Archive for September, 2013

Review: Canada’s Baking and Sweets Show


On Friday, I ventured off to the west end of the city towards The Toronto Congress Centre where they were hosting the third annual Canada’s Baking and Sweets Show. When I first came across the ad in the newspaper, I was excited: celebrity chefs such as Anna Olson, baker Buddy Valastro (Cake Boss), and the Cupcake Girls were going to be there. Plus, I have been personally practicing my cake-making skills and wanted to check out all the baking gadgets I could buy.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to see Anna or Buddy, because they weren’t scheduled to appear until the next couple days, but I did get to see the Cupcake Girls, Heather and Lori, and hear a bit about how they got started in the business which was inspiring.

I only paid $6 for entry (the perks of teacher discounts), and got a mini swag bag which I thought could use a little more “swag” (the Fleischmann’s Yeast Best Ever Breads cookbook and the $5 Canadian Tire coupon weren’t too shabby though).

I got some great deals on a couple cake tins and mini baking cups from the MDC Housewares booth. Ate a delicious portugese custard tart from Doce Minho Bakery, then wandered down to the Redpath booth. I picked up a free copy of an integrated curriculum resource about food energy! This will be very helpful for my teaching this year. George Brown College instructor (and professional pastry chef) Christophe Measson, put on a demo of one of his recipes: Baked Rice Pudding with Milk Jam, Apricot and Mango Compote, and Shortbread (that was a mouthful). Engaging and comedic (complete with the French accent), Christophe’s demo was easy to follow and I learned a few tricks that would help with my dessert preparation.

A few pasta cutters and a stainless-steel perogi press (I know, I know… one step at a time) were my purchases at Adamo Imports. I splurged a bit at McCalls: cake boards, boxes, bags and sticks for all the baked goods I plan on making as gifts for the holidays. Flour Confections was the last major stop and they had a wide selection of gel colours on sale, and I also picked up a couple buckets of fondant.

Personally, I thought the show was going to be a little bigger, with more vendors and giveaways. I was in and out within a couple hours. But the deals I got on some of the baking tools were pretty good. I loved the demo put on by Redpath, and seeing the fondant-covered masterpieces for the Cake Competition was awe-inspiring. I’ll probably go again next year.

One of several of the cakes for the Alice in Wonderland Theme Competition by professional bakers.

One of several of the cakes for the Alice in Wonderland Theme Competition by professional bakers.

My Cake Decorating Journey… So Far…


After my first, real experience with fondant while baking and decorating my birthday cake earlier this year (which turned out pretty, darn good, if you asked me), I decided to make it my personal mission to become a better baker/decorator.

White Chocolate Mud Cake with Fondant

White Chocolate Mud Cake with Fondant

I had a friend celebrate her birthday over the summer, so I tested out a chocolate cake with a ganache icing, while trying to keep in mind some of the tips from the Wilton Cake Decorating Course I did back in July. It came out looking good except for the fact that public transport and the hot weather caused most of the decorations to slide off the top of the cake! At least my friend still appreciated it (and it tasted good).

Chocolate Mud Cake with a Chocolate Ganache and  Buttercream Icing

Chocolate Mud Cake with a Chocolate Ganache and Buttercream Icing

My little brother turned 23 earlier this week, so the job of bringing the birthday cake was delegated to me by my sister. I baked a chocolate buttermilk cake, and used black fondant to design it in the shape of a tire. Now originally my she wanted me to make the cake into a shape of a Ferrari, but I informed her that I wasn’t an expert as yet. My little bro happily settled for a Ferrari tire (I even painted on the horse on the logo with food colouring). Yeah, it looks like the tire is a little flat, but beggars can’t be choosers!

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Fondant

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Fondant

My Invisalign Journey is Finally Finished!


This morning I had my final appointment with my orthodontist, I am now Invisalign-free!

I started with Invisalign braces back in March 2012. After some refinements back in Spring (one of my teeth wasn’t turning as planned), and an extra two months of treatment, the books on my orthodontic treatment have been closed.

I had my attachments on my lower teeth removed at the end of June. The top attachments (or “buttons”) were removed today (including the extra one they had put in over the winter to get that stubborn tooth to rotate). I was given a set of retainers to wear full-time for the next few days, then nightly thereafter.

The retainers closely resemble my regular Invisalign trays, but are a tad bit sturdier.

I am beyond happy with my smile now. It’s amazing the sense of confidence one has with a set of well-aligned pearly whites!

I killed two birds with one stone today and got my semi-annual cleaning done at my dentist later on in the day, so now my mouth is truly glowing!

Thanks to the staff at City Orthodontics for their friendly and professional work over the last 18-months. I was even given a mylar balloon with the word “Congrats” written on it (makes a wonderful conversation-starter on public transit… I should try that tactic in the future), as well as a cute water bottle (ironically, filled with candy).

So, what did I think about the Invisalign process? I think if you’re considering orthodontic treatment as an adult, if you have the extra cash (and if you’re responsible, because remembering to keep your trays in and proper hygiene are important), definitely go this route. Every time I told someone that I wore braces, they didn’t notice at all because Invisalign is so “invisible”.

Sure it was a bit of an inconvenience to have to remove them every time I would eat a meal (sometimes I kept them in if it was a light snack, but was careful to brush right after), and took a few days to get used to every couple of weeks when I would put in my new trays, but I wore them for at least 22 hours each day for the last year and a half and my smile has changed for the better.

Plus I’ll probably be still brushing my teeth four times a day.

Post-Invisalign smile and the "congrats" presents from my orthodontist!

Post-Invisalign smile and the “congrats” presents from my orthodontist!