manon & pat

author’s note:  I take NO credit for the amazing pictures.  Thank you Manon & Pat for sharing them with me. 

Don’t they look happy?  And don’t you think that the cake they’re cutting is adorable?!

Guess what?  Emily and I did that!  AWESOME!

My adventures with Manon & Pat started in July.  Manon emailed me (thank you Joelle for the promotion) and asked if we could meet to discuss her wedding cake.  I immediately asked her what her favourite cake flavour was, and if she was allergic to nuts.

Response: carrot cake and heck no!  

AWESOME!  I decided to bake my carrot cake for them.

The taste test went well – I gave them three pretty substantial pieces – they shared one and were really pleased with what they tasted (I later discovered the other two pieces didn’t last much longer).  We discussed the other component of the order:

cupcakes – flavours, look, cupcake liners, etc.

cake – size, shape, colour scheme, the overall “look”

I left feeling really excited to work with them (side note: Manon & Pat are ADORABLE together… seriously – trop cute).

The colour scheme for the wedding was black and white – and I offered to help Manon find black & white cupcake liners. 

Guess where I found them?  San Francisco!  Yep.  Among my return purchases were these little goodies.  They served us well.

I wanted to do a little test to ensure that Manon & Pat liked the way the liners looked when encasing a chocolate cupcake (the white basically becomes transparent… I wanted to ensure it was a look they liked).  I figured since I was going to show them the cupcake, I might as well make them another cake to sample.

This one was my apple-spice cake

Again.  Super successful.  Manon & Pat just looked at me and said they liked both.  A lot.  Easy compromise – carrot cake for the lower tier, apple-spice cake for the upper tier.  DONE!

Once my part was done it was time for Emily to take Manon’s requests and turn them into a reality.  I was gobsmacked when I saw the cake up close.  It was BRILLIANT. 

We both loved how the upper tier is 3 layers of cake rather than the standard two.  We loved how clean the black ribbon looked when placed on the fondant. 

And then we waited to see how the bride and groom would react.

Manon emailed me two days after the wedding:

Hi Lynne, The cake and cupcakes were amazing!  It looked absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for everything!

I’m really proud of what we did.  And I’m super thrilled that Manon & Pat loved it … that’s really all that matters.

Thank you both of including us in your special day.  Congratulations!

buttermilk pie. oh my.

This pie is … divine.  That’s right.  DIVINE.  Its deliciousness is simply gobsmackingly ridiculous.  Nice sentence eh?

And so … I heart this pie something fierce … the reasons being:

1.  It’s from baked explorations (Eric, my favourite cheftestant from Top Chef Just Desserts, works in the Brooklyn bakery)

2.  I read the little blurb author Matt Lewis wrote – it included a visit to Québec City (one of my favourite cities) and his discovery of sugar pie (one of my first loves)

3.  I wrote Matt Lewis and told him (a) how excited I was that he loves sugar pie, (b) that I simply can not wait to try his version of it, and finally (c) how much I love his cookbooks (the root beer cake I make is originally from his first book, baked)

4.  He responded to my email.  AMAZING (he thanked me for my enthusiasm… and wished me luck in my future baking adventures!)

5.  This pie is the answer to all those sugar pie haters out there … you know who you are … you think the pie is too sickly sweet and not worth the bother.  This pie is worth the bother.  This pie is simply outstanding.

Good reasons eh?  I think so.  And that’s how I ended up baking this pie for an evening gathering @ Edgar. 

Rachelle (rachelle eats food), Asha (beFOODled) and I suprised Marysol (she eats bears) and Simon one Friday evening – Asha brought along a delicious shrimp appetizer, Rachelle treated us to a charcuterie plate – cheese, salumi, cretons, baguette (all amazing), and I brought along the dessert.  THIS dessert.

We heated it up as we helped Marysol and Simon prep for the following morning, and then sat down with a glass of milk to enjoy our just rewards.

I can say … we went back for second pieces.  It was a success.  And I discovered a new favourite.

I did twist this recipe – but really only slightly.  I used a shortbread crust rather than a classic pie dough, and baked it in a tart pan.  It turned out beautifully…

The baked note that accompanies this recipe is “…if you aren’t desperate to impress with a visual smorgasbord, this homey little pie packs a lot of unexpected taste and texture.  It is sweet and custardy and captivating.  Think of it as the dessert equivalent of frogs legs – ugly, but addictive.” 

I don’t necessarily agree – I think it’s a pretty pie: pretty in its simplicity and that it just tastes great.  No bells and whistles – but sometimes, you really just want a piece of pie.  Plain and simple.

buttermilk pie

ingredients:

1 shortbread crust dough

4 eggs

2 tbsp + 1 tsp flour

3/4 c. sugar

1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 c. butter, melted and cooled

1 c. buttermilk

1/4 c. pure 100% canadian maple syrup

Press the shortbread crust dough into a 9-inch pie plate – carefully working the dough into the bottom and up the sides.  Wrap and freeze the crust until firm, about 30 minutes (or if you’re like me, leave it wrapped in the tart pan for a couple of days in the freezer).

Preheat your oven to 325 F.

No stand-mixers required.

Grab a large bowl and lightly beat the eggs.  Whisk in 2 tbsp of flour (the batter might look somewhat curdled – that’s ok). 

Add both the sugars - whisking everything until the ingredients are well combined. 

 Pour in the cooled butter, buttermilk, and maple syrup, whisking the entire time.

 Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of the remaining flour over the unbaked shortbread crust. 

Pour the batter into the shell, and then sprinkle the remaining flour over the top.  Bake for about 1 hour – the custard will get fluffy and airy – but you’ll know it’s ready because it is set.

Allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.  It’s recommended to serve it at room temperature … however we ate it warmed up.  It was better.  So re-heat it, just slightly. 

And if you are a true lover of the sugar pie … maybe you’ll want to drizzle just a hint of maple syrup on your warmed piece … I bet that would be good.  Real good :0)

Any leftover pie can be refrigerated (tightly covered), for up to 2 days.

Thank you Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito for bringing the beauty of a buttermilk pie to my life.

wordless wednesdays: cake in a mason jar

What happens when you have a 1 L container full of cupcake tops (you know… those pieces of cupcake that are cut off to level the cupcake prior to frosting them) and some left over hot pink cream cheese buttercream?

This.  This is what happens.

cake in a (mason) jar

It’s amazingly disgustingly delicious.

I gifted it to Vanessa ( the incredible friend who drove me to Montréal for Cupcake camp on Sunday morning)  – only … myself and another colleague kinda (totally) dug into it prior to giving it to Vanessa.  Don’t worry – it was quality control.  Vanessa still had lots to enjoy.

Best eaten with a fork.

Vanessa’s reaction was as follows (and all quotes):

cake in a jar is extraordinary!

moist cake – check!

falvourful and not cringe-worthy sweet frosting – check!

mason jar – check!

V – don’t forget … I need my mason jar back.  There are more cakes in mason jars to make.