More on Cupcakes in Montreal

Over the years I’ve eaten a lot of cupcakes around town, written a few posts about them, and kept my ear to the ground on the general cupcake scene.

People have both loved and hated what I’ve written, but the opinion is still mine to share, and I continue to do so.
Recently I had the opportunity to write an article for the popular Montreal food blog, Ici et Here. Curated by Jackson Wightman of Made Here, the Fait Ici blog (and many other online venues), Ici et Here is a blog about Montreal and the fascinating way food is woven into the fabric of life in this city.
It was my honour to contribute to the already stellar content of the blog, and I chose cupcakes as my topic. Perhaps to ruffle a few feathers. Perhaps to show that these mini confections still have a solid fan base in this town.
From the post (editor’s note: sorry, the site is no longer active):
“Alright, I know the cupcake is on more ‘out’ lists than Lady Gaga is on ‘in’ lists. Local Chowhounders label them as “pervasive”; food snobs scoff as they pass the (many) shops; heck, in merely mentioning on Twitter that I was writing about cupcakes, I received a snide @reply asking, “Are cupcakes still a thing?”
Granted, they really aren’t. The new sweet trend is macarons or pie, depending on whom you talk to, and the cupcake hype is a thing of the past. However, in or out, it’s my firm belief that they still hold court in the Montreal food scene.”…

Head to Ici et Here to read the rest of the post and get my recommendations for the best cupcakes in town.

I had great fun contributing to Ici et Here. A big thanks to Jackson for the opportunity!

Chocolate ganache for the feeble minded

Cupcakes have been on the agenda quite a few times over the past few months. An engagement party, a birthday celebration, a welcome home fête, and a few other special occasions have all required chocolate cupcakes.

Of course they have.

As circumstance would have it, I’m nearly always getting started on decorating the cupcakes at about ten in the evening. Sure I’ve managed to get them baked off in the afternoon with two eager boys as helpers, but dressing up the cupcakes sometimes requires all helping hands to be tucked into bed.

So there I find myself, bleary eyed, measuring cream and weighing chocolate in the kitchen when my mushy brain should probably be vegging out with a Netflix pick. (Side note: have really enjoyed Whip It, Date Night, and Starter for 10 recently)

Fortunately, I’ve got the perfect recipe for chocolate ganache that can be made with half a brain.

It hails from Gourmet Today (love it, love it, and oh look, it’s on a crazy sale right now) and it is sublime – and simple enough to be successfully executed under extreme fatigue.

I’ve got the recipe memorized by now; isn’t it about time I shared?

Rich Chocolate Ganache Frosting

  • 1 pound semisweet chocolate (cacao content no higher than 60%), chopped roughly
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  1. Whisk together cream, sugar and corn syrup in a medium, heavy bottomed pot.
  2. Over medium heat, bring mixture to a gentle boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove pot from heat and whisk in chocolate, a handful at a time, until fully melted and incorporated.
  4. Add butter cubes, whisking until melted and ganache is smooth.
  5. With a soup spoon, drizzle over cupcakes and tap the bottom of the cupcake gently on the counter so the ganache spreads evenly. Garnish as desired.
  6. Let stand until ganache is set. Serve at room temperature or wrap and chill for up to three days.

Note: You can also let ganache cool until it stiffens, and then layer between cakes. Depending on type of chocolate used, it maybe necessary to chill frosting to reach a spreadable consistency.

Frosting for the Cause

Happy New Year!!

Twenty-Eleven launched a sweet project that is particularly personal for me.

Beginning January 1, 2011, a total of 365 sugar cookie & cupcake bakers/decorators and bloggers from across Canada and the United States will take turns doing a guest post at Frosting for the Cause.

By signing onto this project every guest baker/blogger has committed to not only donating a batch of their cookies or cupcakes to their local Women’s Hospice but they have also committed to making a personal $25.00 donation to either the Canadian or American Cancer Society to be directed to research projects that are working diligently to find cures specifically for cancers that affect only women.

The ambitious project is spearheaded by Paula Bourque of Vanilla Bean Baker (who also happens to be my aunt!).

It’s an incredible honour to help kick off this noble project. My rather personal post is featured today and in it I share one way I’ve been touched by cancer, plus a cupcake tutorial you won’t want to miss.

Frosting for the Cause is an absolutely genius idea to use our blogging voices and baking talents to raise funds for cancer awareness and cures. If you haven’t yet signed up, I hope you now do so without delay.

Head here to read my guest post on Frosting for the Cause.

WW: Cupcake Camp Montreal 2010

Come Enjoy Cupcakes for a Cause

I probably don’t have to tell you where I’m going to be on Sunday afternoon… that’s right, scarfing cupcakes at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel for Cupcake Camp Montreal!

Foodies, gourmands, and cupcake aficionados are all aflutter over this event and who wouldn’t be? I mean, have you heard?

20,000 cupcakes.

At this point, the organizers are only concerned that enough people will show up to eat the veritable sea of sweetness.

It’s practically my duty to go. Plus, it’s for charity, raising funds for La Tablée des Chefs and Kids Help Phone. You should totally come too.

What’s this? Cupcake Camp Montreal
When: Sunday, November 21, 2010 from 1-5 p.m.
Where: Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, 900 Rene Levesque Blvd. W

A $10 ticket at the door gets you three cupcakes, a gourmet coffee and an opportunity to mingle with local bloggers and bakers. You may even spot your favourite celebrity chef or TV personality, as the panel of judges is quite colourful!

I’ll see you there. Come over and say hello! I’ll be with the tall guy, probably trying to corral two little boys with sugar highs. Oh yeah, with 20,000 cupcakes to enjoy, there was no way I was getting out on my own for this one.