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 →

Moroco Chocolat, Toronto

Let’s just say, that if Willy Wonka and Alice in Wonderland had a baby, well, it would look a lot like Moroco Chocolat!!!! Located just behind the store fronts of Yorkville Avenue, this venue calls out to every adult’s inner child while still allowing them the sophistication that the neighbourhood endorses. It’s cute, whimsical and it will satisfy your every want and need as it morphs from pastry shop, to restaurant, to lounge; all in one day. Being a macaron fanatic, I was very enthused to try theirs since it was one... 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

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)

Tasty European Travels – Part 1

I know it sounds very silly to consider a place like the Amsterdam Airport a worthwhile point on our European culinary journey but it was definitely an eye opening experience. It was our first encounter with the food culture present on this continent and how different it is from what we’re used to in Canada. North American fast food chains were present but they were hidden in far corners of the building while local sandwich shops were taking culinary center stage in the main food courts. Fresh fare and organic... Read The Rest →

The Socialist Pig Coffeehouse, Gananoque

I know this little coffee shop is off the beaten path but if you find yourself in the 1000 island area, this is a cafe worth visiting. Located just across from the town hall in Gananoque (21 King St. East to be more precise) the cafe shares the main floor of a corner lot with its sister restaurant, Pig Iron Barbecue. Husband and wife team work together in bringing their customers fresh, local and delicious food. Local and seasonal food is on the menu for both venues allowing the shared kitchen... Read The Rest →

Marben

“A little farmhouse revival” in downtown Toronto Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of being invited to dine at the Chef’s table at Marben, a cozy and cool restaurant specializing in the art of butchery and charcuterie. From what I understand, the imaginative and passionate kitchen staff of Marben are responsible for making nearly every single item that hits the table, right down to the bread and condiments. What makes things even better is the fact that most, if not all, of the produce and meats served are grown... Read The Rest →

Dinner with friends

We recently had the pleasure of being spoiled by a very dear foodie from far far away… The company was great, the evening full of laughs and to top it all off, the food was outstanding. Since we like to believe in the idea of “go big or go home” we enjoyed a seven course tasting menu that evening. Everything from bacon wrapped scallops with fiddle heads to home made BBQ to sunchoke puree and an amazing chocolate mousse for dessert. I wish I could attach little tastings for all those... Read The Rest →

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