All stories relating to dessert

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Must-Try: The homey foie gras brûlée from Woodlot in Little Italy

Must-Try: Woodlot Foie Gras Creme Brulee

There are few things more quintessentially French than crème brûlée—except perhaps foie gras. At Woodlot, the cottagey Canadian restaurant in Little Italy, David Haman transforms both into a cozy, hearth-side snack. Cured duck livers are poached, blended into a silky mousse and sprinkled with sugar, which is lightly torched for a crunchy caramelized finish. The result arrives on a butcher-block platter with fig preserves, flaky Maldon salt and slices of chewy, nut-brown bread laced with warm baking spices. The combination is sweet, rich and deliciously festive—like Christmas in Alsace. $16.

Woodlot, 293 Palmerston, at College, 647-342-6307

The Dish

Restaurants

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Best of the City 2013: a whimsical dessert that’s almost too pretty to eat

Best of the City 2013: Woods Fancy Dessert

Dessert is a chef’s last chance to make an impression, and Bruce Woods seizes the moment with his dainty sea buckthorn pavlova. He fills a meringue shell with milk chocolate ganache and custard made from sour sea buckthorn berries. He adds a scoop of black sesame ice cream, a sesame tuile and a tiny chocolate tree—the most refined sugar rush we’ve had this year. $11.

Woods, 45 Colborne St., 416-214-9918

The Dish

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Must-Try: The County General’s flash-frozen ice cream sundae for two

Must-Try: The County General's ice cream sundae for two

(Images: Nikki Leigh McKean)

Part dessert, part chem-lab demonstration, The County General’s Kitchen Sink sundae captures the drama of retro flambéed bananas and cherries jubilee using modern molecular techniques. Salted-caramel cream gets frozen table-side with a hit of liquid nitrogen, unleashing a vaporous cloud. The instant ice cream is then folded with texture-boosting additions like chocolate-almond bark, meringue shards and rum-spiked raisins, and topped with caramel sauce. The result is gooey, crunchy and delicious, like Rocky Road on steroids. The sweet bonus: it comes with an extra half-pint to take home. $25. 936 Queen St. W., 416-531-4447.

The Dish

Recipes

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Recipe: blackberry-yuzu ice pops from Janet Dimond of Augie’s Gourmet

Toronto Life Cookbook 2012 Recipe: Blackberry-Yuzu Ice Pops
Toronto Life Recipes | Desserts
BLACKBERRY-YUZU ICE POPS
By Janet Dimond
Augie’s Gourmet Ice Pops

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The Dish

Recipes

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Recipe: dense, moist banana bread pudding from The Westerly

Toronto Life Cookbook 2012 Recipe: Banana Bread Pudding
Toronto Life Recipes | Desserts
BANANA BREAD PUDDING
By Geoff Kitt and Victoria Zielinski
The Westerly

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The Dish

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Must-Try: the inventive grapefruit givré dessert at Café Boulud

Monday Must-Try: Café Boulud Grapefruit Grivé

(Image: Emma McIntyre)

Café Boulud’s stunning grapefruit givré is the highlight of its dinner menu. It’s also an import from New York. Ghaya Oliveira, the young Tunisian-born executive pastry chef at Manhattan’s Bar Boulud, has been lauded for her refined and innovative desserts, but none more so than this one (you can even watch her make it with Daniel Boulud on YouTube).

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Flavour of the Year: five desserts with a delicious, savoury twist

Dessert has gone savoury with celery on ice cream, marrow in pudding and parsnips with pastry. Here, five salty-sweet ways to finish a meal.

Flavour Craze: Bitter Sweets

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The Informer

Columns

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Dear Urban Diplomat: Is it rude to order dessert when there’s a line of people waiting for a table?

Dear Urban Diplomat: Just Desserts

(Image: www.justgrobio.com)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
My husband and I recently waited for two hours to get a table at a new restaurant at Dundas and Bathurst. While we ate, we could feel the people in line eyeing our table. After we finished our entrées, the server brought our bill without offering dessert, so we sent it back and ordered panna cotta and cappuccinos. As we did, someone in line let out an exasperated “C’mon!” which I found incredibly rude. But then I wondered if maybe we had violated some unwritten rule. Is it bad form to order dessert when there’s a big lineup?
—Just Desserts, Dufferin Grove

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Raising the Bar: nine house-made chocolate bars, the ultimate fancified junk food

Flavour of the Month: Raising the Bar

Chefs are taking artisanal junk food to a whole new level of twee with decadent house-made chocolate bars.

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The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Glory Hole Doughnuts, Ashley Jacot De Boinod’s new crowdfunded Parkdale shop

Introducing: Glory Hole DoughnutsAshley Jacot De Boinod’s doughnut journey began about a year ago. Having worked as a pastry chef in some of the best spots in the city (including Buca and Scaramouche), Jacot De Boinod began selling her Glory Hole Doughnuts wholesale to shops like Thor Espresso Bar, Burger Bar and 416 Snack Bar to quite some acclaim. But “the eventual goal was to open a retail space,” she tells us. Despite setbacks in securing a location and finding startup capital for the project (she eventually turned to Indiegogo for crowdfunding), Glory Hole Doughnuts finally got itself a physical space in Parkdale a couple of weeks back.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Best of the City 2012: six of Toronto’s best sweet things, from vegan brownies to fior di latte gelato

Best of the City: sweet things

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The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Moo Milk Bar, the Beach’s new spot for milk and cookies

Introducing: Moo Milk Bar

(Image: Susan Keefe)

There are few ills in this world that can’t be ameliorated with a crisp, chewy cookie and a cold glass of milk. The Beach’s newest bakery, Moo Milk Bar (no relation to Momofuku Milk Bar), is hoping to capitalize on the widespread love of the classic dessert combo. Helmed by New York native Danielle Oron, the milk and cookie joint opened its doors earlier this month, and has been enjoying an enviable amount of foot traffic ever since.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Must-try: posh popsicles that taste like summer on a stick

Must-try: Frozen Assets

At last year’s annual Roncesvalles block party, Janet Dimond lured foodies to a makeshift ice pop stand on the corner of Sorauren Street. She squeezed the juice by hand for a dozen flavours, added nothing more than a bit of sugar and some herbs, loaded up her deep freeze and sold 200 popsicles for $1 apiece. Since then, she has turned her one-day experiment into Augie’s Gourmet Ice Pops (named after her golden retriever), a bona fide cottage industry. She now sets up at farmers’ markets across the city.

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The Dish

Licious

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Summerlicious 2012: our food editor picks the top 10 offerings from this year’s Licious list

Summerlicious-2012

One of Colborne Lane’s innovative concoctions (Image: Renée Suen)

Ten years in, Toronto’s loved (and loathed) bacchanalia of affordable dining is larger than ever, with 181 restaurants offering three-course prix fixe menus for $25, $35 or $45 from July 6-22. Despite common complaints—packed rooms, harried dining and more salmon and chicken than a buffet wedding—an ineluctable truth remains: Summerlicious is a good opportunity to sample new restaurants on the cheap. To that end, we’ve sifted through the overwhelming list of participants to find the most interesting dishes and the very best value. Start making your reservations now.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Must-Try: an offbeat dessert (it has foie gras) that’s worth its $25 price tag, from The Black Hoof

Must-Try: Two Toast Toppers

Two toast toppers—one lowbrow, one luxurious—come together in the Foie and Nutella, The Black Hoof’s most inventive dessert to date. A seared, darkly caramelized three-ounce slab of duck liver arrives sparkling with Maldon salt. The liver is perched on a slice of banana bread that’s been baked in rich buttermilk custard until it’s as dense and creamy as bread pudding. The plate is streaked with Nutella, sprinkled with crumbled hazelnut shortbread cookies, dotted with sherry-rosemary gastrique and finished with peppery lovage cress. Rich, sweet, salty, sour, creamy and crunchy, the bizarre combination of ingredients is a revelation. $25. The Black Hoof, 928 Dundas St. W., 416-551-8854.

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