Blog Post List

This blog post list contains the most recent blog posts from The Messy Baker in reverse chronological order. You can also browse by recipe category or use the search function.

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11 Feb
Recipe: Accordion Potatoes
It has been brought to my attention that I have been writing a bit too much about chocolate. As if there's such a thing. However, I don't want to give you a false impression of my eating habits, so I will change the topic (briefly) to non-chocolate things. Since woman cannot live by chocolate alone, I (occasionally) make other foods. In fact, I baked potatoes last week. See...
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10 Feb
Recipe: Salted Caramel Apples
To help celebrate the 200th anniversary of the McIntosh apple, I'm taking part in The Ontario Apple Growers' challenge. They're looking for the best candy apple recipe -- ever. After careful consideration, a bit of testing and a second-degree burn to my index finger, I have determined that caramel-coated apples are the Kobayashi Maru of fun food. For those who don't know their Star Trek (or fail to get their sci-fi references second-hand from The Big Bang Theory) this is geek-speak for "no-win scenario." Since I was more a Caramel Apple Kid than one who liked to crack her teeth on flaming red, rock hard candy apples, I decided to play with a grown-up salted caramel version, maybe with a sprinkling of crystallized ginger for those who want a bit o' zing along with their sweet & salty. How'd it go? You be the judge. Here's my enthusiastic set-up shot. Imagine the Macs dipped in obedient caramel. Here's the reality.
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07 Feb
Recipe: Venetian Chicken
Depending on which urban legend you cite, the Inuit have between 17 and 31 distinct words for snow. I have but one. And I can't use it here. This weekend's additional donation of crystallized water had me dreaming of escape. While I wouldn't turn down an all-expense paid trip to the Caribbean, my warm-me-up fantasies tend to focus on Europe. I realize they get winter there too, but my memories revolve around steamy summers spent backpacking through Europe, drooling over intricate architecture while getting fat on frozen treats. Since I wasn't going anywhere the snow ploughs couldn't reach, I turned to my bookshelf for a mental vacation. And Venice was the first stop on my imaginary trip. My copy of Tessa Kiros's Venezia: Food & Dreams is pure escape. From the gold-edged pages with the satin ribbon bookmark to the opulent photography, this is not a book you turn to for quick dinner fixes or innovative new recipes. Instead, it's a book you melt into as the wind howls outside your window. Kiros describes Venice as "One of those rare moments when you grasp the magnificence of this world," and her books captures the elegance, vivacity and beauty of the Floating City.
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04 Feb
Where do you draw the line?
I don't care what studies you cite, culinary authorities you quote or Michelin-starred chefs you hold up as iridescent examples. In my kitchen, roast chicken is a simple stuff-and-shove-in-the-oven affair. String is reserved for recycling newspapers, not trussing poultry. And I am not about to expend the time or mental energy to brine a bird for what should be a casual, no-fuss Sunday supper. Heck, you're lucky if I remember to remove the giblets and that little metal "approved" tag.
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01 Feb
Recipe: Chocolate Waffles
Last Saturday, along with two double lattes, I ate waffles and raisins. As far as my food intake went, that was about it. We shall not count the wine as I consider that "medication." Andrew was pretty steamed at me for ignoring my health -- a luxury I often deny him -- but I was stressed, and carbs and coffee are the way I cope. After ignoring my blog theme's upgrades for well over a year, I decided Saturday would be the ideal time to catch up. As punishment for my neglect, I was forced to leap three generations in one go. Being clueless about all the incremental changes that had gone on in my absence, things got messy. Very messy. Hence the sugar and caffeine.
Decorative chocolate drizzles - The Messy Baker
27 Jan
How to make decorative chocolate drizzle

During the chocolate demonstration, Derrick made this decorative chocolate drizzle for Emily. As in Emily Richards. I'm not jealous. Really. After all, my name's too long. And too hard to spell. So demonstrating chocolate script with "Emily" makes sense. I guess. After Derrick showed off demonstrated, he...

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25 Jan
Recipe: Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Mousse
I know that when I see a recipe calling for basically three desserts rolled into one, I skip it in favour of something simpler, like cookies. But if you think about it, pie is two desserts in one. The crust and then the filling. And many squares -- say a classic Canadian Nanaimo -- require two or three steps. So don't let this multi-part recipe scare you. It's actually no harder than pie and beyond delicious. In fact, during the 2-hour chocolate demonstration we not only witnessed Derrick Tu Tan Pho make ganache-filled macarons, he whipped up these beauties as well. And topped them with drizzled chocolate. Granted, we had no interruptions and a pro at the helm, but if you're busy, you can make the brownies ahead of time. Or the mousse. Or just the mousse. As an incentive, here are two of Master Chocolatier Derrick Tu Tan Pho's best tricks.

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