Thanksgiving Dinner

Just after Thanksgiving is over in all of North America, we can look back at the epic meal we got to share with those near and dear to us. If you get hungry or want to join our meal squad, drop us a line and the Notes On A Meal crew will definitely sign you up for whatever event we may be cooking up in the near future (get it?!!? cooking up!!…. I know, real lame). Anyway, the dinner was aimed to remain as local and seasonal as possible with... Read The Rest →

Teddy bear cake

Not too much I can say in this post other than the fact that I made a Teddy bear cake. It is entirely edible (other than the support posts inserted in the “skeleton”) and composed of a lemon sponge anda vanilla, lemon buttercream. Altogether, it took around 20 hours to prduce but that was mostly due to its position and the constant need torefrigerate the buttercream for stabilit Unfortunately, just like most cakes, it met its ultimate demise when the birthday song was over. Here are some before and after... Read The Rest →

MMM (Ma Maison Macarons) continued

So here’s my monthly update on the macaron flavours available at Ma Maison (4243 Dundas St. West, Etobicoke). I’ve been drooling over the pictures for a few days, hope you guys do too! - Apple Pie = Caramelized apples and Cinnamon ganache - Apricot = White chocolate ganache, apricot puree with Peach Schnapps - After 8 = Guayaquil dark chocolate with a peppermint twist - Lavender Vanilla = A very floral and surprisingly refreshing combination (has anyone else noticed that lavender has a slight minty after-taste once combined with something sweet?)... Read The Rest →

A journey around Toronto’s pastry world (2)

So here we go again, more pastry talk from our epic journey around Toronto. Last post I talked about Frangipane Patisserie, Nadege, Patachou and La Bamboche. This post will bring us to the east side of Yonge and all the delicious treats that can be found around that side of town. Rahier Patisserie (Bayview and Manor Rd.) is a stone’s throw away from La Bomboche but it’s miles away in terms of quality.It is probably my favourite place in the city, based on the criteria of this little experiment! The... Read The Rest →

A journey around Toronto’s pastry world (1)

So it’s Saturday afternoon, the sky is grey and depressing, our stomachs are growling so what are we to do?!?! Well, most people would make lunch, but here at Notes On a Meal, we don’t find that to be enough so we embark on a French pastry shop journey. Equipped with a sneaky camera (well, a cell phone), three hungry bellies and a car (last item on the list is very important since the distances between them quite large) we set out to visit the “Great Ones”. In order to... Read The Rest →

What is a macaron?

So all week I’ve been posting about these wonderful little desserts but I haven’t even answered the most basic of questions: What is a macaron? Before I get into details, I would like to point out that we are talking about French macarons as opposed to the North American coconut counterparts…. those are spelled with an extra “o” (as in macaroons) and they’re slighly less exciting and diverse. So, what is a macaron? By definition, it is a confectionery sandwich made up of 2 parts almond and meringue cookie with one part... Read The Rest →

MMM (Ma Maison Macarons), Spring 2012

Here’s the new macaron line-up for the 2012 Spring season: Dark Chocolate – Valrhona’s Nyangbo dark chocolate ganache Wild Strawberry – White chocolate and wild strawberry ganache Carrot Cake – Cinnamon cream cheese with a carrot and cinnamon curd Lemon Basil – Lemon and Basil infused white chocolate ganache Salted Caramel – Smooth and silky caramel filling with a salty and crunchy feuilletine crisp Pistachio – Ghana milk chocolate and pistachio ganache

Whole wheat, banana berry muffins

Simple and very very healthy, possibly also somewhat tasty, these muffins are a great way to start the day. Should mention that they are egg free and can very easily become dairy free or gluten free. I made mine with wheat germ, blueberries, dried currants and coconut but the possibilities are endless as long as you remember to balance out flavors. Another good combination would be carrot, orange and ginger. So here goes, the recipe is super easy: - 1 cup of sugar (I used brown. If you do the... Read The Rest →

New Loblaws – Queen and Portland, Toronto

I must say that, in my opinion, Loblaws really tops all the other grocery stores in Toronto for the quality of products offered and their variety. Although it may be pricier than others, freshness is always guatanteed and the customer service is definitely admirable. I had the pleasure to inaugurate their new location in the heart of Toronto just east of Queen St west and Portland and was more than impressed. It has the feel and attention to detail of competing high end grocery stores with the reliability I count... Read The Rest →

Ma Maison enters a gingerbread competition

Just in time for the holidays, the Ma Maison team decided to enter a fierce but fun gingerbread competition. The rules were simple, make “something” out of gingerbread was basically all we were told. The construction had to be 2x2x2 feet and everything except the base had to be edible. Ma Maison came up with the idea of a bakery and although our results didn’t win the prize, a few great lessons were learned in the process. Here is what was created and some of the competitiors

Sugar flowers

Since baking in general is not dangerous enough, I’ve taken on a new challenge…. sugar pulling. For those not familiar with this concept, well, it’s pretty much what it sounds like, hot sugar being shaped and pulled into diverse “artistic” shapes. The sugar is warmed, dyed (any colour of the rainbow) and once it’s the right temperature, it is pulled to aerate the surface and add a phenomenal sheen. Afterwards, under a heat lamp in order to keep it hot, the sugar is formed into whatever shape you want and... Read The Rest →

Ma Maison’s Macarons, Toronto

If you’re not familiar with French Macarons, well, you should head out there and definitely try them. Two crispy yet chewy almond cookies sandwiched together with a velvety ganache, or a delightful jam or even better a smooth and subtle buttercream…. what’s not to love?!!? There’s plenty of places around Toronto doing them well but here’s my favourite (I may be a little biased)

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