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DessertByCandy
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This week my American friends will celebrate Thanksgiving. For me, it is but a distant memory. My family feasted on a turkey-less supper and the menu was packed with pumpkin, squash, and sweet potato. It was low-key and light on meat, just the way I like to eat. For dessert, I gussied up our family favourite kuri squash pie with toasted meringue topping for a festive look. The pie was made with a gingersnap crumb crust. I roasted a kuri squash and made a thick puree from the flesh and skin. Part of the appeal of this squash is that the skin is so thin it is edible! The other reason is of course its incomparable taste. That hint of nutty chestnut flavour is my favourite. You can find out more about how to make this pie when I first started this family tradition years ago. What was special about... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Dessert By Candy
Thank you Mary! Long hours of hunching over the tiny houses. :)
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Gingerbread Village at Dessert By Candy
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Ah, the red colour is definitely a result of using sour cherries. They are vibrant even after defrosting from frozen.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Slab Pie For Everyone at Dessert By Candy
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That's really too bad. Hope you'll get your hands on one soon!
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Gingerbread Village at Dessert By Candy
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McCalls, of course! http://www.mccalls.ca/SHOP-BY-CATEGORIES/DRAGEES/
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Gingerbread Village at Dessert By Candy
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Carolyn, this is roughly the recipe I used for the sour cherry filling: http://www.marthastewart.com/333196/sour-cherry-slab-pie Store bought frozen sour cherries would be great though sweet cherries would not give you the same result.
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Slab Pie For Everyone at Dessert By Candy
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Hi Donna! More expensive than what I paid for but available on Amazon: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fproduct%2FB00NF73TR6%2Fref%3Das_li_tl%3Fie%3DUTF8%26camp%3D1789%26creative%3D390957%26creativeASIN%3DB00NF73TR6%26linkCode%3Das2%26tag%3Ddesbycan-20%26linkId%3DSICZDMTI6ERR5F7K&h=FAQEQ4JH4
Toggle Commented Nov 18, 2014 on Gingerbread Village at Dessert By Candy
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It began innocently enough with a $4 cookie cutter that I bought last year. My local grocery store carries seasonal house brand products and I love to discover hidden gems. The 3D mini gingerbread house cutter is a perfect example. When I saw it at the store, I doubted if I would ever use it. As adorable as the photo looked on the packaging, I detest making rolled cookies. But for merely $4? I bought it without hesitation because I knew I would need it some day. “Some day” came sooner than I expected. My friends and I share annual tradition of holiday cookie swap every November. Like most of our themed cooking parties, everyone pulled out all the stops to bring our best cookies to share. I decided nothing quite say over the top than mini gingerbread houses, each uniquely decorated. It was time to put my cookie cutter,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
Last Friday I catered my skating club’s end of year party at a friend’s home. I had an idea of the menu weeks in advance but did not flesh out the details until pretty late in the game. Luckily experience with cooking for large group came in handy and I drew on all the lessons I learned in previous years. So what makes for a good menu? I prefer to have a theme instead of just a mish-mash of dishes. I went with a southern theme including many traditional dishes from American south. So when a plate is piled high with bites of everything, there is some sort of continuity instead of many clashing flavours. Also, employing a variety of cooking methods is key. In a home kitchen, I do not have infinite oven space or stove tops. A menu that uses oven, stove top, slow cooker, and made-head dishes... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
Sigh. Sigh again.
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I believe in eating chocolate for breakfast if the opportunity presents itself. Last time I made smitten kitchen’s Chocolate Swirl Buns it was a temporary farewell to gluten as I experimented with anti-inflammatory diet. It was a haunting reminder during those few weeks of what I missed out in the name of healthy eating. The diet experiment didn’t make me feel better or worse so I saw no reason to continue. However, the sweet memory of those chocolate swirl buns, a twist on the more decadent chocolate babka, remains and I have to fight the urge to make them again. A couple weekends ago my friends and I had a girls weekend sleepover and I decided it would be the perfect excuse to revisit chocolate babka. This is the kind of decadence that is best to share among good friends. Coincidentally, smitten kitchen also revisited this classic and declared Yotam... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
Thank you everyone for entering the Trick or Treat giveaway. Congratulations to Yvonne T., the winner of Candy By Candy prize pack! I hope you will enjoy the assortment of Mocha Mallomars Surprise, Trillian Bar, Curry Coconut Brittle, Apple Cider Caramel, and Peanut Butter Nougat Bar. Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
It’s giveaway time! Are you ready for Halloween tomorrow? I don’t plan to dress up this year but I’ve been building a coffer of homemade candies. Surely you don’t think I spoil my appetite with just any store bought chocolate treats? Don’t feel left out because trick or treat isn’t limited to those who knock on the door of my house. Let’s have a virtual trick or treat right here at Dessert By Candy! If you’re from Canada or the USA, you have three options to enter the contest (you're welcome to pick and choose!): Leave a comment on this post and tell me the candy you most like to try from Candy By Candy. Don’t forget a valid email address! Retweet this post. Like my Facebook Page so you will not miss out on all my sweet or savoury adventure. Winner will receive a prize pack of Candy By... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
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Practice is key! I have my share of failures and frustrations too working with chocolate. Now that the temperature has dropped, it is much easier to temper chocolate successfully. Give it another go! :)
Toggle Commented Oct 29, 2014 on Mocha Mallomars Surprise at Dessert By Candy
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I grew up snacking on Whippets, the Canadian counterpart of American Mallomars. If you’re familiar with the Danish treat flødeboller, you can see similarities too. The combination of soft cookie and marshmallow cream coated in chocolate captures the best part of s’mores without the hassle of setting up campfire. What’s not to love? I could happily wolf down a whole box without a second thought. The “happy” part came to an end last week when I realized my own homemade concoction tastes far superior to any store-bought version. Instead of satisfying my occasional craving with a short trip to the grocery store, I now need to spend hours making Mallomars from scratch. There’s no looking back, unfortunately. I cobbled together a few of my favourite things to create these Mocha Mallomars Surprise: soft crumbly espresso shortbread biscuit from a family favourite recipe, fluffy delicate coffee marshmallow, a surprise crunchy centre... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
Tempering chocolate used to make me quake in my shoes from intimidation. Not anymore. Like most skills, with enough practice, I finally master it well enough to do so reliably. At the beginning of the year, I set out to learn new techniques and tackle unfamiliar recipes. The parade of successes and failures came out of kitchen non-stop: baba au rhum, steamed barbecue pork buns, popovers, marshmallows, countless candies, many kinako treats, Swedish baked goods, kouign amann, croissant, French crullers, beef jerky, butter tarts, Princess cake, slab pies, baked Alaska, and of course, croquembouche. The biggest gain is my love affair with confectionary. Playing with sugar and chocolate become a large part of my repertoire. I marvel at the variations a few simple basic ingredients can turn out depending on how I manipulate them. It is as close to alchemy as it gets. It took me a long time to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
Baking inspirations come in waves and recently I have more ideas than I can keep up. An interesting opportunity has come up recently and baking may take on a much bigger role in my life. It’s both scary and exciting at the same time. The scary part I need to face with unbiased analysis and determination. The exciting part is the reason behind this latest of burst of inspiration. I keep a notebook of ideas. Most of the time it is simply a bunch of words I jot down with little meaning without explanation. More mature ideas I like to include sketches to flesh out how I envision the dessert. Yesterday I went for a run around my neighbourhood and an idea came to me without warning. Obviously I did not have my notebook with me. As soon as I got home, I decided to keep the notebook and jumped... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
Last Sunday my cooking friends and I had another one of our famous themed gathering with ice cream being the feature star. With over 15 of us and many brought in more than one flavour of homemade ice cream, the selection was dazzling. Our host foodpr0n roughly divided the event into three segments. First, vanilla ice cream taste off. A bunch of us made our favourite vanilla ice cream recipe and we had a side by side taste test to determine the crowd favourite. The tasty contenders included recipes from Jeni’s, America’s Test Kitchen, Melissa Clark, David Lebovitz, Thomas Keller, Alton Brown, and Martha Stewart. After multiple rounds of tasting, our decision was deliciously split between David Lebovitz’s and Melissa Clark’s recipe. All seriousness aside, we then proceeded to make our most outrageous vanilla sundae creations with homemade sauces like bourbon caramel, chocolate magic shell, feuilletine, pie crust pieces, cookie... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
I baked many birthday cakes for family and friends. Some were greatly appreciated. Some we ate with indifference. Some instigated arguments that made irreparable damages to relationships. I never know what kind of reaction my homemade birthday cake would bring yet I never give up on this small gesture. I like to think that cake brings people together in delicious way. Last week I made a fancy four layer coconut cake for Dad’s birthday. The Cook’s Country recipe would yield a large 9-inch cake fit for a big party. I made a 6-inch and a 5-inch cake instead so it was not so daunting. The recipe was uncomplicated except for the use of cream of coconut (think Coco Lopez and pina colada). It took me a while to source this cocktail ingredient but it was effort well spent. It gave a huge boost of coconut taste in both the cake... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
We used La Caja China. So awesome. Cannot say enough good things about it. http://www.lacajachina.com/ We bought the pig directly from a local farm. Are you also from the Southern Ontario area?
Toggle Commented Sep 30, 2014 on Slab Pie For Everyone at Dessert By Candy
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Slab pie fascinated me. How can it not? It is an oversized pie that embraces the crust-and-filling characteristic of its circular brethren yet has the portable sensibility of fussy pop tarts. It is streamlined to feed a huge crowd without extra work for the baker. Seems to me slab pie is the ultimate dessert for a backyard barbecue bash with 80 of my closest friends. Yes, 80. My cooking friends and I gave ourselves the moniker Asian Food Mob. Last weekend, we hosted our first pig roast to great success. Roasting a whole pig was quite involved and handling the pig both in its raw and cooked state was inevitable. Kudos to my friends who took the initiative and gifted us with tender juicy roast pork and crispy crackling! Obviously the pig was the star of our party. I gladly played supportive role by providing many vegetarian sides and desserts.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
Thank you Mary! So very very French. :)
Toggle Commented Sep 22, 2014 on Croquembouche At Dîner En Blanc at Dessert By Candy
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Thank you! It was a fun culinary and logistic challenge. :)
Toggle Commented Sep 21, 2014 on Croquembouche At Dîner En Blanc at Dessert By Candy
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This year’s Dîner En Blanc Toronto was magical. I thoroughly enjoyed the fabulous location at Ontario Place waterfront. The live entertainment of ballet dancers and painting were classy. The DJ and band put the crowd into a festive mood. I was so happy to be a part of this experience, to share a special evening with 1400 revellers in elegant white outfits. From last year’s experience, my friends and I decided that group of four was the optimal set up. Each of us was in charge of one course of the menu so our preparation was streamlined. Last year I made main course for my group but this year I enthusiastically volunteered to prepare dessert. I had the crazy idea to make a croquembouche from scratch and bring it to the secret event location. I am always up for a good culinary challenge. Why my fascination with croquembouche? This traditional... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
I am excited about next week’s Dîner En Blanc in Toronto. After last year’s less-than-ideal feedback, they were searching for new organizers this year and the event was in jeopardy. A few weeks ago, news began circulating that invitations for this year would be sent out soon and I could not contain my excitement. With my whole kit already assembled, it would be a huge disappointment if this elegant pop-up picnic is a no-go. Based on last year’s experience, my friends and I have our routine down pat. Each person in our group of four would be responsible for one course so we can maximize on efficiency. I volunteered to contribute dessert this year and I have big plans. First, let me give you an update of my picnic basket to see some upgrades that I made. I got myself a smaller, more lightweight basket that is easier to tote... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2014 at Dessert By Candy