Candy Diaries: Papabubble Toronto

Papabubble Toronto - Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto – Candy Coated Culinista

Location: 3360 Yonge Street. Toronto, Ontario M4N 2M7 Phone Number: 416-483-3360

Do you ever have a connection to a certain type of food that just drums up all these memories every time you see them? Well I do and Papabubble reminds me of the handmade rock candy I would get from my Gran & Auntie when they visited England. When I saw a few pictures of Papabubble’s candy I knew I’d have to visit this shop when I found myself Uptown. Papabubble was founded in Barcelona and strives to make authentic high quality handmade hard candy. The Toronto and only Canadian location opened in October and is the third North and for me it’s an avid candy lover’s place to visit.

When I entered the minimalistic but attractive store there was an associate who welcomed me and two candy makers cutting the candy. They were cutting purple “X & O” candy which means they are prepping for Valentine’s Day as the Christmas season is now officially over. There was a lovely red, black and white mural on the wall and a very inviting winterscape made of pulled candy in the window.
As I walked around I saw a big candy hook – a hook used for pulling the candy many many times to aerate the batch (you read one confectioners book and you’d be surprised what you retain and like I said I love candy) Sadly I didn’t get to see it in use sadly or see them twisting and scraping and freshly made candy.

Then I looked at the two candy shelves where there is striped and solid candy with little design inside like a happy birthday, snowman, apple, banana; basically anything is possible. Prices range from a 60g bag for $6 to a 275g jar for $25 along with lollis and seasonal flavours. The price is a little steep but you are paying for the artisan handmade aspect of this process. If you can appreciate the process then you can understand the pricing. Custom candies can also be made in lolli and candy form. I was offered a taste of the traditional candy and they the sour mix, all of which was delicious; but then I’m partial to candy.

The candy itself wasn’t hard as I bit into it which I enjoyed and also made it easier to eat too much and the flavours were great. I bought the Happy Birthday Mix as my birthday is fast approaching and this will be my birthday candy for the day with flavours of melon, vanilla cream & strawberry cream and then the holiday mix or cream soda, blueberry and watermelon. (These cute candies said Happy Birthday in the centre, or Happy Holidays, a snow flake and a snowman.) and the packaging is darling and I now have a jar to use for something else.

I went back again this weekend and grabbed some Chinese New Year mix with flavours. Banana, lychee, pineapple, mango and guava, Valentine’s Day mini candy test tube and some egg nog candies. They all tasted amazing and I am wishing The Chinese Mix was a year round mix personally.

This particular art of candy making I find very interesting and would love to take a workshop if possible some day.
If you want that little bit of nostalgia from your childhood or you love beautifully crafted artisanal handmade products or you fall somewhere in the middle like me go visit Papabubble you won’t regret it.

Papabubble Toronto - Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto – Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto - Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto – Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto - Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto – Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto - Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto – Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto - Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto – Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto - Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto – Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto - Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto – Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto - Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto – Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto - Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto – Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto - Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto – Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto - Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto – Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto - Candy Coated Culinista

Papabubble Toronto – Candy Coated Culinista

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The Delicious Food Show

The Delicious Food Show

The Delicious Food Show

When: October 17-19 2014
Place: The CNE Exhibition Place

For the first time I visited The Delicious Food Show this year. I took Friday off work to ensure I arrived pretty close to the opening time, as I just didn’t want to have to deal with an insane amount of people. My goal today was really only one thing to get my copy of Molto Gusto by Mario Batali signed and also buy a copy of his new book America Farm to Table. The Friday Celebrity Chef line up included Tyler Florence, Mario Batali, Mark McEwen and Chuck Hughes (who I have met prior, first in line might I add). Chuck was signing his books along with a quick snapshot so I just hung around and took a few shots of him. I will say I learned a few things about Chuck hanging around: He grew up in Etobicoke for a time in his childhood. I thought he had always lived in Quebec and he also lived very close to Humber College my alma mater. I overheard all this information when two girls from the culinary program at Humber College asked him to say a few words to the culinary class. He grabbed the microphone faced the camera and told the students to stay in school; and that this is the time when they can burn all the food they want and it will be ok, so do it now. He made a quick joke and did a mini mic drop. He shook the girl’s hands and was so helpful, encouraging and personable and this is why I admire this man, so much.

Now cut to Mario Batali and this did not turn out as I had hoped. I didn’t mind waiting 20-30 extra minutes for him, but others in line were complaining and mentioning other chefs didn’t do this. The one bummer was he wouldn’t allow a quick photo and to add insult he barely said a word unless you said something to him, which I did. I just thanked him for coming to the show and seeing us. Short and sweet and he said you’re more than welcome. Fans were also handing our books a helper to speed up this whole signing process, so we were feet away from Mario when he was signing. In comparison you could get close to Chuck and he’d chat with you for a second and even shake your hand of give a hug. I really haven’t had a signature from any U.S.A. chefs except for Cake boss & Georgetown Cupcakes; which are two TV celebrities and Smitten Kitchen a blogger, so I don’t know if this is a thing or just his personality, but lots of us were left feeling cold and turned off. I grabbed my book and went exploring the foods. The only upside to that experience was I was second in line behind Julie a contestant from the premiere season of Masterchef Canada who was knocked out seventh on the show.

The delicious food floor.
I ran into alot of my usual Food truck fare restaurants, but in a booth form today, so I passed on them. Oysters seemed to be popular again as well as gourmet doughnuts and cured meats, cakes, cake pops, tequila in 3 incarnation from one booth. My cocktail of the show consisted of J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Whiskey shaken with house-made sour mix topped with a splash of Jacobs Creek Shiraz. I don’t like wine but I love whiskey sours and this made me enjoy wine so much more. Of course I found Macarons from AG Macaron and left with 6 flavours and a sugar cookies from The Teeny Tiny Bakery. I also learned that Maille has over 6 flavours of mustard that can be found in Toronto in various store. I am now on the hunt for the fine herbs mustard and the and some delightful truffle flavored gouda cheese from the dairy farmers of Ontario section.

Exploring the floor I was wandering a little more and saw graphic tees. I looked at the designs and said I know this art; these are Pierre Lamielle’s designs from Top Chef Canada. I continued to look and choose what I was going to get and heard Pierre’s voice but the person didn’t look like him…he cut his trademark beard. I had seen him with a beard through Top Chef Canada and then many many months later on Chopped Canada, so I mentioned you are almost unrecognizable. To that he quipped – “my mother said you’re not my son” to his now absent beard. I choose a very culinary and totally cheeky tee and looked at some tea towels and went on my merry way. Pierre was a delight and just as funny and quirky as he was on TV.

My last stop of the day was the Tyler Florence demo to learn some tips as, I watch him on the Great Food Truck Race. I have learned following William Sonoma on Instagram that the two have a partnership together, so I made it a point to check this demo out. While he was cooking he answered questions and told us about his new book: Inside the Test Kitchen coming out at the end of the month. He even passed a copy of his book around for us to take a peek at, and showed us food pictures off his phone. Today he made an alternative to a Porchetta with a ham leg, buttered turnips and apple mustard. We were even treated to tasting the ham if we were willing to line up and wait. I will be trying this recipe on a smaller scale soon. Tyler showed so much passion and so endearing that I have become more than just a casual fan.

Overall the show wasn’t as big as I expected or that I hoped it to be. I went with the hopes of seeing and getting some tips and trick from some amazing chefs and that was definitely accomplished. I had a great time, even if I found the show rather small. I wouldn’t take a full day off work again for this unless I have a particular chef I want to see or am taking an exclusive chef series with a cooking personality. I left the show with a few more places on my quest and diaries list to try and an amazing peeler for those very hard to peel vegetables…I’m talking to you rutabaga.

Tyler Florence - The Delicious Food Show

Tyler Florence – The Delicious Food Show

Porchetta, Buttered Turnips & Apple Mustards - The Delicious Food Show

Porchetta, Buttered Turnips & Apple Mustards – The Delicious Food Show

Von Doughnuts The Delicious Food Show

Von Doughnuts The Delicious Food Show

Chuck hughes - The Delicious Food Show

Chuck hughes – The Delicious Food Show

Short & Sweet Cupcakes - The Delicious Food Show

Short & Sweet Cupcakes – The Delicious Food Show

Cured Meats  - The Delicious Food Show

Cured Meats – The Delicious Food Show

AG Macarons Maille Mustards  - The Delicious Food Show

AG Macarons Maille Mustards – The Delicious Food Show

The Toronto Sour  - The Delicious Food Show

The Toronto Sour – The Delicious Food Show

Purchases from The Delicious Food Show

Purchases from The Delicious Food Show

Books Signed by Mario Batali - The Delicious Food Show

Books Signed by Mario Batali – The Delicious Food Show

Maille Mustards  - The Delicious Food Show

Maille Mustards – The Delicious Food Show

Oysters - The Delicious Food Show

Oysters – The Delicious Food Show

Tequila - The Delicious Food Show

Tequila – The Delicious Food Show

The Toronto Sour - The Delicious Food Show

The Toronto Sour – The Delicious Food Show

Food Trucks - The Delicious Food Show

Food Trucks – The Delicious Food Show

Smitten Kitchen

Before I even thought of creating a blog I was already amassing a collection of posts and thoughts. When one of my favorite bloggers was coming to Canada to talk about her new cookbook I made sure I was going and guess who was second in line for the event.

Who: Friday November 16th @ 7pm
Where: George Brown Chef’s School Campus
www.smittenkitchen.com

“Fearless cooking from a tiny kitchen in New York City” that’s Deb’s tagline. We will see a lot of comfort foods stepped up a bit; and she is wary of excessively fussy foods or pretentious ingredients. She thinks food should be accessible and is certain that you don’t need any of those fancy ingredients to cook fantastically.

This event initially was meant to be held at the cookbook store (the hosts of the event) but the small store front could only hold 40 people and the owner thought it would be a wine and cheese event. She underestimated the power of smitten kitchen. The venue was changed to a accommodate 300 plus people and when I saw that tickets were available I called immediately. I got the 7th last ticket for the smaller event. I just made it in before the venue change I heard when I meet a girl who works at my gym in line. She was on a waiting list as this event sold out fast.

I first learned about Deb and her blog when I “Stumpled upon” her on my iPad and I have never looked back. I hope one day my pictures and her way with words rubs off on me. Her knack for great food styling and plating is admirable and this book has been on my wish list for a long time as I awaited its release.

I stayed late at work and decide to arrive @ 5:30 for the 7:00 show. I wanted to be near the front. I was second, me and another fan (and I must say a bigger fan than me where the only two for a while. She had mention she wanted a second copy so she could keep one pristine and the other for actual cooking; now that’s a real fan in my eyes. We had arrived a little too early and nothing was set up yet so we were escorted to the area where the signing and interview would be held, and we chatted about Deb and our favorite recipes

Tara O’Brady of Seven Spoons Blog interviewed Deb, as she has been a fan of hers for a very long time. Smitten Kitchen gets 5 million views per month, 150,000 comments from the blogs inception till today. Deb noted doing the book was really hard and took 3 years to get her recipes into a book. She quipped to us that blog to a book doesn’t translate like you think; ideally it should but it doesn’t. Her format of the blog has been recipe, photo and story. Deb is a genuine person who seemed a little surprised that all these people would come out to see her and even a tad nervous but she was humorous.

While getting the book started recipes were tested over and over; Dutch baby became Jakob’s favourite dish as he had it for 2 weeks for lunch while mommy was testing it out. He also loves blintzes, noodles, potatoes and meatballs. Jakob is a picky eater like his mom and she doesn’t like fish, but the one fish recipe in the book she’d eat once and awhile. When asked a question she said “I’m the best Jew ever” I like pork and mussels and clams. The audience laughed.

Deb finds chef recipes the hardest as they don’t always translate to the home chefs kitchen, which is why they team up with others for help. Her favourite styles of cooking are American Seasonal, Eastern European, French and Italian. One of the books she always re-visits is the Joy of Cooking.

The holidays were coming up and she was looking forward to American Thanksgiving. She isn’t allowed to make any of the dinners as her cousins or in-laws and her family always have big dinners for 20 plus people each year. She is in charge of the desserts and always brings the deep dish apple pie (she created this dish so she only had to make one pie as everyone in her family wants pie). For the in-laws they all want her ginger snap cheesecake tart. Deb thinks the wild rice gratin is the tastiest dish in her book and its vegetarian; but she finds it hard to photograph recipes that are green and brown. She told us to stay creative as she is always jotting down recipe ideas even when she is not baking or cooking; some may never come to fruition but they are written down.

This was a very fun and intimate show. I learned a lot more about her than a blog can reveal and I left with a personalized autograph and a photo. A great night was had by all.

***The Cookbook Store closed down this summer due to a new Condo going up where they were leasing store space. This cooks haven in now gone, but there are still events from time to time being held around Toronto.***

Macaron Diaries – Loblaws Patisserie

Loblaws Patissserie - Candy Coated Culinista

Loblaws Patissserie – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Macaron Day and the first day of Spring! Today is Macaron day and I had intended to have my 2nd attempt Macaron post up but I just somehow got side tracked with other recipes and holidays (St. Patrick’s Day) C’est la Vie. Macaron Day has been celebrated for the last nine years now, and it was created to get people to try my most favourite treat and also give money to a local charity. In Toronto they are supporting the Red Door Family Shelter and various children related causes like the Sick Kids Hospital. Spread the love to today and get your self a Macaron and support this cause. For more information about Macaron Day T.O. click here.

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

I was in Loblaws on a search for Anchovy Fillets, for the Roasted Turkey Breast with Olive Salsa Verde I was going to make. As I passed the Patisserie section to my great excitement I saw Macarons and Portuguese Custard Tarts. I was in a rush that day so I decided to come back another day to partake. When I went back there were cases and cases full of cakes, cupcakes, bon bons, tarts and much more. Let me tell you this patisserie takes pride in their product from beginning to end. I placed my order and the patissier gently placed the macarons in a cellophane bag and then transferred them into a paper box, and put a sticker on it with directions. It said its best served 30-45 minutes after removing it from the fridge. She was about to tell me to be careful as these are very delicate and we both said “delicate” at the same time and laughed. I had previously learned how delicate they are from holding them for 3 hours on Quest #2 La Bamboche. There is no safe place in a movie theatre to rest my precious delights without worry so set them on my lap.

I needed to take a picture of all their offerings but was feeling a bit awkward. Then a man to my right was approaching and saying “you to eh”, to which I replied “yes I love these things there my quest” to which he said “they’re all so so yummy and beautiful”. So we both just took our pictures and smiled.

When I tasted these I immediately noticed the difference from the other two macarons I have tasted. The meringue was made very differently; the interior of the shell had air pockets in it. I believe they used the Italian meringue method versus the French meringue method I recently tasted. It tended to crumble more as there was no body to the shell to keep everything together. The fillings were pretty good but the shell made it hard to enjoy my macaron experience.

Loblaws Patissserie Case - Candy Coated Culinista

Loblaws Patissserie Case – Candy Coated Culinista

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