Monthly Archives: April 2010

Happy Birthday JaQ!

Yesterday’s post featured an exciting bit a news – my best friend’s birthday! I was semi-hesitant to release the info yesterday because there is a small chance she could’ve sneaked onto my blog, but aside from our quaint celebration we definitely enjoyed the day in the form of feasting. I wanted to make her a super delish and somewhat easy treat because it is a weekday after all!! I opted for a lovely vanilla cupcake, filled with lemon curd and then topped it with some whipped cream cheese frosting and a couple strawberry slices. Wonderfully light and refreshing after a major Mexican fiesta. But mental note for moi – cream cheese and 35% cream don’t really combine all that well, duhhhh.
For dinner we went to Chimichanga’s – a Mexican tequila bar by Yonge and Eglinton. Going there is like an hour long trip to Mexico. The music is great, the food is fantastic but the service was under par. I can quite honestly admit I have not eaten that much in quite some time … we had salsa and chips, the best nachos of LIFE, and fish tacos. Mmm! The margaritas sucked, and so did the forgetful servers! But I’d go back just for the delish menu.
I think Jaq had a joyous birthday. We rounded the night off with a film – an important and socially relevant piece known as Super Troopers. All in all, the day was fabulous and I can’t wait to finish off the celebration this coming Saturday! Wait ‘till you see the cake I’m bout to whip up!

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I moved

I have exciting news – I have a new kitchen! We moved this past weekend, and it’s been exhausting to say the least, but I’m super happy with the new place. We have oodles more room, and that can only mean one or two good things… MORE BAKE SPACE! My kitchen isn’t as large, but has a substantial amount of cupboard space (tons!… I have a cupboard SOLELY for my baking supplies and it’s not even full!!! and to make things even cooler I have a dining room. Not only is this convenient because I love to host dinners of sorts, BUT I also have a much larger confection decoration station. Really, it makes my heart quite happy and to top all this wonderful news off, I’m a 5 minute walk to work. This means at lunch hour I can trek home, microwave leftovers, share them with my kitty and watch boring television… the excitement sends shivers up my spine!
Due to the move I’ve been slacking, but I did make an oreo cheesecake last week, and it’s my bestest friend in the whole wide world’s birthday today, so I’m making some extra special for her! We’re having a big gathering this weekend also to celebrate, so a birthday cake must be crafted. Can’t wait! Lastly, I have a baby shower cupcake order on Friday, so I’m pretty excited about that. Busy busy! Life’s good. Let’s have a moment of silence for my ‘old’ kitchen – we had plenty of good times, lots of delicious memories… and we can’t ever forgot about the many dishes/baking supplies/bottles of alcohol I’ve smashed on your floor. HAPPY 23rd BIRTHDAY TO JAQ. Today’s feature photo is the stove monster from my old kitchen…

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

Please note this blog is actually from April 14th, stupid me forgot to ‘publish’ it. The past weekend was insane – in fact, so crazy that it’s Wednesday and I’m still raving about it. Quite honestly though, it was lovely… a bit hectic but nothing I couldn’t handle! In between a cupcake competition and steady flow of guests coming in, out and about, I was feeling rather tempted to work some magic in the kitchen.
My first adventure began at 12:00 am on Friday evening. I had a bunch of semi-drunk guests with rumbling tummies, so I thought it would be nice to fix up a snack. The boys came home earlier with a giant stack of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups so naturally I found a use for them. A quick no-fuss brownie recipe did the trick, and those cups got butchered and stirred up into the chocolately gooey batter. Once baked and slightly cooled, I prepared an amazing peanut butter frosting – a big dollop of crunchy PB, some icing sugar, small pad of butter, and some whipping cream. This was spread on my freshly baked brownies, still slightly warm in the centre, and then topped with a delicate sprinkling of mini chocolate chips. They were enjoyed by all and gone rather quickly. RIP delicious brownies. FYI – I used this recipe and just added a few chopped peanut butter cups. http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/double-chocolate-brownies
My next feat was cookie bars, a recipe courtesy of my new favourite interweb bloggin’ baker, Bake or Break. Easiest confection on EARTH and rather tasty. Following the same trend as my previous dessert, these graham crumb based bars were kind of like a peanut butter chocolate cookie. A graham crust, a can of sweetened condensed milk and then a generous sprinkling of milk chocolate and peanut butter chips. Baked these suckers for 25 minutes and next think you know, they’re gone! Visit this site:  http://www.bakeorbreak.com/ and you’re bound to find some of thee most delicious recipes I ever see’d.

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Iron Cupcake: Afternoon Delight

So first thing on today’s agenda – Iron Cupcake. I had been anticipating this event for the past month – I made oodles of batches of cupcakes infused with coffee and chocolate and chai spice and … it was fun! Sunday was the actual event, so Saturday evening at 11 pm I started to prepare my cupcakes to ensure freshness. I woke up early Sunday morning to prepare ganache (ended up running out and having to prepare some on-the-spot ganache too!) In the end I was left with rich chocolate cupcakes, filled with coffee cream and topped with mocha ganache and toffee bits. I called it ‘Afternoon Delight’. But the fun didn’t stop there… I had to decide on my ‘presentation’ and what is a delightful pairing for coffee? Well, let’s ask our essperts Tim Hortons… it’s doughnuts! So I wanted to prepare some fresh doughnuts from scratch for my display and that’s just what I did.


The doughnut making itself was another story and a really delicious one, at that. I made an array of toppings: chocolate ganache, a plain sugary glaze, and cinnamon sugar. They turned out great and tasted even better. Doughnut making sounds somewhat daunting with heating oil and having to fry up the pastry, but it’s quite simple and with a wee bit of patience the end result is rather satisfying. HIGHLY recommend it. And what about a recipe? I used Giada De Laurentis’ pizza dough idea – just purchased some homemade pizza dough, cut out a doughnut shape, fried it on each side for 45 seconds and then sprinkled/dipped into lots of wonderful toppings. Want all the details? Find ’em here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/italian-doughnuts-recipe/index.html
So how did the contest go? It was tough! Full of cupcake enthusiasts with intensity in their eyes! Sugary intensity! All in all the event had a great turn out – I was somewhat disappointed with the end results… firstly because I didn’t win and secondly because I had no feedback on my Afternoon Delight, but we had a lovely time anyways. Check out my pic, courtesy of the coolest dude ever… my male equiv. Bran Gray. Here’s my recipe:

Martha’s Devil’s Food Cupcakes (Found here: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/devils-food-cupcakes-book)

Coffee Cream Cupcake Filling

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon espresso powder

Whip cream with mixer until it begins to thicken, slowly add espresso powder and sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form, store in fridge until ready for use. Attach piping bag with large round tip – cut out cupcake centers with a paring knife and fill with cream mixture.

Mocha Ganache
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Ganache Frosting Recipe

1 pound bittersweet chocolate – spurge and get the good stuff
2 1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 tablespoon espresso powder

Chop chocolate, place in glass bowl and set aside. Over medium heat, measure cream and corn syrup in a saucepan. Once mixture begins to simmer, remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes, then add espresso powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Refrigerate mixture, checking and stirring every 10 minutes until it has reached desired consistency. Pipe onto cream filled cupcakes – decorate with toffee bits, a dusting of cocoa powder or a chocolate covered espresso bean.

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L O V E

The countdown has begun. To what you ask? The Iron cupcake competition! Before the week’s end I have one last batch to prepare… of delicious coffee-infused cupcakes. I also have ONE week to decide on my ‘presentation’… I’ve got a few ideas floatin’ around in my noggin.
Another Easter weekend, come and gone. What a pleasure it was with the above 20 degree weather and delicious foods. I was treated at home with a feast of my favourites: turkey, steak, pizza, cherry pie and homemade buttertarts! Definitely got to relax, drink some Jamaican rum on a beach, climb some pine trees (resulting in sappy hands), go to the local town bar, BBQ, laze in the sun! I’m pretty sad it’s over… and I’ve been left with an incredibly sore ear, for reasons beyond me.
It is nice though to return home to the city – I prefer the country but love the city’s constant inspiration. The city suites my personality but the country satisfies my heart.
Recently I’ve been thinking, that with spring currently on the way/kinda already here, I need to ‘up’ my baking and take on something new. I need to brand myself! More details to come!
Please allow me to take this time to rave about something – Smoke’s Poutinerie. In the midst of an a job search journey my bf decided to put his money where his mouth is. He loves the poutine so one night after a trek to Smoke’s (for their incredibly awesome pulled pork poutine … mouf… watering) he decided to apply as a poutine esstroidenaire. Next thing you know he’s a Smoke’s enthusiast – paintin’ the town red with awesome stickers and developing his own concotions. We’re a couple that specializes in making delicious things. If you’re in Toronto, visit smokes! ALL MADE FROM SCRATCH 100% delish… http://smokespoutinerie.com/ Oh, and if you see that red head, Josh Morden, tell ’em VAN sent ya! haha haha

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Hoppy Easter


I always loved Easter growing up – the colours, the bunnies, the sweets! I assume that my Easter weekend will be spent enjoying the glorious weather, so HAPPY EASTER in advance!! This past week has been incredibly insane – between all the curveballs life has to offer and the hunt for a new apartment, I’ve barely had time to breathe! But thankfully things have fallen into place, ever-so-nicely… I am days away from potentially securing a new apartment in the Yonge and Eglinton area AND I have thee most wicked Easter cupcake recipe EVER for this evening’s agenda.
I could never take credit for such masterful skills – but man, Bakerella has got some major groove. She’s inspired me to make some Easter basket cupcakes, so today I visited the Easter aisle of shoppers drug mart and had a hay day. I have been quite tempted to snack (especially on the reeses mini eggs, mmm…) but I am holding back because I can’t wait to decorate these babies. A couple of my gal pals are coming over to assist, so I can only imagine how fun the process will be! Mission complete – CHECK IT! http://www.bakerella.com/eye-candy/

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