Sweet

Pavolva
Recipe: Pavlova
Individual Pavolvas are an easy way to enjoy summer fruit - TheMessyBaker.com If you asked me to describe my father's taste in desserts, I'd tell you he's a lemon man. When he turned 65, Mom and I baked 13 lemon meringue pies for his party. He squeezes fresh lemon juice into his tea and sometimes even orders lemon pie as an appetizer when we dine out. He likes things tart, not sweet, choosing citrus over chocolate any day. Based on his dining history, pavlova is not something he would like. I was so sure of this that when my mother asked for pavlova for her birthday dessert, I made a peach galette as well -- just for Dad. Turns out Dad loves pavlova. Almost as much as he loves lemon. You learn something new every day. So, for the closet pavlova fans out there -- and even for those who like to flaunt their love of this powder-puff dessert - here's the recipe. It has a little lemon in it to cut the sweet. Hey, maybe that's why Dad likes it...
Tripel Chocolate Brownie Cookies - Made with love by TheMessyBaker.com
Recipe: Triple-Chocolate Brownie Cookies
This is Mairlyn Smith. Like me, she has a  frequently misspelled first name and a passion for chocolate that borders on illegal. She even has an impossibly small kitchen (like mine was until last year). I had the pleasure of interviewing her earlier this month and the longer we talked the more I realized we had in lot common. By the end of our conversation, the only difference between us -- other than hairstyle and a few inches of height -- is that I don't go into grocery stores with a big blade and hack at the root vegetables. Other than that? We're practically twins. She also wrote a health-conscious cookbook that fits my tagline, putting flavour before looks. Unlike many health-focused cookbooks, where fibre content and finger-wagging trump taste and joy, Mairlyn's Healthy Starts Here!: 140 Recipes that Will Make You Feel Great is rooted in pleasure and practicality. She believes, and backs up with studies, that treats are essential to your emotional health. She believes if  something is "good for you" it should also taste good. She believes cooking shouldn't be so complicated you end up huddled in the corner nursing a bad case of carpal tunnel syndrome and an anxiety disorder.
Raspberry Peach Tart - TheMessyBaker.com
Raspberry Peach Pie with Frangipane
Raspberry Peach Pie about to go into the oven - TheMessyBaker.com While the daffodils have finally poked their heads through the earth, my freezer remains packed with containers of frozen fruit squirrelled away from last year's harvest. They're so precious to me, I save them for special occasions. Very special occasions. As along as the sooty, deathless snowdrifts maintain a Narnia-like hold on the Earth, nothing seems special enough. (Unless you are celebrating your 85th birthday. And then, I will bake you a raspberry pie upon request.) Of course, the weather eventually breaks and my fear of endless winter melts into a different form of  panic. How can use my frozen treasure before a) it goes bad or b) I need the freezer space for this year's bounty? So, with company coming -- very special company, I may add-- I put a dent in the inventory and got creative. The ginger-peach carrots were okay, but no worth writing about. I won't waste your time with the recipe. And I apologize to the peaches. They deserved better. The dessert? I redeemed myself with Raspberry Peach Pie.
Forty Creek Pecan Pie
Forty Creek Whisky Pecan Pie
Forty Creek Whisky Pecan Pie by TheMessyBaker.com In our home, birthdays are about dessert. It doesn't matter if the ingredients send me to six specialty shops, or if the results require a small team of architecture students to assemble. If you can dream it, I will make it. Providing you're a family member. Two-recipes-in-one, Frozen Lemon Pavlova? Of course, Mom. Hazelnut Mocha Tort with fancy chocolate topping? My pleasure, Allison. Non-Jammy Raspberry Pie? Anything for you, my only Father-in-Law. So this year, when Andrew asked for Pecan Pie I couldn't say no.
Raspberry Pie about to go into the oven - TheMessyBaker.com
Raspberry Pie

Raspberry pie is risky business. Jam-style diehards want theirs sweet, sweet, sweet, while people like me long for a slice that will pucker the palate. After all, the ice cream's supposed to smooth things over. Right? If the filling isn't stressful enough, then there's the crust...

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Recipe: Surreal Chocolate Wontons
This is Bob Blumer, aka the Surreal Gourmet. I had the pleasure of meeting him and tasting his fun food at The Drake in Toronto recently. If he looks a bit blurry it's because he moves too quickly for my camera. He thinks quickly too. As he sat and chatted with the group, Blumer created cocktail ideas on the spot based on a recipe one of the guests pulled at random from his newest book, Glutton for Pleasure. Despite his tendency towards avocado-shaped guitars, sponge cake fries and meat cupcakes, Blumer is surpringly down to earth. He hates wasting ingredients and is a strong supporter of Second Harvest. He believes anyone can cook, and because of what he readily admits is "a short attention span", designs dishes to be on the table in the time it takes to listen to an album. He's also modest. With five cookbooks and a Foodnetwork show, Blumer claims his only advantage over Anthony Bourdain, (is it just me or could Blumer be cast as a younger Bourdain?) is that his surreal adventures are so crazy he needs only 1/10 the talent. To showcase his unique approach to food, Blumer made three dishes. The first was Chicken Popsicles, which are incredibly addictive but somewhat recalcitrant. One bite in and mine hurled itself to the floor. I decided not to apply the 5-second rule given I was in public. At home? I'd have dived to the ground and finished it off before standing up again.
Decorative chocolate drizzles - The Messy Baker
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...

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Recipe: Plum Frangipane Tart
Plum Frangipane Tart by The Messy Baker Little Jack Horner's got nothing on me. What's he got? A corner, a thumb and a nursery rhyme no one understands. Me? I've got fresh plums and frangipane. That's right. You heard me. Frangipane. I know. It sounds like a resort cocktail, but it's really just fancy food talk for a filling made with ground almonds. And plums and almonds go together like boozy fruit-based cocktails and tiny paper umbrellas --  or sneaky little boys and pies -- so this was combination seemed obvious. I had pastry left over from the annual Thanksgiving Concord Grape Pie -- enough to make a 6-inch tart. So, I got creative with the plums. Compared to the in-your-face-I'm-a-GRAPE pie, this one is subtle. But subtle's good. Good enough to stick your thumb in.
Chocolate-Pear-tart
Recipe: Pear and Chocolate Tart

When you do nothing to your pear tree but leave it be, you can expect trouble. And trouble came to my friend in the form of dozens and dozens and dozens of bug-free, blemishless, picture perfect pears. Her punishment? Driving some over to me. That'll...

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Pink Angels – A Devilishly Sweet Square Recipe
Pink Angels, a devilishly sweet square - The Messy Baker Pink. I hate it. It's yet another carry over from my childhood. Every time I wore any shade of fuschia, magenta or bubble-gum some well-meaning adult would put a hand to my forehead and ask me if I was feeling all right. Classmates? They'd just tell me to get a tan. If you grew up with encouragement like this, you too would  learn to loathe pink in all its rosy glory. But when it comes to food? I'm a little more accepting. I figure pink's okay if it goes in me, not on me. These Pink Angels (also known as Pink Sin or Pink Ladies*) are a classic Canadian goodie most often found at church functions. Exceptionally sweet, these squares have no nutritional value, will corrode your tooth enamel before you've swallowed, and can send your blood sugar through the roof. However, if you like your sweets sweet, you'll find them so tasty you'll be willing to risk it all -- even the red food colouring.

Subscribe to my newsletter.

It’s easy. It’s free. It’s informative.

 

Receive weekly tips, recipes and advanced notice of upcoming events.

Yes, please!