Tag Archives: sweets

Homemade Baklava: A fool-proof dessert


Photo Credit: Katherine Macnaughton

A few years ago, I offered to make dessert for Aurélie’s birthday dinner. Not having a huge sweet tooth, as alluded to here, she instructed me to go nutty rather than chocolatey or fruity. And so the idea of making homemade baklava was born! (Actually, I couldn’t decide between baklava or hazelnut crème brûlée so I made both…)
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Let Them Eat Cake … or Pudding


Chocolate Pudding
Photo Credit: Emmanuel Hessler

Have you noticed that from February to April there are a lot of birthdays going on? In my case, I have 8 birthdays (including mine) spread out over 5 weeks. Last week, there were three birthdays at my office and this week another two. That’s a lot of cake and celebrating. This week is both my mother’s and my sister’s birthdays (Happy Birthday you guys) and I wanted to make my sister a birthday cake. She loves cheesecake, so I wanted to make a Brownie Bottom Cheese Cake.
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Impromptu Berry Delicious Muffins

photo credit: Katherine Macnaughton

Muffin. The word and its underlying product have gained a bad rep over the past few years.
They are seen by many as fat and sugar loaded evildoers responsible for wardrobe malfunctions afflicting their aficionados. Furthermore, muffins have been overshadowed by the Cupcake which has gained in popularity to the point where shows are now dedicated to it… what is our world coming to!?
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Crostoli: A Northern Italian Treat

From The Christmas Throwdown

Crostoli are essentially fried dough ribbons covered in icing sugar. This classic Northern Italian dish is from the Friuli region, which is where my mom is from.

Not only are they delicious, but highly addictive. I suspect my mom likes to make them (and only during semi-formal holiday occasions) because you can’t seem to eat these without leaving a ridiculous trail of icing sugar on your shirt and yet, you keep reaching for a second piece. Light and crispy, this is the kind of dish that will vanish in no time no matter how many people are sitting around the table.
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Clementine Almond Cake

Clementine Almond cake

This time of year, clementines abound and are readily available pretty much everywhere. I always buy a small wooden crate of them during the holiday season and eat them consistently at the rate of one per day if not more. Delicious and bursting with bright citrus flavour, they are so tasty just on their own.

That said, I had a few left that were going south of the border, but didn’t want them to go to waste. I started searching for a recipe that utilized them in some sort of a dessert and fell upon one for a flourless clementine cake recipe inspired by Nigella Lawson. In lieu of flour, ground almonds are used, which makes for an amazingly moist and nutty cake. It’s a great way to repurpose those leftover clementines and is effortless to make. Another nice thing about this recipe is that it uses the entire fruit.
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Apple Cake with Whisky Flavoured Whipped Cream

(Manny, our photographer, was sick during the throwdown, so our iPhones had to do the trick.)

Apples are the quintessential fall food! Savoury or sweet, they give any dish a rustic comfort food like quality. Like all my ‘throwdown’ dishes, I take inspiration from the local farmers’ markets, which for this occasion, highlight the many apple varieties grown in the Montreal surrounding areas. From the sweet and pulpy Gala to the tart and crisp Spartan and Macintosh varieties, any dish is bound to reflect the sweet subtleties derived from any of apple varieties used.
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The Underdog Takes the Cake

This past Throwdown, the Comfort Throwdown, many a staple dish were presented. From hearty homemade soups to creative twists on classics, we left the table full, nostalgic, and content. One dish in particular wowed our taste buds whose chef had not yet tasted his own victory: Steve Gentile. An underdog from the get-go, competing amongst wild and hungry female wolves, Steve has finally made it to the head of the pack. When Steve sets his mind to something, he puts all his heart and soul into it. This was reflected in his cheesecake, which pretty much stands as one of the best cheesecakes I have ever eaten in my life. Thanks for the extra calories Steve and keep up the good work! Stay tuned for the recipe and dishes from the runners-up!


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