Macaron Diaries – La Bamboche

La Bamboche - Candy Coated Culinista

La Bamboche – Candy Coated Culinista

Location: 4 Manor Road East, Toronto, Ontario, M4S 1P8 (416.481.6735)
Website: http://www.labamboche.ca

On my way to go see a movie in uptown Toronto I realized that one of my Macaron Quest shops was in the area so I made the little trek out of the way to visit La Bamboche.

This bakery is quietly tucked away on a side street just off Yonge St. between Davisville & Eglinton. When you enter there are many beautiful treats that will call your name and say, “try me, I’m sooo good!” I bet they were, but I was on a mission this day, and I will not deterred! Today there were eight varieties of macarons available. I had checked their website ahead of time and chose the flavours I wanted; but to my pleasant surprise those flavours were not there. There seems to be a different roster of macaroons, the flavours on the menu this day were strawberry champagne, margarita, yuzu (a citrus fruit from East Asia), mystery, sangria, lavender, Shirley Temple , watermelon, pistachio and caramel sea salt. These macarons were roughly the size of a loonie and cost 2.60 each and if you buy 6 or more it is tax free. So I was treated to six by Mr. C! and the clerk complimented him on his new Steampunk Metroid shirt, which made him very happy! I choose strawberry champagne, sangria, mystery, Shirley Temple, pistachio and caramel sea salt.

Mr. C. thought these were much creamier than Petit Theut. The first one I tried was the sangria, it’s a lovely shade of purple (my favorite colour) and is delicate to the touch and the filling was light and airy; almost whipped like. Next was the strawberry champagne: This is my favorite so far, the filling tasted like strawberries and has a little silver edible pearl as a decoration. The taste was everything I was hoping for, it’s sweet but not too sweet; so you can eat more than one and not overdose on sugar. I can’t wait to try my next one Shirley temple but two was my limit for the night.

The next day I enjoyed my Shirley Temple. It was delightful! Now I haven’t had a Shirley Temple in a very long time, probably since I was a child at a wedding. I loved it, and the next time I go back I will be enjoying my Shirley Temple macaron with a real Shirley temple.

I brought Pistachio to work for a co-worker and after enjoying the sampling I gave her, she understands why I am in love with these things she never even heard of before.

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Raspberry Mango Pineapple Yogurt Ice Pops

Raspberry Mango Pineapple Yogurt Ice Pops - Candy Coated Culinista

Raspberry Mango Pineapple Yogurt Ice Pops – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s summer and when summer hits I have a slushie every other day habit; and I need to kick it for me and my wallet. I will enjoy any iced treat from Mac’s, Second Cup, Timothy’s, Starbucks, 7-Eleven, Tim Horton’s, Icee’s at the movies even the ones fast food restaurants and pumping out now. We’re in a heat wave this week with 40°C weather with the humidex, so I decided to use the Popsicle moulds I bought at the end of May and start making healthier popsicles myself.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 24 hours in the freezer to set
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 12 oz raspberries
• 4 tbsp sugar
• 100g IOGO Mango Pineapple yogurt

Assembly
1. Toss raspberries and sugar into a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Place a portion of the raspberry puree into the bottom of the molds, then add the yoghurt and then finally top off with more raspberries.
3. Place the sticks in and freeze for 24 hours.
4. Once frozen run a little cold water over the mould to dislodged the pop.

Tips
• Remember to add more sugar than how it tastes not frozen. When it freezes the sweetness lessens.
• Leave a little space at the top for expansion.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Yeah!! Cheap homemade ice pops and made with yogurt; which I cannot eat unless it’s apparently in a smoothie and masked with fruit or in a ice pop. It was a little tart so I would add more sugar to ensure sweetness when it is frozen. I adjusted the recipe to 4 tbsp instead of the 2 tbsp I used. I couldn’t wait and snuck an ice pop at the 20 hour mark and it was frozen already. It just depends on what setting your fridge is at.

TO Food Fest

Date: Sunday June 23 2013
Place: Chinese Cultural Center, Scarborough, Ontario M1B 5Z5
Website: http://tofoodfest.com/

A friend and also a restaurant food blogger (http://idontcookblog.wordpress.com) told me about this food fest and got me on the media list. The TO Food Fest “brings together top foodie-reviewed restaurants and local hidden gems into one exciting event.” The TO Food Fest is where “established and aspiring chefs can be found, giving the local community a taste of unique and delicious cuisine.” Since I was on the media list I could see the vendors early and ask any questions and take photos. The vendors were very nice and accommodating even though they were getting ready for their day, and in some cases gave a sample and a quick blurb about what they make. 2013 came around and I said I would just go as non-media and to my surprise I got invited back as media. So the decision was made I signed up to return as media and got my sneak peek before the food fest started.

Here’s the rundown of my stops from 2012 & 2013:

All Mine Caramel
Website:http://www.allminecaramel.ca
Started as a small home based business and as Shannon’s homemade caramels that she gave as gifts
became so well loved and received she started her own business.

Babi and co.
Indonesian street food.

Bake’n
Everything here has bacon. On the menu was bacon cheesecake, sticky toffee bacon cake, and bacon salted caramel popcorn. I bought some delicious bacon popcorn and I was happy to see bits of bacon nestled inside the bags and not just the flavour of bacon.

Bakin’ bits
They make custom cakes and cupcakes.

Baoss
Means bun is Chinese and here open faced sandwiches are served. On the menu was pork belly, veal cheeks and lobster.

Big Moe’s (Burgers – Fires – Funnel Cakes)
The idea for Big Moe’s is like Burger Priest; simplicity in the burger. Everyone is named Moe – Big Moe, Mini Moe and Cousin Moe. The Holey Moley” is a doughnut burger; and the Juicy Lucy Burger has cheese in the centre of the patty. One of the interesting things is they are the only place in Toronto serving Tornado Fries on a 18” skewer stick; which they import specially from abroad. All Halal meat is used in their burgers also.

Brazilian Pastel
This treat looks like a Samosa and started in San Paolo and consists of a deep fried pastry filled with chicken, beef, banana & nutella, pizza or a taco mix. These tasted great and the banana and nutella made a perfect dessert treat.

Bricks & Mortar
The menu looked great but I couldn’t eat everything so I settled on getting my drink from there I had the Hibiscus green tea for $2.00. I wasn’t too sweet and had a little bitterness from the Hibiscus. This was a really refreshing drink on a hot sweltering day.

Buster’s Sea Cove Food truck
A sea food focused food truck that sells oysters on the half shelf, lobster rolls, fish tacos, crab rolls & Key lime pie.

Casa Manila
This restaurants motto is to serve “festive Filipino flavour“ and they want people to experience Filipino food. While the owner was talking to us one of the chefs was preparing the Halo Halo – a mix assorted fruits & sweet beans, custard toppings with shaved ice cream and topped with ube (taro) ice cream desert. I had never tried something like this before and I have tasted Filipino food and made it myself. The media that tried it like it.

Comida Del Pueblo
Means food of the people and they make American Latin fusion. They were highlighting their jalapeno cornbread grilled cheese. It looked delicious but I didn’t try it because of the jalapenos.

Dutch Frites
Website:http://www.dutchfrites.ca
“Authentic gourmet food from Holland.” The goal for Dutch Frites is to give a twist on traditional North American finger foods and expose us to the foods of Holland in each dish.

Francesca Bakery
Website: http://www.francescabakery.com
I was so happy when I saw macarons! I made sure to come back and buy some, so I bought 12. Also on the menu was Sicilian cannoli and aranici, which are fried rice balls coated with breadcrumbs with something stuffed in the middle, like mozzarella or meat.

Fruity Splendor fruit Carving Designs
Do you want to learn how to carve fruit? There aren’t many specialty tools and what is produced is amazing. The carver told us it takes 1 hour to carve a honey dew melon. I was amazed at what she could do with such simple tools.

Gala’s Peppersauce 2012-2013
Website: http://www.galaspeppersauce.com
I bought this for a Jamacian friend who loves spice. There are no preservatives in Gala’s products so they only have a one year shelf life. The two flavours are Xtra Hot & Hot; and are made from scotch bonnets which are commonly found in Jamaica.

How Bout Those Meatballs
A young Italian boy making amazing meatballs: He has no recipe or measurements, his nona said “put love into it and it will always turn out well. He makes his meatballs (a mixture of veal and beef) in the backyard with his mom. Mr. C`s. Sandwich was to die for he said; he also wished I brought him more. The meatball was served on a Ciabatta mini bun with arugula and his marinara sauce. The menu has expanded and I bought the Isabella sandwich along with the meatball sandwich and it was spicy. Mr. C. got the spicy Isabella which he said was spicy and I got the regular Isabella, which still had some kick to is (avocado on it)

Ice volcano ice cream
Website: http://www.icevolcano.ca
“The coolest, coldest and fastest way of making ice cream… with -196°C liquid nitrogen.” Orange fresh strawberry, Mango and Milo are some flavours available.

Jamie’s Cracked Corn
Website: http://www.jamiescrackedcorn.com/
Jamie’s cracked corn makes Kettle Corn with a recipe that is over 200 years old. He uses sugar cane, no nut, dairy, gluten or Trans fats. I bought a huge bag for home and I enjoyed it and wished I had grabbed two bags. It was light, airy and melted on my tongue. Lightly dusted with sea salt and not overly saturated with caramel coating. I would definitely buy this again. This year I went back and bought another bag and it tasted just a great as I remembered.

Kalofagas
Website: http://www.kalofagas.ca/
I wanted Greek food, now I should venture into the unknown foods but something about this Greek wrap drew me in and I didn’t regret it. Pork Souvlaki wrap 4$

Kanga
Website: http://www.eatkanga.com
Handheld Aussie styled meat pies served with ketchup. Vegemite is used in the pies and is a nod to the Aussie background. “An individually portioned, handheld, buttery pie filled with loads of meat, veg and gravy is intended to be eaten with one hand only (the other is strictly reserved for the beverage of your choice)!”

Liko’s Hawaiian BBQ
Website: http://www.hawaiianbarbeque.ca
Served here today was pork skewers, pineapple soda and pulled pork on a bun. They were grilling on a large BBQ and it smelt and looks delicious. A secret BBQ recipe that has been passed down from generation to generations is used. That make no shortcuts and want a quality dish sent out everytime.

Little Tomato Catering
Website: http://www.littletomatocatering.com/
This is a catering company has a passion for food. Menus are custom tailored to each event and to meet your specifications and budget. Today they were serving Gourmet pizzas. Yum.

Mary Macleod’s Shortbreads Website: http://www.marymacleod.ca
This business has been around for 32 years and Holt Renfrew has been a client for over 25 years and Pusateri’s also carries their `treats. The story is one day a lady dressed impeccably head to toe in turquoise in the late 70’s early 80’s came in and tasted Mary’s shortbreads loved them and gave her a card, she worked for Holts and since then they make cookies every Christmas for them. The three flavours are Original, Belgian chocolate and chocolate crunch. I have never tasted chocolate shortbread before and thought shortbread had to be plain. That’s how much I new and I can see why they are still a favourite of Holt Renfrew for sure.

Me.n.u.
Website: http://www.menuft.com
Travel eat share. Foods and taste from all over the world.

Mocha King
Traditional mocha with a twist.

Nom Nom Nom Crepes
Website: http://www.nnncrepes.com
Mr. C. and I split the Twinkie- Crispy fried crepe. It is a deep fried crepes rolled like a twinkle with raspberry jam. I tasted amazing and the raspberry drizzle the perfect balance to the sweet treat.

Pancho’s Bakery
Today on the menu was churro’s.

Patisserie Royale
Website: http://www.patisserieroyale.com
Here a 300 year old family recipe that has been voted best in T.O. for Baklava by Blog. T.O. I love baklava and this was no exception; It was sticky and sweet, but not too sweet with the right amount of crunch and dusting of pistachio’s on top. Hands down the best baklava I’ve tasted.

Rodney’s Oyster House
Website: http://www.rodneysoysterhouse.com
Rodney’s Oyster House is the one of the most popular oyster houses in the city if not the most popular. It has great food and atmosphere. For the fest they had oysters on ice for us to enjoy.

Smash Cake
Website:http://www.smashcake.ca
A baking and catering company, which offers a wide variety of events services and products.

Sopsop
Website:http://www.sopsop.ca
A passion for food is what SopSop has and their goal is to find the perfect balance between the familiar dishes with influences from cuisines around the world.

Summertime Lemonade
Lemonade is sold here and nothing is more enjoyable than fresh squeezed lemonade in the summer.

Taco Cat
A bunch of 20 year old Asian young adults are putting their stamp on making taco’s with a unique flair; on such example is the deep fried squid taco.

Urban Acorn
Website: http://www.urbanacorn.ca
Eat fresh, local, organic & eat more plants. This equals their local flexitarianism philosophy.
This was my second time every hearing the term Flexitarian. It basically means you don’t always want to eat meat.

What’s your cupcake? Muffin!!!
Gourmet cupcakes with unique combinations! A daughter and mom team make these out of their kitchen and we got to sample chocolate curry, strawberry peppercorn and wasabi chocolate cupcakes.

Gala's Pepper Sauce

Gala’s Pepper Sauce

Bakin’ Bits

Bakin’ Bits

All Mine Caramel

All Mine Caramel

Urban Acorn

Urban Acorn

Bricks & Motar

Bricks & Motar

Nom Nom Nom Crepes

Nom Nom Nom Crepes

Grub

Grub

Babi and Co.

Babi and Co.

Little Tomato Catering

Little Tomato Catering

Gushi

Gushi

Kanga

Kanga

Kalofagas

Kalofagas

Smash Cake

Smash Cake

Tacocat

Tacocat

Fruity Splendor Fruit Carving Designs

Fruity Splendor Fruit Carving Designs

What’s Your Cupcake? Muffin!!!

What’s Your Cupcake? Muffin!!!

James Cunningham

Who: James Cunningham
Book: Eat St.

Eat St. is one of my favorite Food Network shows, so naturally when the book came out on March 19, I scooped it up. I was ordering some books online from chapters and I saw that James Cunningham was making an appearance at the Chapters/Indigo in the building across from my work, and I knew what I had to do. On my lunch break I walked over to First Canadian Place and saw James out front signing at the table.

When I came up James was talking to another fan getting the signature for someone else (this was a father’s day promotion). I enjoyed plenty of laughs in line whether food related or not, as James is a comedian and knows how to entertain. When it was my turn we talked about his favorite recipes and the foods that were unforgettable, and gave me some suggestions on what I must try. Now He’s not a great cook, but he loves to eat. While we were talking another lady had come by asking what was the book about, and I had mentioned you got to buy this and try the chocolate Diablo cookies recipe. It is one of my fav’s and every time the episode comes on I’m watching it. When I mentioned I’m on my lunch and this is a great way to spend it he’d inquired to what I do. He actually has done shows 2 years in a row for the governing association of my company; he made a few quips about how my company name sounds very spicy and Latin and fast. He even noticed that I was wearing my company colours in my outfit. I didn’t even realize it until he said it, to which we laughed.

When recommending some recipes he said “do you eat meat?” I said of course I do and then he said I need to try the below first:
S’mores Waffles – The Waffle Bus – Houston, Texas pg 273.
Maple bacon Cupcakes – Sugar Rush by Sweetness Bakeshop – Miami Florida pg, 252. Easy and really great.
Coconut Halibut Cheeks – Vij’s Railway Express – Vancouver, British Columbia pg 196. He mentioned Vij’s one of the most rebound Indian chef’s in the country. Vij’s is approachable a great person and very knowledgeable and was one of his favourite visits.
Mac and cheese Cones with bacon “Bling” – Gypsy Queen Café – Baltimore, Maryland. Tip- Spray Pam around the inside of the cones to ensure they stay crunchy, and also keep the bacon fat and stir that back into the mac & cheese. We both laughed as this is perfect BBQ food. You can eat your plate and have a beer in one hand and your mac & cheese cone in the other.
Jhal Muri – Everybody Love Love Jhal Muri Express – London England said he was such a character and fun.

It was a great experience meeting him. Even though I hadn’t held onto my receipt from March, he still signed my book just the same, which I was very grateful for. I had many many laughs high fives and a couple of photos too.

Blueberry Sorbet

Blueberry Sorbet - Candy Coated Culinista

Blueberry Sorbet – Candy Coated Culinista

The Chatelaine cooking challenge this time was ice cream. I was happy because I haven’t made any frozen desserts in my cooking repertoire. But then I saw that all the recipes required the use of an ice cream maker. Nooooo I don’t have one, and I don’t want to spend $70 to try making ice cream either, so I said I will try and make it by hand. If it’s not a Lemony Letdown I will submit it and see what happens. I submitted my photo on Tuesday and got an RT saying “I’m a pro” in response to my blueberry sorbet made without an ice cream maker. “I wish I was a pro” I thought. Cut to me Friday morning and me actually seeing my photo on the cover page for this week’s Chateliane Cooking Club Ice Cream challenge and I was floored.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 cups Blueberries
• 3 tbsp Honey
• 2 ½ cup Ice cubes
• 1 tsp vodka (optional)

Assembly
1. Add blueberries, honey and blend in a blender.
2. Add in ice cubes and blend until smooth.
3. Put sorbet in a container and put in the freezer and check in on it until it has firm up slightly.
4. Scoop and serve. Add fresh whole berries if desired.

Tips
• I will try and add a little vodka the next time I make this as mine was a block of ice after staying in the fridge overnight.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was quick and easy; I would probably add a little more sugar. If I ever buy an ice cream maker, I will be trying the recipes and see how different they taste. The below recipes were the two I was debating between from Chatelaine when I realized I don’t have an ice cream maker. I just took ingredients from their Tangy Lemon Sorbet & Blueberry-swirl Frozen Yogurt and went mad scientist.

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