Tag Archives: baking

Toronto Bakes for Japan This Weekend

7 Apr

Toronto Bakes for Japan

More than 12,000 deaths. Over 15,000 people missing. 160,000 displaced. Total damage costs estimated at as much as $300 billion. The impact of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan nearly a month ago is staggering. Fortunately, social media and some generous organizations and individuals have come together over the past several weeks to hold fundraising events to help in Japan’s rebuilding efforts.

Toronto Bakes for Japan is one of those fundraising events. This Saturday and Sunday, participating venues across the city will hold bake sales, with proceeds going to the Japanese Red Cross Society, which is leading relief efforts on the ground in Japan. Baked goods are being created by a team of volunteer bakers – both professional and amateur – and a wide selection of cookies, cakes, pastries and other sweet treats will be available at each listed venue.

Those who aren’t into baked goods will still find plenty to enjoy at Toronto Bakes for Japan. Great prizes donated by bakeries, cooking schools  and other organizations will be available through auctions and raffles. A selection of art works created specifically for the event will be auctioned off Sunday at Liberty Noodle, and the band Graydon James and the Young Novelists will also play at that venue on Sunday.

Heena from the blog Tiffin Tales and Niya from Destiny, Domesticity & Dirty Secrets are the brains behind Toronto Bakes for Japan. They were inspired by the Great Kiwi Bake-Off, which raised more than $16,000 for relief efforts following the recent earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, and a U.S.-based bake sale fundraising effort that raised $23,000 for relief in Haiti and is back to help the people of Japan.

I’m a sucker for baked goods, which is why I usually make an effort to stay away from them as much as possible. But this weekend, all bets are off. I’ll be at the Evergreen Brick Works on Saturday morning on the hunt for cookies, butter tarts and scones… It’s for a great cause, after all.

Olive Oil Cake

6 Apr

Olive Oil Cake

Most people who know me well understand that while I love cooking, I fear baking. And I fear baking for the exact same reason I love cooking – my complete inability to follow a recipe. (It’s not that I’m incapable of following a recipe, of course; it’s that I just plain don’t want to.)

But the olive oil tasting I attended last month inspired me to look for new and different recipes using olive oil, and one of the most interesting ones I came across was this one from the blog Sunday Suppers for olive oil cake. I could almost taste this as I read it, and I knew that I had to try it out, recipe be damned.

Of course, being the non-baking cook that I am, I couldn’t help but attempt a few modifications to the original recipe. I cut back the sugar fairly dramatically, from 2.5 cups to 1 cup, since I wanted the citrus and olive oil to be the stars. And speaking of citrus, the original recipe calls for lemon zest; I had an orange, so that’s what I used. Finally, instead of all-purpose flour, I used spelt flour.

Read on for my version of the recipe.

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