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I am far from an expert on Malaysian cuisine but I enjoy it since I was a child in Hong Kong. A cosmopolitan city at heart, Malaysian restaurants are common and a popular choice for dining out in my family. After I moved to Toronto, I was disappointed that authentic Malaysian restaurants were few and far between. I missed my favourite dish nasi lemak dearly. Lucky for me, it is not all that difficult to make nasi lemak at home. The comforting coconut steamed rice dish is often accompanied by an assortment of sides that complement and contrast. The spicy sambal with fiery chillies and crunchy anchovies is my favourite. The heat is tamed by cooling slices of cucumbers and rich coconut steamed rice fragrant with pandan. Wedges of hardboiled egg nudge the dish firmly in the breakfast territory. Crunchy salted peanuts keep up the textural interest. And don’t forget... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Dessert By Candy
Many of us experienced Pinterest Disappointment before. You come across an enticing pin. You carefully follow the recipe. What you end up making looks nothing like the exquisite original that caught your attention in the first place. You question your own ability and you doubt the integrity of the recipe. In the end, you feel like you wasted precious time, effort, and ingredients. Do you let out a deep sigh and move on or do you try to figure out what went wrong? I experienced all of the above when I tried to make Finnish cinnamon roll korvapuusti last week. Full disclosure: I did not follow the recipes exactly. Combining the recipe from The Kinfolk Table , My Blue And White Kitchen, and my own bread baking experience, I thought it would be a straight-forward treat for Sunday brunch. I was wrong. First, it was dough that stubbornly refused to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at Dessert By Candy
One of the most important lessons for me in 2014 is the quest to keep pushing myself out of my culinary comfort zone. Cooking and baking with unfamiliar techniques, ingredients, and equipment forced me to learn many new and wonderful things. ‘Tis the season for resolution so I resolve to continue trying something new in the kitchen at least once every week in 2015. I did not waste any time and quickly found not one, but two fun things to learn. In Chinese cooking, smoking food with tea is a classic cooking technique. Unfortunately for me, the prospect of setting up a smoker indoor sounds more than daunting. Turns out, it is rather simple and clean up is a breeze. Why did I wait so long to learn? Thank you Angela Ching and her well-written recipes to demystify this cooking technique. The simplest thing to smoke is none other than... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2015 at Dessert By Candy
I made a resolution at the beginning of the year to push myself out of my culinary comfort zone. In 2014, I tackled unfamiliar cuisines, challenging baking projects, and childhood favourites that I thought I could only indulge while dining out. And let’s not forget I jumped feet first into the world of confectionery! Even though every project seemed a little out of my reach at the time, I learned from both successes and failures. I am confident to say that I have become a better cook thanks to a year of learning. Let’s take a look back at some of the highlights. 10. Swedish Baking Between travels to Sweden and my fascination with goodies sold at the IKEA Swedish Marketplace, I wanted to learn more about Swedish baking. Rather than wait for my next trip to the Scandinavia, I rolled up my sleeves and recreated the experience in my... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
Holiday celebration is often synonymous with decadent food consumption, especially for those occasions which food plays a central role. This year, I defied tradition and designed a menu for Christmas supper that did not sacrifice taste for a healthier twist. It was every bit as enjoyable and I looked forward to leftovers even as I finished the last bite on my plate. I call that a win-win situation. Healthy Christmas Supper Smoked Sturgeon Goat Cheese Spread on Pita Cracker Mushroom Pate on Seeded Cracker Arugula, Pear, Walnut Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb with Herb Crust Mint Relish Freekeh with Crimini Mushroom Garlic Broccolini Buche de Noel with Ricotta Orange Chocolate Filling and Chocolate Frosting Coffin Ridge Sparkling Pear Cider I went to the grocery store with every intention to get some Cornish game hens for my menu. Alas, not even a frozen one was in sight... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
It is Boxing Day in Canada and that means another Christmas has come and gone. Updates at Dessert By Candy were few and far between in the last few weeks. First I was overwhelmed with Candy By Candy pop up shop. Once that was over, I faced the conclusion of an important chapter of my professional life. After 14 years as a software developer, I bid (perhaps temporary, perhaps permanent) farewell to the tech industry. It is scary to leave the familiar and comfortable. Most emotionally-challenging though, is the fact that I no longer see my colleagues everyday. Fortunately, my mind is already pre-occupied by some opportunities ahead. I will be more involved with the food industry and there will be lots of new things to learn. I hope to share with you more exciting news as my plans take shape. As soon as I packed my belongings from my... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
When I planned for Candy By Candy pop up shop, I designed the collection based on tried and true recipes. On one hand, I knew that those were popular items I made in the past with predictable yield. On the other hand, I was bursting with creativity and wanted to try new things. It was hard to suppress that creative urge and not veer from my game plan. When I finished with all the planned recipes and still had a bit of time on my hands, this Kristlemas Special Bar was the result. I created this milk chocolate bar with Christmas on my mind. It is a twist on my popular Peanut Butter Nougat Bar. Instead of peanut butter, the fluffy nougat is packed with Nutella. It sits on top of a thick layer of tender hazelnut shortbread with hints of cinnamon and allspice. To complement this mellow flavour, I... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
Last Sunday marked a milestone for Candy By Candy: my first pop up shop! The relaxed and convivial atmosphere at Stratus Vineyards’ Kristlemas Market put everyone in holiday spirits. I could not imagine a better setting for a debut. It was a busy week leading up to the market. I... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2014 at Candy By Candy
I love the anticipation of counting down to the holidays but most mass-produced advent calendars contain disappointingly waxy tasteless chocolate. What if December 1st has already come and gone? It’s still not too late to count down day by day, Candy By Candy style! My Holiday Countdown Sleigh is piled... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at Candy By Candy
Can you believe it’s only three more sleeps until Stratus Vineyards’ Kristlemas Market? As a special surprise, I will have a small number of Kristlemas Special Bars at the pop up shop this Sunday. How special, you ask? This is a twist on the popular Peanut Butter Nougat Bar. A... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2014 at Candy By Candy
Last weekend was a busy one in the kitchen with back to back production nights. I am happy to report that all the candies are ready! If you catch a glimpse of my home, you may think you run into an epic trick-or-treat preparation. The table is piled high with... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at Candy By Candy
Thank you Shareba! Very thankful that resources for budding businesses are becoming more readily available. Things were very different a few years ago.
Toggle Commented Dec 5, 2014 on Candy By Candy Pop Up Shop at Dessert By Candy
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Thank you Adriana! I will be a lot more relaxed once the two kitchen nights are over. Fingers crossed that things will go smoothly.
Toggle Commented Dec 5, 2014 on Candy By Candy Pop Up Shop at Dessert By Candy
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Every year I come up with a list of things that I want to accomplish. Often the list is made up of new things to learn and challenges that push me out of my comfort zone. For 2014, running my own pop up shop tops the list. Back in summer, I had a false start and sadly put away my plans. A few weeks ago, all the stars aligned and I am excited to announce that Candy By Candy is up and running! It is with great pleasure that I invite you to drop by online or at my first market at Stratus Vineyard’s Kristlemas Market on December 14! For my first foray of pop up shop, naturally I go with what I do best: handmade candies and chocolate treats. I’ve been honing my confectionery skills for years but I made improvements by leaps and bounds in the last 12... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
I am excited to introduce Candy By Candy, a treasure trove of unique handmade candies and chocolate treats! After months of recipe development, I am bringing you the Winter 2014 Collection. It is full of unusual twists to familiar favourites and my interpretations of tried-and-true classics. You are welcome to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2014 at Candy By Candy
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 Nov 24, 2014 at Dessert By Candy
Thank you Mary! Long hours of hunching over the tiny houses. :)
Toggle Commented Nov 21, 2014 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 Nov 21, 2014 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 Nov 21, 2014 on Gingerbread Village at Dessert By Candy
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McCalls, of course!
Toggle Commented Nov 21, 2014 on Gingerbread Village at Dessert By Candy
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Carolyn, this is roughly the recipe I used for the sour cherry filling: Store bought frozen sour cherries would be great though sweet cherries would not give you the same result.
Toggle Commented Nov 20, 2014 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:
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.
1 reply