Few things in life are as simple and satisfying as a bowl of piping-hot soup. But to enjoy it to its fullest, having the right utensils on hand is essential. Enter the SOOP Spoon, the newest addition to BOMSHBEE’s elegant line of minimalist tableware.
Growing up in Hong Kong, co-founder William Lau says he was inspired to modernize the humble soup spoon after recalling fond memories at large family get-togethers, where his loved ones connected over shared meals – many of which featured soups on the menu.
“Traditionally in Hong Kong, soups are served before or after the main courses,” says William. “Soups and broths are very special in Chinese and Cantonese cuisine, and many people believe that a meal isn’t complete without soup.”
In Chinese culture, soups are inextricably linked with healing and traditional medicine. They’re believed to help restore balance in the body through specially selected ingredients with medicinal properties, such as herbs, vegetables, meats, eggs, noodles and even dried fruits. More than just a delicious side dish, Chinese cooks carefully plan their soups according to seasonality and take several hours of patient preparation.
Asian-style soup spoons, which can hold generous amounts of soup in their flat, oval-shaped heads, are ideal for these kinds of nourishing remedies. And that’s why for many, these traditional spoons are more than just humble utensils for enjoying a warm bowl of broth – they embody centuries of cultural heritage and culinary traditions.
“We wanted to create something that pays tribute to the classic ceramic Chinese-style spoon while reimagining it for the modern table,” says William. “Something that would pop in front of the eye and on camera. Ultimately, we decided to use smoke-colored borosilicate glass to craft our SOOP Spoons – a first for Asian spoons.”
Keen to further elevate the new SOOP Spoon without veering too far from its time-honored blueprint, the team at BOMSHBEE decided to tweak the handle to make it longer and more curved – easier for all hand shapes and sizes. “I remember when I was little, before we could use chopsticks properly, we had to use spoons for our meals, which was usually dishes like braised pork mince or steamed fish over rice,” says William. “So I wanted to design a handle that’s easy for anyone, including small children, to hold and maneuver at meal times.”
The spoon’s wide, flat bowl also delivers an ideal broth-to-noodle ratio and makes it easy to pick up and enjoy delicate foods like tofu or fish. It’s highly versatile, too – ideal for kitchen tasks like measuring out spices, tasting sauces or marinades or serving up rice, side dishes, or desserts.
William points out that BOMSHBEE’s new SOOP Spoons also feature a thoughtful nod to another Asian-inspired product in the company’s collection. “These spoons complement our Chop Chopsticks, as they feature the same unique teardrop-shaped handle. It’s subtle, but we felt connecting these two pillars of Asia’s culinary heritage was important.”
Ready to dig in? BOMSHBEE SOOP Spoons USD$20 will be available to order online from October 1st. Order today to be among the first to try our modern take on classic Chinese soup spoons.
Originally from Taiwan, bubble tea – commonly known as boba or pearl tea – reigns supreme as the undisputed champion of all year round beverages.
Icy cold and refreshing, it offers a perfect balance of ambrosial flavors and satisfying textures. For the uninitiated, bubble tea at its simplest is a combination of black tea, milk, sugar, and “bubbles” – springy tapioca pearls that give the drink its signature chew.
But as boba culture takes the world by storm, the variations have multiplied exponentially. Modern twists on the drink swap green or oolong tea for black or even decaffeinated fruit-infused tisanes. And in many cases, boba lovers can experiment with their toppings, adding everything from jelly, pudding and red beans to a frothy layer of salty cheese foam.
The drink is so popular that it’s even made its way into foods – think boba pearl toasties, pancakes, and even pizza. So how did it make its way from Taiwanese delicacy to global sensation?
Well, it’s a little contentious. Two Taiwanese tea vendors claim to have created the drink in different cities in the mid-1980s. Tu Tsong He says that he mixed green tea and white tapioca pearls called fenyuan in his Tainan tea shop, Hanlin, while an employee of the tea chain Chun Shui Tang says she was the first to think of it.
The debate over provenance came to a head in a Taiwanese courtroom when a protracted legal case ruled that the beverage was simply too ubiquitous and universally loved to belong to any shop or person. Bubble tea – it was decided – was the people’s drink.
Since then, boba has exploded in popularity. It spread quickly to neighboring regions like Hong Kong (where sweet milk tea was already a staple), mainland China, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore, where bubble tea shops became popular hangouts spots for young customers, who would line up in droves to sip the hybrid concoction and socialize with pals.
In the 1990s, the craze migrated globally as Taiwanese and other Asian immigrants introduced it to communities abroad. The playful nature of boba captured people’s curiosity, and the advent of social media further fueled the bubble tea craze, turning it into an Instagram-worthy snack with lasting appeal.
Today, boba culture is stronger than ever. Globally, the bubble tea market is expected to grow to $4.3 billion by 2027, while a whopping 94% of people between the ages of 20-29 reported buying boba tea in the last three months, so we don’t see the bubble bursting anytime soon.
It’s also safe to say that bubble tea has become more than just Taiwan’s most iconic export. It has evolved into a symbol of youth subculture, and a delicious representation of Asian identity and diaspora.
And while it’s often enjoyed out in the buzzing bubble tea shops in cities around the world, you can whip up a cup of boba to enjoy at home this summer with one of our favorite recipes:
The Recipe: Pearl Green Milk Tea Yields: 1 serving The Glassware: BOMSHBEE’s Angle Taper DOF
3 oz. of vanilla ice cream, cubed if possible
2 oz of brown sugar boba
Milk or milk alternative of your choice
Whisk matcha powder with warm milk until it’s smooth and blended well. Set aside.
Add vanilla ice cream cubes to your glass.
Slowly add boba, gently shaking the glass so the tapioca balls rest in the bottom.
Pour the matcha mix over the top and gently stir so the ice cream melts.
When he’s not busy designing new products and working with our artisan production partners, our co-founder William Lau is often on the road, scouting out unique homeware boutiques to add to our growing network of partner retailers. Along the way, he’s discovered an array of indie boutiques that cater to various tastes and lifestyles, from modern and minimalist to warm and rustic. To help you find the perfect pieces for your home, our co-founder William Lau has rounded up a list of seven of our favourite homeware boutiques in all corners of the US, from California to New York, Ohio to Texas. Not only will you find BOMSHBEE products at these fabulous shops, but you’ll also have a chance to explore an array of lesser-known brands and high-quality pieces.
Maison 10 A few short blocks from the Empire State Building in the fashionable NoMad district, Maison 10 is a New York City-based concept store combining fashion, design, and social consciousness. Rotating every ten weeks, their collection of products from emerging and established designers includes only ethically made and sustainably produced goods, and 10% of every purchase goes to a charity of the customer’s choice.
From beautiful home decor and art pieces to clean skincare, handcrafted jewelry and accessories, and crystal aromatherapy meditation kits, this avant-garde emporium is the ultimate destination for conscious consumers.
Current Home An award-winning boutique with two locations in New York, Current Home sets itself apart with a decidedly modern approach to home decor. The brick-and-mortar and online shops feature a curated selection of chic home goods, including luxurious bedding, statement-making decor, and beautiful tableware, including BOMSHBEE products. Moreover, their interior design services offer personalized consultations with their expert team, a gift registry service, and a corporate gifting program for businesses looking to send stylish and thoughtful gifts.
Wabi Sabi Drawing inspiration from the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which celebrates the beauty of imperfection in art and design, this Palm Springs homeware and gift shop is a haven for those seeking beautifully imperfect pieces. Natural materials and organic shapes take center stage, creating a serene aesthetic that will make your home feel like a sanctuary.
Drawing inspiration from the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which celebrates the beauty of imperfection in art and design, this Palm Springs homeware and gift shop is a haven for those seeking beautifully imperfect pieces. Natural materials and organic shapes take center stage, creating a serene aesthetic that will make your home feel like a sanctuary.
A.J. Soseby Set in a pine-green storefront on the trendy Parsons Avenue in Columbus, Ohio, A.J. Soseby boasts high-quality, functional home goods that have earned accolades from the likes of Vogue. Run by dynamic duo Adam and Johnathan (both interior designers with impeccable taste), this well-curated shop offers an impressive selection of unique and stylish products.
Look for rare kitchen goods like hand-forged cleavers and larder butter keepers, delicate enamelware, and the brand’s signature home fragrances and candle lines. Not to mention, the shop proudly carries a range of BOMSHBEE products that are sure to add a touch of minimalist elegance to your home.
Cursive New York Nestled in the heart of Manhattan’s historic West Village, this homeware boutique is a treasure trove of refined products. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift or a statement piece for your home, you can rest assured knowing that each item at Cursive has been carefully hand-picked by the owners, spouses Douglas and Michael (who have been business partners for over 25 years) – and they have a fantastic eye for quality and detail. From luxurious hand-poured candles to delicate vases, fine stationery and one-of-a-kind jewelry, Cursive is one of those boutiques you can’t help but return to time and time again.
Scout of Marion A modern-day general store in Marion, Iowa, Scout of Marion is brimming with gorgeous finds. Founder Nikki Kettelkamp draws upon her travel experiences and background as a luxury fashion buyer for Chanel to create a vibrant and delightful boutique filled with unique pieces.
Check out the gourmet pantry items, books and great gift ideas (like cocktail-infusing kits in mason jars and Blue Oyster mushroom growing kits) alongside organic baby products and high-end skincare such as the coveted Danish brand Meraki. And don’t miss the mantra cuffs etched with affirmations – the perfect reminder to stay positive and motivated throughout the day.
Carol Hicks Bolton Everything truly is bigger in Texas – and that includes renowned interior designer Carol Hicks Bolton’s massive 30,000-square-foot warehouse in Fredericksburg, about two hours west of Austin. Bolton’s vast collection of antiques and home goods showcases her cozy yet elegant aesthetic and penchant for natural materials like wood, stone, and linen.
Bolton’s distinctive blend of rustic charm has earned her a loyal following of decorators and collectors alike. The warehouse is a must-visit for those seeking one-of-a-kind pieces, featuring everything from massive farm tables to French cabinets, cupboards, bed linens, decor and tableware.
Growing up on the picturesque island of Sicily, off the coast of southern Italy, Andrea Soranidis learned to master the art of homemade pasta.
“In my mum’s kitchen, everything was made from scratch! Our family would spend entire afternoons and weekends making fresh pasta, pizza, bread, and delicious cakes and cookies – it was the best kind of quality time, and I savored every second of it,” she recalls.
Those early experiences led Andrea to experiment on her own, developing ideas for a recipe-sharing platform before launching her own food blog, “The Petite Cook”. Inspired by her world travels and love of traditional Italian cuisine, Andrea’s culinary creations are easy to make, satisfying and nutrient-dense thanks to fresh, locally sourced ingredients and plant-based twists on classic recipes.
The blog has earned a devoted base of followers who love Andrea’s approachable take on dishes like bucatini pomodoro, duck ragu pappardelle and an egg-free tiramisu. Building on her success, Andrea has published two cookbooks: 20-Minute Italian, which focuses on speedy, simple recipes, and Vegan Bean Cookbook, born from experimenting with legumes during the pandemic lockdown.
Although her site features recipes inspired by many different culinary cultures, from Thai to Greek to British, she always returns to a staple of her Italian upbringing: pasta.
“I love all kinds of noodles from all over the world, but of course, pasta will always be my favorite! It’s so universally popular because it’s simple, inexpensive and incredibly versatile.”
In Italy, there are hundreds of pasta shapes to complement all kinds of different sauces, Andrea explains. When making pasta, it’s important to choose the noodle carefully.
“Using the right pasta ensures you get most of the sauce you pair it with. I always recommend using long, skinny noodles like spaghetti, fettuccine and tagliatelle with tomato sauce, seafood, and cream- and oil-based sauces like pesto,” she says.
Meanwhile, shorter pastas with hollow centers – think penne, ziti, or rigatoni – serve as ideal vessels for chunkier sauces, such as meat-heavy bolognese, pasta alla Norma with thick slices of fried eggplant, or a creamy primavera laden with crisp vegetables.
And then there are tiny pastas – called pastina – in shapes like miniature stars (stelline), rings (anelli), tubes (ditalini) and orzo (a rice-shaped pasta). Since these fun-sized noodles are easily scooped up with a spoon, they’re the perfect addition to soup and brodo (broth).
Now that she has a child of her own who loves to help her in the kitchen, Andrea loves making her mum’s tried-and-tested fresh egg pasta recipe. “We’ve been making it for decades, and it’s always a hit!”
400g flour (Note: try to find 00, which is finely ground Italian flour. All-purpose flour works as an alternative)
Pour flour onto a clean working surface, then hollow out the center.
Break the eggs into the hollow space and gently beat them with a fork, incorporating more and more flour as you work. If you find it’s a touch too dry, you can try adding a teaspoon of water.
Once mixed well, knead with slow, delicate movements for about 15-20 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy.
Wrap the dough in cling film and leave it to rest in a cool dry spot in your kitchen for about 30-60 minutes.
Divide the dough in half. Leave the remaining dough well covered in cling film or a kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out.
Using a rolling pin or bottle of wine, roll out the half-portion of dough on a work surface sprinkled with flour until it’s a thin sheet about 42 cm wide.
Sprinkle the surface of the pasta sheet with a little more flour and roll the dough into itself, like a Swiss roll.
Cut the roll into slices using a sharp knife. For tagliatelle (which Andrea recommends for this recipe) you’ll want to cut sections that are 1 cm in width, but you can also make pastas like fettuccine, lasagna, tortellini, or ravioli from the dough.
Unfurl the tagliatelle bundles, working gently but swiftly to prevent the dough from drying out.
You can cook the noodles straight away (fresh pasta cooks in about 2-4 minutes).
Alternatively, you can arrange little nests of lightly floured pasta on a tray and let them dry slightly. Store them in the fridge for up to two days or in the freezer for up to a month.
Growing up on Coney Island, Kat Lieu remembers waking up on Spring Festival to the sound of traditional Chinese music broadcasting from the local Chinese radio station, AM1480.
“My parents, sister, and I would head into Chinatown in New York City to watch the lion- and dragon-dancing, and visit my grandparents and other relatives to receive our lai see (red envelopes containing money).”
She learned all of the Chinese customs from her family. And to this day, Kat still avoids anything that could impact good fortune – like washing your hair, sweeping, or doing laundry – since such actions are believed to wash away good luck and wealth. She also embraces all of the good luck omens: “I’ve always loved how everyone dresses in red, wears new clothes and prepares certain Chinese dishes steeped in symbolism and history.”
From an early age, Kat recognized how integral food was to the Lunar New Year festivities – something she looked forward to almost as much as the cash gifts. “My mom would prepare treats like fried nian gao (glutinous rice cake) and lo bak go (turnip cake), and a togetherness tray packed with candied coconut, lotus seeds, and Ferrero Rochers,” she says.
As a bestselling cookbook author and the founder of the wildly popular online baking group Subtle Asian Baking, Kat has built a community celebrating the Asian diaspora through mouthwatering baked goods. Her recipes are a nod to Asian culture, whether it be through a technique, inspiration, or a beloved Asian ingredient, such as red bean, black sesame, matcha, or pandan.
Last year, for example, to commemorate the Year of the Tiger, Kat baked tiger-striped milk bread and adorable tiger-shaped buns. “As someone at home in both Asia and the US, I think change and creativity come from having to be flexible,” she says. “We make do with what we have, but our new experiences and traditions are still just as beautiful and unique.”
The latest dish Kat loves to prepare and eat over Chinese New Year is actually a classic she’s recently revisited. “Longevity noodles symbolize a long life, and growing up we would always have them during Lunar New Year and for birthdays,” Kat explains. “My grandparents would tell us to try and pick the longest strands of noodles, as they symbolize longevity. In writing my second cookbook, I’ve rediscovered this auspicious and delicious dish as a grown-up.”
Although Kat made the noodles for this recipe from scratch, she recommends using a store-bought variety. “It requires a bit of work, and preferably a pasta machine handy. The noodles also need to be deep-fried and boiled… so save yourself some time and just use pre-made,” she laughs.
Kat also cautions that dried shiitake mushrooms must soak in water first to rehydrate, so plan your time accordingly. This dish is usually a vegetarian dish; however, it is possible to add protein to the noodles, like stir-fried lobster, pork, or abalone.
The Recipe: Kat Lieu’s Chinese Longevity Noodles, or Yi Mein (伊面) Yields: 4 Servings The Dish: BOMSHBEE’s Tinge Clay Dinnerware
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy
1 tbsp oyster sauce
A dash of white pepper
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 to 3 tbsp cooking oil
About 12 oz or 340g yi mein noodles (dry)
5-6 garlic cloves
½-inch piece of ginger, minced
6-8 shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and sliced
5-6 stalks of scallions, chopped into 3 to 4-inch segments (alternatively, use Chinese chives)
Mix all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Boil the dry noodles for 1 to 2 minutes, until they’re cooked but still al dente and chewy. Strain the noodles. Tip: These noodles tend to be fragile, so be careful not to overcook them.
Heat a wok or large frying pan until smoke point before adding the cooking oil. At medium to medium-high heat, add the garlic and ginger.
Once the garlic turns golden, add the mushrooms. Using a spatula, keep stirring the ingredients so they don’t stick and burn.
Once the mushrooms have a golden-brown coating, add the noodles and stir. When they are warm and coated with oil, add the sauce. Be gentle with the noodles while stirring them, as they can break easily.
Finally, add the scallions or chives and cook for about 20 to 30 more seconds before removing from the heat. Optional: Those who love spice can add a few spoonfuls of chili crisp oil here.
These noodles are best enjoyed piping hot. Happy Lunar New Year!
Have your heart set on making your own yi mein? Here’s how to do it:
Make a noodle dough with 500g all-purpose flour, two eggs, 150g filtered water, and one tablespoon of miso.
Knead until the dough is barely pliable and rest for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into four even portions, then roll the dough according to your pasta maker’s instructions, snake-fold into layers, and slice thinly, linguine-width.
Remember: You want these noodles to be long, as their length represents longevity.
Explore our dinnerware collections for modern and minimalist designs that will make every meal feel like a special occasion.
We all know the joys of unwrapping a present. It’s always a treat to experience the anticipation, excitement, and surprise as you unbox a gift that someone has lovingly picked out with you in mind.
Speaking from his personal experience, BOMSHBEE co-founder William Lau recalls the moment he realized how a gift’s presentation could enhance the experience. For his birthday one year, his wife surprised him with a hand-knit scarf.
“My birthday is around Thanksgiving when it’s usually starting to get cold. I remember unwrapping it and putting it on right away – it felt like such a warm and heartfelt gesture,” he recalls. “I loved the surprise of the gift itself, as well as the effort she put into making and wrapping it – the whole package!”
So when it came time to design BOMSHBEE’s gift boxes, William and his team approached the process with careful consideration while thinking about the recipient. After all, packaging has a big job: It not only has to carry and protect a wide range of glass and ceramic items from our collections, but it also needs to make a lasting first impression.
“It’s important to invest time and effort in packaging – it’s far from just an afterthought,” says William. “A gift box is the first point of contact that many people have with our brand, so we wanted it to be memorable and true to our unique style and values.”
As William explains, all BOMSHBEE gift boxes are designed specifically for the product they contain and built to withstand international transit. What’s more, bowls, plates, and glasses are boxed as sets of two – a decision that considers the needs of both the giver and the receiver.
“As a gift, people generally wouldn’t think of buying a single plate or glass for someone,” explains William. “We’ve packaged our dinnerware and glassware in the lowest possible number of multiples to make the gift more valuable and, at the same time, flexible for any size of household.”
For example, urban dwellers in apartments with limited space will certainly appreciate small sets to add to their compact cupboards. At the same time, it’s easy to tailor a gift order for families, homes with larger kitchens, or couples known to throw fabulous dinner parties. William points out that it’s even possible to give someone an entire line of BOMSHBEE tableware.
“Traditionally, it’s only through wedding registries that people can make large home purchases for someone,” he says. “BOMSHBEE, on the other hand, makes it possible for our customers to order an entire collection of tableware for someone. It’s the difference between gifting someone special a few wine glasses or plates or giving them a dining set that they’ll use every day for years to come.”
A sturdy container that will survive transportation, storage and delivery was also top of mind. For added assurance, William says he and his team conduct “drop-and-throw tests” with full boxes to guarantee the items inside are safe and protected throughout their journey.
What’s more, the team also set out to use eco-conscious materials. That’s why all BOMSHBEE’s boxes are made using raw paper sourced from Forest Stewardship Council-certified environmentally friendly forests. And to showcase the brand’s unique visual aesthetic, gift boxes showcase BOMSHBEE’s classic cuboid typeface and minimalist-inspired line drawings of the products inside.
“As a small, family-run business, we believe it’s the little things in life that matter most,” says William. “For us, no detail is too small or insignificant. “Taking the time to design a beautiful gift box makes a tremendous difference to the person receiving it. So we’re only too happy to take that extra step for our customers.”
During the early stages of the pandemic, many people grappled with how to handle an unprecedented amount of downtime. Stuck indoors while coping with the stress and uncertainty of the situation, people seemingly began moving en masse to more hands-on, wholesome activities – think puzzles, pet adoption, or the Dalgona whipped coffee trend.
But no trend was more popular, prevalent, and posted about on social media than the rise of home baking. Everyone from well-known culinary pros like Martha Stewart and Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi to celebrity amateur bakers like Chrissy Teigen, Khloe Kardashian and Kate Bosworth shared their baked creations with hungry followers, while pantry staples like flour and yeast sold out in supermarkets around the world.
Sourdough, in particular, captured the hearts of millions. As a naturally leavened bread – meaning it uses wild yeast to rise as opposed to commercial – sourdough is known for its nutrient-dense, flavorful, and satisfyingly chewy characteristics. It’s also more challenging to bake with than standard loaves. Novice bakers must contend with what’s known as a sourdough “starter”, a fermented flour and water mixture made with wild yeast and live bacteria, which requires legwork to cultivate, feed and maintain.
For the uninitiated, sourdough starters are a ripe, thriving environment of different yeast strains and bacteria. And each type of yeast possesses different behaviors and characteristics that impart complex flavors and aromas. That’s a big part of the intrigue of working with sourdough – there’s always an element of mystery about how it will all turn out.
Some yeasts, for example, produce the smell of artificial banana, while others are known for delivering nutty, earthy, mushroomy, vinegary or even metallic taste profiles. Thanks to lactic and acetic acids produced by environmental bacteria, a slightly sour flavor – which gives this baking style its unique name – also develops.
When properly cared for, a sourdough starter can provide yeast for decades or even centuries. When it comes to the sourdough at Baked, a popular all-day brunch cafe in Hong Kong, their in-house starter has been passed down over several generations – a legacy recipe that has traveled the world and brought joy to many.
Baked’s owner and head chef is South African Zahir Mohamed. He arrived in Hong Kong six years ago, carrying only his most prized possessions – namely his suitcases, his savings, and a jar of his grandmother’s 54-year-old sourdough starter.
“The best sourdough is always handmade because it requires the ability to slowly build and strengthen the gluten inside. It’s what gives the dough a stretchy consistency and causes it to rise properly,” explains Zahir. “That’s why the folding process is key – if you rush through it, you’ll be disappointed by what turns out.”
In 2017, Zahir leased a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it venue on the slopes of Hong Kong’s trendy Soho neighborhood, putting his grandmother’s handed-down sourdough starter front and center on the menu. The restaurant quickly took root as a spot for decadent dishes that showcased the versatility of sourdough. From basil-infused Eggs Benedict on buttery sourdough toast to sourdough cinnamon buns smothered in cardamom cream-cheese icing, baked eggs with aged gruyere and chili nestled inside a sourdough brioche bun – Baked became a firm favorite among the city’s foodies.
Descended from a long line of bakers – six generations in total stretching all the way back to his ancestral homeland of Egypt – Zahir says the key to pulling off a perfect loaf is deceptively simple: all it takes is patience.
“Sourdough gets a bad rep for being difficult, but the truth is it’s quite easy to master,” he says. “At Baked, where I prepare all the sourdough goods, I’ll start a batch, do 10 folds of the dough, then leave it for a few hours while I go about my day. I’ll come back to it several times – I’m constantly on a 48-hour rotation with my bread.”
If you’re feeling inspired, try elevating your home baking with this beloved family recipe. Just be prepared for a sharp learning curve – sourdough can be a relatively complicated type of bread to make, but you’ll get the hang of it after a few tries.
TheRecipe: Baked’s Spelt & Whole Wheat Sourdough Yield: Makes 2 x 900g loaves.
60g mature liquid sourdough starter
35g stone ground whole wheat
35g stone ground spelt
35g stone ground bread flour
70g water (room temperature)
804g white bread flour
100g stone ground spelt
73g stone ground whole wheat
755g warm water (around 49℃/ 120℉)
18g fine sea salt
150g mature liquid levain
1. First, you’ll need to build a levain. A levain is an off-shoot of a sourdough starter that has been fed with big volumes of flour and water – it’s basically a larger version of your sourdough starter that can be adjusted for the recipe at hand without affecting the “mother” starter.
Build your levain in the morning, and store somewhere warm – around 30°C (86°F) – for 5-6 hours. Alternatively, make it in the evening and leave out overnight in a cooler temperature (25°C/77°F) and it should be ready in 10-12 hours.
2. Roughly 3.5 hours later, you’ll need to make an autolyze. This is a process that involves gently mixing flour and water together, then letting it rest. In a separate bowl, mix the white flour and water, reserving 50g of water. Ensure the dry flour is hydrated very well before covering. Store near the resting levain for around 90 minutes to ensure the dough remains warm.
3. Scoop out 150g of levain and mix with the autolyze, using about 30g of reserved water to help incorporate the two mixtures. Wait 30 minutes.
4. After a half hour, spread salt on top of the dough, using the remaining water to help it dissolve. If your dough is already quite wet, you don’t have to use any more water. Simply spread it out and mix well by hand, letting the existing hydration dissolve the salt. Salt slows the pace of fermentation, so leaving a 30-minute window beforehand gives your sourdough more time to activate.
5. After the salt is incorporated, fold the dough by hand for about 2-3 minutes in the bowl. Folds are done by grabbing under one side, and pulling up and over to the other side, then repeating by turning the bowl. Do this around 30 times. When you’re done, the dough should be a little smoother, and will start to hold itself together slightly more in the bowl.
6. Bulk fermentation is the first rise of your sourdough, when the dough ferments in a large, single mass. Transfer the dough to a tub or thick-walled bowl for bulk fermentation, leaving it to sit in 30°C/86°F ambient temperature for about four hours.
During the bulk fermentation period, perform six sets of folding and stretching: the first three at 15-minute intervals, and the last three at 30-minute intervals. Pick up one side of the dough with both hands and really pull it up, just before the point of tearing, then fold it over to the otherside. Rotate your container and repeat 4-5 times. That is one set. After completing these folds (a total of 2 hours and 15 minutes) let the dough rest for another hour and 45 minutes.
7. It’s important to keep the dough as close to 30°C as possible (minor fluctuations up and down are fine). If the temperature drops, you might have to extend the duration of bulk fermentation to compensate, and vice versa.
8. At the end of bulk fermentation, your dough should look very gassy, with sporadic bubbles, and slightly domed edges where the dough meets the bowl. When the bowl is shaken the entire mass jiggles from side to side as though it’s alive! You’ll notice that compared to before bulk, the dough is smoother and holds its edges, folds, and creases more readily.
9. Divide the dough into two equal portions, each weighing roughly 900 grams. Let the dough rest for five minutes, before lightly shaping each mass into a round, using a large kitchen knife. Try to use your hands as little as possible at this stage. Cover each round with an inverted bowl or moist towel, then let rest for 20 minutes.
10. After 20 minutes, remove the towel or bowl, then let dough rest 5 more minutes exposed to air. This helps to dry the dough out slightly, so it’s not as sticky and easier to work with during shaping.
11. Lightly flour the top of your dough rounds and your work surface. With this recipe, use a little more flour on the surface than normal, the dough will be extremely sticky and wet. Flip each round and shape into a boule, batard, or your preference of shape.
12. After shaping, let dough rest for a few minutes before moving into a banneton (or a large bowl) that has been lightly dusted with all-purpose flour. Cover with plastic and leave for 20 minutes, before moving into the refrigerator for 15-16 hours.
13. The next day, remove from the fridge and score dough using a razor or very sharp knife.
14. Preheat the oven for 15 minutes at 250°C/482°F. Bake for 20 minutes at 240°C/464°F with steam (place a water-filled ramekin inside the oven), and an additional 20 minutes at 220°C/428°F, or until done to your liking.
15. Remove, let rest, then enjoy warm with butter or your choice of spread!
Paper lanterns hung with care, the scent of osmanthus in the air, mooncakes everywhere… Mid-Autumn Festival is upon us! Taking place on September 10 this year, the festival has long been one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture. A time for family, joyful meals and celebrations, the festival brims with meaning and unique traditions.
Historically, the Mid-Autumn Festival marked the end of the harvest period. Thousands of years ago, villagers would gather when the moon was at its fullest and brightest – on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar. They did this to collectively give thanks, spend time together and ask for peace, prosperity and fertility in the coming year.
Today, the tradition lives on. Many Chinese families use the festival as a sacred day to reconnect – a bit like Thanksgiving in American or Canadian cultures. It’s also a time to pay tribute to the moon. In Chinese culture, the full moon symbolizes togetherness while its round shape links to motherhood, life and rejuvenation.
Growing up in Hong Kong, mixologist and BOMSHBEE creative collaborator Shelley Tai says the holiday is close to her heart. “For as long as I can remember, my family has treated the Mid-Autumn Festival with a tremendous sense of importance,” she says.
“My favorite part of the festival was getting that quality time with family over great conversation. After dinner, my siblings and I would run off into the backyard and light candles to place in our paper lanterns, then watch them float up into the night sky.”
Named the 2019 Diageo World Class Hong Kong & Macau Bartender of the Year, Tai relocated to Singapore in 2020 to head up Nutmeg & Clove, an artisanal cocktail lounge ranked among the World’s 50 Best Bars. But despite the distance from her hometown, she maintains a strong connection to her Hong Kong roots and upbringing.
When Tai was younger, her family hosted a highly anticipated soiree every year for their extended relatives and friends. “We did all the traditional activities for Mid-Autumn, from decorating the rooftop with colorful lanterns, spending hours together under the full moon, and of course, eating way too many mooncakes,” she remembers joyfully.
Mooncakes, a dense buttery Chinese pastry stuffed with a variety of decadent fillings, are virtually synonymous with the Mid-Autumn Festival – so much so that the holiday is nicknamed “Mooncake Festival”. That’s partly because mooncakes’ rich flavor makes them challenging to finish alone but perfect to share with friends and family.
Mooncakes are best enjoyed with a generous pour of another celebrated Mid-Autumn treat: osmanthus wine. Made with diluted baijiu – a traditional Chinese grain spirit – and sweet osmanthus flowers, osmanthus wine (also called cassia wine) is believed to promote longevity and is commonly offered during toasts.
“The scent of osmanthus is so evocative of the Mid-Autumn Festival,” says Tai. “Osmanthus wine has this uniquely delicate flavor that is mildly sweet with a lingering aroma – it’s pleasant to drink either alone or mix with something else.”
Tai says she occasionally reaches for the traditional liqueur behind the bar since its subtle, botanical properties add complexity and intrigue to cocktails. In celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Tai crafted this elegant osmanthus wine-inspired recipe. Try it for yourself while you toast to the future and gaze at the moon, surrounded by loved ones on September 10.
Céline Herren and her partner, Amit Oz, started experimenting with chocolate as a hobby – a fun couples’ project that indulged their adventurous palettes and mutual obsession with chocolate.
Working from their tiny kitchen in Sai Ying Pun – a Hong Kong neighborhood known for harboring creative types – the pair would melt down squares of Lindt chocolate, then add spices, herbs and savory ingredients before freezing them back into bar form.
These kitchen experiments led to a welcome discovery: “Basically, everything tastes good with chocolate,” laughs Herren.
It wasn’t long before they realized their experiments could be more than just a hobby. In 2018, Herren visited her native Switzerland to take a professional chocolatier program. When she returned to Hong Kong later that year, the pair launched Conspiracy Chocolate. This bean-to-bar chocolate brand prides itself on its sustainable ethos and surprising flavor combinations, such as raspberry with timut (a fruity Nepalese pepper), toasted rice and hojicha (a type of roasted Japanese green tea), and osmanthus and rose petals with pink peppercorns.
“We wanted to deconstruct the process and show that chocolate doesn’t have to be just a candy bar,” explains Herren. “Originally, chocolate was a bitter drink flavored with chillies and spices. During the Industrial Revolution, we made it into something quite sweet, adding ingredients like vegetable oil, sugar, and vanilla, so that today’s commercial chocolate contains next to no cacao [raw, unprocessed cocoa] at all.”
Much like artisanal movements such as craft beer, natural wine, and sourdough bread-making, Herren says bean-to-bar is all about returning to raw materials. By stripping away the many layers of large-scale commercial processing and returning to traditional methods, consumers are left with a purer and, ultimately, healthier product.
“These days, people want to slow down and understand where their food is coming from,” says Herren. “Different regions have different tastes; there’s cacao that naturally tastes like passionfruit or bananas – our cacao is quite earthy and spicy, for instance. What bean-to-bar chocolate-makers try to do is bring this terroir back into the product.”
When it comes to sourcing their beans, Herren and Oz chose a small, family-run farm in the indigenous ethnic minority region of Dak Lak, in Vietnam. “We have a very strong relationship with the farmer, where we defer to them as the expert as we collaborate. From choosing which genetic material from the pods they grow with to how they dry and ferment – it’s a very different type of relationship.”
Their approach has resulted in high-quality chocolate, devout customers and an ever-growing product range. Over the last four years, the company has expanded to a much larger industrial-size kitchen – a far cry from their Sai Ying Pun stovetop – and introduced new ideas like chocolate liqueur, a cacao tea blend, or a collection of CBD and CBG (a newly isolated cannabinoid known as cannabigerol).
What’s next? Herren says the next big trend will be cacao-based drinks – for example, single-origin hot cocoa. Using cacao pod husk (usually a waste product), producers can make everything from cacao soda and kombucha to cacao beer. “I think cacao drinks will get more trendy as people search for new things to drink and discover.”
Curious about cacao-based bevvies? Here is a recipe from Conspiracy Chocolate to get you started:
Ultimate Hot Cocoa Who doesn’t want to level up their hot cocoa? This mouthwatering, aromatic recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Bring 1¼ cup of nut or dairy milk to simmer in a saucepan.
In a mug, add one heaping tablespoon of single-origin or premium chocolate shavings with just a splash of warm milk to help it dissolve.
Mix well with a spoon to create a thick, chocolatey paste.
Add the rest of the warm milk and stir well.
Add spices like cinnamon, allspice, vanilla or cloves to infuse and give a nice gentle flavor, or try a pinch of chilli or sea salt on the top for an extra kick.
Additional recipes to try…
Cacao Tea Add depth and complexity to your mid-afternoon tea for a delicious pick-me-up.
First, get your hands on some cacao husks (Conspiracy Chocolate sells them, but you can also order them online.)
Bring 1¼ cup water to boil with a tablespoon of cacao husks.
Add any herbs or other tea blends you might like – cinnamon, verbena, or orange slices all go down a treat.
Let infuse for a few minutes before straining and serving.
Cacao Soda Bring on the bubbles with this zesty summer cooler, which is a testament to the versatility of cacao.
Melt a teaspoon of sugar with ½ cup of water, then add 1 tablespoon of cacao husks.
Let the syrup darken a bit before turning off the heat and letting the mixture cool.
In a glass, add ice cubes, soda water and the desired amount of cacao syrup.
For something special, add a squeeze of orange before enjoying!
We’ve partnered with The Social Sipper once again. This time around, to get your tiki on with the Painkiller Cocktail! It’s tropical and super tasty for the warmer days ahead. Mixed up with dark rum, fresh orange juice, pineapple juice, and cream of coconut for a creamsicle-tasting cocktail.
Recipe and ideas by @thesocialsipper.
What’s a Painkiller Cocktail? The Painkiller Cocktail dates back to the 1970’s, specifically in the British Virgin Islands where the cocktail was first created. It’s very similar to a Piña Colada, so if you enjoy tropical-tasting libations, you will love Carolyn’s take on the Painkiller Cocktail.
Although this mixed drink may give you the false sense that it helps with hangovers, it’s categorized as a “hair of the dog” because it includes really tasty, easy-to-sip on flavors and ingredients, making you feel better in the short-term. Always enjoy responsibly!
How to Elevate Your Tiki Cocktail with BOMSHBEE? Says Carolyn, “Using unique glassware is such a simple way to take your cocktails to the next level. And the Painkiller Cocktail needed a glass that was just as much of a ‘wow factor’ as the recipe.” For this tasty recipe, Carolyn used the Chandelier Eidos from BOMSHBEE to complete this cocktail.
3 OZ Pineapple Juice: Make sure to use 100% pineapple juice for a perfectly sweetened taste. Carolyn used Dole Pineapple Juice, but you can feel free to juice your own pineapple.
1 OZ Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice: Fresh squeezed orange juice is the key to making this tropical, tasting-cocktail. Of course, you can always substitute it for store-bought OJ, but Carolyn recommend using a juicer like this one or this one and some fresh oranges for the freshest taste.
1 OZ Cream of Coconut: Create the creaminess in this cocktail with Cream of Coconut. Make sure to shake this up really before using.
Fresh Ground Nutmeg: A pinch of fresh ground nutmeg really balances and brings out the creamy and tropical flavors in this drink.
Pineapple and Orange Slices, for Garnish: if you’re feeling fancy, you can garnish this cocktail with a pineapple wedge and an orange slice for a complete tiki-inspired look.
Add dark rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, cream of coconut and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake until the cocktail mixture is chilled and frothy.
Fill your BOMSHBEE cocktail glass with crushed ice. Strain cocktail mixture into glass. Sprinkle with fresh ground nutmeg, If desired, garnish with an orange slice, pineapple slice and pineapple fronds.