Tag Archives: confections

Raspberry-Basil Lemonade Marshmallows

I love marshmallows — who doesn’t? Soft, luscious, melt-in-your-mouth morsels of sugar…

Until a few months ago (read: before pastry school) I didn’t even know they could be one of those things you made at home. Mind, blown!

Of course, like many other kinds of candy and confections, there’s a reason why people tend to not make their own marshmallows — they’re equipment and precision-heavy, and, while not beyond the reach of any home cook, they require a staunch commitment to measure, time, watch, and multi-task with very little margin of error.

It’s no wonder that most people think it’s just easier to buy ’em at the store!

But, here’s the greatest thing about making your own candy — especially your own marshmallows — they’re like a blank canvas for flavour!

These were inspired by one of my fellow bloggers, daisy. She made raspberry-basil Italian cream soda a while back, and it really got the gears in my head turning.

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Chocolate & Praline Madeleines, Praline Powder

Have you ever thought about learning another language?

I think about it all the time — especially when I translate recipes from other languages.

One of the weirdest things about traveling around Europe was not being able to effectively communicate with local people in a local language — I definitely felt more than a little ignorant (and inconsiderate) at times.

Especially at hostels, when I’d inevitably get something like: “But… you’re Canadian — don’t you speak French?”

Well, actually, no.

Vancouver is kind of a weird place, see — a lot of people I know (myself included) opted out of French as soon as we hit high school in order to take an Asian language, like Mandarin or Japanese, instead.

When you live right across the ocean from Asia, it just seems to make more sense.

But now I’ve been thinking of picking up another language. Russian, German, Dutch, and Italian all seem really interesting, and it’d be nice to be able to do more than buy train tickets and coffee next time I travel to Europe!

Anyways, more madeleines today — another recipe from the cute little book I picked up in Milan.

These are different than other madeleines I’ve made before — they actually taste better at room temperature and keep well overnight!

You have to make your own praline powder for this recipe, but whooomigawd — praline powder? Gimme Gimme Gimme! Yes, please!

I like to think of it as “hazelnut crack” because it’s addictive and good on everything.

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Sugar & Chocolate

Hello, friends!

It’s been a while. Of course, as usual, my life has been busy — sometimes it’s hard to believe that so much time has passed between now and my last update.

Over the past couple months I’ve had a few immensely rewarding school experiences.

I had the chance to stage (pronounced to rhyme with the “rage” in garage) at a very nice restaurant downtown during Dine-Out Vancouver. I got to meet some great people and have fun as a plating volunteer at an award-winning food and wine pairing event.

Then I made an orange-buttermilk cake with vanilla and marmalade mousse topping and won a little cupcake-making competition in my school, so they sponsored me to participate in Vancouver’s annual Cupcake Throwdown fundraiser for the H.A.V.E. Café.

After seeing what a great cause H.A.V.E. was, I tried to donate some money to the Café through the school, but my executive chef suggested that I organize a charity bake sale to raise even more funds, so me and some classmates did that, too!

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Citrus Mousse & Candied Almonds

Today, I have some good news to share! The good news is… mousse.

Yes, it is!

No! Okay — the mousse was a lie… kind of.

I mean, while mousse is always good news, I have some news to share that’s even better than mousse.

The news is that I’ve been accepted to pastry school! Hooray!

Not that getting into pastry school is any sort of big, grandiose achievement or anything — like most trade schools, they pretty much check your bank account, your high school diploma, and your pulse. As long as you have those three things, then you’re good to go.

Still, I’m excited to be going — even if it’s going to involve a lot of 5am wake-ups and barking, “Yes, Chef!” all day.

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Candied Citrus Peel

Considering how much I love citrus and sugar, this recipe is pretty dangerous.

It’s even more dangerous if you consider how some of the year’s most delectable citrus, blood orange, Meyer lemon, Texas ruby grapefruit, and yuzu (a Japanese citrus — try it if you can find it!), are all in season right now.

If you can boil water, you can make candied peel. No joke!

Uh… and if you can’t, there’s a comprehensive how-to on Serious Eats that will either seriously help you or give you a serious case of the giggles.

I used oranges this time around, because I have big plans for em. Plans that involve chocolate and almond and shortbread.

More on that later. Let’s just focus on peel for now!

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