Chocolate Brownie Strawberry Tower Cake

In yesterday’s last Cakes: Classic to Modern class we made Chocolate Brownie Strawberry Tower Cake! 🙂

I will admit it is sad that this class has come to an end. It was really a very good class. It is definitely one I would recommend. But I will also admit, it went out with a bang! I always find it facinating when you learn from different Chefs, and the Chef that had taught the other classes in this Cakes: Classic to Modern class was actually on vacation for our last class. So we had a fill in. And what a fill in it was! Our Chef was a Pastry Chef form the Four Seasons Hotel here in Toronto!  😀

Chocolate Brownie Strawberry Tower Cake.

Apple Blossoms, Pansies, Forget-Me-Nots, Sweet Peas.. :)

In last night’s Cake Decorating #1 we practiced making Apple Blossoms, Panzies, Forget-Me-Nots.. 🙂

Sweet Peas.
Apple Blossoms (pink), and Forget-Me-Nots (blue).
Apple Blossoms, Pansies, Forget-Me-Nots and Sweet Peas.

(Sourdough) English Muffins and (Sourdough) South Western Cornbread

In last night’s Sourdough Artisan Bread class we made English Muffins and Cornbread.

English Muffins have been around for centuries. They were convenient and fast for housewives to make. Griddle breads don’t require the labour, wood, or a trip to the communal oven. Cornbread is a North American quick bread. Sourdough quick breads were a common food amonst cowboys and prospectors.

Making Sourdough English Muffins.
Sourdough English Muffins.
Sourdough Cornbread
Sourdough Cornbread.

Days of Wine and Chocolate!

I just spent the weekend in Niagara-on-the-Lake for their annual Days of Wine and Chocolate Event. It was fun!! 🙂

Like Taste the Season, another event I visit every year in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Days of Chocolate and Wine Event allow you to explore the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake where each stop will feature a premium VQA wine matched to a decadent chocolate selection –  from classic flavours to unexpected surprises. Your Touring Pass entitles you to one pairing at each of the 25 wineries involved in the event, and is valid for any of the event weekends in February.

Here is a list of what we experienced… Yummy! 😀 :

Wine and chocolate pairings are offered each weekend in February from 11 am to 5 pm.

Cattail Creek Estate Winery 
2008 Select Late Harvest Merlot paired with White Chocolate RaspberryChâteau des Charmes
Brut Sparkling Estate Bottled paired with White Chocolate Pistachio

Coyote’s Run Estate Winery
2008 Red Paw Vineyard Pinot Noir paired with Milk Chocolate Cashew

Hillebrand Winery
2008 Trius Red paired with Dark Chocolate Almond Raisin

The Ice House Winery
2005 Northern Ice Vidal Icewine paired with Dark Chocolate Candied Ginger

Inniskillin Wines
2007 Winemakers Series 2 Vineyard Merlot paired with Dark Chocolate Espresso

Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery
2005 Grand Reserve Methode Classique paired with Milk Chocolate Caramel

Joseph’s Estate Wines
2007 Carline Gamay Rosé paired with Chocolate Hazelnut

Konzelmann Estate Winery
2009 Shiraz paired with Dark Chocolate Nutmeg

Lailey Vineyard
2008 Vidal Late Harvest paired with White Chocolate Cranberry

Maleta Estate Winery

2006 GRAPE BRAIN Cabernet Merlot paired with Dark Chocolate Maple Walnut

Marynissen Estates Winery
2007 Cabernet Franc paired with Dark Chocolate Mint

Niagara College Teaching Winery
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Dark Chocolate Apricot Pecan

Palatine Hills Estate Winery
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Dark Chocolate Cherry

Peller Estates Winery
2009 Private Reserve Sauvignon Blanc paired with Milk Chocolate Candied Orange

Pillitteri Estates Winery
2007 EXCLAMATION Reserve Merlot paired with White Chocolate Blueberry

PondView Estate Winery
2009 Berrel-Fermented, Barrel-Aged Chardonnay paired with White Vanilla Bean Chocolate

Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery
2007 Gewürztraminer paired with White Chocolate Freeze Dried Strawberries

Reif Estate Winery
2006 Select Late Harvest Vidal paired with Apple Truffle

Riverview Cellars Winery
2009 Vidal Icewine paired with Dark Chocolate Peach Cinnamon

Southbrook Vineyards
Blackberry Fruit Wine paired with Dark Chocolate Chili

Stonechurch Vineyards
2007Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot paired with Milk Chocolate Coconut Cream

Stratus Vineyards
2007 Stratus White paired with Roasted Chocolate-Covered Brazil Nut

Strewn Winery
2008 Meritage paired with Dark Chocolate Raspberry

Sunnybrook Farm Estate Winery
Black Currant Wine paired with Dark Chocolate Anise


Walnut Sourdough and Fig & Hazelnut Sourdough

In last night’s Sourdough Artisan Bread class we made Walnut Sourdough and Fig & Hazelnut Sourdough. 🙂

Walnut Sourdough is a classic bread from California. Walnuts grow in abundance in California and the bacterial yeast there produces very sour dough. The acids in the starter react with the skins of the walnuts to create purple crumb. Figs and hazelnuts grow in the same regions and always pair well.

Fig and Hazelnut Sourdough.
A close up shot of my Fig and Hazelnut Sourdough Bread.
A view from the top of my Walnut Sourdough Bread.
Walnut Sourdough.

Decorating a Cake!

In last night’s Cake Decorating 1, we had to bring in a pre-baked cake so that we could decorate it. I brought in an Old Fashioned Pound Cake with a bit of a twist. I swirled in dark Lindt chocolate (combined with some of the cake batter) to create a yummy new version of the cake. 😉

We then went through the process of icing and decorating our cakes. First we had to slice through the centre of our cakes, and apply a layer of cream. Then we had to mask (crumb coat or dirty ice) the entire outer edge of the cake. We then applied a clean, crumb-free layer of cream icing. Once that was finished, we could begin to decorate!

We were required to pipe borders on the top outer edge of the cake, and along the bottom of the cake. We were also required to pipe roses. I did roses and rose buds. 🙂

My cake! 🙂