UBC Cinnamon Buns Recipe

Review: The UBC Cinnamon Buns Recipe!

When I was about 11, I remember pulling out the Joy of Cooking cookbook to decipher recipes (often) and decide what to bake next. One recipe fail I recall rather vividly is the first time I ever made cinnamon buns.

It was an event. They were tough as rocks, sweet, and somehow edible to my family. I followed the recipe, and perhaps not paying attention to the time it takes to let dough ferment, or kneading the dough as little as possible to avoid too much gluten development and all that technical stuff I was naive to. I was a kid in the kitchen, standing barely above the counter level having a blast with a new recipe. No fear of failure, just pure excitement at the thought of baking amazing cinnamon buns. Who doesn’t love Cinnamon buns? Filled with a gooey cinnamon centre, and covered in that sweet cream cheese frosting. They are decadent and deadly.

Fast forward a couple decades, and I’ve learned a thing or two about bread making.

Now with this rainy weather in Vancouver, we could call it cinnamon bun season year round really. Despite spring being around the corner, today was a fairly cold day. I love this time of year.

In the winter months, it is my baking season and I love to test out new recipes and see how they work for me.

One coveted recipe on my list to try has been the UBC Cinnamon Bun recipe, which I found online last year. I have been meaning to test it for quite some time, after hearing other bakers rave about it. Finally I got down to business and made the recipe happen in my own kitchen. Continue reading

Back-to-School Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe: The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book

The William-Sonoma Baking Book's Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is a success!

The William-Sonoma Baking Book’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is a success! I love how these turned out, chewy inside and crisp outside. A perfect lunch box treat!

It’s that time again, back to school for lots of kids today. Even though I am not in school, I still feel that new-beginnings energy and love this time of year. Fall is my favourite season, and it is upon us very quickly.

Heading off to school for me always meant new school gear, stationery (my favourite part), clothes, and packed lunches. If I were going back to school today, I’d enjoy having a classic chocolate chip cookie in my lunch as a treat sometimes.

And I have just the recipe for those of you at home looking for a new one to try.

Recently I tried a new chocolate chip cookie recipe for me, and rather than searching the internet, I went back to my library of baking books. I selected the trusted Williams-Sonoma Baking Book [Amazon.ca], on page 14, I found their Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, it was too my liking so now I must share it with you. Continue reading

Review: A Double Butter Book Review of @ButterBakedCafe to Butter Celebrates!

 

This has to be one of my favourite book series for sure, because it’s local! Rosie Daykin is the owner of Butter Baked Gods and now author of two baking books: Butter Baked Goods & Butter Celebrates!

For so many reasons, I love these books. I’ll begin with how much I love the name of her shop: BUTTER! It’s simple, and a key ingredient for all things delicious in the land of baking. Next to sugar, I’d say it’s the top ingredient on the majority of bakers’ grocery lists.

As you may suspect, with a shop name like Butter, all of the goods I’ve tasted fall nothing short of lip-smacking deliciousness. Most of you are likely familiar with her fluffy marshmallows which are also sold at places like WholeFoods, etc. She also sells them in her shop in south Dunbar, Vancouver, BC — the sweetest and prettiest shop! Her background in interior decorating is apparent after you see her decor choices, making this delicious bakery a dainty one too.

And I could probably go on, but I am actually wanting to tell you about her books! Yes, plural. Rosie published her first book in 2013. I remember when I first learned about it – I knew instantly it would be a great book and needed to get my hands on a copy. It’s been a great book, and I will get into what I like about it below. After I introduce her second book, which was recently released this fall.  Like the first book, I knew right away that I’d want her second book too.

Recently, I had the fortune and pleasure of attending a private booking signing event with Rosie, at Appetite RandomHouse here in Vancouver. I was able to mingle with some of my fellow members of Food Bloggers of Canada, meet Rosie and receive a signed-copy of her new book Butter Celebrates!  Given the timing of my book review series, her first book was on my list to review, and then I won the chance to attend this event. So, for this review I wanted to talk double-Butter and review them both because many of my pros apply to both books.

Let’s get to it… Continue reading

The Cake Book, by Cupcake Jemma of Jamie Oliver's FoodTube

Book Review: The Cake Book by @CupcakeJemma

This next book is the smallest book on my shelf, by far, but as they say – good things come in small packages! As many of my friends can attest, I have been a fan of Jamie Oliver for a long time, decades-long.

Naturally, when he endorses other Chef’s I have paid close attention. When those endorsements involve baking, I am even more attentive. So when Cupcake Jemma appeared on his FoodTube and other programming, I instantly fell in love. She is so FUN!

Now she has her own cookbook, which I have had for the past year and baked several recipes from. It’s the next book in my review series.

The Cake Book, by Cupcake Jemma of Jamie Oliver's FoodTubeBook:  The Cake Book
Author: Cupcake Jemma, of Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube
Publication date: 2014
Baking skill level: Beginner

  

  Continue reading

Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook 2011

Book Review: Momofuku Milk Bar by Chef Christina Tosi

I own a lot of cookbooks and it’s time I share some of them with you. This is my new series for the month, sharing my favourite baking books with you and why I love them! There is a book out there for every level of baking skill out there. First up….

Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook 2011Book:  Momofuku MilkBar
Author: Chef Christina Tosi
Publication date: 2011
Baking skill level: Intermediate to advanced

My story for this cookbook begins when I first visited New York a few years ago on an Easter long weekend. Among the many recommendations received, Momofuku’s Milkbar was a hot my list!

Momofuku Milkbar did not disappoint at all! Even though I was tragically recovering from a case of food poisoning the day before, I put on my big-girl-pants and forced myself to make it to MilkBar before leaving New York.

Continue reading

Chocolate chip cookie dough balls

My new favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe

As you likely know by now, I spent a lot of time looking at food websites in my spare time, whether it’s through Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter each of these channels brings me new ideas every time. Well, recently, I came across the NYTimes Cooking best chocolate chip recipe. I was intrigued because generally NYTimes Cooking is a great source for quality recipes, and I wanted to try this one.

I was immediately in love with the recipe, after reviewing the ingredients and method. I had to made a few small tweaks based on ingredients I had at home though, and in the end, accidentally didn’t include the granulated sugar #bakingfail (I was feeling a bit under the weather and just plain old forgot). Their original recipe is linked above, but I’ve listed the adjustments/error I made below.

Quickly though, I want to highlight why I love this cookie: 1) It’s not too sweet, just the right sweet, because I forgot one of the sugars; 2) it’s a nice texture, not chewy (although I do like chewy) it’s a bit more crumbly – perfect for a sandwich; 3) there is a high chocolate to cookie ratio so you get chocolate in every bite; and 4) I liked the method they used, simply following the creaming method (The Pastry Chef online defines it well) to letting the dough rest overnight.

Here is my version of the recipe.

Perfect with a cup of tea or glass of milk, a mini chocolate chip cookie sandwich

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour** (see note, I used all-purpose flour)
1 ⅔ cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour**(I used all-purpose flour)
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
2 ½ sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces)granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate (I used 54% chocolate chips, or use your favourite)
Sea salt (for garnishing on top, flake salt is ideal) Continue reading

Pinkie Pie, My Little Pony kids birthday cake theme

Fun with Kids Birthday Themed Cakes

I have had the pleasure of decorating a number of cakes for kids birthdays, and I have come to realize that they are my favourite kind of cake to decorate. I mean, I love all cakes, but kids cakes are the most fun because they are full of colour, happiness, and generally very cute themes.

Below is a photo summary of the cakes I have made. Each cake was really fun to make and each taught me something different about my style, which evolves over time. I frequently search for inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest, and from some of my favourite cookbooks. Most themes come to me by request and then I come up with a way to make it in cake form…. That is my favourite part, coming up with the ideas!

From a cat themed birthday, to Thomas the Train, My Little Pony, to a Titanic themed birthday, I have come a long way since cake week in pastry school, just take a look.

The Cat Themed Birthday:

This cake was fun, and the ears were the tricky part. I wanted the ears to be sculpted cake, so that part i worked on right away so they had time to set before fitting on top. I used a large grass tip to pipe the hair onto the cake, and I used swiss meringue buttercream too, my go-to frosting!

   Continue reading

My Cake Fail Stories & Life Lessons Learned

This past year, I have made countless cakes and desserts, and I while I still have much to learn, I know I become a better baker each time I bake. I have also learned a lot about life from baking. It might sound simple, but it is true, there is a lot to learn from cake and baking in general.

Recently, I realized there are a few tips for baking and life that I would like to share with you. To the budding bakers out there who aspire to be better, this is how I recommend you approach your baking efforts.

Life lessons learned from cake fails: MY 5 tips to bake better

Continue reading

My Perfectly Imperfect Nostalgic Chocolate Chip Cookie [Recipe]

[Warning: this post may induce intense cookie dough cravings. Read at your own risk.]

The other week I was seriously craving some cookie dough. Like, Cookie Monster craving. I could have eaten an entire batch if it was before me at the time. I have no shame in admitting this because I know some of you have likely had a similar craving!

Cravings happen. You know you want to eat some of this…

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Why I am not following my dream

Around this time last year I was full-swing in the midst of my pastry school experience and I cannot deny that it was one of the best experiences of my life. Seriously.  You can read in my previous posts about why I chose to go, and how intensely I am passionate about baking. I love both the science of it and the artistic elements required to make beautiful desserts. I have grown particularly fond of cake decorating, as you may have noticed in my Instagram feed.

Julia Child says, “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”

I have to admit, this quote still rings true for me but I view it differently than I did last year. Continue reading