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ISO - (pink) curing salt

Just a heads up that local company Powder for Texture carries sodium nitrate:

http://www.powderfortexture.com/colle...

29 minutes ago
TorontoJo in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

Here's my friend's blog post with her gorgeous cake photos:

http://www.foodpr0n.com/2014/08/24/ca...

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

No idea yet, Cynsa! I'll try to remember to post here in this thread next year. But you shouldn't have to wait a whole year! Grab some friends and hold your own cake day and share the results here on chowhound. Cake is such a happy thing! :0)

Aug 23, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

Oh, nice! I love that you made a test cakelet. I agree that it's a lot of poppyseeds and the cake would certainly not suffer for using less of them.

How are you going to frost the next one?

Aug 22, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Bundt cake

It's stunning isn't it? I've been saying that you could put a Duncan Hines cake mix in this and still look like a brilliant baker!

Aug 20, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

If I don't have a cast iron skillet, what can I use?

Any oven-safe skillet will do. If you don't have one, then use an 8" round cake pan or springform (wrap the base of the springform in foil, to catch any butter leaks). Just make the brown sugar mixture in a small sauce pan, then pour into your cake pan. Proceed with the rest of the recipe.

BERO has closed

Actually, this was the video I was looking for -- he made this when he found out The Cookbook Store was closing:

http://vimeo.com/88447277

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

Yes, 1/4 cup of raisins, sorry!

Aug 20, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

BERO has closed

This. Exactly.

Matt's a nice guy and a very talented chef. I have yet to meet a chef without an ego, and I have seen and heard a LOT worse coming out of many, many other chefs in Toronto. It's a lot of hot air and rarely spills over into real life, where they are usually very grateful when people appreciate their work.

And his persona in that video seems to be fulfilling a pretty specific vibe for a video series that was sponsored by Lincoln motors.

If you want to get a different side of Matt, watch this video he made in honour of The Cookbook Store:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWzi3...

Bundt cake

This turns out the most beautiful cakes. The cross section of a slice is stunning, too!

You can use pretty much any cake recipe in it. JoanN made an almond pound cake in it that would be delicious:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9843...

Just be very, very conscious of the batter quantity. A lot of bundt cake recipes are for 10 - 12 cup pans. This one is significantly smaller. My mocha rum cake was for a 12 cup pan and I had enough left over to bake a separate 8" loaf cake.

Never fill it more than an inch from the top, 2" is probably better. Err on the lower side if you're not sure. :)

Aug 20, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

Here's the recipe my friend used. He started with a Martha Stewart recipe, but it was a big fail, so he had to make a second cake. He improvised this one, but it turned out great.

Pink Grapefruit Poppyseed Cake

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1 tablespoon red grapefruit zest
1/4 golden raisins, chopped

Segments from 3-4 red grapefruits

White chocolate buttercream frosting

Preheat oven at 350 F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients. Add butter cut into small cubes, a few cubes at a time, and mix until the batter appears grainy with a sand-like texture to it. Next, add the eggs and and mix until just combined. Slowly add the milk, and the vanilla. Add in poppy seeds, zest, and raisins.

Grease two 9" round cake pans, or one 9"x13" cake pan at 350F for 30-35 or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Frost with frosting, adding the grapefruit segments to the middle layer. My friend used food coloring to color the frosting -- he went for an ombre effect with the dark pink on top and lighter pinks down the sides.

Note: my friend says he would use a Swiss meringue buttercream instead of the white chocolate frosting next time, as it was too sweet.

Aug 20, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

I solve the "eat all the cakes" issue by freezing them immediately. Though that is often not a sufficient deterrent since most cakes are actually quite delicious straight out of the freezer. Meringue buttercream frostings, in particular taste like ice cream. :)

fickle made that amazing black pepper buttercream cake and the beautiful raspberry and pistachio cake.

Aug 19, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

Not yet! On someone's list for someday, I'm sure. :)

Aug 19, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

This is the 4th year. I think it started when my group of food friends (some 'hounds, some not) and I were chatting about craving cake, and how it's impossible to find just a good slice of cake for dessert in restaurants anymore. So we decided that we needed to bake our own cakes. And it just snowballed from there into an annual thing.

Several of my friends are very talented bakers (two have completed the entire baking/pastry curriculum at a cooking school) and a couple of them blog about their baking. Most are just occasional home bakers (like myself).

Here are my friend Candy's blog posts about her two cakes this year:

http://wscwong.typepad.com/dessert_by...

http://wscwong.typepad.com/dessert_by...

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

My top 3 were probably the yuzu (I *love* yuzu-flavored stuff), the dacquoise (fantastic flavor and I love the nutty/meringue texture) and the pistachio cake (because I'm a sucker for anything pistachio).

My favorite surprise of the evening was the black pepper buttercream. The pepper was such an interesting foil to the rich, rich chocolate cake and whipped ganache frosting.

The best part is that there were no duds on the table! With maybe the exception of my mocha rum cake. Not sure it was a dud (it was made well), but I just don't like rum cakes. :0)

Aug 18, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

I've never played much with any sort of fancy decorations, but I love the look you get with chocolate transfer paper! One of the cakes I was eyeing this year was this one, which use transfer paper:

http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2013/07/...

Aug 18, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

That sounds quite wonderful -- I have visions of a rustic corn souffle!

Aug 18, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

Here's the bundt pan:

http://www.amazon.com/Nordic-Ware-Pla...

And jadec is sure right about the labour involved in making the kueh lapis. I suppose it's the same with baumkuchen or chimney cake -- you have to literally park yourself next to the oven for a couple of hours to add a new layer of batter every few minutes. It's not difficult at all, but it is time consuming. And the ingredients are not cheap: 30 egg yolks (!) and well over a pound of butter. All in a little 8" square pan.

Aug 18, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

Sure! This is the recipe I used:

http://www.homelife.com.au/recipe/ind...

For the spices, I used a mixture of ground cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg. You could also add ground cloves, ginger and aniseed, depending on your preference.

Aug 18, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

Ooh, nice! That slice looks gorgeously rich and moist. Could you please share how you made the fun star decorations?

Aug 18, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

Good eye, it was the ATK dacquoise!

And the black pepper buttercream was delicious -- it was such a surprising hit of flavour that worked really well with the rich chocolate cake and whipped ganache frosting.

The yuzu cake was wonderful. Here's the slice shot of it.

Aug 17, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

Oh, do we ever eat well! Gotta have fuel to keep us going for a full day of baking. :)

Aug 17, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

Thanks, chowser! I don't have a blog, but a couple of my friends do, so I'm sure they will post about it eventually. Here are their posts from last year:

http://www.foodpr0n.com/2013/07/02/ca...
http://www.boneats.ca/2013/07/cake-da...

Edited to add: there really is a huge range of baking skills in the group, but no one cares. It's just fun to all bake together and we pitch in to help each other in a baking crisis.

Aug 17, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

Sorry about that! I wasn't planning on making a big deal about it, but then remembered that a few people had asked about it, so decided to post last minute.

Here are close ups of all the cakes. I've include the slice shots for those that had interesting interiors.

In order:

Almond Cake Roll topped with homemade feuillitine
Poppy Seed Grapefruit Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Devil's Food Cake with Black Pepper Buttercream
Persian Fig, Quince, and Orange Cake with Pistachio and Rose Petal
Layer Cake with Yuzu Buttercream and Yuzu Curd
Peach-Blueberry Coffee Cake
Lemon Cake with Raspberries and Pistachios
Chocolate-Espresso Dacquoise
Swedish Princess Cake (sponge cake, raspberry jam, chantilly cream, marzipan)
Lemon Cake with Raspberries and Pistachios
Pistachio Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting

Aug 17, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

What are you baking these days? August 2014 Edition, Part 1 [old]

Reporting back on the kueh lapis. It's easy to make, but requires a bit of patience. Just separating the 30 egg yolks is trying enough, but baking the layers is best done with a glass of wine and some good tunes playing. The first layer is really challenging to spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. Next time I will heat the pan first, so the batter melts and spreads itself. The subsequent layers are much easier: I use a large pastry brush to spread the batter around.

Each layer took 2 minutes under the broiler in my toaster oven. To make my time tethered to the toaster oven more tolerable, I moved it onto a lower table in my living room and sat on a comfy chair with a timer and a glass of wine.

I think I got 19 layers. It's quite a tasty thing, very crepe-like in flavour. It's supposed to be quite firm, but we served it room temp, so it was quite delicate. I imagine that all the butter (almost a pound and a half in an 8" square!) makes it quite firm when chilled.

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

Well, lots of baking happened yesterday. My friends and I made a total of 13 cakes (though the two rum cakes were made in advance).

My kueh lapis (Indonesian layer cake) was a lot of fun to make, though it meant parking myself in front of a toaster oven for a long time.

The mocha rum cake looked lovely, thanks to the bundt pan, but I wasn't that keen on the cake itself -- mostly because I've come to the conclusion that I'm not a big fan of rum cakes. I do make an exception for baba au rhum, though (which another friend made).

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

Agreed -- a drizzle of ganache, then sprinkled with some toasted pecans.

But I'm sure it's wonderful as is!

Aug 16, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

has anyone eaten at Pai Northern Thai Kitchen?

I love, love the Pad Gra Prao. There's just something about the combination of flavours and textures with the minced meat, rice and crispy egg with runny yolk that I find addictive. There's a garlic and chile "sauce" (not sure what to call it -- it's clear and thin with chiles in it) that is usually served on the side (or that you can ask for) that really rounds out the flavours for me.

I've had a couple of private dinners there where Nuit tested several dishes that were fantastic. I really look forward to her adding more of her Northern specialties to the menu.

What are you baking these days? August 2014 Edition, Part 1 [old]

I've only used the cake release this one time, so don't have a huge sample to judge from. I do like that it's easier to control than Pam Baking or Baker's Joy, because you just squirt a blob into the pan and use a pastry brush to spread a thin layer in the pan. There's no dripping or foamy bits or over-spray (I particularly like that part).

Aug 16, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Chowhound Cake Day 2014!

Here's the recipe I'm using:

http://www.homelife.com.au/recipe/ind...

And nothingswrong: what about adapting the baklava cupcakes recipe to a layer cake with the nut and honey mixture in between the layers?

Aug 15, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking