Monthly Archives: July 2009

  • Tiramisu cupcakes Tiramisu cupcakes

    Tiramisu cupcakes

Tiramisu cupcakes

  The Martha Stewart team sent out the recipe for these tiramisu cupcakes in the days leading up to the launch of their “Cupcakes” book and also featured this recipe on the flagship show during Martha Stewart’s “Cupcake Week.”Homemade tiramisu, lady finger biscuits topped in espresso, topped with a whipped mixture of mascarpone, egg yolks, and sugar, and topped with cocoa, is a light, airy confection that should fall apart in your mouth with every bite.I had high hopes for this recipe, especially after the chocolate-spice cupcakes I made from the same book, but it fell flat.Substitutions:I didn’t make any substitutions. Would I make this again?I don’t think so. The cake batter was dense and heavy and dry, nothing like an airy pound cake nor like the soaked ladyfingers in a real tiramisu. The recipe also makes it sound as though the tops of cupcakes will easily soak up the […]

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  • Chocolate-spice cupcakes Chocolate-spice cupcakes

    Chocolate-spice cupcakes

Chocolate-spice cupcakes

  These spiced cupcakes are an adult version of a childhood treat.The cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger elevate the simple taste of the familiar flavours of a a chocolate cupcake into something much more sophisticated and complex. Children may wrinkle their nose at the addition of the candied ginger but adults will let it linger on their tongue. This recipe is the first one I attempted from “Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes,” a book I purchased within days of its release, and I can already say it was worth every penny.Not only is the batter fluffy and light, but it tastes even better the next day with your morning coffee. Best of all, the chocolate ganache will cover any imperfections on the cupcakes – my kind of recipe. You can find it at this URL. Substitutions:I’m not 100 per cent certain, but I don’t think the molasses I used was unsulfured. Also, I […]

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  • Pear and chocolate cake-tart Pear and chocolate cake-tart

    Pear and chocolate cake-tart

Pear and chocolate cake-tart

I came across this recipe in food blogger extraordinaire Clotilde Dusoulier’s book “Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris.”Dusoulier, the blogger behind Chocolate & Zucchini, a delectable compendium of recipes and anecdotes has never steered me wrong before.Be it the chocolate-dipped hazelnut marbles; tarte tomate a la tatin or pistachio and chorizo cake; or the mini-financiers au miel, I often refer to this French foodie’s cookbook for some inspiration. So when I saw her recipe for this cake-tart hybrid, I was smitten. I love poached pears, and I love deep, dark chocolate, and a marriage between the two seemed like fate. If you can’t find Dusoulier’s book at your local library or bookstore, you can find the recipe for this tarte-gateau here on the MSNBC website.   Substitutions: I didn’t make any.   Would I make this again? Indeed I would, but for the right crowd. If your guests don’t have a […]

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  • My birthday cake My birthday cake

    My birthday cake

My birthday cake

  My birthday cake this year was from Rahier Patisserie in Toronto’s Leaside community, my favourite neighbourhood in the city.Not only does Rahier (pronounced Ra-yeh, the H is silent) produce the city’s best croissants in my opinion, but they also gave me my start in journalism.I wrote a feature about this pastry shop during university when Belgian-born owners Sonia and Francois Rahier gave me access to the shop and also the kitchen where the magic happens. I pitched the piece to the Toronto Star and it was published in the Food section, my first freelance piece. From there I kept freelancing for the Food section, then the Life section until I got my own column and ended up working at the Globe and Mail. The rest is history but I will always feel like I owe Rahier for my first break.This cake is called Balzac, it is a caramel mousse […]

  • Picture-perfect palmiers Picture-perfect palmiers

    Picture-perfect palmiers

Picture-perfect palmiers

  Palmiers are elegant, delicious and surprisingly easy to make. Named in French for their resemblance to palm fronds, they are also known as elephant ears or butterfly wings. I made classic palmiers, and also cinnamon-flavoured ones, from one box of puff pastry. I used the recipe from “The Art and Soul of Baking” for the first of three batches, but when I pulled the palmiers from the oven, they were too pale in colour, too thick and the flavour of the caramelized sugar had not infused the cookies. I was partly to blame of course as I hadn’t quite figured out the timing of the oven yet and I was overly afraid to burn these. So I adapted the recipe using the picture-by-picture instructions from Joy the Baker’s baking blog for the next two batches. Sure enough, while the first batch was too pale and thick, the second was […]

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  • Spinach-feta turnovers Spinach-feta turnovers

    Spinach-feta turnovers

Spinach-feta turnovers

  If you’ve eaten these at Greek bakeries, you know them as spanakopita. In Armenian, we call them beoregs, in Bulgarian banitza. Needless to say I have had several variations on the theme and some of the best spinach pies I’ve eaten have been my mom’s or those still piping hot from vendors in Bulgaria, where the local sirene (known as feta to the rest of the world) is to die for. Most of the Armenian moms and grandmoms you’ll speak to have their own recipe and will defend it to the death.So when I saw a recipe for these ones in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine, I was hesitant. How could Martha Stewart improve on a recipe honed and perfected by centuries of women?She did it again. The end result was amazing. My husband told me they are the best he’s ever eaten, and his mom is a fabulous […]

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  • Glittering lemon sandwich cookies Glittering lemon sandwich cookies

    Glittering lemon sandwich cookies

Glittering lemon sandwich cookies

Never judge a book by its cover, right? Wrong. Of course I do, and I am a voracious reader at that. So it’s without any qualms whatsoever that I admit I made these cookies purely for shallow reasons. They look pretty and I wanted to see if I could replicate this recipe from Gourmet magazine. I even read the reviews from readers who warned the taste of cornstarch might be too strong. (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cookie recipe calling for 2/3 cup of cornstarch.) But I wanted to make them anyway. So how’d they turn out? I made these for my sister’s graduation party and some of the adults were put off by the amount of sugar coating these cookies even before they took a bite. But my husband couldn’t get enough, and asked me to save some to have with his morning espresso. His review? He […]

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  • Inside-out German chocolate cake Inside-out German chocolate cake

    Inside-out German chocolate cake

Inside-out German chocolate cake

  This is the best cake I’ve ever made. Now, I’m not one to exaggerate just for the sake of a story. But how can you go wrong with a coconut-pecan-vanilla-caramel filling nestled between chocolate cake layers, and topped with ganache? The truth is, there is plenty to go wrong with this cake. You must be precise with this recipe and give yourself lots of time or risk failure. But it’s so delicious that you have to try anyway. A true testament of this cake’s immense appeal is the fact that I have made it several times even though it takes me a full four-and-a-half hours. That’s right, four-and-a-half hours from start to finish. In fact, now that I have this cake down to a science, I know to start some of the steps a day early, and I recommend that you do the same.The first time I ever made […]

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