cake

  • Mini pumpkin spice bundt cakes Mini pumpkin spice bundt cakes

    Mini pumpkin spice bundt cakes

Mini pumpkin spice bundt cakes

  When the temperature drops, and the leaves crunch under my feet, I want nothing more than to warm my palate with the rich seasonal tastes of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I took a several-week hiatus from blogging and baking after my son was born, but decided to get back in the kitchen and finally put my mini Bundt cake pans to use with a recipe for pumpkin spice cake. While my Kitchen-Aid mixer has been relegated to a top shelf I can’t barely reach – to make room for the baby bottles and bottle warmer – I haven’t lost my touch. This recipe for pumpkin spice cake with maple cream-cheese frosting is from a wonderful book called The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet. The recipe is for a regular cake, but I adapted it for the mini Bundt cake pans, left out the frosting, and […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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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  • Butterscotch spiral coffee cake Butterscotch spiral coffee cake

    Butterscotch spiral coffee cake

Butterscotch spiral coffee cake

  If you love cinnamon buns, you’re going to love this gorgeous coffee cake with an adult twist. So many times, delicious coffee cakes are baked in loaf pans, and they just don’t have the same wow factor. I found this recipe in a new book I purchased, “Baking for All Occasions” by Flo Braker, which I have been poring over for weeks now. There are few photos in this 396-page book but it is full of tips about technique and variations on old classics. Already, dozens of ripped Post-it Notes are peeking through the pages. This was the first recipe I tried from this book and it won’t be the last. The wafting smell of cinnamon was enough to win me over from the beginning. Below, you will find the recipe with some adaptations. Yield: One 9-inch round cake, 14 to 16 servings. Dough Ingredients2 1/2 to 2 3/4 […]

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  • Flourless chocolate truffle torte Flourless chocolate truffle torte

    Flourless chocolate truffle torte

Flourless chocolate truffle torte

  It struck me that ever since I started this blog, I’d neglected chocolate desserts as I’d lost my taste for chocolate since becoming pregnant. It’s not that I won’t eat chocolate, it’s not my first choice, nor will I ask for it. This from the girl who used to have to eat at least a bite of chocolate every single day. But my family and friends shouldn’t suffer, right?So I decided to try my hand at a recipe for flourless chocolate truffle torte as I had all the ingredients in my pantry. The result was a pretty cake which would be a stunning accompaniment at any brunch or dessert table.    I can’t say the dessert was a resounding success, and perhaps part of the problem lies in my taste buds as I didn’t even finish my own piece. As expected, the cake was dense, but I found it […]

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  • Strawberry cheesecake Strawberry cheesecake

    Strawberry cheesecake

Strawberry cheesecake

  Everyone loves cheesecake. I challenge you to find someone who doesn’t. Some may politely take a bite out of my sticky toffee pudding and push it aside, explaining it is too sweet, too heavy; or protest through a mouthful of Bahama Mama rum cake that they can only have one bite; or observe the bowl of cherry chocolate trifle from afar; but any time I make cheesecake, the platter is wiped clean. Maybe it is the smooth creamy vanilla texture that melts on your tongue. Or maybe the ripe fruits glistening atop the cake are too much to resist. For me, the buttery graham cookie crust is irresistible. In any case, I have tried dozens of cheesecake recipes over the year. In fact, cheesecake was one of my standbys as a child (yes, when I was under 13). But it was only until I followed the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe […]

  • Maple apple cinnamon cake Maple apple cinnamon cake

    Maple apple cinnamon cake

Maple apple cinnamon cake

Ever had guests coming over for coffee, but you have nothing on hand to serve? This happens to me a lot, particularly because I try not to buy sweets that I will be tempted to snack on. I have, in the past, made a run for the 24-hour grocery store that’s within walking distance. But usually that results in serving stale desserts that I normally wouldn’t be caught dead eating. Fortunately, I can whip up a quick coffee cake that is as indulgent as its aroma is pleasing to guests as they walk through the door. This recipe is one of those such coffee cakes. Bonus, you can safely tell your guests it’s a more nutritious recipe, thanks to Rose Reisman, who finds easy alternatives to fattening ingredients such as butter and sugar. Try maple syrup, applesauce, or even low-fat yogurt. You won’t even know the difference. This recipe is […]

  • Bahama Mama Banana Rum Cake Bahama Mama Banana Rum Cake

    Bahama Mama Banana Rum Cake

Bahama Mama Banana Rum Cake

  Ever since my trip to Bahamas this fall, I have been resenting the fact that I had to rush out of the airport without buying a box of the famous Bahamian rum cake.So I had my eye on this recipe in Jill O’Connor’s “Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey” for several weeks after buying the book. Of course, I didn’t realize the night I made this cake would forever be seared into my brain as the night of the “Carbon Monoxide Drama.” I had just pulled it out of the oven, and settled in to watch a movie with my sister when the carbon monoxide detector went off, alerting me to call 911 immediately. Sure enough, dispatch put me through to the fire department immediately, and warned me to leave my house. Within minutes, a fire truck with flashing lights pulled up to my street, a dashing firefighter leaped over a […]