Bang Bang Ice Cream

There is a new addition to the Ossington Strip – Bang Bang Ice Cream. Bang Bang Ice Cream is brought to you by the people who are behind Bakerbots. It opened earlier this summer in May. Since it has opened, it has been busy and people can’t stop talking about it so we decided we needed to check it out.

We both ordered a half cookie each, at the price tag of $4.50 each. I got the RoCocoa Dark Sable cookie with Strawberry Ice Cream and GC ordered the Gingerrrrrr Spicy Chewy cookie with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

IMG_0810Top: The Gingerrrrrr Spicy Chewy cookie with Barbados molasses and peppered tops.
Bottom: The RoCocoa Dark Sable cookie with cocoa brut, 70% callebaut chocolate, and maldon salt.

These were both delicious! As you can see, the ice cream to cookie ratio is generous and well worth the price. I don’t think I could eat a whole cookie by myself but I am definitely not ruling that out as these are so good! My cookie was rich and decadent. I loved how the chocolatey richness was offset by little salty granules. It was soft, moist and chewy, making it the perfect cookie for an ice cream sandwich. The strawberry ice cream is easily the best strawberry ice cream I have ever had. It tasted like fresh Ontario strawberries: sweet with hints of tartness throughout the luscious ice cream.

GC’s cookie was the best ginger cookie ever. It was soft, moist and perfectly spiced with ginger. There was no cloying sweetness from excessive molasses, just the perfect hints of sugar to balance the blend of spices. The vanilla ice cream was pure and simple, dotted with dainty dark vanilla beans. Yums.

We will definitely be going back. I am mad to try the birthday cake cookie, the avocado ice cream and the ice cream puffs! Happy munching!

 

Raspberry Cream Sandwich Cookies

0206_msl_raspcream_hdMore cookies! I made these cookies the same weekend I made the snickerdoodles and they were equally as delicious. These cookies are slightly time consumming because you have to make the cookies and then the filling, salve but trust, shop it is worth it.

The cookies have a very subtle but rich vanilla flavour owed to the real vanilla beans that are used. The cookies are soft and chewy. The filling is a combination of raspberry and white chocolate – creamy, rich and decadent. These cookies are the perfect cookie for spring – they are fruity, light and fresh. The perfect thing after a long, cold winter.

Recipe is below the cut – happy munching!

Continue reading

La Carnita

Another visit (two technically) to La Carnita does not need a full write up, just an update on new menu items. In the past two weeks I have been to La Carnita twice and therefore have been very happy.

I have tried two new cocktails: the Big Daddy PumpKane and the Now’s the Thyme.

Photo Credit: La Carnita
Big Daddy PumpKane with bourbon, vanilla schnapps, muddled cranberries, egg whites, pumpkin spice

This is one of the best cocktails I have ever had. It literally tastes like a mixture of pumpkin pie and the entire Christmas season. It is sweet, and tart with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. It is only a seasonal cocktail, made specifically for fall, so it may be removed from the menu once we get into winter, so you should go and have a taste.

Photo Credit: La Carnita
Now’s The Thyme, a whiskey sour with Tromba tequila instead of whiskey, and ginger thyme syrup.

I didn’t love this. Tequila is a very strong flavour and thyme is not substantial enough to support the strong woody and nutty flavours that tequila imparts. It is fresh and crisp though, like drinking in a garden.

And I tried two more tacos: the Crispy Cojita taco and the Wild Crab Cake tostado.

Photo Credit: La Carnita
Crispy Cotija cheese taco with pinto bean cauliflower stew and pickled carrots

When our server came to tell us about the daily specials, the first words out of his mouth were, “A fried cheese…” and I stopped listening because he had me at fried cheese. Maybe I should have continued to listen because I didn’t love this taco. All the aspects are good, and worked together but what would have really put this taco over the top would have been to have the cheese extremely hot so it had the stringy consistency of a mozzarella stick. The cheese had mostly solidifed, so the taco resembled a bed of vegetables topped with a hard cheese string. Gross. Ok. I am over exaggerating the effect this taco had on me. I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it and I wouldn’t order it again.

Photo Credit: La Carnita, so no, I don’t know this woman.
Wild Crab Cake Tostada with corn and tomato salsa, jalapeno dressing and micro greens.

YUMS. I loved this taco! The crispy base of the tostada, the creamy jalapeno dressing, topped with the flaky, crispy crab cake made a perfect combination of flavour and texture. The salsa added a fresh, fruity quality which brought out the natural fruity, light flavours of the crab. I think that it is a shame that this taco is one of their daily specials (only available on Thursdays) because it would be a welcome addition to the menu.

Another two nights, another two cocktails and another two tacos. Happy munching!

Vanilla Very Berry Cupcakes

For Al’s birthday I made Vanilla Very Berry Cupcakes.

1. These were, I wouldn’t say difficult to make, but more accurately tedious. In theory, it’s very straight forward: make vanilla batter and make a berry coulis of sorts. Now the first berry sauce you make is slightly chunky and goes into the middle of the cupcake, between the vanilla cupcake batter.

Fine. No problem. I can handle that. The issue came when the sauce was supposed to thicken and be piped into the cooled cupcakes. My sauce would not thicken. I put tons of corn starch in the sauce and it coagulated at the bottom of the pot. When I tried to put the sauce in a piping bag it completely dripped out. I had to carve into my cupcakes and slowly spoon the sauce into each cupcake. It was worth it because the cupcakes were moist and fruity.

2. The icing was an entirely different fiasco. Partly this was because my hand mixer broke mid-mix. The right beater randomly stopped spinning and my icing was ridiculously thick. After calling my mother and having a break down, I added more milk and thinned out the icing. Once it was thinner, I was able to mix my icing. In the process of piping out my icing I broke two piping bags.

3. Strawberries do not work well on cupcakes. Or maybe just not the steroid-injected-gargantuan strawberries you buy at the grocery store. I prefer how raspberries and blueberries look toppled ontop of cupcakes.

4. Powdered sugar makes everything look prettier.

5. These were delicious and super fruity. They were a fruit explosion topped with creamy icing. There was so much sweet vanilla flavour – it is always great when you can actually taste the vanilla. When I left my house it smelled wonderfully of vanilla, berries and coconut (I had also made Magic Bars as per Al’s request).

The recipe is below the cut…

Continue reading

The Cupcake Shoppe

I first had a cupcake from The Cupcake Shoppe in my second year of university (it seems like the past few posts have been about revisiting old college haunts – cliche, yes) when my friend Amanda took me on an uptown adventure for my 19th birthday. The Cupcake Shoppe is located just north of Eglinton station on Yonge Street. I love this neighbourhood and if I could live anywhere in Toronto, it would probably be here.

In past years, the awning over The Cupcake Shoppe was a vibrant pink screaming a warning of the cuteness and delight that was inside. Unfortunately, the awning is slowly fading and causing the bakery to be easily overlooked from the street. The bakery has recent be renovated (summer of 2011) which causes the awning to look even more dated.

There is always a display of cupcakes stacked on various stands, boxes and plates, reminding you of a table at the Mad Hatter’s tea party. The bakery itself is tiny and has enough standing room for about 4 or 5 people. The cupcakes are displayed on the counter on cupcake stands and the bakery has a total of 18 flavours, of which, 9 are available daily. The website lists and has pictures of all 18 flavours. Of their 18 flavours, I have had 12 and I think I should go for it, and try the last 5. They have clever names like Yonge & Eligible and Crumby and the cuteness is just overwhelming.

However, unlike some other bakeries, the names still tell you about the flavour – Sleepless in Toronto clearly is a mocha cupcake. But hey, you are about to eat a cupcake, so deal. You can see bakers icing your cupcakes fresh and the whole place smells like vanilla. It is both salivating and comforting. And another great thing about this place – nut free! Safe for school and friends like me.

My favourite flavour here is the Yonge ‘N Eligible – it is your traditional vanilla on vanilla but the buttercream is creamy and the cake isn’t dense like a brownie, it is light and fluffy like cake is supposed to be. The icing is perfectly piped and there is just a sprinkling of about 8 expertly placed sprinkles. Another one of my favourites is the Pretty ‘N Pink – chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream. The icing is just lightly flavoured but enough so that you know it is real raspberry.

When I went last week, I grabbed two cupcakes…

Continue reading

Vanilla on Vanilla

A couple weeks ago I had a mad cupcake craving. Now the problem with living in the suburbs (yes, pill the main and only problem) is that lack of bakeries. If one is craving a cupcake or any other fresh baked good they have to go to the local grocery. Although these desserts are made fresh and are delicious, tadalafil sometimes you just need a something a little more fancy, rx a little more fresh. This resulted in me baking cupcakes.

Standard vanilla on vanilla cupcakes from Martha Stewart.

The cake was just your regular vanilla buttermilk cake base (except for some bizarre reason the recipe called for 5 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks! Why is that necessary!?) But the icing! I want to top every cake with this icing. It was sweet and buttery without having that awful gritty, sugar texture that a lot of icings have.

Happy cupcake baking and eating!