I spent Chinese New Year in Taichung with my mom, eating excessively and doing lots of window shopping. We visited the Park Lane shopping mall, which is smaller but more interesting than the gigantic Sogo across the street. The 3rd floor has a traditional market with some commonly found but well-made Taiwanese foods. You pay a little more compared to a shop on the street, but the environment is nicer, the food hygiene is better, and there’s a lot of variety all in one place.
We walked past an intriguing storefront on the 2nd floor with KitchenAids in the window and a menu full of desserts. But you don’t buy desserts here—you make them yourself! We’d stumbled upon Dough DIY Bakery. With no plans the following day, my aunt signed us up for an afternoon baking session.
When you arrive, you choose which dessert you want to make and pay. A shop assistant will show you to your place and give you a tablet loaded with text and video directions. I had chosen to make a matcha chocolate tart, because I had never made a tart before and it’s something I would never make at home.
I spent the next 10 minutes reading the instructions (Chinese only; no English available) and watching the video. Then I was off, gathering up equipment and ingredients from the common areas.
To me, hygiene seems like a bit of a concern, because 1) people are responsible for washing the equipment they use, which goes back into the common area, 2) all the ingredients are self-serve, and 3) there were tons of kids running around, not all of them well-supervised (really annoying, honestly). Fellow cleanfreaks, be aware.
On the flipside, it’s really freeing to bake in a kitchen that you don’t have to clean (except for some dish washing). You don’t have to worry about buying a bunch of ingredients or any baking equipment.
The instructions were pretty straightforward and there are tons of shop assistants running around to answer questions, so I think even really novice bakers would not have a problem completing their dessert. It ended up taking me about 2.5 hours to from start to finish (it took that long because I made a mistake at one point and had to fix it) but time flies when you’re having fun. I was super proud of the end result and I would definitely go back to make a different dessert.
Dough DIY (動手玩)
No. 1049 Jianxing Rd., West District