DaanGo Cake Lab
DaanGo Cake Lab is the pastry playground of Christopher Siu, a contestant on Masterchef Canada Season 2 who made it into the top five.
“DaanGo” means cake, and Siu brings his particular brand of Asian fusion to most of his jaw-dropping macarons, cakes and tarts.
The interior isn’t really meant for sitting and eating in although there is a scant amount of ledge seating facing big storefront windows. All production takes place in the back.
Siu’s cute-as-a-button character macarons ($3.50 each, 3 for $10 and 9 for $30) use as much cookie batter and as little edible marker as possible to create detail.
Once the batter has been piped onto the tray, it’s smacked so that the cookie is evenly shaped.
After the cookie has been baked and cooled, it has to dry for up to another hour and a half to that the filling can be piped onto it.
A lot of places use buttercream (too greasy) or ganache (too sweet) to fill macarons, whereas Siu uses his inventive “butter ganache,” more like what’s used to fill bonbons and truffles.
This also makes his filling extremely punchy and flavourful because he’s able to use more fruit puree.
Characters include Totoro (Vietnamese coffee), Sully (blueberry), and the poop emoji (banana chocolate). Daniel Wong of Craque de Creme also retails the macarons in his more central shop, and actually collaborated with Siu on the flavours.
A miso butter tart ($4.50) is a thing of beauty. It’s a perfect fusion of Asian and Canadian flavours close to all our hearts, replacing typical corn syrup or brown sugar with maltose, which has half the relative sweetness and is used often in Chinese cooking.
Miso is cooked right into the butter for a caramelly, malty filling that gets bruleed, the crust isn’t flaky but more sturdy, and crumble on top adds texture.
He also does other tarts (all $4.50) like a citrus one with lemon, lime, yuzu and orange and an airy torched meringue top.
The Zen cake ($40, feeds six) is one of Siu’s chiffon masterpieces, each cake utilizing French techniques and incorporating four or five elements.
It’s a base of shortbread, sesame, and crunchy rice puffs, layered with white sesame cream, matcha gel, and black sesame cheesecake.
The Diamond cake ($42) starts with daquoise with chopped hazelnuts and almonds, and has a hazelnut cremeux and crunchy cereal.
You can put whatever you want into the the hollow chocolate diamond on top.
As a former pharmacist, Siu’s science background has obviously come in handy when it comes to designing these phenomenal treats.