Friday, October 12, 2007

Some Summer Sweets

I've cunningly titled this post in an open-ended manner so that I can add more summer sweets (or even autumn or winter sweets) if I so desire, as this is just a selection of some of the sweets I've consumed recently. I always thought I liked savoury foods more than sweet, but clearly I happily indulge my sweet tooth too. I even cross the sweet/savoury border occasionally (Sorry Alisha!). These sweets are presented in absolutely no order at all, with neither temporal nor geographic constriction imposing any structure upon them.

This first dessert is from C5 in Toronto, the new restaurant found at the top of the Michael Chin Crystal at the ROM. The jagged glassed annex was designed by Daniel Libeskind on a napkin, so I suppose it's fitting to open a restaurant there. No really, I saw the napkin. Everything had a sort of crystaline theme, and this violet cheesecake, violet syrup-soaked brioche and ice cream were no exception – they had crystalized violet flowers on them. It was delicious. The frosted tiny grapes were exquisite. This was certainly the most expensive of my summer sweets!

Here Michelle holds up a Tim Horton's sprinkled-dipped doughnut (or possibly, donut) up for inspection. This was after we'd visited the Simpsons-themed 7-11 in Coquitlam with Flora and Trevor (who took us on a suburban voyage exraordinaire! Thanks guys!). From high-brow to low-brow!

And here is Meg exclaiming on the root beer float I got at Helen's, a stop on the famous diner tour (post coming soon!). It was delish. Whoever thought of the idea of combining soda (!) with ice cream was a genius. Also, it came with a bendy straw, which never fails to bring happiness.

Here I am eating vanilla ice cream in a waffle cone in Mont St Michel, a monastic community and village on an island in Normandy, France. It was well-deserved – the queues were utterly ridiculous, and the stairs were numerous! You can't beat an ice cream cone on a hot day, though.

Here are the scones I helped bake in Toronto along with my mom and Ben. It was great to bake together. This seems like something Cathie and Meg and Tessa do a lot (or is that just canning and camping?!), but Ben's not usually particularly into baking (though he does make a mean salmon en papillote, I hear!). Anyway, it was great fun. The scones turned out perfectly. I really like raisins in them! Who knew? We had them with tea in my Bubbie's china cups. And served the scones on this matching plate. I may have had several. But Mom says they don't last past the first day, so it was a kindness to eat them on the day they were baked, really. Recipe to follow in another post. We had them with preserves!

Here are some sesame balls we sampled on our passage through chinatown on the diner tour. Okay, we only sampled one. Okay, only Michelle and I sampled it – Meg bought something too, but I can't remember what it was for the life of me. The sesame ball is one of life's joys. Sweet red bean paste on the inside, fried juicy glutinous rice dough on the outside, sesame seeds ... what more could you possibly want? Thanks to Amy for introducing us to the delights of dim sum.

This is me and a whole lotta candy floss (British English); cotton candy (US/Canadian English); fairy floss (Australian English); or barbe a papa (French). But since I was in France (Paris) it was called the latter, which means 'dad's beard'. I tried to sculpt it so. The girl in front of me got a massive portion, and that was called a 'super' (imagine French pronunciation here), so I asked for the smaller size, the 'normal.' Sadly, this was the 'normal'! Here I pose in front of the bumper cars.

Here is the sweet counter at Capers, where we often find ourselves of a WeDine Wednesday when we're at Alisha's. I just wanted to include a picture of it, because so many delicious lemon tarts, oatmeal cookies, fruit squares, brownies and nanaimo bars have emanated from this very spot. Also pictured is a very moist and deliciously chocolately cupcake I had from Capers.

And last but not least, some more waffle (or as the French say, gauffre). This decadent dessert was the end of a very good meal at the Musée D'Orsay's restaurant (where I've always wanted to go!) The restaurant is situated behind the façade of one of the two giant clockfaces – both clocks have glass faces and you can see out through them towards Sacre Coeur. Brilliant! And so was the waffle. Not too dry or bland, as many waffles are, and the chocolate sauce was rich and properly chocolately, and the ice cream was perfect, and the cream was real cream. Unbelievable!

Now that we've reached the end of my post I can think of so many sweets that could (and might soon!) be included in WeDine. Flora's amazing cheesecake with strawberries that we had this past Thanksgiving weekend, for example. Or the delicious almost flourless chocolate cake we made for Alisha's birthday up in Maple Bay. Or the hot chocolate Michelle and I had at stylish Vancouver chocolatier Mink. Good thing I've still got some room!


Leeeeesha said...

Mmm, Laura, everything on this post looks amazing (except for maybe the sesame balls - I'm still not into the dim sum experience so much).

Being dairy-impaired, I often have a hard time finding sweets and/or desserts that I can eat, but chocolate is usually a good bet. And speaking of chocolate, I have to say thank you for that amazing almond flourless birthday cake that you guys made for my 30th. Yum.

moyrad said...


The Tim Horton's donut is not my favourite. I would have to say the Cake Doughnut is my favourite. It has a lovely densness, crumbly texture and gently sweet taste. Mmm. But alas they are also hard to come by. I usually find them at smaller bakeries In the Granville Market , Lee's has a tasty plain or peanut coated one.

The town of Rockwood near where I grew up had a family bakery, Saunders', which had a delicious granulated sugar cake doughnut. I wish I could eat one of those now.

Meg said...

Laura, that first photo is so gorgeous! My sister and I used to like to freeze grapes and eat them when we were kids, but I don't think ours looked quite so glamorous.

Baking with family is so good, you're right. It's about as homey as you can get. Last weekend Tess, Mom and I made chocolate cupcakes with mocha buttercream icing. Or rather, they made them and I watched from a nearby chair, sniffling and coughing. I did get to pipe the icing on though, which is the funnest part anyway. The recipe was from Martha Stewart's baking handbook, a book which has given me a lot of respect for Martha, as every recipe in it is perfectly decadent. They were definitely the best chocolate cupcakes I've ever had (better than your Capers one I'm willing to bet, hee hee - maybe we'll have to have a cupcake standoff someday soon).

Meg's granny Barb said...

Those delicious sodas were a popular treat back in the 1930s. Coke and root beer were both the drink of choice to add.
Mt St Michael--there is one in England off the coast of Cornwall that is named after the French one and even has all those stone steps up to the castle. At low tide you can walk to the island across a pebble path. Great fun.

Laura said...

Thanks Granny Barb for your comment! That root beer float was delicious. As for Saint Michael's Mount in Cornwall, I've heard of it, but never been there. But my dad lives one county over in Devon, so perhaps I could convince him into a trip...