This Chocolate Gingerbread Genoise is pretty much everything you want out of a celebration cake.  Fittingly so, it comes from Butter’s latest book, Butter Celebrates.  

My first “Butter” experience was years and years ago – back before I lived in Vancouver and just came to visit.  Immediately, I was swept away by swirly pastel frosting, a plethora of cookies, their world-famous gourmet marshmallows, and enough icing to satisfy me for a lifetime.  My family and I ordered a dozen different treats to try and I’ve been smitten ever since.  Owner and author Rosie Daykin has continued to impress over the years with her famed marshmallows popping up in retailers everywhere and the success of her first book.

Well, as you might be able to guess, she is back with another stunner.  And it does not disappoint. With over 100 recipes, Butter Celebrates guarantees one sweet year after the next.  From chocolate whoopie hearts for Valentine’s Day and double-decker eclairs for Easter to apple spice layer cake for Thanksgiving and home-made jelly donuts (or Sufganiyot) for Hanukkah, there is something for celebrating all year long.  What is a celebration without a special sweet treat anyways?



Once I got my copy of the book, I immediately began flipping through the pages trying to determine what to make first.  In the end, the decision to make this Chocolate Gingerbread Genoise was a no-brainer.  It’s got chocolate in all of the right places and a generous portion of gingerbread frosting.  As Rosie puts it, this “fancy pants” cake is sure to please at your next seasonal get together.    You know, something that will guarantee those OOHHSS and AAHHSS from guests that are coupled with spectacular desserts.  Just one of the many reasons you should be running to snag a copy of this book for the holidays!

The chocolate cake layers, or “genoise” is different than those of your average layer cake. This Italian sponge cake gets it lift from whipped egg white and egg yolks.  It bakes up super quick in a sheet pan, so the cake may be assembled easily as a rectangle – or cut into circles as I’ve done here.  The gingerbread buttercream is probably one of the best things I’ve tasted in a while (and I eat a lot of frosting, lol).  The Italian Buttercream base is silky smooth while the added molasses and pinch of spice makes it extra festive.  If that was enough to qualify this cake as “fancy pants,” the whole thing is covered in a decadent layer of chocolate ganache.


Please trust me when I say not only did this recipe taste amazing, but there are so many other tasty one to choose from throughout the book.  From someone that enjoys reading cookbooks for pleasure,  there was plenty of photos and anecdotes to keep me entertained.  Rosie’s voice throughout is both joyful and comforting, making the recipes not only approachable but they stir up emotions of excitement and delight!

Be sure to take a look what a handful of my fellow bloggers are saying and sharing from the book:

Jenny’s Guinness Cake with Pretzels on The Brunette Baker
Heather’s Cookie Feast on The Tasty Gardener
Christina’s “Hostess” Cupcakes on Strawberries for Supper
Robyn’s Orange Gingerbread Cake on What’s Cooking on Planet Byn
Gwen’s Christmas Panettone on Devour and Conquer
Meg’s Lemon Loaf on Sweet Twist of Blogging
Libby’s Gingerbread Guys on
Jan’s Animal Cookies on Family Bites
Mardi’s Champagne Cupcakes on Eat. Live. Travel. Write
Jacquee Eggnog-less Bars on I Sugar Coat It
Kelly’s Peppermint Nanaimo Bars on
Amanda’s Banana Pecan Caramel Cake on Once Upon a Recipe

Drooling yet?

If all this isn’t enough to get excited, Rosie is graciously giving away a personally signed copy of the book and a box of Butter goodies straight from the bakery here in Vancouver, BC!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to let me know what your favorite bakery goodie is in the comment section to be eligible for the giveaway!

This giveaway is open to all legal residents of Canada who have reached the age of majority at the time of the contest in the province or territory in which they reside. Void in Quebec. Winner must answer a skill-testing question. No purchase necessary to enter. Giveaway will run from Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 12:01am to Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 11:59pm. Winner will be contacted via email and name will be displayed on Rafflecopter widget. Email address will never be given out to any third party or anyone for that matter. Prize value is approximately $125. 

A BIG thanks to Appetite by Random House for the complementary copies of the book for review!


“Soufflés are the most finicky dishes to make and bake.”

“Did you know that if you talk above a whisper while a soufflé is baking that it will collapse?”

“Don’t even think about walking near the oven either, or you are asking for trouble.”

You guys, these are all lies.  Soufflés tend to get a bad rap, but, in truth, they are not as fussy as their reputation makes them seem.  Sweet and savoury, big and small, soufflés are gravity-defying, impressive dishes that need a slot in your regular baking rotation.

Made from a creamy, rich base of flavoured egg yolks, whipped egg whites, and a bit of magic, soufflés are fairly versatile and appropriate for any occasion.  You might be thinking of individual chocolate soufflés with warm, gooey centers served at the end of a fancy dinner party, but today we are going simple and savoury – the kind of soufflé that finds its spot on a casual weeknight.  In either cake, the signature soufflé “puff” is swoon-worthy while the light, creamy baked custard just melts in your mouth with every bite.

Savoury soufflés are the ultimate comfort food – especially when made with cheese.  If you have eggs, then you are already half-way to dinner.  Pair a savoury soufflé with a simple salad or hearty bowl of soup and you are good to go!  You get all the benefits and natural goodness from the eggs (nutrients like vitamin A, iron, and protein), while filling your belly with something warm and substantial.  When a grilled cheese just won’t do, treat yourself to a savoury cheese soufflé!


Even though soufflés require several eggs (they play a big role not only in flavour but structure – more on this in a bit!), they do not taste egg-y.  I was inspired by both creamy and hard Italian cheeses, so it was a no-brained to add in some Italian herbs like fresh basil, thyme, rosemary, and parsley.  The fontina cheese that I selected was slightly nutty and melted beautifully into the egg custard, while the parmigiano reggiano added a bit of sharpness.  I added some shredded, mild provolone for a bit more depth, as well.

So what is it about soufflés that makes them so intimidating?  Probably the whipped egg whites.  However, once you overcome your fears and learn how to properly whip and fold egg whites, it really is not all that scary.

The yolk-enriched base provide flavor and richness, but the key players are the proteins in the egg whites. When whipped into billowy soft peaks then folded into the eggy, cheesy custard base, they provide the necessary lift in this light yet velvety dish.  All of the tiny air pockets that are created as the whites are whisked expand with the heat of a hot oven as the soufflé bakes, making is rise and puff up in the most dramatic way.


Italian Cheese Soufflé
serves 6

1 ounce finely grated parmigiano reggiano, divided
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup whole milk
4 egg yolks
2 ounces shredded provolone
3 ounces shredded fontina
2 tablespoons fresh Italian herbs, chopped
5 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the rack on the lowest setting in your oven.
  2. Grease the inside of an 8-inch round baking dish with butter and sprinkle with some of the grated parmigiano.  Shake the cheese around until it coats the inside of the baking dish.  Set aside.
  3. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan until melted.  Whisk in the flour and salt.  Continue to cook until you form a roux and the mixture is thick and paste-like.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the milk until it is just warm, then whisk it into the flour mixture.  Remove from heat.
  5. Whisk the egg yolks until they are pale in color and slightly begin to increase in volume.  Temper them into the flour/milk mixture by mixing in only a little bit at a time in order to gradually increase the temperature of the yolks without scrambling them.
  6. Stir in the cheese until melted.  Fold in the herbs and set aside.
  7. In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar to firm peaks
  8. Gently but deliberately fold in the whipped egg whites into the cheese mixture.
  9. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and clean off any drips from the edges.  Use an offset spatula to smooth out the top.
  10. Bake in the pre-heated over for about 35 to 40 minutes.  When done, the top should be golden and there should be a bit of movement left when gently “jiggled.”


Tips and Tricks

  • Soufflé waits for nobody!  Both when you are making it and when you are trying to serve it, time is of the essence.  Be sure that your oven is completely pre-heated before whipping the egg whites.  Also, understand that the structure of a soufflé is not strong enough to support the extreme “puff” it gets from the oven.  As it it cools, it will eventually collapse.  If you are looking for that wow-factor, be sure to serve right away.
  • For maximum volume, be sure your egg whites are room temperature and free from yolks.  Also, be sure that your mixing bowl and whisk are clean, dry, and free from grease.
  • Use a soufflé dish, ramekins, or something that is round and has higher sides than its diameter.  Be sure to clean up any drips from transferring the batter into the dish, or the drips may bake faster and inhibit maximum lift from the soufflé.
  • I recommend baking the soufflé on top of baking sheet just in case the cheese mixture spills over the baking dish.

The Almighty Egg
Eggs have always had 14 important vitamins and nutrients including protein, iron, and vitamin A.  Natural goodness, brought to you by your local egg farmers.

For more information about the natural goodness of eggs, visit



Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Egg Farmers of Canada via Mode Media Canada.  The options expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the options or positions of Egg Farmers of Canada


Between my jumbo bag of Boom Chicka Pop Kettle Corn (my monthly treat to myself for making in out of Costco alive with an active 10-month old) and salted-caramel EVERYTHING, my love for sweet and salty treats has hit an ultimate high.  Not only must I end a meal with some-sort of dessert at least about 85% of the time (who’s with me?), but I usually follow that up with something that has a bit of salt and crunch.  While this might seem a bit much (also probably not very healthy), who is to complain when my cravings result in something as amazing as these Salted Maple Pumpkin Donuts?!?!

I was ultimately inspired by this spice blend from Sweet Is the Spice (thanks to my monthly box), my husband’s love for donuts of all kind, and maple – because we are in Canada after all.  Oh, and pumpkin – ‘Tis the season!



I can’t even imagine a time before sea salt and caramel went together.  So sweet, so salty – so delicious!  When I made a cinnamon caramel sauce earlier this season, I thought I would try it without the salt.  Even though it was packed full of other yummy flavours, it was just not complete with a pinch (or a few) of salt.

Equally sweet but much more Canadian and donut-approved, I figured maple glaze would be perfect for my pumpkin donuts but could also stand to be kicked up a notch with a bit of sea salt.  After baking off the donuts, I dunked them in a bath of classic maple glaze then gave them a sprinkling of both Maldon Sea Salt and the Sweet & Salty Surrender blend.


MapleDonuts_03Recipe adapted from King Arthur 

Pumpkin Donuts
makes about 10 to 12

1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a donut pan and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, egg, and egg yolk.
  3. Add in the sugars, maple, and pumpkin.  Whisk to combine.
  4. Sift in the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  5. Fill the wells of the donut pan about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full.
  6. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the donuts comes out clean.
  7. Cool on a wire rack before dipping in the glaze.

Maple Glaze
adapted from Broma Bakery

1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup maple syrup
a couple drops of molasses
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Combine all of the ingredients until together until they form a thick, but smooth paste.  Add only enough milk so that it is slightly fluid.  Use immediately.


  1. Place the maple glaze in a shallow dish just big enough to hold the donuts.
  2. Dunk the top surface of each donut into the glaze and let dry slightly on a wire rack.
  3. Just before the glaze completely dries (just a few minutes), sprinkle with sea salt and/or Sweet & Salty Surrender blend


  1. To prevent from making a huge mess, I like the fill the donut pan with a piping bag.  The batter can be rather fluid.  I find it best to fill a disposable piping bag, then snip off the tip once the batter is already inside so that it does not spill everywhere as I fill it up.
  2. If the donuts are stored overnight, the salt will begin to dissolve.  They might look funny, but will still taste equally delicious the following day.

Side note: You guys!  Boom Chicka Pop has a Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Kettle Corn for the holidays!  If you are looking for a Christmas gift for me, just send me BIG bags of this!!



Lately, I’ve see the most lavish cake recipes with a hundred different ingredients and outlandish flavour combinations and I think “What happened to a good ‘ol buttermilk cake and fudge frosting?  Or a classic carrot with not-too-sweet cream cheese icing?”

I know, I know – I can totally be guilty of trying to reinvent the wheel, er cake, too.  And while sometimes we are better off not throwing all of the trendiest ingredients into one cake (I bet there is a miso-matcha-cardamom-tahini cake recipe with brown butter & salted caramel frosting out there somewhere, hehe), other times we should in fact jazz up a classic.

With the holidays just around the corner (no really – Thanksgiving is next week), NOW is the time to go ahead and add that extra drizzle of caramel, throw on those unnecessary sprinkles, stick on some gold leaf, and light a few sparklers on top while you are at!!


(Anyone else thinking of the scene from Love Actually at the department store when they are trying to package up the mistress’ necklace?  Might as well dip it in yogurt next, am I right?)

Well, I have done just this!  And yes, I just justified (or at least tried to) why its okay to go all-out and switch up a perfectly good recipe.  Once you try this Pumpkin Tiramisu, you will understand.  I hope.



Truth be told, I actually don’t care for traditional tiramisu.  They are usually a bit too booze-foward for me and I hardly understand why anyone would create a recipe that revolves around lady fingers.  However, this is not why I felt the need to change it.  I get that a lot of people love them some tiramisu (it is a classic, after all), so I wanted to make a seasonal dessert that everyone could get behind, tiramisu lovers and tolerates alike!

Here’s what I have to say about this Pumpkin Tiramisu:

“Traditional tiramisu or “pick me-up” is all about the booze, coffee, and creamy filling.  Sticking with the classic dessert-theme, I created an old fashion Heritage frosting (aka Ermine or Cooked-Flour) that still utilized tiramisu’s familiar mascarpone filling.  This type of frosting is creamy and fluffy – it still reminds me of the filling used in a regular tiramisu, yet not nearly as rich and without the eggs.  Instead of rum or marsala wine, the cake layers were brushed with a soak made from coffee liqueur to better compliment the pumpkin flavor.  A shower of chocolate shavings or cocoa powder over the top makes this cake even more stunning and awe-worthy for the holidays.”



Head on over to The Cake Blog for the full recipe!


I’m afraid I have a problem.  I can’t seem to decide what I like best: fresh, homemade challah bread or bread pudding?  Pretty terrible problem to have, right?  Fortunately, I don’t have to decide because today’s fresh bread turns into tomorrow’s treat!  (The left-overs, that is)

Challah, or “egg bread” is a yeast-risen dough that is enriched with eggs.  It is pillow-soft and ever-so-slightly sweet with a golden, chewy crust.  Challah is a traditional Jewish braided bread.  It is fairly simple to put together, making it perfect for celebrations as well as everyday eats!

Although simple to make, challah does take some time and planning.  Since challah does require a bit of commitment, it is best not to let any of our hard work go to waste.  Fortunately, bread pudding is even better with day-old bread.  So when you have left-over challah, make bread pudding!


Bread pudding itself is the ultimate comfort food.  Warm, custardy, sweet, and spicy, bread pudding is usually baked up in a batch and shared with loved ones.  Top it with caramel or whipped cream, and it becomes the coziest treat of all!  Wake up to warm breakfast pudding when you have a house-full of guests over the holidays or pass it around the table for dessert.

I’m always tempted to make bread pudding because it is so easy to make and is a great use of leftover bread, eggs, and milk.  Really, it’s almost like cheating!  Get the whole family involved by having the little ones cut up or even tear apart pieces of bread.  Then, all you have to do is simply stir all the liquids and eggs together, toss with the bread, then bake!



Cinnamon and nutmeg are the usual suspects when it comes to bread pudding.  Instead of these typical offenders, I decided to use a masala chai-inspired spice profile.  Cardamom, clove, and ginger, along with cinnamon, now what is cozier and tastier than that?!  I replaced the milk in a typical bread pudding recipe with chai tea mix and enhanced the egg custard base with ground spices.  To serve, I drizzled on some cinnamon caramel sauce along with some tart, tangy cranberry compote to cut some of the sweetness.


Challah Chai Bread Pudding
serves 6 to 8

3 to 4 cups day-old challah bread (cut into 1-inch cubes, tough crusts removed)
1 cup chai tea mix
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teasponn vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the bread pieces in a large bowl.
  3. Mix together the chai tea, cream, sugar, and spices.  Whisk in the eggs and pour over the bead.  Let sit for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, butter and sugar a medium baking dish (mine was 9X6 inches: an 8-inch square would work great, too).
  5. Transfer the soaked bread and any left-over liquids into the prepared baking dish.
  6. Bake until the bread pudding if puffed, toasted on top, and set in the center (about 35 minutes).
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Homemade Challah Bread

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup grapeseed oil

  1. Stir the yeast into the warm water with a pinch of sugar.  Let sit until the mixture begins to foam (about 5 to 10 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  3. Stir in 2 eggs, egg yolk, and the oil.
  4.  Add the yeast mixture and stir until the dough resembles a rough, shaggy mess.
  5. At this point, attach the dough hook to the stand mixer.  Knead the dough on low for about 6 to 8 minutes.  Alternatively, knead by hand until the dough is soft and stretchy (passing the window-pane test).
  6. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and cover with a clean dish towel.  Let the dough rise in a warm corner until it doubles in size (about 1 to 2 hours).
  7. Punch down the dough then let rest for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Divide the dough into six equal pieces.  Roll the pieces into long ropes, about 14 to 16 inches in length.
  9. Line the ropes of dough up so that they are parallel to each other and pinch the ends together.
  10. Braid the strands together then tuck under both ends.
  11. Transfer the braided dough to a line baking sheet and loosely cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise again in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for about 45 minutes.  If left to rise in the refrigerator overnight, remove the dough about 2 hours before baking to allow it to come to room temperature.
  12. Whisk the remaining egg and brush the egg-wash over the entire surface of the dough.
  13. Bake in a pre-heated oven (375 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 35 to 40 minutes or until deep golden.
  14. Let cool for about 20 to 30 minutes before slicing.


The Almighty Egg
Eggs have always had 14 important vitamins and nutrients including protein, iron, and vitamin A.  Natural goodness, brought to you by your local egg farmers.

For more information about the natural goodness of eggs, visit



Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Egg Farmers of Canada via Mode Media Canada.  The options expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the options or positions of Egg Farmers of Canada


Ever since my husband and I decided to have children, I’ve been curious to see how my cooking point of view might change and/or evolve.  We always try to eat healthy-ish (ie. balance out all the sweets I make for work with fresh produce and homemade dinners), but when it comes to feeding my little man, only the best will do.  Now that he is eating more and more meals with us every day, I find it easiest to create healthy meals that the whole family can enjoy.  Yes, there are subtle substitutions (Baby H only has a couple teeth, after all), but instead of trying to make two totally separate meals (one for us and one for baby), we are exploring the world of baby-led weaning.  In other words, finger foods!

While it takes nearly an hour some days for Everett to complete his meals, I really enjoy taking the time to sit down and eat a balanced meal.  The company is always great, too.


One of the easiest ways for Everett to get his protein is with eggs.  He has a hard time with chewing meats and since he can’t survive off almond-butter alone, eggs have always been the answer.  He likes them scrambled, baked up into a frittata with veggies (we call them his “egg-fingers”), and even hard-boiled.  He likes the hard-boiled best, because he can easily feed the pieces to himself.  For me, I love my eggs runny.  Luckily, it is so easy to whip up a meal of boiled eggs that suites us both.


One of my favorite things about runny egg yolks is being able to dip toast into them. Toast soldiers, especially.  For extra spice and flavour, I like to dip my egg-soaked toast soldiers in dukkah, an Egyptian seed and spice blend.  Made with coarsely ground hazelnuts, sesame seeds, toasted coriander, and cumin, dukkah is typically served with bread and olive oil.  For breakfast, adding a soft-boiled egg to the mix makes for the perfect meal for mom.

As for baby, he gets his hard-boiled egg with toast soldiers and a variety of toppings.  What kid doesn’t like toppings?  None, I tell ya. ;)


His & Hers Breakfast:
Perfect Soft-Boiled Eggs

  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water (about a few inches) to a rolling boil.
  2. Turn down the heat and bring the water to a heavy simmer.
  3. Immediately, carefully lower cold eggs into the simmering water and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Rinse under cool water for 30 seconds.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Begin as you would with the soft-boiled eggs, but continue to cook for about 10 to 12 minutes.


1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cumin
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Toast the coriander and cumin until fragrant.
  2. Blend all of the ingredients together in the food processor until coarse.  Mixture should still be very dry and not turn into a paste.

Other Toast Toppings (for Everett and your littles)

  • butter and jam
  • nut butter
  • cinnamon and sugar
  • melted cheese

The Almighty Egg
Eggs have always had 14 important vitamins and nutrients including protein, iron, and vitamin A.  Natural goodness, brought to you by your local egg farmers.

For more information about the natural goodness of eggs, visit



Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Egg Farmers of Canada via Mode Media Canada.  The options expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the options or positions of Egg Farmers of Canada


Instead of apple pie this season, why not try a French Apple Clafoutis?

An apple cla-what, you say?  Kla-foo Tee!  Over a dozen years of classical ballet training (where a majority of the terminology is in French), 2 semesters of French in college, and nearly a decade studying pastry and I can hardly pronounce any of the words correctly myself.  But, clafoutis – that I know!



Typically made with fresh cherries, clafoutis is a fruit-studded, egg-based custard that is baked up like a cake.  It is like a cross between a flan and a giant pancake!  Clafoutis is sometimes made with berries, stone fruit, and apples.  Instead of painstakingly rolling out pie dough and meticulously weaving a lattice crust, make this apple dessert this holiday season.

My version of this french dish (to be served for dessert, breakfast, or if you ask me – with tea) is infused with cinnamon and smothered in vanilla-specked créme anglais.  If you think you will miss the richness of buttery, flaky pie crust, but you can rest assured knowing that the creamy, velvety clafoutis with rich créme is plenty decadent.



French Apple Clafoutis
serves 6

3-4 apples (I prefer a mix of sweet and tart), peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3 large eggs
1/2 vanilla bean
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup whole milk

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Butter a 9 to 10-inch pie pan or baking dish and set aside.
  2. Toss the apple slices in the lemon juice and place in a medium saucepan or skillet.
  3. Add the butter and cook over medium-high heat for a few minutes.
  4. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon.  Continue to cool until the apples are soft.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Whisk the eggs, seeds of the vanilla bean, and sugar until pale in color.
  6. Gradually stir in the flour and salt.
  7. While stirring, add in the sour cream and milk until combined.
  8. Pour half of the egg mixture in the pie pan.
  9. Cover with the apples then pour the rest of the egg mixture on top, making sure to leave a 1/2-inch or so from the top)
  10. Bake until the clafoutis is puffed, golden, and the center is set (about 35 to 40 minutes).
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature with créme anglais and a pinch of cinnamon.


Créme Anglais

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat together the cream, milk and half of the sugar.  Add the seeds of the vanilla and het until a light simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining sugar and egg yolks.
  3. Once the milk mixture is hot, temper it into the egg yolks.
  4. Return everything back to the saucepan over medium-low heat.  Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken.
  5. Strain the créme into a heat-safe container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.


The Almighty Egg
Eggs have always had 14 important vitamins and nutrients including protein, iron, and vitamin A.  Natural goodness, brought to you by your local egg farmers.

For more information about the natural goodness of eggs, visit


Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Egg Farmers of Canada via Mode Media Canada.  The options expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the options or positions of Egg Farmers of Canada



Recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no better match for pears than chocolate and hazelnut.  Shredded pears baked into a spice cake it moist and heavenly – the pears almost melted into the cake itself.  Smoother said pear cake in the silkiest, creamiest chocolate-hazelnut frosting and it is nearly life changing.  Or life-saving, in my case.

Between various colds and teething, we’ve had a rough week over here.  There’s been very little sleep and lots of crankiness all while watching my baby suffer through his first real cold – absolutely heart-breaking.  I’ve had about a slice of this pear chocolate hazelnut gianduja cake every night for the past week, and there truly is something comforting about those flavours and textures together.  Plus, chocolate – there’s never a situation to tough that chocolate can’t handle.



Who’s heard of Gianduja before?  It is a type chocolate that contains hazelnut paste – think Nutella, but waaaay better.  I first had gianduja as part of my wedding cake.  One of the best chocolatiers in California made the most magnificent dessert spread for mine and Brett’s wedding in 2010.  Ginger Elizabeth is a chocolate and pastry wizard.  She used the same flavours from this dessert that she sells at her shop and turned them into one of the layers in our wedding cake.  I’ve had that cake on my mind for 5 years now, and just recently picked up some gianduja chocolate of my own to work with.

The gianduja chocolate I used was actually something I just happen to stumble on at Whole Foods.  You never know what gems are hiding in that store!  The chocolate is a bit softer and sweeter than the bittersweet that I usually bake with, but I knew I would make it work somehow.  I wanted to make a frosting that was beyond your typical fluffy fudge – made primarily of butter, cocoa powder, and tons of powdered sugar.  I found this amazingly silky chocolate frosting recipe on Sweetapolita and adapted it to include my new purchase.  The chocolate and hazelnut pair so wonderfully together and create the most delectable frosting for my pear spice cake.  I left out most of the salt, and sprinkled on some Maldon Sea Salt on the finished, iced cake instead.

To top it all off (because you know I have a hard time stopping when it comes to layer cakes), I made this subtly spicy and earthy caramel sauce.  It is infused with cinnamon, cloves, and rosemary – with some ground spices and cayenne stirred into the finished sauce.  The spices complimented those in the pear cake while the bit of cayenne created a bit of an unexpected kick.  Feel free to add in as much or as little of the heat as you’d like.  You can find the spicy caramel recipe over on Domino.


Pear Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup grapeseed or canola oil
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups grated pears, drained

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 6-inch cake pans and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.  Stir in the sugar and set aside.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, oil, sour cream, and vanilla.
  4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined.
  5. Fold in the grated pears.
  6. Evenly distribute the cake batter between the pans and bake for about 32 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  7. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.
  8. Let completely cool (or chill wrapped in plastic), then trim the tops and cut each cake in half horizontally to create four, even layers.

Gianduja Fudge Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
6 ounce gianduja chocolate, melted and cooled
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

  1. Cream the butter until soft and smooth.
  2. Gradually add in the sugar and cocoa powder until everything starts to incorporate.
  3. Add in the sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Add in the melted chocolate and mix until smooth and creamy.
  5. Chill the frosting until desired consistency or it is spreadable (about 15 minutes), if needed.

As we head deeper and deeper into Fall, I tend to favor more dramatic and shadowy images.  I like to have the option to go all dark and moody when the weather gets cloudy.  In fact, I even wrote about it!  For more information on shooting these types of photos and to take a peek at some of the behind-the-scenes for this particular cake set-up, head on over to Food Bloggers of Canada!

Sources: Dessert Plate // Cake Plate


Hi everyone!  As we head into Week 4 of Baking School with The Kitchn, I wanted to check in to see how you all are enjoying the program.  What have you learned so far?  Who made their own sourdough starter last week?

I’ve been following along myself – trying to keep up with comments, checking out all the awesome posts via #kitchnbakingschool on Instagram.  I even made meringues, buttercream, challah, a luscious raspberry tart, and eclairs!

Week 4 just might be my favorite week, so I want to make sure you all check it out.  The last and final week of Baking School is all about SUGAR!!  Not only will we dive into all the different types of sugar (there are probably more than you think), we will be discussing cookies, dessert sauces, layer cakes (my fave), and cake decorating.  How fun, right?!?!



Curious about wha this collection of cookies is all about?  Head on over to Baking School NOW!

Also, The Kitchn was kind enough to write a quick post about the instructor of Baking School – ME!  Feel free to read more about it here.

Happy Baking!  Happy Monday!


It’s that time of year again – time to think of original and creative uses for pumpkin, hehe.  Good thing I love me some pumpkin anything (sweet, savoury – you name it!) and there are always new, bright ‘n shiny ways to incorporate pumpkin into a mouth-watering recipe (I’m talking well beyond PSLs here).  50+ different ways, to be exact!

That’s right – it’s a (virtual) PUMPKIN PARTY!  Sara wrangled up several dozens of awesome bloggers (yours truly, included) to develop and share our favourite pumpkin-inspred recipes.  I’m talking pumpkin-y twists on some amazing sweet treats as well as innovative, contemporary flavour-pairings using the ultra-fab, ever versatile squash.  Autumn might not be long enough to get to all of these “must-try” recipes, so let’s get straight to it!

Of course, I was inspired to make cake.  When am I ever not inspired to make cake?  Never, is the answer.


But since this is a PUMPKIN PARTY, I knew it could not be any ordinary pumpkin cake.  I had this idea bouncing around in my head for months regarding pumpkin and chocolate stout cakes combined together.  Regular pumpkin cake is a bit too expected (and it should be, because it is delicious), so I went the dark and dreary route for Halloween.  Plus, I’ve seen Pumpkin Stout on the market, so I figured it was all worth a shot.

I have an incredible Brown Sugar Pumpkin Cake in my book (Layered), but I am afraid I won’t be able to share it with you all until it is released (Spring 2016).  So, off to the test kitchen I went!  I began experimenting on two different ends of the pumpkin cake spectrum – ultra deep and flavorful vs. light and subtly spicy.  I conducted a blind taste-test with my husband (seriously, I gave him cake scraps while his was in the dark putting the baby to bed, because we are an awesome team like that – hehe).  He liked both.  I liked both.  So a double-pumpkin cake it shall be!


To incorporate all of the flavours, I put together a 3-color Chocolate Stout and Pumpkin Checkerboard Cake.  How fun, right?  The different flavours create this festive ombré of cake flavours.  To bring out more of the stout flavor, I made a stout buttercream.  Wha, what??  Yes!  I actually don’t like dark beer, but throw in some butter and sugar – and it’s a party!  It really is quite tasty.  I reduced some of the leftover stout from making the cake and added in a bit of sugar.  It reduced down to a deeply concentrate, slightly sweet stout.  By itself, it is pretty off-putting, to say the least.  But mixed with my go-to vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream, and it is dynamite!  It’s not nearly as booze-forward as other recipes, so definitely give it a try if you are on the fence about your sweets tasting too much like alcohol.

Why is the buttercream a darker brown between the layers, you ask?  I stirred in a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder.  This version is also delicious, but the cocoa started to take away from the stout.  I decided to use the cocoa stout buttercream between the layers because I thought it looked more atheistically pleasing against the darker cakes.



Chocolate Stout Cake
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup stout beer
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar

  1. Pre-heat over to 350 degrees.  Prepare two 6-inch cake pans and set aside.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. Combine the beer and butter in a medium saucepan and heat over medium until the butter is melted.
  4. Meanwhile stir the sour cream and vanilla together.  Whisk in the egg and set aside.
  5. Stir the cocoa powder and sugar into the butter/stout mixture until combined.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream mixture.
  7. In two batches, stir in the flour mixture.
  8. Evenly distribute the batter between the two pans and bake for about 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.
  10. Let completely cool before trimming and assembling.

Molasses Pumpkin Cake
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups pumpkin puree

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 6-inch cake pans.  Set aside.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream together the softened butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in the eggs, molasses, and vanilla.  Mix until combined.
  5. In two batches, slowly mix in the dry ingredients.
  6. Fold in the pumpkin puree.
  7. Evenly distribute the batter between the two pans and bake for about 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.
  9. Let completely cool before trimming and assembling.

Pumpkin Spice Cake
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups pumpkin puree

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 6-inch cake pans.  Set aside.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, brown to butter by heating it over medium-high heat.  The butter should melt and foam slightly.  It is done when fragment and little bits of brown appear at the bottom of the pan (about 5 to 8 minutes).  Remove from heat and place in a glass dish.  Place in the refrigerator until cool.
  4. Stir together the cooled, browned butter and both sugars until light until combined.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs.  Add the beaten eggs to the sugar mixture and stir until combined.
  6. In two batches, slowly mix in the dry ingredients.
  7. Fold in the pumpkin puree.
  8. Evenly distribute the batter between the two pans and bake for about 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.
  10. Let completely cool before trimming and assembling.

Stout Buttercream
3 eggs whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup stout reduction (recipe follows)

  1. Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Whisk (by hand) to combine.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer.
  3. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double-boiler.
  4. Heat the egg mixture, whisking often, until 155 degrees on a candy thermometer or until hot to the touch.
  5. Once hot, carefully transfer the bowl back to the mixer.  Beat on high with the whisk attachment until the egg mixture holds firm peaks (the outside of the bowl should return to room temperature).
  6. Stop the mixing and swap out the whisk for the paddle attachment.
  7. With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla and butter (a few tablespoons at a time).
  8. Turn the mixer up to medium-high.  Mix until the buttercream if silky smooth.
  9. Add in the stout reduction and re-mix until combined.

For the Stout Reduction:
Simmer 1/2 cup stout beer with 3 tablespoons granulated sugar over low heat until it is reduced to 1/4 cup.  Chill in a glass jar until ready to use.


You might be thinking, “Hey Tessa, I have a total of 6 layers of cake – what the heck?”  Okay, confession time.  Yes, the entire recipe makes 2-layers of each flavour but you only need 3 layers to make one complete cake.  Remember how I could not decide between the two pumpkin cakes?  This is what happened… Now, you can choose to only make two of the cake recipes and turn this into a 2-tone, 4-layer checkerboard cake or have left-overs for a second cake (like me).  I apologize for being misleading.

To make the checkerboard pattern, you will need a 4-inch round cookie cutter and a 2-inch round cookie cutter.  Basically, you will be cutting out rings of each cake, then re-assembling them with a swipe of buttercream in between to hold it all together.  Be sure to alternate the different colors as you assemble.  For more detailed instructions, check out my post here.

If you’d like, stir in 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder to about 34/-1 cup stout buttercream to fill in between the layers of cake.  Use the remaining stout buttercream to frosting cake and sprinkle with chocolate shavings, if  desired.

Back to the PUMPKIN PARTY!  So many great ideas and creative uses with pumpkin – better get started:

Cake Over Steak • Pumpkin Ginger Cookies with a Vanilla Glaze  – Thank you, Sara, for putting this all together!

B. Britnell • Pumpkin & Goat Cheese Macaroni
A Couple Cooks • Pumpkin Spice Almond Butter
I Am a Food Blog • Roasted Pumpkin and Pork Stuffed Shells
Well and Full • Harissa-Spiced Pumpkin Gnocchi
Loves Food, Loves to Eat • Pumpkin Pork Burrito Bowls
Girl Versus Dough • Pumpkin Challah
Snixy Kitchen • Black Sesame Pumpkin Mochi Cake
Hungry Girl por Vida • Pumpkin Chocolate Crumb Cake
Donuts, Dresses and Dirt • Pumpkin Spice Latte Truffles
Two Red Bowls • Pumpkin & Caramelized Onion Galette
The Frosted Vegan • Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Gingersnaps
Warm Vanilla Sugar • Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Ice Cream + Affogato
An Edible Mosaic • Pumpkin Spice Latte Snack Cake with Brown Butter Buttercream
Kitchen Konfidence • Yeasted Pumpkin Waffles with Candied Ginger
Chocolate + Marrow • Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon Butter Swirl
The Pig & Quill • Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes with Pumpkin Spice Caramel + Coconut Cream
Salt & Wind • Apple Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins with Pepita Streusel
With Food + Love • Creamy Pumpkin Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Beets
A Cookie Named Desire • Pumpkin Crepes with Cinnamon Ginger Cheesecake
Nommable • Pumpkin Moon Pies
Feed Me Phoebe • Thai Pumpkin Curry with Shrimp and Bok Choy
The Yellow Table • Coconut-Curry Pumpkin Soup
Ginger & Toasted Sesame • Pumpkin Ricotta Gnudi
The Crepes of Wrath • Pumpkin Pie Cake
The Swirling Spoon • Pumpkin Hand Pies
Erin Made This • Pumpkin Rye Waffles with Coconut Caramel
Beard and Bonnet • Pumpkin Spice Pizzelle Ice Cream Sandwiches
My Name is Yeh • Pumpkin Slice and Bake Cookies
Earthy Feast • Pumpkin-Stuffed Turnip-Ravioli with Pepita Pesto
Broma Bakery • Pumpkin Pie White Chocolate Brownies
Floating Kitchen • Pumpkin Beertail with Tequila and Spiced Rum
The Sugar Hit • Pumpkin Everything Bagels
The Bojon Gourmet • Pumpkin Flatbread with Gruyére and Crispy Sage (gluten-free)
Sprinkled with Jules • Pumpkin Spice French Macarons
Feast + West • Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Toffee Bark
Jojotastic • Pumpkin Cinnamon Rimming Sugar
Fix Feast Flair • Japanese Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake with Quick Caramel
Appeasing a Food Geek • Pumpkin Ale Cake
Tending the Table • Roasted Pumpkin with Tamarind and Coriander Chutney
Long Distance Baking • Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream + Pumpkin Pancakes
My Blue & White Kitchen • Roasted Pumpkin Risotto with Crispy Prosciutto
Fork Vs. Spoon • Pumpkin Buttermilk Pudding
Alyssa & Carla • Pumpkin Tea Bread (in a Coffee Can!)
Twin Stripe • Pumpkin Spice Toffee
Le Jus d’Orange • Lentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash, Crispy King Oyster Bacon + Aged Goat Cheese
The Scratch Artist • Japanese Pumpkin Temaki with Ginger Kale Chips
Brewing Happiness • Caramelized Apple Pumpkin Muffins
Blogging Over Thyme • Homemade Candied Pecan Pumpkin Ice Cream Drumsticks
Heartbeet Kitchen • Pumpkin Swirled Mashed Potatoes
The Speckled Palate • Pumpkin Brown Butter Streusel Muffins with Maple Cream Cheese Glaze
Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt • Pumpkin Gingersnap Pie
Fork to Belly • Pumpkin Orange Brulee Pie
Tasty Yummies • Grain-Free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Påte á Chew • Pumpkin Almond Cake with Almond Butter Frosting
Holly & Flora • Pumpkin Pie Martini with Coconut Cream + Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup
Southern Soufflé • Sorghum Pumpkin Soufflés
SugarHero! • Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Pound Cake
Okie Dokie Artichokie • Creamy Pumpkin and Chorizo Pasta Bake, Cheese Tortellini, Sage-Mascarpone Sauce, Toasted Hazelnuts
Kale & Caramel • Pumpkin Goat Cheese Polenta with Brown Butter Thyme Mushrooms & Kale
The Little Epicurean • Maple Pumpkin Butter Brioche Toast
Vigor and Sage • Maple Pumpkin Harvest Smoothie
Tried and Tasty • Whole Wheat Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Sprouted Routes • Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Risotto with Sweet & Spicy Roasted Pepitas (gluten free)
The Fauxmartha • Baked Pumpkin Donuts
So… Let’s Hang Out • Grain-Free Apple Crumble Pumpkin Pie
Wit & Vinegar • Pumpkin Flaxseed Dog Treats
Dunk & Crumble • Pumpkin Roundup
Biscuits and Such • Pumpkin Pound Cake

Happy Pumpkin Season!!