Archive of posts from 2019

    Epic New York Cheesecake


    When you buy the three-pound package of Philly cream cheese from Costco, you’d better have some recipes in mind. And you’d better have a lot of hungry mouths around too. These things were on my mind this month, as I made three cheesecakes in the span of two weeks. This one, th...

    Chocolate Banana Ripple Cheesecake: Step by Step


    For Friday night dinner, with family visiting from Montreal, I made a superb dessert (in my humble opinion, but also everyone who tasted it). It was high effort, but also high reward. Read on to see how I made it.

    Golden Fruitcake (King Arthur Flour)


    With a family dinner approaching, I left my annual fruitcake baking to the last minute. Without a lot of time to buy ingredients, macerate fruit, and bake the loaves, I ended up making a basic light version. Along the way, I learned about the importance of aging.

    Japanese Cheesecake


    For a holiday dinner we were hosting, I wanted to make a Japanese cheesecake. I never understood the fuss about Uncle Tetsu when they opened in Toronto in 2015, and it wasn’t until last year that I tried a slice of their signature cake. It’s pretty good, especially warm, but...

    Black Walnut Pound Cake


    I first heard about black walnuts when a colleague at one of my internships told me the hardwood was highly prized, and that he would love to one day grow an orchard full of them. Some twenty years later, I finally tried some at a supermarket in Florida. Less than a year late...

    Lemon Squares, French Style


    Few treats are better than a lemon square. I think they have the perfect blend of tart-sweet flavour and soft-crumbly texture. There are so many variations, and I’m intrigued by them all. This version, which features an almond crumble strewn over the curd, and a variation inv...

    Apple Kuchen (Apple-Custard Tourte)


    A lemony short crust, custard filling, and heaps of apples: they all sounded good together. We were attending a potluck and offered to bring a dessert, and this kuchen, from a trusted author, fit the bill for being impressive and homey. Alas, it was a bit of a disappointment a...

    Apple and Olive Oil Cake with Maple Frosting


    For a friend who invited herself over on a Friday night, we made a nice dinner of chicken with lemon sauce, roasted cauliflower à la Fat Pasha, salad, and lots of cheese and homemade bread. For dessert, I made this moist apple cake, complete with a cream cheese frosting.

    Apple Lover’s Apple Crumble


    I love cooked apple desserts – pie, in particular – but sometimes, I want to make something that’s a bit less work. Despite many apple experiments over the years, I’m always excited to try new variations. This Cook’s Illustrated recipe packs four pounds of fruit in each batch...

    Instant Pot Cheesecake


    I admit I was a skeptic about the Instant Pot: why would we need another mass-market appliance, when we already had a stovetop pressure cooker? When I already make perfect rice in a pot? When we also own a slow cooker? Now, I am a convert: the electric, multi-cooker is easy-t...

    Basic Sourdough Bread with Walnuts


    The “liquid levain” I made from the instructions in Bouchon Bakery has served me well, but I wanted to explore using it in recipes not from the book. I decided to try using it to make one of Peter Reinhart’s sourdoughs.

    Matzo Caramel Crunch


    At holiday time (well, Christmas really), you often see some kind of toffee crunch treat, a pretzel layer topped with salted hard caramel and chocolate, say. So it’s not a big stretch to use matzo as the base for a similar treat. Since I had never tried this before, I gave it...

    Hervé This’ Chocolate Mousse


    In the realm of “easy” desserts, there are a number of books that offer “5-minute” recipes, or “5-ingredient” recipes. However, I snobbishly avoid these, as they usually compromise on flavour, or require using compound ingredients like pre-made frosting or store-bought sponge ...

    The Best Damn Meyer Lemon Cake


    I love anything made with lemon. One of my all-time favourite desserts is a tarte au citron, with its mouth-puckering filling. An iced lemon loaf is pretty good too, but only if it isn’t subtle. This lemon cake wasn’t the “best” exemplar I’ve ever had or made, but it was prett...

    Take-Home Chocolate Cake


    For a quick, easy-to-make snack for a small group meeting at our house, I made this frosted cake. While I didn’t think it was particularly delicious, it’s always nice to have something chocolate-y around.

    Tahini Cookies


    A local “fitness café” called Sweat and Soda introduced me to sesame lattés, a non-caffeinated beverage made by steaming milk with a bit of sugar and two tablespoons of tahini. The drink has a subtle nutty and slightly bitter taste that I like very much. Those same flavors fo...

    Baked Ricotta and Hazelnut Cheesecakes


    A breakfast of lemon-ricotta pancakes left us with a surplus of the whey cheese. Ricotta is not a dairy product I usually have in the fridge, so this leftover ingredient allowed me to peruse pages of my cookbooks that are ordinarily unread. As luck would have it, we stumble...

    Banana Caramel Chocolates


    Sometimes, I make chocolates for Valentine’s Day and share them. But this week, my motivation was a ski getaway for the Family Day long weekend, during which much junk food and sweets were consumed.

    Cashew Soup (腰果糊)


    For a sweet finish to our Chinese New Year dinner, Dr. S suggested something that wasn’t red bean soup: instead, a nut-based tong sui.

    Clementine & Almond Syrup Cake


    Dr. S asked me to make something sweet for a family event this weekend. The bag of clementines in the fridge led me to this citrus, nut and chocolate cake. It looked very impressive, but more importantly, had a great taste too. I split up the recipe, making the cake on Saturda...

    Old-Fashioned Apple Pie


    Last fall’s apple-picking trip yielded as a lot of apples, but it didn’t yield us any apple pie. So this week, with a giant four-pound bag of Granny Smiths in my fridge, I decided to do something about it.