Doughnut Diaries: Glory Hole Doughnuts

Doughnuts Diaries: Glory Hole Doughnuts - Candy Coated Culinista

Doughnuts Diaries: Glory Hole Doughnuts – Candy Coated Culinista

Location: 1596 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, 647-352-4848

I finally found myself in Parkdale and of course when I’m in a new part of the city I check to see what on my Quest list is in a 5 km radius and there it was Glory Hole Doughnuts. Glory Hole Doughnuts are made with natural ingredients, by hand every day. Most of the doughnuts here are yeast doughnuts which go through a time-consuming process of mixing, first proof, rolling, cutting, second proof, and finally garnishing. They also have cake doughnuts and the doughnut holes. The basic menu consists of S’mores, Chai Brulee, Lemon Cheesecake, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Almond Cream, Dark & Stormy, Toast & Butter, PB & J, Buche De Noel, London Fog and a type of Buttermilk doughnut. There was also a gingerbread seasonal doughnut on hand when I visited.

Today I choose the dark & stormy as it was supposed to taste like the drink, PB & J and Chai Brulee. These gourmet doughnuts rival any doughnuts I have had before. They are soft, flavourful and decorated with so much love, it looks like you are eating art. Mr. C. was a huge fan as was I and we both wished I had brought home more. They all tasted exactly as they should and were generously sized. At $3.00 roughly for each doughnut they are well worth visiting time and time again. The lady at the counter was so helpful and willing to explain all the doughnuts to me that I would recommend here to anyone as a must visit. If I lived in Parkdale this would be a daily stop for me personally.

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission – Candy Coated Culinista

“Gourmet-style handheld savoury pies born and baked in Toronto.”

Place: The Pie Commission
Location: 935 The Queensway (Entrance at rear – located off Queen Elizabeth Blvd), Toronto, Ontario, M8Z 1P3
Phone: 416-848-7427
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11am – 7pm, Friday 11am – 8pm, Saturday: 11am – 6pm

5” individual round pies are made from scratch in-house, using natural ingredients – premium cuts of Canadian meat, the freshest produce and homemade beef, chicken and vegetable stock all placed in an all butter crust. Pies can also be purchased hot (to eat now) or frozen (to eat later) at a later time.

When I drove up to the Pie Commission, I was expecting a smaller store footprint as the directions were at the rear, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was also very bust and the 7 or so parking spaces were full and customers were parking across the street in a factory’s side lot. (This is a good sign to me)

Before entering I read the menus outside. The standard menu includes: Braised Beef Rib Pie, Beef ‘n Beer Pie, Butter Chicken Pie, Chicken Cheddar Bacon Mash Pie and Veg-ilicious Pie (Vegetarian). Also visited there was a seasonal menu that consisted of: Hog Squash, Lobster + Shrimp, Caplansky “Reuben” Pie and Marky + Sparky’s Pulled Pork and Jerk Chicken. I believe the Caplansky’s is named after Caplansky’s Delicatessen & Marky + Sparky’s Smokehouse. I’m not sure if they use their meat or the pies are just inspired by them, but I loved the Toronto reference and keeping it local. It gives me the feeling there is a sense of community within the food industry.

I selected the Chicken Cheddar Bacon Mash Pie – Chicken along with cheesy bacon mashed potato in the pie and for Mr. C. I got him the Pulled Pork BBQ from their seasonal menu. We split everything so we could get a good sampling of their offerings. I also served the pies with a side of organic baby romaine, grape tomatoes and green onion with lemon poppy-seed dressing to give us a balanced meal.

The crust for these pies were to die for, they were buttery and so flaky. I found that I couldn’t taste the bacon in the Chicken Cheddar Bacon Mash, but that didn’t make me dislike the pie in any way. It was so so good and the cheese added creaminess to the mashed potatoes. The Marky + Sparky’s Pulled Pork was saucier that I expected and I welcomed that, as I love anything with a sauce. I found this pie was much denser as it was packed with a lot of pulled pork.

For dessert we split a Lemon, Lime Orange Chess Pie. It tasted like pie I have made before, but it was still delicious. A chess pie is a simple pie with a crust and filling made from, eggs, butter, sugar and vanilla and was originally an English pie said the cashier.

Sides on the menu included fresh hand cut fries, gravy, chipotle lime mayo, mixed green salad, coleslaw along with the soup of the day, and desserts like pies, fresh fruit crumbles and cookies and a selection of canned or bottle drinks.

The 3 items came to $25.36 – not the cheapest considering the size of the pie, but quality ingredients go into the pies and it was so filling I couldn’t eat my slice of pie and had to wait until the next day. I would definitely visit them again.

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission – Candy Coated Culinista

Cupcake Diaries: Zoe’s Bakery Cafe

Zoe's Bakery Café - Candy Coated Culinista

Zoe’s Bakery Café – Candy Coated Culinista

Place: Zoe’s Bakery Cafe
Location: 548 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5V1M3 (416)-504-4174
Hours: Monday-Friday: 7:30am – 6:30pm; Saturday: 9am – 5pm; Sunday: 10am – 5pm
Prices: about $3.00

I have been passing by Zoe’s at least once a month for over a year now, and today I came here for the cupcakes, and to my dismay they are only on the menu based on availability, hmmm. I wasn’t going to waste a visit so I found another dessert to enjoy.

There wasn’t much selection at all considering “bakery” is in the name of the business. I had two options a jam square type thing and a tart. I choose the maple walnut tart and strawberry lemonade. This tart was not too sweet, and it was chewy, crumbly and had buttery crust. The walnuts were crunchy and well balanced within the tart. I could eat more than one and not feel that I had too many sweets or get a tooth ache. This was a pricy tart though and with the drink it came to $6.30. This would be a once and awhile thing, even though it was delicious.

Zoe's Bakery Café - Candy Coated Culinista

Zoe’s Bakery Café – Candy Coated Culinista

Macaron & Cookie Diaries – Petite & Sweet Bakes

Petite & Sweet - Candy Coated Culinista

Petite & Sweet – Candy Coated Culinista

Place: Petite & Sweet Bakes
Location: 718 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4M 2H5 (647-748-7704)
Hours: Monday: Closed; Tuesday- Thursday: 11am – 8pm; Friday & Saturday: 11am – 10pm; Sunday: 11am – 7pm
Prices: Macarons: $2.50 each; Cookies: $2.75 each.

I was on the way to the gym and I took a different streetcar which forced me to start walking from Broadview & Queen or wait for the next streetcar. It was a nice evening so I decided to take a walk. I made it all of 10 steps from the corner when I was greeted by Macarons. Needless to say my next few steps found me in the Petite & Sweet Bakes shop. This tiny storefront is done up in a luxe, upscale motif, with little tiny & adorable decorations throughout with pops of colours with a high gloss shine. I went to the case and saw the offerings: French Macarons, Cake Pops, Mini Cupcakes, Truffles, Turkish Delights, Brownies, Meringues, Cakes, Cookies and finally Speciality Coffee’s. When I was looking through I noticed some of the cookies I was eyeing looked strangely familiar. You see, even though I have never had the pleasure of tasting one of these cookies before, I knew them from their distinct look. “They are selling Moo Milk Bar Cookies!” Moo Milk Bar is on my Quest list to go visit but getting out to Queen Street East & Woodbine Avenue is a little much when it is not spring or summer. I plan to get out there for sure in the summer with Mr. C as I must try their flavoured milks and more of their cookie flavours. Today I ordered the passion fruit macaron & cowgirl cookie (espresso powder, pretzels, toffee bits, semi-sweet chocolate chips & oats) for Mr. C., and for myself I got the peppermint macaron and the red velvet cookie (a hint of cocoa with white chocolate chips).
After finishing up my post I realized I know this logo from somewhere, but where. I watched a show on Food Network Canada called Sugar Stars about the ups and downs of an events planning company, which is the other half of Petite & Sweets Bakes.

We both loved our treats. Mr. C. didn’t have much of a comment but he finished them. I thought the macaron was sweet, refreshing & cooling, a perfect treat in the winter season. I found it was a little sweet as my sweet tooth acted up, but I still enjoyed it. The red velvet cookie was so good, it was crunchy, chewy, thin & sweet and the first words after I ate it were mmmmmm so good.

Macaron Diaries – Butter Avenue

Macaron Diaries: Butter Avenue - Candy Coated Culinista

Macaron Diaries: Butter Avenue – Candy Coated Culinista

Place: Butter Avenue Patisserie & Cafe
Location: 3467 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4N 2N3
Hours: Monday: Closed, Tuesday- Thursday: 11am – 8pm,
Friday & Saturday: 11am – 10pm, Sunday: 11am – 7pm
Prices: $2.25 each, 6 for $13.50, 20 for $45.00

I had a half day from work and had some errands to run. On my way home I found myself in Mid-Town Toronto, and for once I was nearby another Macaron Patisserie I have wanted to visit for a very long time. Believe me I’m glad I finally managed to get in there. After running around I was not in the mood to make dinner and I picked some food up and walked over to Butter Avenue to get dessert. The café is quite small, but the clean lines and minimalistic approach to the design helped to make the space seem bigger. I noticed immediately the Macarons and other desserts. There is also loose-leafed tea for sale by the cup or to enjoy at home. I saw a very cute onesie that had colourful Macarons on it; what a lucky kid that gets to wear that oh so cute onesie. That left me thinking I wish they had something in my size. When I finally made it to the case there were about 10 flavours and I chose: Lychee Raspberry, White chocolate Strawberry, Cream Cheese Passion fruit, Café Au Lait, Matcha Chocolate and Cassis.

Lychee Raspberry – I could taste the lychee filling (which is one of my favourite fruits). It was sweet and chewy and it was filled around the outer rim of the shell with lychee filling and the inside to my surprise was the raspberry jam. It tasted heavenly.

White chocolate Strawberry – 2 small dried strawberry pieces are added to both sides of the shell. The filling was strawberry jam in the centre and white chocolate around it. It was soft and sweet and after the initial sweetness of the first one, I didn’t notice it as much on this one.

Mr. C. had the Café Au Lait & Cream Cheese Passion fruit. He even commented when he had the second one. “Ooohh there’s jam inside this.” I like it now that his palette is getting better at noticing nuances and such, he can appreciate the subtleties more. He can thank me for that and yes I’m taking credit because where he came from to today is vast. I brought home six and he somehow managed to have 4 while I only got 2; the sneaky bugger. How in the world does that happen when I love all things macaron!

Cupcake Diaries – Desmond & Beatrice

Cupcake Diaries: Desmond & Beatrice - Candy Coated Culinista

Cupcake Diaries: Desmond & Beatrice – Candy Coated Culinista

Desmond & Beatrice is on my Cupcakes quest list and I finally had a chance to visit this shop.

Place: Desmond & Beatrice
Location: 750 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON, M4M 1H4 (647)-352-2257
Hours: Monday – Sunday 10am – 7pm
Prices: $2.75 each. $6.22 for two with tax.

This was a very dense cupcake with an inch of swirled buttercream frosting. I loved the density of the cupcakes, because then I feel that one is enough. The frosting was rich and sweet. I am not a frosting fan so I only ate enough to taste test. Mr. C. had the strawberry cupcake and enjoyed every bite. He also noticed the density also. I also heard “yum” as he ate it.

Macaron Diaries – Patachou Patisserie

Macaron Diaries - Patachou Patisserie - Candy Coated Culinista

Macaron Diaries – Patachou Patisserie – Candy Coated Culinista

Place: Patachou Patisserie
Location: 1120 Yonge St, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 2L6 (416)-927-1105 (Summerhill)

It doesn’t matter where in the city I am I can always find a Macaron lol. I’m a magnet, I kid you not. I had to take my car into to the shop and I knew in the area there was, a cold-press juice shop I wanted to try. But as I left with my juices in had I passed a patisserie and the name sounded familiar to me, even if I couldn’t pronounce it and I was right. I stumbled upon Patachou a patisserie on my quest list and grabbed 3 macarons for later. I had my juice to start the morning off healthy and as a treat sugar for dinner. I really have only come across two macarons so far that were only so, so and these weren’t one of them. I liked that the filling was what seemed to be a whipped cream based filling.

When I went home to check out the website I learned that after 35 years in Toronto, Patachou will be closing its door on May 3rd 2013 because bakers hours are quite grueling and it’s now time to rest, says the owner and baker at Patachou. I am making sure I get back here one more time to sit down and partake in a few more offerings and taste these treats one last time.

Portuguese Custard Tart – Loblaws Patisserie

Portuguese Custard Tart - Candy Coated Culinista

Portuguese Custard Tart – Candy Coated Culinista

Place: Loblaws @ Maple Leaf Gardens
Location: 60 Carlton Street, Toronto, Ontario

My first introduction to this tart was at my workplace Annual Bake Sale for the United Way. A Portuguese co-worker would of course bring in Portuguese Tarts. Every year from then on this is what I bought. Sure I’d try other selections, but I would always leave with this treat in hand. I had a recipe that called for Anchovy Fillets and I came across the tarts on my search. Needless to say I bought some and my beloved macarons as they were in the case too.
A Portuguese custard tart consists of an outer pastry crust that is filled with egg custard and baked. The custard is sweet and firm and the top is slightly burnt giving it the characteristics that make it a Portuguese tart.

My first bite is sweet and creamy and the crust is a chewy, crispy and crunchy; just like I remembered it. I was first introduced to these tarts at work at our yearly bake sale for the United Way. A Portuguese co-worker would always bring these in and it had to be an authentic cultural treat or she wasn’t brining anything in. Since my lips have touched these tarts, every time she would bring them in for an event I was first in line. There are a bunch of great bakeries in Toronto that have excellent Portuguese tarts. I will be trying these out and having a Portuguese Custard Tart Quest.

Portuguese Custard Tart - Loblaws Patisserie - Candy Coated Culinista

Portuguese Custard Tart – Loblaws Patisserie – Candy Coated Culinista

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)

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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