Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Friday, June 22, 2012

A Toast to Summer

Ah summer! We are two days in now. There are many perks to summer. Number one, summer hours - I am fortunate enough to work at a company that lets us have the Friday afternoons off. Second, the clothes. Living in Toronto doesn't amount to a large closet collection of light, gauzy dresses, shorts, t-shirts, and sandals. Trust me, it is a joy to find and dig out a dress from the bottom of the drawer. Third, the food.

During the hot, muggy days of summer, it is sometimes best to keep things simple. I say find your heat in a different way! Not to worry though, this was just the right amount to tickle your taste buds. Thank you Adam Rapoport of Bon Appétit for the inspiration. (And no, I'm not affiliated with Bon Appétit, or required to write about them. They just happen to arrive at the right time and can see what I deeply desire.) This was the easiest lunch I've ever made.

Avocado Toast
(Adapted from Bon Appétit)

1 loaf of garlic bread
1/2 of an avocado
1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Using your oven, toast the garlic bread.
  2. While the bread is toasting, peel your avocado and cut them into chunks or slices.
  3. Carefully take your toasted garlic bread and lay the avocado on top.
  4. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes.
Adam Rapoport makes his with more finesse. He threw slices of bread on the grill. When they began to char, he took them off and rubbed each side with a cut clove of garlic. Then lay avocado on top, doused them with extra-virgin olive oil, and finished them with sea salt and red pepper flakes.

See? Isn't my way easier?
Here! Here! A toast to the beginning of a wonderful summer!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Old-Fashioned Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Hello! What is your dad doing today? Mine is out  on the green with his friends. Since he's such an independent guy, my mother and I made him a cake that he would enjoy after a round of golf.

Old-Fashioned Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Recipe from Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe
(Makes one 9-inch cake, or in my case, two 6-inch cakes)

1 pineapple
1 3/4 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of water
1 3/4 sticks of unsalted butter
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  1. Using a serrated knife, peel, halve, and core the pineapple. Cut them into 1/4-inch-thick slices. You don't have to keep them in rings, the cookbook recommends cutting the rings in half or smaller.
  2. Put 3/4 cup of sugar in a medium saucepan. Add water and gently swirl to moisten the sugar. Place the pan over high heat and let it boil. Do not disturb it! The syrup will start boil and thicken, changing in color as it caramelizes.
  3. When the caramel is medium golden brown, turn down the heat and stir in 3/4 stick of unsalted butter. Carefully add the pineapple and stir until it is coated with the caramel.
  4. Using a fork/spatula/chopstick, transfer the pineapple to your cake pan. I didn't butter the cake pan, but you can if you like.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  6. In my case, I placed one ring at the bottom of the 6-inch cake pan and poured the remaining caramel in. 
  7. Using a stand mixer, whisk the eggs and egg yolks together. Slowly whisk in the 1 cup of sugar, the vanilla extract, and 1 stick of butter.
  8. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture until combined.
  9. Pour the batter evenly over the pineapple in the cake pan. Smooth the top out with a spatula.
  10. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown. You can let the cake cool in the pan, or be impatient like me and carefully invert it onto a plate. Enjoy!
The cake tastes so good right out of the oven. Sure, it will still taste delicious after a cool down, but I just love the mix of pineapple juice with warm caramel soaking into the cake.
A cake for my dad, a cake for Howard's dad. A happy father's day indeed.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Apple Galette and Tarts

It was my mom's birthday weekend, so I asked her what kind of birthday cake she would like. She said "apple pie." Despite my attempts to persuade her towards a cake, I decided to make her pie. I guess we can be just as celebratory with pie...

Originally, I was thinking of using puff pastry, but I couldn't find any at my closest grocery store. Back home, I went online and realized that I needed to go to a grocery store with President's Choice products! Which I found amusing as I was making these birthday treats with my friend who works at said grocery store. Yes Laura, if you're reading this. I've learnt my lesson, I should always go to Loblaws.

I ended up getting Pillsbury's refrigerated pie crusts. I know, I wasn't making the crust from scratch and I'm thankful for that choice. I don't think it would have turned out well on this extremely hot day.

The store-brought pie crusts were extremely easy to use. We defrosted them for 15 minutes and rolled them out. The pie crusts come in two sheets, for the first one, we made tarts. Using a circle cookie-cutter, we placed the dough into six mini tart pans (they look like this). You can combine all the scraps and roll them out again. For the second sheet, we used it to make the galette. Place the dough on a sheet of parchment paper.

Apple Galette and Tart Filling
Recipe from Essential Pepin 
(Jacques Pépin had his own dough recipe that was omitted here.)

4 Red Delicious apples
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F).
  2. Peel, halve, and core the apples. Carefully slice the apples to 1/4-inch-thick.
  3. Arranged the sliced apples on the dough. For the galette, keeping them within 1-inch of the edges and slightly overlapping. For the tarts, arrange them with the peeled side out.
  4. Drizzle the honey over the sliced apples.
  5. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle on top of the honeyed apples.
  6. Cut the butter into tiny cubes and dot them over the apples.
  7. For the galette, gently fold the edges inwards. You'll noticed that I did this before step four - oops!
  8. Bake for an hour or until the crust is brown and crisp. The apples should be tender.
  9. Serve the galette and tarts at room temperature. Preferably with ice cream.
Step 3 - arrange the sliced apples.

Step four - drizzling honey over the apples.

Step 5 - sprinkling the cinnamon sugar.

Looking delicious out of the oven!

Instead of vanilla, try pairing your apple tarts with maple and walnut ice cream.