Posted at 6:11 pm
I’ve been sitting, waiting, and wishing that this wasn’t the slowest time of year for chocolatiers. Unfortunately it is, and nobody wants to hire in May. But that’s okay. When I decided to go to culinary school, I knew what kind of risk I was taking. I fully accepted to get up at the crack of dawn, never paint my nails, work 32 hour shifts around Christmas, and make less money than the bag-boy at Safeway. I do it all because it makes me happy. Waking up at the crack of dawn isn’t so bad when the smell croissants coming out of the oven hits you.
I also decided that I wanted to take certain risks in my life. I don’t want to look back and think that I missed out on some great adventure. In the past two years I’ve met some great and some terrible people. Had some marvellous adventures, and tasted awesome food. I will trade in my comfortable bed, for the thin mattress from IKEA. All the while knowing what my goal is, and seeing the bigger picture. So it’s okay that I have to wait two more weeks until anyone that I want to work for will even consider hiring me. I am patient, and can wait for my next big adventure.
In pastry you need to be consistently patient. Waiting for things to rise, bake and cool. A perfect example is croissants. These flaky pastries take all day to make, but in the end all the waiting and folding is worth it.
Posted at 4:16 am
I haven’t been to vernon in a what feels like a very long time. I had forgotten what it was like to look out and see vineyards and orchards rolling over hills of lush grass. Although the lake may be cold, it’s still as beautiful as I remember when I was five.
Because the weather is so warm here, everything is already in bloom. Therefor I had the chance to pick myself some wild rhubarb. Roasted with vanilla and citrus, and places on a bed of vanilla coconut cream. This dessert is as simple as my vacation.
Posted at 2:50 am
The snow is falling lightly on my window sill and It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas. Too bad it’s May.
The April showers didn’t seem to do much for May flowers. Calgary still feels icy cold to me. That’s okay though, because it’s a new month, which means new things are on their way. It might not be sun shine and daisies yet, but they will come soon.
Meanwhile it’s Dad’s birthday this weekend, which means another opportunity for cake! This year he asked for a pink cake, so I gave him the pretty princess treatment. Two layers of chocolate genoise, imbibed in a Choco-vanilla soak. This is all topped off with pink French buttercream, and a white chocolate flower.
Posted at 5:14 am
There’s nothing like the comfort of your own bed, my mums salsa, and welcoming hugs.
My return to cowtown was full of familiar faces, and somehow that’s just what I needed. I needed to be jumped on by adoring little boys, and hot tub with forever friends. Home is after all, where the heart is.
In honour of my homecoming I made a banana chocolate mousse cake, with a praline crispy centre. I also got to try out my new chocolate paint gun. Which is great, because it gives a nice velvety texture.
Posted at 4:21 pm
This morning was hot, rainy and completely perfect. Spring days will soon be full of colour and life, and I can hardly wait. In honour of the season I baked some vanilla bean citrus doughnuts. The recipe was a simple yeasted dough enriched with a bit of extra fat to make it crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I grated in some lemon zest and scraped in the vanilla seeds for extra flavour. They’re not your typical Tim’s or Krispy Cream, these dough boys are full of tradition, similar to a French beignet.
Posted at 3:11 pm
Wedding season is fast approaching, bring out the tulle, unleash the organza, and don’t forget that something blue. A while ago I did a Tiffany themed bridal shower that would have made Audrey herself proud. There was blueberry basil compote with panna cotta, crème brûlée, and vanilla bean macarons.
Theme parties are great, because instead of playing the guessing game of “oh I hope the bride likes spicy mango” you get a clear vision of what she wants.
Posted at 5:30 pm
I would like to share some photos from the video we shot about moustache pies yesterday. ( the video will be posted shorty) In the meantime enjoy our silly pies filled with blueberry basil compote and strawberry honey-balsamic. These pies are great, easy, and perfect party snacks. Some other flavour pairings that I would try out are spiced pecan, elderflower peach and maybe orange blossom berry.
Posted at 3:27 am
In the past six months I’ve really discovered quite a bit about pastry and tried to focus on my personal style, and what I’d like to try and achieve every time I go into the kitchen. It’s really helpful to know that when I’m finished a project, I should be looking at something relatively modern and extremely feminine. That’s my style. I wish that I could be content with making something extremely structured and minimalistic, but I can’t bring myself to ignore colour and curves. To me this is beautiful pastry, so below you’ll find this weeks bakes. A lemon tart, filled with crème d’amandes, and topped with a macaron crunch. As well as dark hazelnut bonbons.
Posted at 2:11 am
“Always start out with a larger pot than you think you’re going to need”
So maybe I bite off more than I can chew at times, and maybe I have too many ideas swirling around in my head. I’m never going to be happy with myself unless I try to accomplish some of my goals. This weekend I was a proud participant in this years annual Carefor chocolate competition fundraiser. I prepared a bee inspired dessert for 400 people as well as 5 judges. It was beyond stressful, time consuming, and expensive; and although I didn’t win, I wouldn’t have traded the experience for the world. It felt good to be the youngest competitor there preparing something that had to be assembled à la minute. It was also great because although It may not have been the winning dessert, some of the judges thought that it should have been ( not good for my ego). I didn’t have the time to connect with the audience about the meaning behind my dessert, so here’s a little run through of what I created. A lavender infused crème légère with a liquid flour d’oranger honey centre; perched atop a dark chocolate brownie base, which was then enrobed in milk chocolate mousse and finished with a lavender dark chocolate macaron. The dessert was centred around the journey of a bee from a flower, to the making of honey. I wanted to emphasize the importance of bees in sustaining life on the earth.
Posted at 3:57 am
Winter always seems so long and cold, but it’s not as bad when you have some one to cozy up to. With the passing of Christmas and valentines, high holidays at the chocolate shop are coming to an end, and I finally have time to share some of the things I’ve been up to. In my spare time when I’m not pouring my heart into making chocolates for the desperate men last minute shopping for their loved ones on valentines day, I’m scouring every value village in town for awesome kitchen finds. Its amazing how far 10$ can get you at the village. Below are some photos of the organic dipped strawberries I did at valentines and some beautiful hand roasted espresso bean Choco bark. Enjoy!