CSL has 3 delicious recipes and the tools, tips, techniques and ingredients to make your baking no fuss!
Passion Fruit Tart: This tart has all the elements of a classic lemon meringue pie, but with a passion fruit twist.
Apple and Cinnamon Crémeux Slice: Delightful with differing textures of fresh and baked fruit, crisp pastry and a creamy filling.
Cherry Yogurt Bundt Cake: Serve this moist, buttery cake plain or with cream and more cherries.
REASONS TO INVEST IN CAST IRON FOR BAKING
You might think that cast iron is reserved for searing meat, but here are three reasons why you may want to give baking in cast iron a try:
Heat your cast iron pan in the oven before pouring in batters for brownies or cornbread, and the result is a crisp exterior and moist centre.
Even heat distribution means that, for example, upside down cakes with their sugary bottoms, will not burn in the pan, but caramelize to the perfect texture.
Sautéing fruit in the pan before topping with a pastry crust, melting chocolate before adding the rest of the ingredients for a chocolate brownie means less mixing bowls, and ultimately less clean up.
A classic baking pan, the Lodge cake pan was first introduced to customers in the 1950’s and was a favourite for celebration cakes and festivities. Lodge fluted cake pan, $69.99; lodgemfg.com
TOP COOKIE TIPS
For uniform cookies, use an ice cream scoop. Most professional bakers will tell you that this is the best tool for consistency.
Use a metallic spatula to gently lift cookies from the sheet tray so that cookies will not crumble or break.
Cooling Tray: After removing hot cookies from the oven, always transfer to a cooling rack to ensure a crisp exterior. Wilton Recipe Right Non-Stick Cooling Rack; wilton.com
As a quintessential baking ingredient, choose a good quality butter to score perfect results every time.
Cows Creamery Salted Butter
Made with 84% butter fat, this silky butter made on Prince Edward Island is slowly churned for a longer time. Cakes were light and fluffy with a natural buttery flavour. cowscreamery.ca
Thornloe Grass Fed Salted Butter
This award-winning butter from Ontario’s Temiskaming Valley is produced from cows raised on a grass fed diet. It’s sweet and creamy taste equally enhanced lightly toasted bread and baked super flaky pastry. thornloecheese.ca
Counter Culture: Cultured butter contains bacteria that release lactic acid, resulting in a slightly tangy butter with a creamy finish. Try Cows reamer Sea Salted Cultured Butter.
Prolong the longevity of delicate baking trays, glass dishware and whisks without the use of harsh cleaning products with the soft and super absorbent Skoy kitchen towel. For everyday spills, and to replace reams of kitchen paper, Skoy Eco-Friendly cloths are a boon. skoycloth.com
Sheet gelatine sets reliably (to a softer consistency) and is more forgiving than powder, that’s why chefs prefer it. To bloom, immerse sheet in room temperature water where it will become a gel then plunge into a heated mixture where it will dissolve completely. Ewald Gold Leaf Box Gelatine, 1kg; qualifirst.com
Prefer the taste of ginger? Dice Ginger People Organic Crystallized Ginger into pieces and add to cakes and fruit tarts. With a molasses flavour and subtle zing, grate blocks of Arjuna Organic Ginger Bites into cookies. Fold Ginger People Organic Ginger Spread into mincemeat tart mixture or, for a savoury turn, meat sauces, to add depth. gingerpeople.com
Spice it Up
This warm and comforting, classic spice is a signature of baking. The fragrance is beloved by children and adults alike but not all spice labelled as cinnamon is the real deal. In fact, most ‘cinnamon’ sold on shelves is actually cassia, a less expensive alternative which lends a muted flavour that pales in comparison to the original. Grown on biodiverse spice gardens by small-scale producers in Sri Lanka, Cha’s Organic Fairtrade certified ceylon true cinnamon is fragrant without being harsh. Used in baking, the sweet spice comes through with that traditional childhood smell. chasorganics.com
Your mother’s cloying, neon red cherry, this is not. Made in Italy from wild cherries preserved in a thick syrup, these magenta beauties have a complex flavour. While CSL used the D’amarena Amarachino In Syrup (250g; qualifirst.com) in a cake, they work equally well in cocktails, sauces and tarts.
This sturdy, well-made bundt pan in a unique flower shape creates crevices for fruit, cream or powdered sugar. Once greased and lined with flour, our cake released easily and uniformly from the pan. This is an heirloom pan in the making. Magnolia Bundt Pan, $45; nordicware.com
CSL prefers wood boards to plastic, resin or any other cutting surface. The beautiful grain of this one makes it perfect for presentation as well. Olive Wood 14-Inch x 9-Inch Oblong Cutting Board; bedbathandbeyond.ca
KITCHEN POWER TOOLS
A wise baker once told CSL to never waste a drop in the kitchen. The key to success? A humble spatula! Use to scrape bowls of treasured batter, stir liquid and even for frosting. Here are three of our favourites:
A small metallic slightly bent spatula is great to level layers of an entremets (layered mousse cake), or to smooth frosting. Nordicware offset Icing spatula, $5.50; nordicware.com
You know that last bit of your fave sauce that’s left in the jar and you can’t seem to get it out? The sharp edges ensure that you can get in crevices to get every last drop out.
Dreamfarm Supoon Scraping Spoon, $16.99; bedbathandbeyond.ca
This silicone version with wooden handle is a great all rounder for stirring, scraping and shaping.
Revolution Medium Spatula, $20; lecreuset.ca
TOP CAKE TIPS
Have you ever baked a cake that tasted too floury although you measured? For accuracy, use a scale.
Prep Pans: Ensure that cakes won’t stick to the pan by pre-greasing with a light coating of butter, shortening or cooking spray and sprinkle of flour, tipping out excess flour. Be careful not to add too much fat which will fry your base, or too much flour, which will make cakes too floury. Always prepare pans well in advance so that delicate batters do not have a chance to deflate.
This original article first appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.