Canada’s Baking & Sweets Show 2014

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Canada’s Baking & Sweets Show 2014 is almost here, and we are counting down to an amazing Wizard of Oz themed baking experience. Make sure you don’t miss out on the nation’s best baking weekend this September 26 – 28.

Get your tickets here and get ready for the best baking competitions, workshops and demonstrations by our sweetest Sweet Pros yet.

Laura Vree, Sweet Handmade Cookies

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After a decade spent raising her children and staying busy with volunteer work, Laura faced a major life decision in 2008. Would she return to her career in software development or pursue her lifelong dream of working in the culinary arts? With her family’s support, she decided to turn her baking hobby into a career and started creating special occasion cakes, cupcakes and decorated cookies. By 2012, the success of her cookies allowed her to change her focus to decorated cookies only and she has since created thousands and thousands of these beautiful little works of art.

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The Sweet Handmade Cookies kitchen is a professional kitchen that was built in Laura’s home in 2011. It is filled with all the tools of her trade as well as special mementos from her childhood that make it a happy place to work. Laura feels the joy she experiences comes through in her work. Laura’s customers come from referrals, word of mouth and the internet, but she also meets a lot of her customers at her town’s farmers’ market where she is a weekly vendor. While she only ships her cookies within Canada, her cookies have traveled the world, from the United States to Europe to Egypt!

Laura is happily married with two terrific teenage daughters and a loving chocolate lab. Her business allows her flexibility to continue her volunteer work in the community and attend to her family’s needs.

Mardi Michels, eat. live. travel. write.

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Mardi Michels lives in Toronto, is a full-time French teacher to elementary school-aged boys and the author of eat. live. travel. write – a blog about culinary adventures near and far. She has lived and worked as a teacher in Australia, Hong Kong, England, France and now calls Toronto home. She spends nearly every summer in France, honing her cooking and baking skills and touring different wine producing regions. As part of her job, she runs cooking classes twice a week for 7-13 year-old boys, Les Petits Chefs and Cooking Basics. She is a contributor to jamieoliver.com, was a founding member of Food Bloggers of Canada, and is a Food Revolution Day Ambassador for Toronto. Mardi also teaches French pastry classes around Toronto.

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Follow Mardi on Twitter, Instagram and Google+.

Chef Christophe Maesson, George Brown College

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Chef Christophe Measson, began his culinary training at le Lycee Hotelier Les Bruyêres in Saint Chamond, France receiving his diploma in both culinary and pastry arts [BEP]. He began teaching at George Brown College in 2005 for the Continuing Education Pastry Program that lead him to a full-time Faculty Professor position in January 2010.

Chef Measson is a committed pastry chef with over 22 years of international experience. He was one of the few selected from his class who received an internship working under Executive Chef David Chamber at The Oak Room, a Michelin Star restaurant at Le Meridien Hotel in London, England. While living in London he also worked under Chef Richard Corrigan at the Lindsay House, another Michelin Star restaurant. He left England and headed back to France and continued to work for Michelin Star restaurants for 4 years. He worked under Jean Marie Meulien at Le Meridien Paris Etoile, Jean Paul Lacombe at Leon de Lyon and Regis Marcon at L’auberge des cimes.

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In 2001, Chef Measson arrived in Toronto and started his Canadian pursuit into pastry, working in various hotels such as the Park Hyatt and the InterContinental as well as Le Comptoir de Celestin bakery. In 2008, he landed an Executive Pastry Chef position at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) working along side renowned and acclaimed Executive Chef Anne Yarymowich. During his time at the AGO Chef Measson was voted Best Dessert of 2009 by The National Post.

Having learned from masters, Chef Measson is thrilled to bring his experience and passion to his students at the Baking and Pastry Arts Program at George Brown College.

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Back to School Baking Tips

back to school leaderThe transition back to school can be stressful for both kids and parents. Meal planning can be difficult, especially if you’ve got picky eaters at home.

A good way around this is to get the kids involved in the kitchen and allow them to add their favourite recipes and ingredients. This way there are no surprises, no uneaten lunchboxes and no complaints when it comes to breakfast or dinner.

Bank on Breakfast
All your breakfast favorites can be made ahead of time at home and frozen for up to two months.
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Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes
Homemade Pop Tarts
Light & Fluffy Waffles

For muffins it’s better to freeze the batter than the finished product. Make your muffins as you usually would, line your muffin pans and fill ¾ way with batter then cover the pan and freeze. Once solid remove your muffin pans and stack your unbaked treats in a resealable, freezer safe bag or container. This way you can bake any amount or variety of muffins right from the freezer, adding only 5 minutes to the recipe’s baking time.
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Lemon Poppy Seed Blueberry Muffins
Best Bran Muffins
Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Double Duty Dinners
You put a lot of effort into your dinners so why would you only give them the spotlight for one night? Feature your leftover proteins in sandwiches, wraps and salads throughout the week.
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Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork
Cranberry Mixed Greens Salad
Baked Beans

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Apple Kale Salad
Teriyaki Beef Skewers
Quick Cured Salmon

Bake Sale Basics
Bake sales a big part of back to school and these charming cookies are sure to draw a crowd and provide your project with the support it needs.
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Maple Cream Sandwich Cookies
Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Chocolate Chip Snowballs
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Cranberry Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
Vegan, Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies
Bear Paw Cookies

Back to School Baking Tips

back to school leaderThe transition back to school can be stressful for both kids and parents. Meal planning can be difficult, especially if you’ve got picky eaters at home.

A good way around this is to get the kids involved in the kitchen and allow them to add their favourite recipes and ingredients. This way there are no surprises, no uneaten lunchboxes and no complaints when it comes to breakfast or dinner.

Bank on Breakfast
All your breakfast favorites can be made ahead of time at home and frozen for up to two months.
back to school coll 1

Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes
Homemade Pop Tarts
Light & Fluffy Waffles

For muffins it’s better to freeze the batter than the finished product. Make your muffins as you usually would, line your muffin pans and fill ¾ way with batter then cover the pan and freeze. Once solid remove your muffin pans and stack your unbaked treats in a resealable, freezer safe bag or container. This way you can bake any amount or variety of muffins right from the freezer, adding only 5 minutes to the recipe’s baking time.
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Lemon Poppy Seed Blueberry Muffins
Best Bran Muffins
Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Double Duty Dinners
You put a lot of effort into your dinners so why would you only give them the spotlight for one night? Feature your leftover proteins in sandwiches, wraps and salads throughout the week.
back to school coll 3

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork
Cranberry Mixed Greens Salad
Baked Beans

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Apple Kale Salad
Teriyaki Beef Skewers
Quick Cured Salmon

Bake Sale Basics
Bake sales a big part of back to school and these charming cookies are sure to draw a crowd and provide your project with the support it needs.
back to school coll 5

Maple Cream Sandwich Cookies
Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Chocolate Chip Snowballs
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Cranberry Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
Vegan, Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies
Bear Paw Cookies

Iced Coffee

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For most people coffee is a must, all-year round. But when the summer heat is at its peak it can be hard to enjoy your caffeine treat piping hot. So keep your routine cool with this delightful iced coffee recipe. The coffee cubes make for a beautiful presentation and make it easy to adjust the strength of your drink.

Coffee Ice Cubes

What you need:

  • 2 cups (500 ml) Hot Coffee, something bold
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) Redpath Turbinado Sugar
  • 2 Ice Cube Trays, 12 count each, or 1 Mini-Muffin Pan

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freezing Time: 6-8 hours
Yield: 24 ice cubes

Chefs Tip:

  • If you want to get creative with your cubes, try silicone baking molds to create different shape ice cubes. Or try using a mini-muffin baking pan, for larger round cubes that stay cold longer.
  • If you find through the week you have leftover coffee in the morning, pour any remaining coffee into an airtight container, and store it in the fridge. Every day, add to that container and by the end of the week you should have enough coffee to give this recipe a try.

How to prepare:
1. Prepare coffee in your usual manner. This is a great way to use up any left over coffee you may have. If you’re using older coffee, warm it up over the stove in a stainless steel pot.
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2. In a medium bowl, add the turbinado sugar, and the hot coffee. Using a whisk, stir until the sugar is fully dissolved into the coffee.
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3. Transfer the coffee to a measuring cup with spout, or a pitcher that helps pour liquids easily. Begin filling an ice cube tray with the sweetened coffee, right to the top.
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4. Place the tray in the fridge and allow the cubes to freeze, about 6-8 hours, but preferably overnight.

What you need:

  • 24 Coffee Ice Cubes
  • 1 can (370 ml) Evaporated Milk
  • 2 cups (500 ml) Fresh Coffee
  • 4 tall glasses

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 large glasses

How to prepare:

1. Divide the ice cubes into the the glasses (use a mix of regular ice cubes and coffee ice cubes to achieve the desired strength and temperature).
2. Pour ⅓ cup (80 ml) of evaporated milk into each glass. (320 ml total)
3. Using a small spoon, pour approximately ½ cup (125 ml) of fresh coffee on to the back of the spoon, allowing the coffee to slowly pour into the glass. This will help you build layers in your glass, making for an impressive presentation.
4. Repeat the last step with the remaining 3 glasses, add a straw and you’re ready to serve.

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Spicy Ginger Peanut Sauce

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Sweet and salty, spicy Thai style peanut sauce has a rich and creamy texture perfect for your summer BBQ. It’s the perfect combination of coconut milk and peanut butter with a hint of spice and kick of ginger that makes it perfect for dipping grilled chicken, beef and even shrimp. This South-East Asian dipping sauce has plenty of variations but this Thai version is quite straight forward and simple with just a few ingredients.

Active Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 2 cups of sauce

What you need

  • 1 ¾ cups (440 ml) coconut milk, approximately one small can
  • 1 tbsp (15g) ginger minced
  • 1 tsp (1g) crushed chili flakes
  • ½ tsp (3g) salt
  • ¾ cup (150g) Redpath Golden Yellow Sugar
  • ¾ cup (195g) peanut butter, smooth or crunchy

Chefs Tip

  • If you’re not going to use this sauce right away and store it in the fridge the sauce will thicken up quite a bit. Be sure to remove it from the fridge before you wish to serve it and allow it to come to room temperature. This should take about 25 to 30 minutes or you can gently reheat it in a pot on the stove over low heat.
  • If you have sauce left over place it in a freezer bag and it will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. Just thaw and bring to a simmer over low heat before serving.

How to prepare

    1. In a medium sauce pan combine the Redpath Golden Yellow Sugar, ginger, chili flakes, salt and coconut milk. Over medium heat begin stirring the mixture. You want to just bring it to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

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    1. While the sugar mixture is warming up measure out the peanut butter and place it in a heat safe bowl.
    2. Once the sugar is dissolved into the coconut milk remove it from the heat then carefully pour it into the bowl with the peanut butter. Allow the mixture to rest for 2 minutes.

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    1. Using a whisk, begin stirring together the peanut butter and the coconut milk mixture. Start slow to prevent splashes. Slow stirring will also allow the mixture to emulsify and thicken properly.

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  1. Once the sauce is fully combined transfer it to a bowl for dipping or into a clean container where it can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  2. Serve this sauce alongside BBQ favourites like chicken satays, grilled shrimps and beef skewers.

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Mojito Cupcakes

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A classic cocktail can be a cupcake too. We used the mint and lime flavours from a mojito to give these cupcakes a delightful flavour boost.

Mojito Cupcakes

What you need:
For the cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups (240 g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tbsp (7 g) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp (2 g) salt
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200 g) Redpath Granulated Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 limes (zested and juiced)
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) fresh mint finely chopped

For the mint simple syrup

  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) Redpath Granulated White Sugar
  • 1/4 cup (7.5 g) packed mint leaves

For the frosting

  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 lime (zested and juiced)
  • 7 mint leaves finely chopped
  • 2-3 cups (200 g – 300 g) of Redpath Icing Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of whipping cream

Chef’s Tips:

  • For a little rum flavour, when making the mint simple syrup, use Redpath Golden Yellow Sugar instead.
  • Brushing simple syrup over the slightly cooled cupcakes helps to create a very moist cupcake.
  • Make sure the mint you are using for the cupcake and frosting is finely chopped, so the mint pieces are easy to eat.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 20-25 minutes
Yield: 12 cupcakes

How to prepare:
For the cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Line a cupcake tray with cupcake liners.

2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

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3. In a separate large bowl beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

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4. To the butter mixture add one egg at a time, scrapping down the bowl down after each addition. Add the lime juice, zest, mint, and vanilla extract.

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5. To the butter mixture add the flour and buttermilk alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until incorporated.

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6. Fill muffin liners 3/4 full and bake for 20-24 minutes. Let cool and decorate. While baking, prepare mint simple syrup.

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For the mint simple syrup

1. In a saucepan, combine water, sugar, and mint. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.

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2. Remove from heat once sugar is fully dissolved. Strain the simple syrup into resealable container. This is important to make sure the mint leaves are removed from the syrup. Set aside.
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3. Once cupcakes have cooled slightly, and syrup has cooled, using a pastry brush coat the cupcakes 1 or 2 times with the syrup.

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For the frosting

1. Chop mint and place in a small bowl with lime zest. Pour the lime juice overtop of the mint. This helps to keep the mint green.

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2. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add the lime and mint mixture, mix until combined.

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3. Add 1 cup of icing sugar. Add the cream and continue to add icing sugar until desired consistency and taste is met.

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4. Fill a piping bag and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.

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