Coconut Sugar Banana Layer Cake with Caramelized Coconut Sugar Frosting

Real Sweet: Banana Layer Cake with Caramelized Coconut Sugar Frosting

Well, I had all week to prepare for Clara’s birthday – only I don’t mean party prep. I’m referring to the allotted time required for me to accept that she is another whole year older. Already three.

Today she climbed on a stool with my old Canon Rebel around her neck and declared she wanted to take pictures of her salad. Later she perched on my lap and helped me make the selections for my organic seed order. She “works” on her toy computer and is an utter wiz in the kitchen already. Chip off the old block? It’s looking that way.

She’s incredibly decisive; knows precisely what she likes and does not like, and declared today’s recipe “The best cake I ever ate.” Oh Clara, you’re ever the charmer.

[Read more…]

spring brunch tablescape

Weekend links and photos

It’s been so wonderful to get back into the kitchen this week after so much recent travel. Clara still asks me daily if I’m “leaving on an airplane”, so I’ve been inviting her to join me at the counter to reassure her I’m home for a good long while.

Together we shopped to re-stock the pantry and prepared a few treats for her birthday brunch: granola, yogourt and ricotta for homemade bagels. Oh, and cake. I’ll be sharing that recipe for banana cake with caramel frosting very soon.

Here’s what I loved reading this week:

[Read more…]

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Maple Caramel Sauce

Stew and Scones: a St. Patrick’s Day recipe round-up

During my culinary school days, I shared a loft with a girl who was half Irish.

We sipped our first Guinness together, staked out for the front row at a U2 concert, and dyed our hair green on St. Patrick’s Day. We’d show up to the Montreal parade so decked out in shamrocks and flags, it’s no surprise we landed ourselves on the front page of the local paper one year.

As enthusiastic as I was about being Irish for one day, I never delved into cooking a feast inspired by the Emerald Isle. I know Irish cuisine is spectacular (I’m admittedly addicted to the food blog, Farmette), and so this post is an attempt to showcase a handful of recipes suitable for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

[Read more…]

Blood Orange Panna Cotta

Blood Orange Panna Cotta

Here’s a dessert I’ve never written about but has been a favourite of mine since I first learned to make it in a small bistro kitchen: Panna Cotta. Ironically, it was a French chef who taught me this classic Italian dessert, during my short stint as a pastry chef in my twentes.

I’ve always loved the Panna Cotta for it simplicity. It was one of the items on my daily prep list that I could breeze through and let my mind drift out of the cramped kitchen in the process. I’d open carton after carton of heavy cream, warm it slowly with sugar and vanilla bean and then whisk the hot cream into bloomed gelatine. From there I would pour the vanilla-scented cream into dozens and dozens of martini glasses and set them on racks in the refrigerator to chill.

[Read more…]

coffee cups

Weekend links and photos

It’s been the coldest February on record. Ever. I know I’ve been going on and on about the cold lately, but, people, it hasn’t let up one bit.

Noah and Mateo tumble through the door on school afternoons with red cheeks and frozen eyelashes. Noah has taken to dropping his bag and heading straight for the pantry, where he reaches for the Dutch cocoa. He stirs it with maple syrup in a pot and adds enough milk for three mugs full. Then he serves homemade hot cocoa to his brother, and little sister too. Sometime I round out the treat with homemade marshmallows.

We all do what we can to stay warm.

hot cocoa

[Read more…]