Cinnamon Rolls

When I'm at work unpacking boxes, folding clothes and organizing merchandise, my mind wanders... more often than not, to food. I have a lot of time to think about it, which always causes hunger to strike at an early hour! My coworker and I often find ourselves on the topic and she came up with the brilliant idea of starting a 'workbake'. Each week (or every 2 weeks) we would all take turns to bring in baked treats. She started us off with some confetti cupcakes topped with pretty pink frosting. Next was my turn - oh what to bake?!

I really wanted to use yeast so I decided to make cinnamon rolls. Ahh so gooey and sticky - perfect for retail work ;)

I have used this recipe before. I like it because it uses instant yeast, it's simple and it doesn't take three hours! You only have to let the dough rest for 10 minutes and then rise for 30 (it says, but I waited 45). And the best part about this recipe? The result is to die for.

Oh my goodness these were good. The entire batch disappeared in a day and the girls at work all loved them. These fragrant rolls are buttery and sweet, warm and soft. They are delicious on their own as well as drizzled with a glaze. I highly recommend you have one warm and fresh from the oven. So. Good.

Hello Beautiful

Cinnamon Rolls recipe found here: All Recipes

Can you believe that I am leaving Canada today?! I sure can't. Where has the time gone?

I am (almost) all packed up with 1 large suitcase, 1 large backpack, 1 carry-on suitcase, 1 ski bag, 1 ski boots bag and a purse. Phew! I will also be sporting my ski jacket slung over my arm, and all my warm winter gear is shoved in with my skis. I hope everything goes well at the airport!

Tonight at midnight I'll be flying off to Liverpool.

This blog is going to double as a travel blog while I'm away. I hope I will still have time to post recipes but I definitely won't be baking as much as I do here at home :( BUT! I will be able to post tons of pictures of the amazing food I'll eat in Spain, Italy, France, everywhere!!

Since I'll be on the go for a while, updating will probably prove quite tricky but I promise to do my best!

In the meantime, try out this recipe (just do it!)

Next update will be from across the pond, and probably featuring a hot plate of fish n chips.

I love you Canada

A bientot!


Dark Chocolate Lasagna

Remember that dessert lasagna from Woodenheads that I was obsessing over during the school year? Well I finally got around to attempting to recreate it.

At the beginning of the summer my friend's dad challenged me to cook dinner for our two families and I excitedly accepted. It was a lot of fun menu planning and I eventually decided on a French dinner. To start we had phylo parcels filled with roasted tomatoes, spinach and goat's cheese. For the main course we had roasted chicken breasts stuffed with spinach and goat's cheese and smothered in a white wine reduction, along with roasted potatoes and sauteed green beans (heavy on the garlic). For dessert, which is quite often my favourite course, we had dessert lasagna.

I used Laura Calder's dark chocolate mousse recipe again (it really is the best!) and layered it with phylo crisps, strawberries, a strawberry reduction and a chocolate garnish. It was pretty and delicious, and that mousse... oh I love it so much.

Speaking of French food... I have exciting news. In one week I will be boarding a plane on a one-way ticket! Starting in the fall I will be working as an english teaching assistant at a high school in France. Yes, FRANCE. So why am I leaving next Sunday? Well before this whole work thing starts, I have a wedding to participate in - my sister and I are going to be bridesmaids in my cousin's wedding. So first stop (with the fam) - Liverpool, England.

Next, I'll be ditching the fam and flying to Barcelona where I'll be meeting up with friends that I met while on exchange in Australia and traveling around Spain. Beaches and endless sangria everyday all day!

After that, I'm headed to Bologna to stay with more exchange friends and travel around Italy for a few days. Hoping to see Florence Venice and Rome and all the beautiful art that resides there.

Then it's back to England to visit some friends in London, pick up my bags and finally hop over to France to find my new home and start work.


Packing your life into 2 suitcases is not easy my friends. But I'm slowly getting there, and learning what I'm going to have to live without - Sadly my cookbooks will not be making the trek :(

But oh the art I will finally see! After so many years of studying the paintings, the sculptures, and the architecture that I have come to fall in love with, now I will be able to experience them in the way one should! The Italian Renaissance remains my favourite era and I cannot express in words how incredibly excited I am to see the works of Masaccio, Ghiberti, Michelangelo, and of course Leonardo in all their glory.

And let's not forget the art of France. Hello Louvre and medieval cathedrals! Europe has been hoarding a large chunk of art history and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

It's a little overwhelming.

So anyways, that's enough about Europe for now (but OMG!!!) and onto the recipes:

Dark Chocolate Lasagna
Serves 6

Laura Calder's recipe: Dark Chocolate Mousse
(I chose to omit the Cointreau and orange zest)

Phylo Crisps:

4 sheets of phylo
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking tray with parchment.

Brush one sheet of phylo with the melted butter and sprinkle with a thin layer of icing sugar.

Lay another sheet on top of this, pat it down gently, and repeat with the butter and icing sugar.

Continue until you have 4 layers of phylo.

Next cut the phylo into triangles, whatever size you like.

Place the phylo triangles on the parchment paper and cover them with another sheet of parchment paper. To weigh it down place another baking tray on top of them.

Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

To assemble

Lay some sliced strawberries on a plate in a fan shape.

Place one phylo crisp on the berries and top with a spoonful of the mousse. Repeat with another layer of phylo and mousse.

Garnish with dark chocolate, a strawberry reduction or chocolate sauce, if desired.



Are you excited?


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the LAST of the series and the film that will bring these many years of Pottermania to a close. I think there will be a lot of fans suffering from withdrawal and/or denial during the next year.

In honour of the final installment out this week, my friends and I watched the first half of the Deathly Hallows on Monday night. We enjoyed it along with some Wizarding world treats: Cauldron cakes and pumpkin juice..

Imported all the way from Honeydukes!

So. pumped. for tomorrow at midnight.



Brownie Swirl Cake

I know Father's Day was a while ago but I am a tad behind on my blogposts and I really wanted to share this recipe with you guys! Like Mother's Day, I had to work for Father's Day and so couldn't make my dad dinner. Instead I prepared a dessert for him ahead of the date. My dad has simple taste and likes heavy, chocolately desserts. He also loves cheesecake, which we often have on special occasions, and it replaces birthday cake practically every year. It's like what Dairy Queen ice cream cakes are to others. We're a cheesecake family. 

On various accounts he has mentioned during my baking adventures that if I made brownies, he would eat them. I decided to make my Pops a decadent brownie cake that combined many of the desserts he loves. Except one - rum balls. Sorry I didn't put those in your cake dad, I'll be sure to top this cake with them next time.

This is a brownie made with dark chocolate and cocoa powder and studded with walnuts. It is then swirled with cheesecakey goodness, topped with Toblerone chunks (what else?!) and drizzled with caramel. Are you drueling yet?

It was fun throwing all these delicious ingredients into one decadent cake. Oh yes, it is quite the cake. But what's nice about it is that it's not too rich - the brownie isn't overwhelming. I wish I could say I used whole wheat flour, or reduced the butter... but I can't. This is a scale-tipping, pant-splitting cake. Don't be surprised if you gain a couple pounds after reading this post. I have no idea how many calories are in this cake and I don't want to know. Sometimes, on special occasions we just have to indulge... and take a run on the treadmill afterwards.

Brownie Swirl Cake
1/2 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 squares baking dark chocolate
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 package cream cheese, at room temperature
two eggs
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
2 Toblerone pieces, coarsely chopped (or any other chocolate bar)
5 caramels

Preheat oven to 350F

Grease an 8 or 9 inch circle or square baking dish.

Melt the butter and dark chocolate squares in a sauce pan over medium heat.

Whisk in the sugars and bring to a boil. While continuing to whisk, allow it to boil for one minute and then remove the pan from the heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese until soft. Gradually add the confectioner's sugar until everything is well combined.

In large bowl add the melted butter and sugar mixture. Whisk in the two eggs. Stir in the cocoa powder and flour until well combined. Stir in the walnuts.

Spread the brownie batter into the greased pan. Top it with dollops of the cream cheese mixture. Use a knife to run through the batter making swirls and evening out the cake. Sprinkle with Toblerine or chocolate chunks.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean of the brownie batter. Allow to cool and then drizzle with melted caramels.