Monthly Archives: July 2010

  • French pastries day 2: Guimauves and madeleines French pastries day 2: Guimauves and madeleines

    French pastries day 2: Guimauves and madeleines

French pastries day 2: Guimauves and madeleines

  Day two of my French pastries course at the Bonnie Gordon school started quietly enough. We were to finish decorating the macarons we made the day before, and we were to bake the canelés batter sitting in the fridge. But in the middle of our demo on guimauves, I realized what I dismissed as a mere headache was quickly becoming a migraine, an ailment I had avoided since becoming pregnant and having my baby. At lunchtime, I swallowed a couple of pills thanks to a classmate, had a decent meal, drank some strong espresso and pretty soon the edge of my migraine had worn off. Thank goodness. Because making passion fruit, raspberry, and strawberry guimauves (French for marshmallows) is no laughing matter. You have to be vigilant every step of the process. But really, it’s not has hard as you may think. Once again, I will not supply the recipe […]

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  • French pastries course day 1: Macarons and canelés French pastries course day 1: Macarons and canelés

    French pastries course day 1: Macarons and canelés

French pastries course day 1: Macarons and canelés

  You’ve heard me say it a kajabillion times so I won’t draw this out for too long. I love macarons. But try as I might, I was unable to reproduce these heavenly confections in my own oven. So when Toronto’s Bonnie Gordon’s School of Confectionary Arts offered a two-day French pastries course teaching how to make macarons, among other things, I leapt at the opportunity. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, I cleared it with my husband and mother to see if they could cover watching my son for the two days before registering. And then I leapt. I had taken a one-day course at the school previously, if you may remember, but last time it was a cupcake workshop. Though I was comfortable in the setting, this two-day course seemed more intimidating. It was led by chef Charmaine Baan, formerly of Susur, Splendido and Prego Della Piazza, who also […]

  • Walnut torte with dark rum syrup Walnut torte with dark rum syrup

    Walnut torte with dark rum syrup

Walnut torte with dark rum syrup

  This torte is not for the faint of heart. It is dense, it is sticky, it is syrupy sweet. The recipe for this walnut torte comes from Jill O’Connor’s “Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey.” I’ve referred to this book time and time again (Re: Bahama Mama Banana Rum cake; Sticky Toffee Pudding; Cheesecake pops) and this won’t be the last time either. I made this cake for my mother’s birthday this year, as she had pointed it out in the book as something she’d like to eat.   O’Connor says this cake reminds her of her favourite Greek desserts as it is sticky with syrup and full of nuts. Indeed, a bite of this cake reminded me of my favourite Greek honey cookies (melamakarona) but also of the dense honey cake that was served to us as part of our breakfast every morning in Santorini on our honeymoon. Cake served […]

  • Barefoot Contessa’s Ice Cream Bombe Barefoot Contessa’s Ice Cream Bombe

    Barefoot Contessa’s Ice Cream Bombe

Barefoot Contessa’s Ice Cream Bombe

  I promised myself I’d tackle one of Martha Stewart’s ice cream bombes this summer, a rather delicate, precious one called a “raspberry pavlova bombe” that involves placing dozens of delicate raspberries inside a bowl. Yes, well, as much as I’d love to do that, I thought I’d start with something less ambitious. And so when I saw the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for an ice cream bombe in her book “Barefoot in Paris” I knew I’d found the right recipe for me: only three ingredients. If you don’t have the book and it’s too late to run to the bookstore and invest in this worthy tome, you can find the recipe on the Food Network website. To be honest, I have no idea what an ice cream bombe has to do with Paris, and I have eaten my way through that city four times, but maybe I missed the ice […]

  • Giada’s pea pesto crostini Giada’s pea pesto crostini

    Giada’s pea pesto crostini

Giada’s pea pesto crostini

  It’s my unspoken mandate to write mainly about baking and pastries, although I do veer off track now and again, and this is one of those times because I just can’t resist. While planning for a barbecue at our house this summer, I decided to add something new to the tried-and-true mix of hummus and kebab that appear at every gathering. I made hummus, yes, but I also made Giada’s pea pesto crostini. I had all the ingredients on hand and I was able to whip it up in a jiffy even though I also had to make several other dishes for our lunch.And you know what? I had loads of hummus left over, but only two of the pea pesto crostini weren’t wolfed down.I made this recipe from Giada’s book “Giada at Home”, which I reviewed here, but you can also find it on the Food Network website […]