Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies




If you are lucky enough to actually like the family you were born into, I highly recommend not leaving the city they live in. Because if you do, the chances of you falling in love are very high. With a person, or with a city, or with a job and then you will be stuck. Stuck in a city, with a person and a job that you are in love with, which is, by most measures, is a pretty fabulous situation to be in. But if you are lucky enough to actually like the family you were born into, there will always be a part that is missing.


That’s how it is for me at least. I absolutely love Vancouver, and I can’t put into words how wonderful Jordan is, and I get giddy every time I think about how I work for myself. But it is tough sometimes, and never more so than right after I’ve visited home.  I’ve been super lucky lately, my Mom came out to visit this summer for a whole week, and then I got to visit my whole extended family in Boston a month ago, and last weekend I was back in Toronto for a family wedding. By all accounts, I’ve seen more of my family than I usually do, but somehow that just makes it harder. It’s always so perfect when we’re all together, and now I’m here thinking about how I’m not sure when I’ll see them again, Which is a miserable situation.


And whenever I’m this hopeless and lonely, the only thing that does any good is to make cookies. Not fussy cookies, not fancy cookies, and not anything wild or crazy cookies. The kind of cookies I can imagine my Mom baking, the kind that you just drop on a pan and they turn into soft and caramel-y and glorious sweet bits of comfort that make everything a little bit better.


These cookies in particular are especially comforting. They are full of brown sugar and chocolate and copious amounts of peanut butter and sprinkled with Maldon salt on top for crunch. It will make you feel better when you’re sad, and that’s about all you can ask for from a cookie I think.




Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies


1 cup Butter, room temperature


2 cups Brown Sugar


2 Eggs


1 ¼ cup Peanut Butter


2 tbsp Vanilla Extract

2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour


2  tsp Baking Soda


1 ½ cups Chocolate Chips


Maldon Salt for sprinkling.




Preheat oven to 400F.


Cream together butter and sugar.


Add the eggs one at a time stir in between.


Slowly mix in the peanut butter until it is totally combined.


Mix in all the other ingredients except the Maldon salt. Chill dough for an hour.


Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.


Roll dough into 2 tbsp pieces. Press them down a bit on top and sprinkle them with maldon salt.


Bake for 8-10 minutes until they are slightly browned but still very soft in the inside.


Cool for at least 20 minutes before eating too many at once!

Tuesday Tutorials- Ganache and Coconut Truffles

Today, let’s take about Jordan.

He’s handsome, and charming. He’s so kind, sometimes it blows me away. He also has no problem saying no to me, which I find to be an incredibly great thing about him. He will bend over backwards to do anything for me, but if I’m bring a brat, he won’t hesitate to tell me.

He’s tall, but not too tall. He makes great cocktails.

Generally, he is an exceptional guy. I’m very fond of him.

His greatest fault though, is his lack of a sweet tooth. I am constantly shoving pastries around him, and he’ll eat a bite or two, and then move on. He’s supportive, he tells me if it’s great, but he’s not into eating a huge bowl of something.

Unless it’s chocolate. That man can down chocolate. Brownies, ice cream, cookies, consider it gone.  And above all, he has absolutely zero control when it comes to ganache.

He gets a sneaky look in his eye, and if I leave him near a bowl of it for an hour, the bowl will be scraped clean when I return. It’s actually kind of crazy.  And for that reason, I don’t make it often.

Except after Valentines. I always feel like guys have a rough go on Valentines, I mean, no one wants to be told that they have to be extra nice one day or they’ll get in trouble, even though no one really knows why they have to be extra nice. But none the less, off they go. Jord bought me some gorgeous flowers, made me a beautiful meal of pistachio roasted lamb and wild mushroom risotto, and took me to an awesome show. It was a wonderful night. And as such, I made some ganache.

This is the ganache recipe to end all ganaches. It is perfect in every way. I so wish that I had come up with it, but the geniuses at Eleven Madison Park did.

To make a ganache you are basically emulsifying chocolate with fat and liquid, and it can be a bit finicky. This one uses honey (well, if we’re being totally real here it uses cornsyrup, but I use honey because it’s more delicious and non GMO) and it helps the whole thing stay together. The butter we whisk in at the end makes it just the tiniest bit richer, and the whole thing has the perfect consistency for making truffles, or glazing cakes, or eating by the spoonful out of the bowl.

Sometimes, you have to give the man a treat.


Honey Ganache

2 2/3 cup Heavy Cream (or Coconut Milk)

1/3 cup Honey

½ cup Butter

4 cups Chocolate chips, 60% cocoa or higher

1 tsp Salt


In a medium pot bring the honey, salt, and cream to a simmer.  Milk is apt to boiling over so be mindful.

Pour the cream mixture over top of the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.

Use a whisk and gently stir the ganache to emulsify it, working just in small twirls in the center of the bowl until it is all mixed in together.

Add the butter piece-by-piece whisking until each piece is emulsified in before adding the next.

Use immediately if you are glazing a cake, if you want to make truffles or use it as a frosting allow to sit, covered with seran wrap at room temperature for at least 12 hours.  For these ones I used coconut milk instead of cream, and rolled the set truffles in toasted coconut. 

Cinco De Mayo Dessert! No Churn Dolce de Leche Ice Cream with Coconut Ganache

Dolce de leche has got to be one of the greatest things of all time. It’s a very simple idea- take sweetened condensed milk and caramelize it- whoever thought of it was a very, very clever person.

BUT whoever realized that instead of painstakingly stirring a pot of sweetened milk without burning it, you could just put a whole can in a pot of boiling water and leave it for 3 hours, and when you return the insides will have turned from white to auburn, and the taste will have changed from sweet milk to the richest caramel you could ever hope to know? Well that person was straight up genius.

Periodically, if I know I’m going to be home for 3 hours, and I’m feeling uncharacteristically organized, I pull out a big pot and make some dolce. It’s the sort of thing that makes everything feel a touch nicer- basic chocolate cookies? Sandwich some dolce in the middle. An end of the evening coffee? Stir in a spoonful of the good stuff. A bowl of vanilla ice cream? Drizzle some of this on top for a totally decadent dessert.

Or better yet- put it in your ice cream.

The blogosphere has been going crazy for a couple months now with this revelation that you can make fabulous ice cream without an ice cream churner- all you do is whip up some cream and condensed milk and throw the whole thing in the freezer. But, if you happen to have some dolce kicking around in your cupboard, you might as well use that instead.

This is truly one of the simplest things I think I’ve ever made. And the texture of this ice cream is unreal. Unreal.

Most ice creams that don’t use a machine tend to get icy quickly, to get so hard it’s difficult to scoop them, and to lack that smoothness of really good ice cream.

I’m not even kidding you- this has the texture of soft serve. A week later, it still had the texture of soft serve. It is soo smooth.

The only possible thing that might make this better, is if you made a ganache with coconut milk and poured that, while it was still warm, over top of your ice cream. It is the perfect way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, and also most nights of the week.

So here is how you make this, and you should probably make this right away.

Dolce de Leche No Churn Ice Cream with Coconut Milk Ganache

Makes about 1.5 liters

Ice Cream

1 175mL can Dolce de Leche*

600mL Heavy Cream

1 tbsp Vanilla Extract


1 cup Coconut Milk

1 cup Dark Chocolate

Coconut shavings for garnish

*To make dolce de leche take the whole can, unopened, and put it in a pot of water with at least 1 inch of water above it. Bring it to a boil. Boil it for 3 hours topping up the water periodically- if the water gets too low the pressure in the can can change, and apparently it can explode, so be mindful. After 3 hours take it out and let it cool completely before opening.

In the bowl of standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment whip the dolce de leche, heavy cream, and vanilla until it is very thick- about 10 minutes.

Put into an air tight container and freeze for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.

Put the chocolate into a medium sized bowl.

In a saucepan bring the coconut milk up to a boil.

Pour over the chocolate, let it sit for 30 seconds and then whisk until it is smooth.

Scoop your ice cream, pour your ganache, and eat to your hearts content!

Olive Oil Banana Bread with Pecans and Chocolate

When you work at a high end restaurant you have to have everything available at all times. I once worked at a restaurant that required me to make ceasar dressing from scratch every 3 days in case someone came in and ordered a caesar salad, a dish that was assuredly not on the menu. This always struck me as a bit wasteful, but that’s the way it is in fine dining. You have to be prepared.

A couple of years ago, when I worked at a high end resort, it was the exact same, but much trickier because, as we were on a remote island, you had to order everything in advance and usually in huge quantities. One such thing was bananas. They weren’t on the menu, but if someone wanted a banana with their yoghurt in the morning we had to be prepared. I think we were asked twice in 6 months for a banana.

The real problem with this was that we could only order them in in 20kL boxes.

So every two weeks 20 kilos would come in, and somehow I was in charge of dealing with them. Lord knows why.

Fact: I hate bananas. Like, seriously, truly hate bananas. I hate their texture, I hate their taste, and I hate the way they smell. They are, indesputably,the worst fruit.

My theory on this hatred is that I got strep throat to often as a kid, and as such had to take too much banana flavoured liquid penicilin. But that is just a theory, and I know people who loved that medicine when they were little. I was not one of those people.

So when I realized that part of my job description was to cook up something with that many bananas every, well, let’s just say I was less than pleased.

But here’s another fact. I love cooked bananas. Everything I hate about them raw becomes a totally different thing when they are cooked up. When they are mixed with sugar and flour and scented with cinnamon they are just about the best things ever.

I have made a lot of banana breads in my life, so many when I was at the resort in fact, that at the end of the season everyone on staff (all 60 people!) got to go home with a banana loaf that I had frozen. It was a bit nuts.

I’ve made ones with chocolate, ones with nuts, ones with icing, ones with crispy bits of brown sugar in the center. But I had never tried making it without butter, until now. I’m never going back guys. Olive oil is the perfect tamer for banana bread.

This is my new standard banana bread recipe, it is the moistest, softest, most beautifully flavoured banana bread I have ever made.

Olive Oil Banana Bread with Chocolate and Pecans

2 cups AP Flour

3/4 cup Brown Sugar

3/4 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate

3/4 cup Toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 large Eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas

1/3 cup Yoghurt, or buttermilk

1 tbsp Vanilla Extract. 

Preheat your oven to 350F

Butter and flour a baking pan, I used a bundt pan, but you could easily use a loaf pan. 

In a large bowl mix together the oil and sugar.

Stir in the eggs one at a time until they are totally incorporated.

Add in the bananas, vanilla, and yoghurt. 

Sift in the flour, when it is nearly combined add in the nuts and chocolate. Stir to comine being careful not to over stir. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and baked until an inserted skewer comes out with only a few moist crumbs, about 30-45 minutes. 

Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before eating. 

Stocking Stuffer Sundays- Malted Chocolate Marshmallows

I am very very lucky to have such a wide network of incredibly creative people. And I am even more lucky to have a wide network of creative people with whom I barter. I make cakes for my friend who cuts my hair and I baked for a friends gallery opening in exchange for a photo shoot. In high school I traded my (admittedly limited) seamstress-ing skills for clothes at a vintage shop, but recently I’ve noticed that if I just ask, people will just help out.

Which is what I did with my graphic designer when I started thinking about doing “Stocking Stuffer Sundays” and that is what the super talented Jen Cook did. She helped out.

Jen made my beautiful website, and now she’s made some beautiful labels for you.

Every year I make marshmallows for stocking stuffers. Every year there a fan favourite. There is something that is all kinds of wonderful about homemade marshmallows. For starters they are completely unlike the store bought variety, they are softer, denser, and you can flavour them with just about anything. Anything, that is, that you want to put in hot chocolate.

I like marshmallows plain, I do, but the real home of a marshmallow is in hot chocolate. Let’s be clear on that.

These are chocolate marshmallows, with lots of cocoa powder in them, but they also have a bit of malt, which for me is very nostalgic. Partly because I drank ovaltine as a kid, and partly because I used to listen to the song “Malted Milk” by Eric Clapton all the time. So it’s twice the memories plopped into a steaming mug of hot chocolate.

So basically what I’m saying here, it tastes like happiness. 

For Labels Click Here

Chocolate Malted Marshmallows

Adapted from Shauna Server

2 tbsp unflavored powdered gelatin
1/3 c cold water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup, divided
Pinch of salt
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c malted milk powder
6tbsp boiling water
1tbsp vanilla extract

For Rolling

2/3 c Icing Sugar

1/3 c Cocoa Powder

Mix the gelatin and the cold water in a small bowl. Let sit for at least 5 minutes. 

In the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, dissolve the cocoa and malted powders in the boiling water. Add in the vanilla. Mix in the gelatin mix. 

In a small pot mix the corn syrup with the corn syrup, the sugar, and 1/4 cup water. put the lid on it and on medium heat bring to a boil. When all of the sugar has dissolved take off the lid, turn it up to high heat and put in a candy thermometer. Bring the sugar mix to 242F. 

When the sugar is at 253F turn the mixer on medium. When the sugar mixture has come to 242F slowly pour into the mixer, creating a slow and stead stream down the side, being careful not to let it splash around the sides. 

Turn the mixer to high and let it run for 10-15 minutes or until it is thick and pale. 

While this is happening line a 10 inch square baking pan with cling wrap and grease it liberally. You can do with this with Pam or another spray or with some canola oil and a paper towel. 

When the marshmallows are ready pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and  smooth with an offset spatula. Allow to sit for at least 8 hours. 

Cut up into whatever size you like, squares are most effective but I’ve seen really cute snowflakes and all sorts of shapes. Roll them in the sugar and cocoa mixture and package them up as you please!

S'mores Cupcakes- the redo!

My summer of weddings is officially over. The chaos, the running around, the making cakes in hotel rooms is done. But I can’t say that I didn’t go out with a bang because 2 weeks ago I made an entire dessert buffet in a tiny hotel room with an even small kitchen- although, thankfully, a full oven. There were tears, there were mere hours of sleep, there were sunrises being watched, but it all worked out in the end, out of some miracle.

This last wedding was that of my beautiful friends Jordan and Lonny (who we affectionately call girl-Jordan in my house to distinguish from my boyfriend Jordan). It was a wedding full of breathtaking scenery, beautiful handmade details, and lots of love. And lots of dancing. Of course.

I didn’t bring my camera to the actual wedding, so I have seldom few pictures of that, but I did get some nice ones of the dessert buffet, and along with it, I am going to post my recipe for S’mores Cupcakes again, because it remains on of the most looked at pages on this site, and has some of the worst pictures! So I thought that should be remedied.

Recipe Adapted from Bon Appetit

Graham Cracker Cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 15 crackers)

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 tbsp Baking Powder

3/4 cup Brown Sugar

2 Large Eggs

1/2 cup Butter, softened

3/4 cup Milk or Buttermilk


3/4 cup Dark Chocolate

2/3 cup Heavy Cream

Marshmallow Topping:

3 Large Egg Whites

2 tbsp Sugar

1/2 cup Water

3/4 cup Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Decorate with

Broken pieces ofGraham crackers

2 Bars of Hersheys Chocolate

To make Ganache

Bring the cream to a boil

Pour on top of chocolate

Stir until smooth 

To Bake Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350F

Line with cupcake liners or butter and flour 1 dozen cupcake tins, or 3 dozen mini cupcake tins.

Whisk together your dry ingredients

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time beating well between each addition.

Alternate in the dry ingredients and wet ingredients beginning and ending with the dry.

Spoon the batter 3/4 of the way up the cupcake liners.

And bake them until they’re beautiful and slighly browned and an inserted skewer comes out with only a few moist crumbs, about 20 minutes for full sized cupcakes

To Make Marshmallo Topping

Put 3/4 cup sugar and water in a pot over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove spoon and bring to a boil and with a candy thermometer let it comet ot he firm ball stage, 246Degrees F.

While it’s boiling put the egg whites and the vanilla in the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until soft peaks form. Add in the 2 tablespoons of sugar slowly until stiff peaks form.

When the sugar is up to temperature slowly pour it into the whites while whisking on high speed. Keep whisking until the bowl is cool and the meringue looks very marshmallowy, this will take about 8-10 minutes and the meringue should be mostly wrapped around the beater in a ball, and little should be on the sides of the bowl.

Put into a piping bag right away.

To Assemble:

Turn on the Broiler.

With a pairing knife cut a little hole out of the middle of the cupcakes.

Put the ganache into a piping bag and pipe it into the holes in the cupcakes (the consensus was that there wasn’t enough chocolate in the ones I made so don’t hesitate to load em up!)

Pipe the marshmallow topping on top of the whole thing!

Now throw the whole things under the broiler for a couple minutes until the tops just get golden.

July 24, 2011

Chocolate Raspberry Buckwheat Cakes

My love of flour is very well documented here, I am not, nor will I ever be, the sort of person who sneaks in a bunch of whole wheat flours and pretends that the dense slighly soggy texture that nearly always happens when you substitute whole wheat for all purpose, doesn’t exsist. I’m just not that girl. I hope you all know that by now.

The glorious exception to this rule, is almond flour. Chalk full of nutrients, and proteins, even some iron! And while it can definitely not be substituted for good old AP, it can produce the sort of rich, thick tasting baking that I covet. But this sneaky little recipe does both- it uses almond flour to help out with the meltingly tender crumb, but it also throws buckwheat flour into the mix. Buckwheat flour, if you’ve never used it is a gluten free flour with a soft nutty flavour, that is common in both France (galettes!) and Japan (soba noodles!) and isn’t the sort of flour you could ever accuse of trying to be something it’s not (I’m looking at you quinoa).

All of which is a very long way of saying that these chocolatey morsels are basically health food compared to what I normally post up here. They are also creamy and slighly gooey, and all that is cut by the raspberries that have baked just enough to start to soften inside the batter. And the hint of nuttiness from the buckwheat turns out to be just what you never knew you needed.

Chocolate Raspberry Buckwheat Cakes

(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering pan

3 1/2 ounce Bittersweet dark chocolate

4 large eggs

1/2 cup Granulated or blond cane sugar

A good pinch Salt

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup Buckwheat Flour

1/4 cup Almond meal

1/2 pint Raspberries

Preheat the oven to 300F

Grease your pans, I used these little 2 inch square pans but you can easily bake this in an 8 inch round pan.

In a medium sized bowl set over a pot with an inch or two of simmering water, melt the chocolate and the butter.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat the eggs until frothy. With the mixer still on high slowly add in the sugar tablespoon by tablespoon and let the motor run until the eggs are pale and thick and take a moment to smooth out into the bowl if you pick some up. 

Fold in the chocolate and butter. 

Add in the vanilla, then the almond meal and the  buckwheat flour. Pour batter into your pan and smooth with a spatula. Place berries on top and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the top has barely set but is still a little soft to the touch. Allow to cool, sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy!

Double Chocolate Strawberry Pavlova

I have this sensational Australian friend named Liz who is significantly cooler than I am. When she moved back to Oz in January she gave me tons of her old clothes that she had had for too long and didn’t want to haul across the world with her. They are practically the only clothes I own that I get compliments on, and even though she bought them several years ago, they are also the trendiest things I have. Basically Liz tends to have her finger on the pulse.

She has introduced me to a many amazing blogs over the years, mostly Australian ones, some style blogs, but lots of recipe blogs as well, and the one I go back to over and over again is What Katie Ate. Of all the photography/recipe blogs out there What Katie Ate would have to be in the top 5 ever. Her recipes are amazing, every one of them, but her photography is my favourite part. I can spend hours looking over her photos. Unlike a lot of French and American photographers hers is a little darker, her backdrops are often slate and she uses slightly un polished silverware. Theres something slightly antique-y about them, and it’s something I love.

So I wasn’t surprised when I saw the most delicious looking chocolate pavlova on Pintrest and it turned out to be one of Katie’s recipes. Now, I’ve written here before about pavlovas, and I’ve talked about the impossibility of making one in my terrible no good oven, but I thought perhaps if I made mini ones than maybe my oven would cooperate. And miracles do happen friends because here it is, the best pavlova I have ever had or made. I followed the recipe nearly to a T, the spot of balsamic in the meringue that cuts the sweetness beautifully, and the texture cannot be improved upon. But I did change the whip cream to a chocolate whip cream, and guys, even if you don’t have time to make the whole dish, I can not recommend to you enough making chocolate whip cream and putting it on anything and everything, all the time. It just makes everything better, and this is no exception.

Double Chocolate Strawberry Pavlova


6 Egg Whites

1 1/2 cups Sugar

3 tbsp Cocoa Powder

1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

3 oz Dark Chocolate

Chocolate Whip Cream

1 cup Whip Cream

2 tbsp Cocoa Powder

1 tbsp Icing Sugar

1 pint Strawberries, hulled and quartered

Preheat the oven to 325F

Line a baking pan with parchment paper

In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment whip egg whites until soft peaks form.

Tablespoon by tablespoon add in the sugar while still whipping on high speed.

Let it continue to whisk until the eggs are soft and shiny and hold very still peaks, but not until the eggs separate.

Fold in the cocoa powder, chocolate and the balsamic with a spatula, then spoon out the mix onto a baking sheet. I made 6 large ones but you could do 9 smaller ones if you were so inclined.

Put into the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 185F and bake for 45 minutes.

The tops should be hard and crack slighly with light pressure.

Allow to cool.

Meanwhile to make the chocolate whip cream just whisk everything together. You don’t need to do this in a mixer, because of the fat in the cocoa it will come together in a minute or so.

To assemble, carefully move the meringues with a metal spatula onto plates, spoon whip cream on top and then cover with fresh strawberries. C’est finis!

Survivor Cake

I have alway thought, and some people are going to hate me for this, but that the best thing about Vancouver is getting out of it. Thats not to say that I don’t love my neighbourhood, or that I haven’t had many a great night at great restaurants and bars downtown, but it is to say that when you look around Vancouver the most amazing things aren’t the buildings or the culture, but the mountains and ocean that surround it. And the best part of the mountains and the ocean is just how easy it is to get there.

And while lots of people make the most of the mountains in the winter time, skiing and snowboarding, I hate the cold and tend to shine in the summer. Which is how I found myself on Savary Island last weekend.

I have never seen so many eagles, or starfish, and I’ve never seen such long strips of white sand beaches in Canada. It was exactly what I needed. A quick refresh before all the excitement of my new website took over. Life is feeling pretty good right now friends.

On this getaway I took a brought a cake. Something I found in a Maida Heatter book called the Survivor Cake, it’s not too sweet, very dense and moise and this weekend help up to 2 ferry rides and a water taxi each way, and paired beautifully with both coffee in the morning and a glass of red mid afternoon.

Survivor Cake

(Very loosely adapted from Maida Heatter)

1/2 cup Butter

1/3 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 cup Fancy Molasses

1/2 cup Coffee or water

2 Bananas, mashed

3 Eggs

1 cup Raisins

1/2 cup dried Cranberries

1/2 cup Walnuts

1/2 cup Shredded Coconut

1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips

2 cups AP Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

In a small pot over medium heat bring the sugar, molasses, bananas, coffee (or water) raisins, cranberries and butter to a boil. Making sure the bottom doesn’t melt keep it on the heat until the butter is completely melted.

Take it off the heat, pour it into a bowl and let it cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350F

Line a 9 inch square pan with parchment paper.

Into the bowl with the butter mixture add in the eggs mixing with a wooden spoon. Slowly sift in the dry ingredients and stir until almost combined.

Add in the coconut, chocolate and the walnuts. Mix until their are no more streaks of flour but not any more and pour into the prepared pan.

Bake until an inserted skewer comes out with only a few moist crumbs, about 45 minutes.

Allow to cool and then wrap tightly, it will keep moist for nearly a week!

Rhubarb Breakfast Cake with White Chocolate Yoghurt Ganache

I am about to write the most pretentious thing I can think of. Are you ready? Are you sure? I just happened to have some white chocolate yoghurt ganache in my fridge. I know. Who am I?

In my defence it was there because I had failed miserably at making some macarons that I had been planning on filling with said ganache, but none the less. I happened to have some white chocolate yoghurt ganache in my fridge. Oy.
I have never been a huge white chocolate fan, unless your buying the really pricey stuff that is way out of my league, it’s just very sweet. Too sweet I think, but the yoghurt really mellows it out and brings in enough acid that makes you want to lick the spoon. It’s sort of like grown-up cream cheese icing.

So with this glorious stuff in my fridge, I made a very simple rhubarb cake, a buttermilk breakfast cake not to sweet with a wonderful crumb and slathered this ganache on top. Just enough to make you want to eat the top first and be a little spiteful of the bites that didn’t get any.

Rhubarb Breakfast Cake with White Chocolate Yoghurt Ganache

1/2 cup Butter

11/2 cup Sugar

1 egg

1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

Zest of 1 lemon

2 cup AP Flour

2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Salt

1/2 cup Buttermilk

3 cup Rhubarb cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup Yoghurt

4 oz White Chocolate

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter and flour a bundt pan or a 9 inch square pan.

Put the rhubarb half a cup of sugar and 1 cup of water into a small pot and simmer it until it is soft, about 10 minutes. Strain out rhubarb. The syrup will make fabulous drinks if you wish.

Meanwhile in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add in the egg slowly and mix until totally combined. Scrape down the edges of the bowl.

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl.

Alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients starting and finishing with the dry. When the last batch of dry ingredients has almost been combined add in the rhubarb and gently mix by hand. Do not overmix it or it will get tough.

Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake until an inserted skewer comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

While the cake is in the oven you can make the ganache:

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pot filled with about an inch of simmering water. Melt the chocolate, stir it regularly because white chocolate has a tendancy of burning.

Once the chocolate is fully incorporated add in the yoghurt and stir to combine.

Once the cake is cooled you can pour the ganache on top or spread it on with a spatula. And c’est finis.

Salted Dark Chocolate Flourless Cookies

I’m not going to lie, I made these cookies entirely out of curiousity. King Arthur Flour, which gives recipes that usually involve, you know, flour, had a picture of the best dark chocolate cookies and said that they were flourless. 

The strange thing though, is that there is no starch in them. And no fat. They are not “healthy” cookies with quinoa flour and coconut oil. These ingredients are just flat out missing from the equation.  They are, by far the weirdest cookies I’ve ever made. Egg whites, cocoa powder, icing sugar and vanilla. That’s about all folks. 

Fudgey isn’t quite the right word for them even though that’s how King Arthur descubes them, they get very crispy on the edges, almost they way you would excpect them to if there was corn starch in them, but the centers stay very soft. And, they don’t get stale. At least, I made them 3 days ago and the are still sitting on my counter on a plate without having been wrapped and they are still soft in the middle. 

This is no small miracle friends. 

So without further ado, here is a painfully simple recipe, for very strange, but very delicious cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-process 
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Fleur de Sel- a couple tsp for sprinkling on top

Preheat the oven to 350F

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl

Spoon 1 tbsp sized blobs on to a piece of parchment or silpat. Sprinkle some fleur de sel on top.

Bake for about 7-9 minutes, until the top is set but still a bit soft if you touch them. Let cool for a couple of minutes on the pan, and then transfer them to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Salty Sweet Chocolate Biscotti

If there is a baked good you should always have on hand it’s biscotti. Mostly because it’s easiest to make it in large batches and keeps for nearly ever, but also because it’s delicious and you can eat them with lunch, lunch, dinner, or a late night espresso. (Or if you, like me, can’t drink coffee, a hot chocolate is a wonderful substitute.) 

This is a wonderful recipe for lots of reasons, but mostly because it’s not too sweet. The addition of coffee into it helps bring out the very dark slightly bitter taste of the chocolate, and the sprinkling of salt, alongside the sugar on the top makes you not feel guilty when eating one for breakfast with a hot chocolate!

Salty Sweet Chocolate Biscotti

1 cup Brown Sugar

12 cup Butter, melted

1/4 cup Brandy,

1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

1 tbsp Coffee

1 cup Whole Almonds

3 Eggs

1 3/4 cup AP Flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 cup Cocoa Powder

1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips

1/2 cup Coarse Sugar-For sprinkling

2 tbsp Coarse Salt- For sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350F

In a large bowl mix together the butter and sugar.

Add in the eggs one at a time mixing well between each addition.

Add in the brandy, vanilla and coffee.

In another bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder.

Gently mix the flour mixture into the butter-sugar-eggs mixture. When it’s nearly all combined add in the chocolate chips and the almonds and mix until it’s just come together.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces and roll each one out into a log, and then flatten it gently on the top. If it’s sticking to your fingers get them a little bit damp and then try again. Do this on a lined baking sheet.

Gently brush the tops of the rolls with water and then sprinkle the salt and sugar on top.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the rolls are completely cooked throughout. Let cool.

On a cutting board with a serated knife cut the logs into thin pieces, about 1/2 inch thick. Put them back on the baking pan, lying flat, and bake again until they are crisped nicely, about 10 minutes.

Let cool and enjoy- these will last at least 6 weeks in a closed container.

Momofuko Crack Pie

I think I might have completely fallen in love with this if not for the name,

Crack pie. Named of course, after the highly addictive drug whos prevelance in Vancouver has led to the notorious Downtown East Side. No joking around here. It’s a big name to live up to. You’d almost feel sorry for it really, so much hype in the title, it couldn’t possibly stand up.

It is, indisputably, a very good pie. It really is, it’s sort of a glorified butter tart perhaps, (for the non-Canadians out there, it’s like a pecan pie without the pecans). It’s nuttier then the usual because of the cleverly made crust, which is filled with toasted oats, and I made mine nuttier still by adding hazelnuts, and also some chocolate which meant you really only needed a small slice. Perhaps that was it, I just didn’t really want more then one slice. The addictive neede-to-have-you just wasn’t there, but it’s hard to say. I think there is a pretty good chance that had it been called, oh, butter tart with toasted oat crust, I would have fallen helplessly for it. I think, in fact, that it’s likely. 

Crack Pie

(from the Momofuko Milk Bar Cookbook, by Christina Tosi and David Chang)

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
Scant 1 cup rolled oats

Preheat the oven to 350F

Cream the butter and sugar together.

Add the egg and mix well.

Add in all the remaining ingredients except the oats. Stir until just combined and add oats.

Spread out with your hands (if you get them a little wet they won’t stick as much!) and bake until it becomes a golden brown and the cookie is cooked through. As you’ll be crumbling and rebaking it, ere on the side of over crisp then gooey.

Crumbled cookie for crust
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine the crumbled cookie, butter, brown sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until evenly combined and blended (a little of the mixture clumped between your fingers should hold together). Divide the crust between 2 (10-inch) pie tins. Press the crust into each shell to form a thin, even layer along the bottom and sides of the tins. Set the prepared crusts aside while you prepare the filling.

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup plus a scant 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon milk powder
1 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup plus a scant 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 egg yolks
2 prepared crusts

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, salt and milk powder. Whisk in the melted butter, then whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla.

 Gently whisk in the egg yolks, being careful not to add too much air.

Divide the filling evenly between the 2 prepared pie shells.

Bake the pies, one at a time, for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake until the filling is slightly jiggly and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the pies and cool on a rack.

Refrigerate the cooled pies until well chilled. Serve cold, and the filling will be gooey. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Dark Chocolate Brownies with "Candied" Chestnuts.

Does anything say cooling temperatures, red leaves, and brisk winds better then chestnuts? Those wonderful things that fall from big old trees and we roast over an open fire, but have way more purpose then we North Americans ever give them credit for.

I’m not sure I ever fully appreciated chestnuts until I went to France.

Last year I spent a month in Paris that was booked in a moment of just needing to escape and get away. If I hadn’t been  so eager to leave I might have done a little research on the weather, because 24 out of 26 days it rained. I’m not kidding. It was so grey and dismal I almost missed Vancouver, which certainly doesn’t happen often. November is not the time to visit Paris.

Unless you really love chestnuts, which fortunately, I do.

I didn’t realize until I went to Paris that you can candy chestnuts and put them in anything. You can eat them plain, you can put them in cake (gateaux aux marron glace), ice cream (creme glace avec la marron glace), anf in chocolates (marron glace avec chocolat.) Basically when the sky falls Parisiennes fall for chestnuts. So of course, I did too.

When I came back I tried to make them, and I will try again, but man oh man, this is not an easy task, and it’s one that will take some practice I think, BUT in the meantime, I can make a cheaters one and then put it in brownies and no one will know. Except you, but your alright.

Dark Chocolate Brownies with “Candied” Chestnuts

(adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Bloomin’ Brilliant Brownie recipe)


1 heaping cup of Dark Chocolate

2/3 cup Butter

2/3 cup AP Flour

1/2 cup Cocoa Powder-use the best quality kind you can get!

4 Eggs

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar


1/2 cup Sugar

1/2 cup Whole Chestnuts, roasted, peeled, chopped roughly.

In a small clean pot mix the sugar with just enough water to wet it, it should have the consistency of wet sand. If it’s too wet don’t worry, it will just take longer to cook out.

On high heat cook the sugar and water until it begins to caramelize. Now be careful, it will turn from light to dark very quickly. Once it starts to get auburn add in the chestnuts. It will sizzle and spit a bit, stir and stir until theirs neirly no liquid left and the sugar has crystalized all over the nuts. Put on an oven proof plate and let cool.


Preheat your oven to 350F and line an 8inch square pan with parchment on both sides. Set aside.

In a metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water on medium heat melt your butter and chocolate together.

Add in your sugar and vanilla.

Add in the eggs and stir until barely combined. Remember that eggs have a memory, if you beat them they will rise in the oven, and you want soft fudgey brownies so be gentle. Sift in your flour, cocoa, and baking powder, and then the chestnuts. Do not over mix.

Then pour that bad boy into your prepared pan and bake it for about twenty minutes, until the top has set and doesn’t wiggle but isn’t to firm. I’d err on the side of undercooked that over with brownies, personally. And then eat and eat and eat.


Wunderbar Tart

While I am not a big fan of my birthdays, nearly ever, I get borderline obsessed with other peoples. I will always go overboard.

I love giving presents, I love cards (seriously, I can spend days this shop) and, not surprising to any of you I’d guess, I love making cakes. A lot.

So you can imagine that there is a serious amount of planning in making Jordan’s birthday cake.

I deliberate over flavours-it has to be chocolate, but chocolate hazelnut? Chocolate caramel? Chocolate pumpkin?

And textures, are we wanting dense and rich? Or light and whipped? Maybe with a crunchy layer somewhere, perhaps a praline?

Basically, I go on like this for a long time. I write notes, then I doodle pictures of what I want it to look like. I check online for inspiration, then later then I should, I make something and barely get it done in time, if I’m being honest here.

This year it wasn’t a cake per say, it was a mousse tart, a chocolate base, a thick layer of creamy caramel, a whipped mousse of peanut butter just firm enough to hold it’s shape when sliced, and topped with a layer of chocolate ganache gently sprinkled with maldon salt.

It’s an extremely grown up version of a Wunderbar, which just so happens to be Jordans favourite.

It’s also happens to be extremely good.

Wunderbar Tart/Peanut butter, Caramel Chocolate Tart

Adapted from this recipe


16 oz Chocolate wafers, or Oreo Crumbs

8tbsp Butter, melted


1 cup Sugar

3/4 cup Whipping Cream

4 tbsp Butter

1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

Peanut Butter Mousse

1 cup Peanut Butter

3/4 cup Whipping Cream

4 tbsp Sugar

1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

Chocolate Mousse

8oz Chocolate

1/2 cup Cream

1tsp Salt-because I’m the sort of person who keeps vanilla salt around I used that and it was wonderful, but regular fleur de sel or maldon salt it lovely. Just make sure it’s a flaked salt not a chunked salt.


*Make sure you have everything you need for this measure out as caramel can go from light brown to black within seconds. Also, use an extremely clean pot.

Put sugar in pot with just enough cold water to give it the texture of wet sand.

On medium heat cook this mixture stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves.

Take out spoon and bring heat up to high. Shake pot occasionally and watch it carefully.

When it turns amber color immediately pour in the cream. It will bubble up and splatter so be careful!

Add in the butter and vanilla. Allow to cool completely.

Make Crust:

Preheat oven to 350F

Mix butter and crumbs together

Press into a 10inch spring form pan, or a pan with a removable bottom, or 10 small tart shells

Bake until the crust just begins to firm, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Make Mousse:

Bring a couple cups of water to a boil.

Slowly add the water a few tablespoons at a time to the peanut butter stirring well until it is smooth, easy to stir and forms slowly dissolving ribbons when you pick up a spoon and let the mixture fall back in. It took more water then I thought it would, don’t be alarmed!

Let cool.

Meanwhile whip the cream and sugar to stiff peaks.

Once the peanut mixture is cooled fold in the whip cream and the vanilla.

Make Ganache:

Bring cream to a boil

Pour over the chocolate and stir until it is smooth.


Pour the caramel into the cooled tart shell. Let it set in the fridge for at least 10 minutes.

Pour the mousse over the caramel and smooth with an offset spatula.

Pour the chocolate over the mousse and smooth.

Sprinkle with the salt.

How to Bake and Ice a Cake in Under an Hour.


Scenario Number One:

You got stuck working late/in traffic and now you need to leave the house in 2 hours to get to a birthday celebration and you promised to bring a cake, you should bring a present, and you deffinately should shower, straighten your hair and look nicer.

Scenario Number Two:

You forgot it’s your friends birthday and only remembered after you’d phoned her to bitch about your day. You told her your running a little behind but of course you didn’t forget, you have a cake waiting for her in your fridge! Only to realize that the bakery across the street is closed for renovations.

Scenario Number Three:

Your dog has an alliance with your cats, who pushed the cake off the counter so he could eat it. I actually watched my pets do this once, so I know it happens. Now you’ve got one hour to reproduce a cake nice enough to serve for the birthday your throwing your friend, who used to date your husband and you want to show up, just a little bit.

I have an answer to all your problems! Well, not world peace, or a million dollars, but cake problems I have you sorted on.

The answer is, cake mix.

No no, not Betty Crocker just add water cake mix. Home made cake mix. Mix that you just throw together in a bowl with things you already have in your pantry. Your going to use half of it in the cake that your going to produce in seconds flat and the other half you’ll put in that mason jar that you got pickles or over priced jam in, tie a ribbon around it and then you have a present too.

Preheat your oven to 350F

flour and butter 3 8 inch cake pans.

Make this lovely cake mix,

Cake Mix:

5 cups sugar

7 cups Flour

3 tbsp Baking Powder

*optional, you can add in 1 cup of cocoa powder to make it a chocolate cake mix.

Save out 3 1/2 cups of the mix and package the rest up however you like.

Add to the reserved mix

4 eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup veg oil

*if you’ve added the cocoa powder to the mix make it 1 1/2 cups milk.

Mix that together and there’s your batter.

Pour it into the pans and bake for about 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out with only a few moist crumbs.

While your cake is in the oven your going to take a quick shower, wash your face, and moisturize. Then, you take the cake out of the oven and while its cooling you’ll pick and outfit, dry your hair, and whip together this until it holds stiff peaks:

2 cups of whipping cream

2 tbsp Icing sugar

1 tsp Vanilla extract

*optional, if you have a cup of creme fraiche, mascarpone, cream cheese or even sour cream you can add that in too. Lemon zest is also a nice addition if you have a lemon kicking around.

Now you’ll slice up

2 cups of fruit,

maybe it’s berries, maybe it’s pears, maybe it’s grapefuit segments. Canned peaches would be excellent. What ever you have on hand will be delicious.

Now for the cake.

Unmold it and put the bottom layer on the plate or cake stand.

Then you can blob some of the cream on it and push it to the edges without having it drip over.

Now add some fruit placing it in a single layer. Put the next layer of cake on top and repeat. Don’t fuss to much, this is a rustic cake, don’t break hairs over it.

Instead, pop it in the fridge and go make your hair look nice, throw some make up on, and then take your cake in one hand, and use your other to wave down a cab while all the cute guys within a ten block radius come to check out the cute girl with the awesome looking cake who looks so effortless about it all.

Gluten Free and Better For it!

Gluten free has a bad name. And maybe rightly. There are so many terrible wheat free alternatives out there. Bread made with rice flour just isn’t good, I’m sorry celiacs it just isn’t. Foods that shouldn’t be gluten free but try almost always fall flat. However, there are lots of traditional french baked goods that aren’t supposed to have wheat, that use things like ground almonds that are amazing. They don’t try to be something that they aren’t, and they’re better for it. Such is the case for this sensational flourless chocolate hazelnut cake.

I have long debated putting this recipe up here because it isn’t my recipe, it is an extremely talented woman named Mary McIntyre who owns a wonderful cafe called Little Nest. But then I realized that she in fact has already published it in a a book which makes me feel that it’s okay.

I have made a couple changes, I use hazelnuts instead of almonds, and I use more vanilla extract. But this is a a very forgiving recipe, it’s super dark and intense without being fudgy, it’s still light somehow, its just generally wonderful. Seriously, make this cake.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

6 eggs, seperated

2 cups Brown Sugar

225g Butter

225g Good Dark Chocolate

1/2 cup Cocoa Powder

1/2 cup Hot Water

1 1/2 cup Ground Hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 350F

Line an eight inch round spring form pan with parchment paper

Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler.

Add in the egg yolks.

Add in one cup of sugar, the ground hazelnuts, and cocoa powder.

Add sugar and hazelnuts.

In an electric mixer with the whisk attachment whip egg whites until soft peaks form. With the mixer still on slowly add in the brown sugar until it’s shiny and stiff peaks form.

Scoop one third of meringue into chocolate batter and fold in.

Add in the rest of the meringue and fold until barely combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan,

Cook until an inserted skewer comes out with only a couple moist crumbs about an hour.

Allow to cool in the pan. It will sink, do not panic!

Turn it upside down and your in business!

A Lot of Cake

“I have yet to attend a party where the chef has sewn together a string of delicious steaks into a golf club or fedora I have never seen (and hope to never see) a baby rattle composed of salmon fillers. But cake abuse has no limits” writes Matt Lewis in the introduction to cakes in his wonderful book Baked Explorations. It’s true isn’t it. The form over function in the world of cakes is very strange. If you want a red race car make it out of cardboard, or styrophoam. Why make it out of cake? Cake that will, inevitably once all the parts are assembled, be dried out and boring. If no one wants to eat it whats the point?

Which is why I make a big effort to make cakes that are wonderful, delicious, and if I do it properly, something beautiful too. I, like Matt Lewis, am a cake pusher.

I making love cake. I like making simple cakes with a dusting of icing sugar, I like making pound cakes with a lemon glaze on top, and sometimes, I like making elaborate pretty cakes, because it’s a little challenging but mostly because I like proving that a cake can be both delicious and pretty. I’m stubborn like that.

I made such a cake this weekend for my amasing friend Kate’s birthday. It was a dark chocolate cake that has espresso instead of milk in the batter so it’s not overly sweet, which lends itself beautifully to frostings. I did it up with a salted caramel buttercream and I’m not going to lie friends, I’m pretty pleased.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

1 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp Sugar

1/2 cup Cream

9 Egg Whites

1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

1.5 lb Unsalted Butter, soft

Dark Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cup butter, room temp

3 cup sugar

2 Eggs

2 Egg Whites

1 1/2 cup Dutched Cocoa Powder

4 cups All Purpose Flour

1tbsp Baking Powder

1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Salt

1tbsp Vanilla Extract

2 2/3cup Hot Strong Coffee

Make Frosting

Combine 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a pot. Cook on medium heat until sugar is disolved. Remove spoon and Bring heat up to high. It will start to thicken a little.

Then It will start to brown slightly. It will turn quickly so keep a close eye on it.

Then it will get a pretty auburn colour. And then your in business

Now, act fast. Take it off the heat, pour in the cream and stir. It will bubble up like crazy, don’t panic, but be careful. I  don’t have any pictures of this part because it was bubbling and I was stirring.

Pour that into a heat safe container and let cool.

Get a small pot with an inch or two of water on the stove and bring it to a simmer. I usually use the caramel pot because it’s easier to clean after it’s had boiling water in it.

Put the egg whites, salt, and remaining sugar into the the bowl for your mixer and whisk vigorously over the pot.

Kepp whisking until its quite frothy and it’s hot to touch.

Take off the heat, and attach bowl to your mixer. Whisk on high until stiff peaks form.

Slowly add in the butter, tablespoon by tablespoon until it’s all combined. If you notice yours doesn’t thicken up nicely and is beginning to look split slow down the mixer and add in a big piece of butter, that should thicken it up nicely.

Slowly add in the caramel and there you have your caramel buttercream.

Make Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter, flour, and line with parchment 4 cake pans, 2x 8 inch round, and 2x 5inch.

Cream butter and sugar until it’s very fluffy, about 5 minutes

Add in the eggs and whites and beat again until light, about 3 minutes

Alternate in dry ingredients starting and finishing with dry. It will look like a big hot mess

Don’t panic. Just whisk it for about 15 seconds until it starts to look smooth. Don’t do this for very long, and a few lumps are absolutly okay. See how much nicer this looks?

Pour into your prepared pans and bake until an inserted skewer comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool.

Trim off the top of the cakes with a serrated knife to flatten them out. Put a dollop of icing on the cake stand and then put down the first layer of cake. Spread liberally with icing. Sprinkle with salt.

Repeat with remaining layers

Ice the outside loosely.

Smooth it out and refridgerate for at least an hour. The ice again to cover the crumbs and the dark cake inside. This always takes me a while, and if I’m really struggling then I put it back in the fridge, let it set up again and then use my inverted spatula on the cold frosting. Sometimes I find this easier. If your icing looks a little split at any point just put it back into your mixer and it will come back in seconds.

Then do whatever you want with your decordations. Tie a ribbon on it, dot it with pocka dots, which is what I did here. I just put some frosting in a piping bag, pressed it against the cake and dabbed the icing on. It was very easy. I also did a line of dots, done the exact same way, along the line between the layers because it was a little messy there. And then I put flowers on top because I like flowers. Et Voila! Pretty and delicious cake!

The Show Off


This is not a cake for the faint of heart. This is not a cake to throw together after work, or a cake to make for a kids birthday. Oh no. It will take several hours to make, and multiple steps and some patience. This cake is a labour of love. But, this isn’t a hard dessert to make, just a time consuming one I promise. And if you time yourself well, and make a few things the night before you won’t hate yourself for saying you’ll make it. And when your friends see the cake you’ve made, they will be intensely impressed. This is a show off cake. This is the cake to make if your boss is coming over for dinner, or for an anniversary. Or if your me, with to much time on your hands it’s what you make when you have friends coming for dinner on Friday night.

Crepe Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Poached Pears

This is a long process, you will want to make the ganache first, because it takes several hours to firm up. Then make the crepe batter, because it will take at least an hour to cool. The poach the pears, then make the crepes. Then assemble it all!


500g Heavy Cream

250g Dark Chocolate, finely chopped

1tsp Vanilla Extract

Bring the cream and vanilla up to a boil

Pour over chocolate.

Let is sit for a couple of minutes, then stir. It may seem to take a while but it will get smooth!


6 eggs

7 tbsp Sugar

1tsp Salt

1 1/2 cups Flour

1/3 cup Butter

3 cups Milk

In a pot bring melt the butter. Keep it on the heat until it is very frothy, stirring regularly. In a couple of minutes the milk solids will start to get brown and it will smell nutty.

Immediately pour the milk in and bring it to just belove a simmer.

Meanwhile mix the eggs and the sugar in a mixer with the whisk attachment.

Add in the flour and then slowly pour in the milk and butter mixture.

Whisk until you have nearly no lumps.

Cover and set to cool in the fridge.

Bring a small frying pan, not stick if you have it to medium heat.

Put a small nub of butter into the pan and tilt the pan to either side until the whole pan is covered.

Pour about a quarter cup of batter into the pan. It should spread pretty thin.

Let it start to bubble up a bit the tilt the pan to let excess from the middle spread to the sides.

Carefully, with a rubber spatula, push the edges gently and shake the pan until the whole crepe is moving.

Flip the crepe, with a spatula if your new to this, or with a flick of the wrist if your an old pro, and let it cook another minute on the second side.

 Slide it onto a plate and go for the next! Repeat until the batter is finished, this will take a while.

Poached Pears

5 medium sized firm pears, I used Anjou.

1 cup sugar

1tbsp Vanilla Extract

Zest of an orange, peeled with a vegetable peeler into thick strips

Peel pears.

Cut them into quarters and core them.

Put them into a pot with sugar, vanilla and zest. Cover with water.

Bring to a simmer and gently cook for about 10 minutes or until just becoming translucent and are soft enough to cut with a spoon. Take off the heat and let cool.


Slice the pears into thin strips.

Put a dollop of ganache on your plate

Lay a crepe down, spread it with ganache, then layer some pears on top.

Put a small dop of ganache onto the next crepe and place it face down on the crepe before, the ganache will work as glue to keep the layers from separating.

Repeat, repeat repeat.

 I used about 17 layers of crepes, and now I’m writing this while eating the left overs.

I then used some pear slices on top to decorate it and sprinkled some icing sugar on top too.

I hope you make this cake,and I hope you like it as much as we did!

Something Warm

I had big dreams when I got off work today friends. Big dreams. I was going to make one of those cakes that are made of layers and layers of crepes, ganache, and poached pears. I had it all planned out. Then as I left work I realized it was pouring rain. And I had a flat tire. And I couldn’t find the bike repair place. And then I walked home without an umbrella. It’s a half hour walk. I was cold. Very very cold, the kind of cold that makes your spine hurt because your hunching over so much. And then, I really didn’t want to make 25 crepes. I didn’t want to peel a dozen pears and poach them. What I wanted was to drink hot chocolate and watch season 2 of “Bored To Death” Jason Schwartmans clincically funny television show. So, heres a wonderful recipe for hot chocolate.

You could easily use all milk chocolate or dark chocolate, but I usually have both on hand, so I usually use both. It’s very chocolaty hot chocolate, but using some cocoa powder I find helps thin it slightly, so it’s not just a drinkable ganache. And it’s exactly what you need on a freezing cold rainey day. I’ll make marshmellows soon, I promise. But not today. Today was for whip cream. And it was glorious.

Hot Chocolate

1 1/4 cup Milk

1tsp Cocoa Powder

1tsp Sugar

1oz Milk Chocolate

1 oz Dark Chocolate

  • Whisk milk, sugar and cocoa powder together and bring to a simmer over medium heat
  • Meanwhile finely chop both chocolates
  • Once milk mixture is barely boiling take it off the heat and mix chocolate in until completely disolved.
  • Pour into your favourite mug and top with whip cream!