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 with cognac-sauteed pears and cognac-soaked sponge cake.