Sunday, 14 August 2011

Project Poutine

Wow - its been a while! I do, however, have a yummy treat for all of you! 10 days ago (exactly), we celebrated my Fiance's (wow, that still sounds weird!) 30th birthday...I wanted to create something that I've never done before..something completely outside of the box...and here, the Poutine Cupcake Project came to life!

Project - Poutine:

For these cupcakes, I was going mostly for the look..I needed to make them look as close to poutine as possible! I started with my new vanilla sponge cupcake (which tastes super yummy by the way!)..added some vanilla buttercream and then got ready to "dress them.." The fries: hickory sticks...the cheese: white chocolate chips...and finally, the gravy....caramel!!

I wasn't quite sure how all these parts together would taste - I just knew that separately, they all taste pretty great! Here's how it turned out:

Needless to say, they were a huge hit and there were NO leftovers!!


Stay Slim, eat cake

Thursday, 21 July 2011

A Cupcake Review: Prairie Girl Bakery

Since I've been to and from Atlantic Canada for the last little while (for my day job!), I haven't had time to bake as much lately...A couple of weeks ago, I got this sudden NEED for a cupake! A friend directed me to a cute cupcake shop (she'd been raving about it since it opened in April)...Prairie Girl Bakery!

Prairie Girl Bakery is a cupcake shop located at King and Victoria - the heart of Toronto's financial district..Its location on the quiet Victoria Street is decieving because once you get in there...well, prepare for a "worth-the-wait" line up!

I have 2 words to describe this adorable shoppe: CUPCAKE HEAVEN!!

Prairie Girl - you have done it! Your cupcakes are absolutely delicious..they are super moist, and fluffy..not too sweet, and the frosting...incredible! I had to taste as many flavours as possible, so I did what any smart cupcake lover would do: I bought a half dozen mini cupcakes! My favourites: red velvet with cream cheese frosting, and your vanilla cupcake with strawberry frosting...I think I might have eaten that one in 1 bite!

Here are some pictures to get you in the cupcake mood...

Mmmm..all this talk and I may have to stop in this afternoon!

Stay Slim, eat cake

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Who doesn't love Peanut Butter AND Chocolate???

So, after a 3 week hiatus from blogging, I'm back at it! Ever since I tried the peanut butter chocolate cupcakes at Starbucks, I've been dying to create my own version! I mean, peanut butter+chocolate is as good as ice cream+crepes, or strawberries+whipped cream...or even my gucci bowler bag +the perfect floral print sundress!

One of my most loyal customers shares my love for peanut butter and chocolate, and she suggested a little twist to the delicious idea....and there, "Peanut Butter Chocolate Surprise" was born...

I combined the trusted chocolate cupcake recipe (shout out to The Happy Baker), added in "the surprise"...and a super fluffy, perfectly peanut buttery frosting..topped with a hint of shaved chocolate, and bits of toffee...and VOILA! The newest member of the Pipedream Bakery Family...

The surprise...??? Well, you'll have to taste them to find out!!

Stay Slim, eat cake

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

My visit to "Cupcakes" in Vancouver!!

Okay so its been a crazy whirlwind of a couple of weeks, hence my lack of blogging! I have been dying to blog about my visit to Cupcakes in Vancouver a couple of weekends ago.

It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon in Vancouver..a perfect day for strolling down Robson, weaving in and out of shops - starbucks in one hand, cupcake in the other. I was super excited when I got down to Thurlow street - where Cupcakes is located. Now, this was a tiny little shoppe, but oh so inviting!

Thankfully, I had a cupcake tasting partner with me that day otherwise I have no idea how I would have made my decision on what cupcake to taste! We decided to buy a 12 pack of mini cupcakes..wanted to maximize flavour/icing combinations!

My conclusion is that their icing was pretty incredible! I'm not sure what it was, but for some of them the icing tasted like this wonderful, whipped, piece of heaven..The only one that I wasn't excited about was their pink vanilla buttercream - a bit too sweet for me! But for most of them, I ended up focusing so much energy (and stomach capacity) on the icing, that I would almost not even think about taste/consistency of the actual cake..that is, until I took a bite of their "sweet sixteen" cupcake...vanilla cake with a pink vanilla buttercream on top....This cake was DIVINE!!! So completely moist and wonderful that I didn't even share it with my tasting partner! The only downfall was that it had my least favourite flavour of icing on it..but once I took half the icing off, voila - perfection!

The only constructive thing I have to say is that the cupcakes (at this location anyway) looked a bit beat up and were not consistent in size - likely a location-specific thing..

Cupcake Girls - your business and inviting branding is perfect! Congrats on your incredible success!

Stay Slim, eat cake

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

New Additions to the Pipedream Family

At Pipedream, we're always looking for new ways we can set ourselves apart from the others...I had a BLAST during this past weekend's baking extravaganza because I did just that. Everything I baked this weekend had a new, fun twist to it! It felt soo good to have so much baking success this weekend - kind of like that feeling you got the first time you put on a pair of skinny jeans and realized that they really are fabulous!

So, it started with an shower! I made cupcakes for a friend's wife - she's expecting twin boys so ofcourse the theme started with, the little bit of "new" i added to these...little chocolate toppers! I made the chocolate, and used it to top off my newly perfected vanilla cupcakes! Here's a peek at the little chocolate bottles, booties, rattles..and ofcourse the finished product:

So, who doesn't love strawberries???? EXACTLY what I thought when I was making vanilla buttercream frosting this weekend...So I figured...let me throw some strawberries in here! Well..the result was a fresh, summer burst of flavour ontop of a vanilla cupcake...With the help of my creative genius of a sister (follow her @laclosette_Liza)...we came up with the perfect name for this new addition to Pipedream......"Berry Beautiful" is her name...

The last thing I tried this weekend..phew was I tired! I have always been a firm believer in the saying "great things come in small packages..." (for those who know me personally, know that I'm pretty small!!)...I had the opportunity to make cupcakes in support of a cause that is very near and dear to my heart - The World Partnership Walk (google it - its an amazing cause)! I decided that they had to be mini...and had to represent the theme colours in some way (blue and orange)'s the result..they were a big hit and I can't wait to make mini-cupcakes again!

I can't wait to hear what you all think of the new additions to our Pipedream Family!

a quick "P.S" - we now have email: - Email us for pricing or to place your orders!

Stay Slim, eat cake

Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Black and White Collection

It started off with an order I got from a good friend for her sister's 29th birthday - my criteria: chocolate cupcakes, vanilla buttercream, and something that would remind her sister of Paris..Paris is my favourite place on Earth, so I was excited to get crackin' on this project. I immediately started brainstorming and thought..Paris...Fashion...Coco Chanel...BLACK! This is when the black and white collection was born...

I started experimenting with black fondant and ofcourse did a lot of consulting with my good friend, Google...from here, the Chanel cupcake, the classic black bow, and a simple black gerber flower with a gorgeous silver pearl center came to life...This collection is still growing, but take a look at the beginning:

Let me know what you all think of the latest collection!

A final note - we now have a facebook page where you can keep updated with all the cupcakes that come out of Pipedream Bakery's oven and your best place to request orders! "Like" our page today!

Stay Slim, eat cake

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Cookies n' Cream!

So last weekend, I decided to test out something that's been on my mind since I started this adventure: Cookies n' Cream Cupcakes! All I have to say is that these babies were a huge hit with both kids AND adults! Here's a look at what it took to get to the finished product:

Step 1 - Place half an oreo - icing side up, in cupcake liners (and crush the rest - that part was fun!)
Step 2 - Make my newly perfected vanilla cupcake batter....and add in the crushed oreo cookies!
Step 3 - watch them bake....and then reveal the surprise inside...
Step 4 - make cookies n' (butter)cream icing and ice 'em...and voila!!

Now the biggest question of the day..what should my next project be?? Any ideas????

Stay Slim, eat cake

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Vanilla Cupcakes - my attempt at perfection

So, I've been on this mission to perfect my vanilla cupcake recipe. The taste is definitely not the concern here - my vanilla cupcakes have this intensely delicious "vanilla" taste to them that prevents you from being able to eat just one...My issue with them is finding that happy medium between density and fluffy-ness! So, I ran a trial -

Trial 1: Too Small, Too Dense, SO yummy!
  • Although they came out super cute and small and perfect for the easter baskets cupcakes, they were too small to stick to the large cupcake liners!
  • They were also on the dense side...onto Trial # 2...
Trial 2: Perfect Size, SO yummy....still too dense - ugh!
  • This time, I added a bit more baking powder and mixed my batter for a bit less time (just enough to incorporate the flour)..the result - the perfect sized cupcake! These ones, I topped with a super yummy purple tinted buttercream (did I mention yet how much I LOVE buttercream frosting? I'm pretty sure this will evolve into the Signature Pipedream Cupcake)..mmm
  • The verdict from two of my most trusted taste-testers: a dense but yummy cupcake (with great frosting ofcourse). One of the testers prefers a lighter cupcake and the other didn't mind the "heavieness"..onto Trial #3..
Trial 3: Less butter, a bit of oil, and a tad more milk
  • Okay, this time, I substituted half of the butter with oil and added an extra splash of milk
  • These cupcakes turned out great! They have the perfect balance of density, strength in vanilla, and "fluffyness"!
  • This batch also evolved into one of the newest members of the Pipedream Bakery Cupcake Family - Vanilla Chocolate Chip..check it out:

My next mission - Cookies n' Cream Cupcakes...stay tuned!

Stay Slim, eat cake

Monday, 2 May 2011

Introducing...Red Velvet

Well...when I first started on this adventure full of buttercream and cake, I thought I would stick to the basics: chocolate and vanilla...but curiosity got the best of me and i just HAD to attempt making a red velvet cupcake..Now, those of you who know me..know that I'm a perfectionist, so if I was going to do this..I was really going to do this! I needed to have the perfect colour red paired with the most moist (say that ten times fast!) cake ever! After searching through dozens and dozens of red velvet cupcake recipes, I found one that I thought would work out perfectly..I ended up tweeking it - increasing the amount of cocoa and decreasing the amount of oil by a smidge....and voila!

P.S. What's that frosting, you ask? Well...I couldn't do red velvet without the famous vanilla cream cheese frosting from Georgetown Cupcake!

Stay tuned for my fight with the vanilla cupcake...I'm onto my 3rd trial to perfect my yummy recipe later this week!

Stay Slim, eat cake

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Cupcakes, Cupcakes, more Cupcakes...and a Fantastic LOGO!

So..I've had a VERY busy weekend...2.5 dozen "cupcakes at Tiffany's" Cupcakes, 4 dozen "Easter Basket" cupcakes (Pipedream Bakery's first order), PLUS I had the chance to work with La Closette's very own, Liza Amlani (follow her on twitter - @laclosette) - she is the mastermind and creative genius  behind the brand new logo for Pipedream Bakery! Check it out:

The "Cupcakes at Tiffany's" cupcakes were a TON of fun to make..I started with that super-moist and yummy chocolate cupcake that I swear by (shout out to the Happy Baker), topped the cupcakes with a mouth-watering Tiffany "blue" buttercream, and topped them off with the signature Tiffany white bow. The pretty pearly white Tiffany bows are made from white marshmallow fondant, coated with a pearl white dust..check out these bows and the finished product!

Next up - Easter Baskets! I was super-excited to make these cupcakes (I had a similar feeling when I found my Canvas Gucci Hobo/messenger bag in San Fran over the holidays)!! The coolest part: I used "edible grass" as the basket holders! Here's a peek - 

Next first attempt at Red Velvet..mmmmm...

Stay Slim, eat cake

Monday, 18 April 2011

NYC Bakeries - the "real story"

Okay, so I'm officially back from a nice, loooong holiday and am ready to get back at it! My first order of business: to reveal the "real story" on a few bakeries I had the chance to visit while in NYC a couple of weeks, here goes!

1. Baked by Melissa: This was the cutest place on a super-happening corner in Soho. What a concept - a walk-up bakery!! It was the coolest (and best) thing I've seen since Starbucks Drive-thru came into the world (yes, its true people - I went to the suburbs)! It also brings the two things I love most together in one place - shopping and cupcakes..who knew it could be so satisfying - take a walk through Kate Spade, and Michael Kors and then make a stop at Baked by Melissa for a yummy treat!

2. Crumbs Bake Shop: So, Crumbs is a very cool and different concept. Replacing the idea of the "perfect little cupcake" is the not-so-perfect-looking, super "crumb-mee", delicious cupcake! This place had everything from "Cherry Blossom" to a GIANT chocolate cupcake - "The Colossal Crumb."

3. Magnolia Bakery: Ahh, the famous Magnolia Bakery...When we got there, I could hardly contain my excitement - I mean, c'mon! Was I really going to set foot in the same bakery that Carrie and Miranda went to? Was I really about to  experience the cupcake with the buttercream frosting that I swear by?? Needless to say, the first thing I did when I walked in was purchase an "I 'cupcake' NY" t-shirt, and the Magnolia Bakery recipe book. I then proceeded to walk past every single baked good they had - from cookies to cupcakes..."This place is wonderful," I thought to myself as I landed infront of the cupcakes! I immediately purchased 1 vanilla on vanilla and 1 chocolate with (duh) purple buttercream frosting...I left thinking, "wow - one day, Pipedream Bakery will be this big"...We proceeded to (yes, you guessed it) shop...5th Avenue ofcourse! As we walked, I dug into the vanilla cupcake..General consensus: good flavour, but not moist in the least bit! The frosting on the other hand - deelish! After a long (and fabulous) day of walking up 5th, browsing through the 3 floors that make up the Gucci store, and the 6 floors that make up Tiffany (sigh), we walked back to our super-cute boutique hotel for a break..I thought - what better way to take a break than indulge in a chocolate cupcake! I saved the best for last (or so I thought). I have to say that I was heartbroken when I tried it! I will give Magnolia this: 1. The bakery looks and feels like perfection - you do feel special when you walk in there, 2. The frosting held true and was fabulous, and 3. I do love my t-shirt! The cupcakes, however, need a splash of milk and a dash of love!

Conclusion: Crumbs Bake Shop - you're at the top of my list...for now. I mean, I still have to hit up Carlo's Bakery in good ol' Hoboken the next time I go to NYC - Can't wait to meet you, Buddy!

Stay Slim, eat cake

Friday, 1 April 2011

The result - my first "professional cupcake decorating" class you know, I was extremely excited about taking a "professional" cupcake decorating class...There we were, aprons on, spatula in one hand, sift in the other..we were ready! Well, this was NOT what we (my sister, our good friend, and myself) expected! Let's just say that we ended up creating our own versions of the Instructor's designs!!! As a result, I'm left unfulfilled and unsatisfied! I need to find the perfect class that's going to really teach technique...Now, I can't say that we learnt nothing...We learned how to make roses out of butter-cream (shout out to Raheema on this one!), we learned how to pipe "grass" onto a cupcake, and best of all, we learned that cupcake tops taste SO yummy when they are fresh out of the oven!!! Needless to say, we need to find a new class! 

Here are some pictures for your amusement:

Next stop..New York City - Magnolia Bakery and Carlo's I come!!

Stay Slim, Eat Cake

Thursday, 24 March 2011

My chocolate cupcakes...

Okay, so I have to talk about my chocolate cupcakes. They are that super-moist, heaven-in-your-mouth cupcake that you can't just eat one of...and they go perfectly with a tall glass of milk! I'm pretty sure that, similar to my staple Gucci bowler bag, I'll never steer away from the recipe I use. A couple of key ingredients that make this recipe perfect: hot water and....BUTTERMILK! The source of this recipe is Erin Bolger..aka "The Happy Baker." Her recipes are fabulous, and I swear by them!

A helpful hint - make sure your ingredients are at room temperature to get the perfect consistency in your cupcake batter :)

Here's a peek at some cupcakes I've made with her famous "My mom didn't like you anyway" cupcake recipe:

Stay Slim, Eat Cake..

P.S. Stay tuned for my next post - results of my first professional cupcake decorating class!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

"Spring Mum's" Cupcakes!

So I thought I'd take a different spin on decorating cupcakes today...Marshmallows!!! Let me know what you think!

Stay slim, eat cake

My 1st blog...

My name is Slim and I have a problem...

I am OBSESSED with baking.  Yes, obsessed.  I am not kidding.  It's basically taken over my life.  Well, sort of :)  I am also equally obsessed with my gucci bag but I am not about to start buying a sewing machine, hiring a cute little italian man to handstich leather on an imported authentic GG allover print into a fabulous handbag.  BUT baking - well that's a little more doable.  All you need is butter (lots of butter), sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, and milk.  That's it!  Can you believe it?  And those 6 wonderful ingredients create the most lovely, girlie, wonderfully delicious cupcakes.  Cupcakes are my thing.  And cookies...but mostly because I can eat them 4-6 at a time, bribe people with them, take the to work to look like a star, and most of all add chocolate because chocolate is really the secret of a long and prosperous life in case you were not aware.

ok that's it for now people (or my fan base of 2 at least).  stay tuned for the saga that is my secret life of being a baker.

Stay slim, eat cake