make trips out to West Vancouver to try out more of his desserts now! Thanks to Naz from the PR company and Steven for inviting me to this wonderful event!

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Cafe Sacher – Vienna

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When in Vienna, you’re told to visit Cafe Sacher at the Hotel Sacher. Hotel Sacher is a 5 star hotel and is next to the Vienna State Opera. Luckily, it’s also open on Christmas Day, so a perfect place to visit since basically nothing is open that day. The hotel was founded in 1876 and is known to be one of the best hotels in the world, especially known to be the place where the upper class stayed.

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The inside of the cafe makes you feel like royalty, with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, comfy couches, and paintings hung all around. Red velvet is everywhere in the room. Your servers are also dressed in maid outfits, so you can really believe that you’re a royalty at that moment.

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So what’s so special about Cafe Sacher, other than the royal decor? The Sachertorte! It’s a type of chocolate cake that was invented by Franz Sacher for the Prince. Cafe Sacher is famous because this Sachertorte was first served here. It’s known to be the Original Sacher Torte. This cake has basically become a significant icon in culinary for Vienna. You’ll find various variations of this sacher torte at many other places in Vienna. The menu also has other items, including actual entrees, but obviously people come here for the cake! I thought it was funny how the menu came on this little handle too.

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We were here basically for breakfast, so we got some hot drinks to begin. Yes, we eat dessert for breakfast! K had the Cappuccino, while I chose the Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream. K said her Cappuccino was very good, but not amazing or the best she’s had. For myself, I found the Hot Chocolate to be too milky. It wasn’t strong in chocolate, and instead had an almond milk flavour to it. It was okay, but I probably wouldn’t pay that price for it. What’s interesting is that your drinks will also come with a small glass of water. I guess you’re supposed to cleanse your mouth and such? I have no idea…

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And then came the famous Original Sacher Torte. You will see the chocolate seal stating it’s from Hotel Sacher on your cake. I should have gotten a side view of the cake, but it’s essentially a chocolate cake with a thin layer of apricot jam. The top is coated with dark chocolate icing and is served with a portion of unsweetened whipped cream. To be brutally honest, I think this cake is way overrated. It was good, but I don’t think it was amazing and it wouldn’t be something I would crave to eat. I agree it was pretty moist, but I’ve had chocolate cakes that are much more moist. I found it rather dense, and there was a strange chocolate taste to it. Perhaps it was the apricot filling, but I didn’t really enjoy that taste. The icing is also sort of hard, which I didn’t like. I honestly think that it’s just too expensive for what is is. I can now say I’ve tried the original recipe for the Sacher Torte, but I doubt I would visit again.

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We also tried the Viennese Apple Strudel, because Vienna is also famous for their apple strudels! Man… I really wanted to take that apple strudel class for kids at the Schonnbrun Palace… Anyways, this was again just average. It wasn’t bad, but for what I paid for, I could be having some really good strudel. It had an abundant of apples, but the whip cream cost extra. Seriously… it’s just whip cream.

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And here was my breakfast. Definitely an expensive breakfast. To add on, you have to pay I believe 1 euro for your coat check, and they sort of FORCE you to coat check. They set the temperature really high in the room, and advise you it’ll be warm inside. And obviously, when you dine at these fancy places, you’re pretty much obligated to pay a decent tip. But seriously, the maids here who serve give the worst attitude ever. If you don’t want to serve people, why do you even work here? Perhaps we didn’t dress like aristocrats, hence the poor service, but I don’t believe there should ever be a reason like that. People here need to be trained about what good customer service is.

Thierry Patisserie

Passion Fruit Mousse – biscuit roulade + passion fruit mousse

Tiramisu – mascarpone sabayon + coffee/kahlua soak

It’s no surprise that I love desserts, and I was really excited when I knew I was going to Thierry! Thierry is located on Alberni, where many of the Glowball restaurants like Coast and Italian Kitchen are. The entrance to Thierry was really nice! They had large wooden doors and something about the layout of the shop was extremely comforting. So many desserts to choose from! I kind of wanted to try the macarons, but I was more attracted to the cakes. The passion fruit mousse was my favourite. I loved the mini macarons around it, and the mousse was very smooth. It was a little sour, but it’s passion fruit, so it was acceptable. It actually had a very strong passion fruit flavour and even had little seeds at the top, although I would’ve rather it not. The tiramisu was also extremely delicious. It was presented very nicely, and the alcohol was not too strong. Delicious! And i like how Thierry is open til midnight, so you can always go there for some late night desserts!

Thierry Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Thomas Haas

Chocolate!

Cakes!

Mmmmm

Macarons!

Tree made of Macarons!

Dark Chocolate Orange – Layers of thin chocolate manjari cake, orange bavarian, orange confit, caramelized cocoa bean crunch and dark chocolate mousse, Exotic Cheesecake – Classic cheesecake with passionfruit, mango and orange zest , Crispy Chocolate Raspberry – Dark Manjari chocolate-raspberry mousse, light vanilla Bavarian, chocolate sacher cake, and crispy hazelnut wafer

Double Baked Almond Croissant

I finally got to visit Thomas Haas! After a disappointing visit to find out it was closed on Tuesdays, I decided to go again on a weekend. Probably a bad idea though, because it was packed with people and there was nowhere to sit! The lineup almost reached the door! I decided to try a few desserts since it took me twice to finally get some desserts! I’ve had Thomas Haas chocolates and truffles from gifts before, but I never visited the store myself, so I was extremely excited to see all the desserts in the behind the window! The Dark Chocolate Orange was quite good, although I found it a little too sweet. The Exotic Cheesecake was not bad too, but the fruits were a little sour, so I probably would have preferred to an original cheesecake. The Crispy Chocolate Raspberry was definitely my favourite though. It had a wafer bottom, and it wasn’t too sweet. Really delicious. Another one of my favourites was the Double Baked Almond Croissant. I don’t know what it was, but something about it was REALLY delicious. You don’t get that really buttery oily flavour to the croissant, and the almonds make it extra delicious. I would definitely go back for that croissant. And there are still so many other cakes I would love to try! The chocolates and macarons also look delicious! I was also able to see Thomas Haas, himself, at the store, and he was kind enough to let us try a new cake, I’m guessing. I believe it was some sort of fruit cake, and it was quite delicious as well! Would love to go back soon now!

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Trees Organic

Mango Cheesecake

Trees Organic is an European style cafe with many locations. This one is take-out from the downtown location. They serve 100% Organic & Fair Trade Coffee, decadent cheesecakes, fresh pastries, sandwiches, vegan treats and more. I tried the featured special – Mango Cheesecake! It actually had bits of mangoes in it which was a surprise. Quite delicious! I would love to try their blueberry cheesecake next!

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Faubourg

Finally got a chance to stop by at the Faubourg bakery the other day! I always bus by the Kerrisdale neighbourhood and always wanted to go in and have a look. The pastries, sandwiches, soup and coffee all look so delicious! You can eat in and they also offer afternoon tea in the afternoon which looks really good! They offer you an amazing Parisian experience with their savory gourmet items, authentic French macaroons, desserts, coffees and teas. A must try if you stop  by in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood!

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Fleuri (Sutton)

I am finally back on tumblr! Sorry for disappearing for a few weeks. Exams suck, that’s all I can say.

On the bright side, here are some pictures of chocolaty desserts for all you chocoholics out there. These are from the Sutton Place Hotel Chocoholic Buffet at Burrad in Vancouver. It is an all you can eat chocolate buffet and includes a variety of luscious cakes, pastries and pies, exquisite sorbets and ice creams. It’s $28 for adults and is offered every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 6:00pm – 8:30pm or 8:30pm – 10:00pm. Definitely a must try for you chocoholics! So delicious and chocolaty!

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