Vanilla Bean Caramels

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Just a quick little post because it's Christmas Eve and I am exhausted after a veeery long day! 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone, I hope you get to spend some time with your loved ones and can enjoy a bit of down time! I'll be taking a week or two off from blogging to catch my breath from work and get refreshed for another year of baking! 
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Cranberry Sage Pie

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I'm going to tell you right now that I haven't worked with fresh cranberries until now. Only frozen or dried. Crazy, right? I can't really remember seeing fresh cranberries in store when I was younger but I think that's because cranberries were not on my radar. Around Christmas time here in Canada (and around Thanksgiving in the States), bags of fresh cranberries are everywhere. I must not have been very attentive as a kid.

I've already used cranberries in a couple posts this Christmas season (these macarons and this tart) but those both used frozen, although you could totally use fresh. But this recipe is aaaalll about the fresh cranberries.

Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Mint Chocolate Tart with Caramelized Cocoa Nibs

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Only a few more days until Christmas!!! I have to admit, it really snuck up on me. I know, I know, I was getting ready for Christmas months ago and have been going gung-ho on Christmas recipes since December 1st, but suddenly it's right here! Right in my face, saying "Hey, are you ready? Here I come, ready or not!".

Despite all my Christmas recipes, my decorations, and my tree, I don't know if I'm actually ready for Christmas...
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Cranberry & White Chocolate Macarons

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I love Christmas. This is nothing new and I'm sure you've already come to that conclusion based on the many Christmas recipes that I've put up since the beginning of December. I love the decorations and the twinkling lights and even the music. But I love it for reasons more meaningful than shiny baubles. 
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Gingerbread Cabin

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I kind of want to live in this little cabin... is that weird? Maybe a little bit, but I don't care.

This is actually the second gingerbread house I've made, if you don't count the one I assembled out of graham crackers when I was a little kid. This is a big kid gingerbread house. 

Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Christmas Gingerbread and Sugar Cookies

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I think in most households, decorating Christmas cookies means the start of the holiday season. I say "most households" because as far as I can remember, I don't think I did that. Not that I'm holding any grudges or anything, I promise! Maybe it just didn't occur to me as a child that that was a thing that I could do? Or maybe I did decorate cookies when I was really young and I just have no memory of it. Mom and Dad might correct me on this one.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Marshmallow Wreaths

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I'm not normally one to make decorative edible things just for the sake of having them look cute. I like to be able to eat the things and have them taste great, not just look kind of cute. Like the cookies that you use as tree ornaments?? I mean, wouldn't that attract flies or ants? And why not just buy regular ornaments? I never understood that.

But these marshmallow wreaths are both super cute and deliciously edible!  

Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Cranberry Orange Frangipane Tart

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Are you an early bird Chirstmas shopper or a last minute frantic Christmas shopper? 

I'm totally an early bird shopper. Big surprise from the girl who was stoked on Christmas in August.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Gingerbread Cream Puffs with White Chocolate Chantilly

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I have been waiting ALL YEAR for this month. I talked about how excited I was for Christmas back in August. I have been thinking of Christmas baking ideas since the summer. My Christmas Pinterest board is incredible. I love everything to do with Christmas.

And now, finally, it is an acceptable time to display my undying love for the holiday season because it is the first of December. 

It's going to be Christmas all month long here on the blog. 
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Dark Chocolate and Espresso Demi Spheres

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We're getting a little fancy over here today. I'm talking demi-spheres-fancy. Look at those cute little domes! And the little dome inside the dome! It's like a Russian doll that has smaller dolls inside each one, but this is edible. And not kind of creepy looking.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mousse and Gianduja Buttercream + It's My Birthday!

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So, in case it's not glaringly obvious from the photos and the title, IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Maple Hazelnut Pot de Crème with Cinnamon Lace Tuiles

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I was never really into photography, nor was I any good at it, before I started this blog. I had a DSLR camera (the cheapest and most basic one), but I didn't know how to use it apart from point and click. I knew nothing about photo editing or lighting or anything. Zero. Zip. Seriously, I knew nothing.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Spiced Apple Kouign Amann

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I love my blog. I love the people that read my blog and comment on my blog. I love you guys. It blows my mind that people from all over the world go out of their way to write a little something sweet on this little space. I was talking about this last night and I couldn't really find the words to describe just how cool I think that is. 
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Cinnamon Orange Sticky Buns

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Riddle me this - is a sticky bun still a sticky bun when it has cinnamon in it? Or does it become a cinnamon bun? Is a sticky bun still a sticky bun if it has no pecans in it? Where does one draw the line between cinnamon and sticky bun? These are the important things we need to figure out.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Pumpkin Spice Custard With Maple Brown Butter Mousse

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Remember a few weeks ago when I said I'd only put up one pumpkin dessert on the blog this year because I feel like there's too much pumpkin already out there in the blogging world? 

Yeeeah, I went ahead and made another pumpkin dessert. 

I'm not sorry.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Homemade Hot Apple Cider

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Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to all my fellow Canadians! To all the American readers, happy Sunday! 

Whether you live north or south of the border, making this apple cider is going to be your new fall tradition. It's easy, it's crazy delicious, and it makes your entire place smell ridiculously good
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Pumpkin Pie Éclairs

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Well, I'm finally back home after 4 months of being away. It's an odd feeling. Part of me feels like I never left and part of me feels like I've been away for ages. It took no time for me to jump back into my regular routine. The lady who owns the local grocery store that I used to go to all the time gave me a little bouquet of flowers when I went there to get groceries! My kitty hasn't left my side in the past few days. The guys at the Indian restaurant that my boyfriend go to every week were glad to see me again. It's always nice to feel missed.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Chocolate Pecan Brioche Buns with Salted Caramel Sauce

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If you've been reading my blog for the last few months, you'll know that I have been working away from home this summer. I left at the beginning of June, so it's been about four months. The job was seasonal and the summer season is winding down to a close. This resort town is getting pretty quite with the tourists - and a lot of the summer staff- gone.

And I'm going home in 4 days!
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Dark Chocolate Mousse with Graham Cracker Streusel and Toasted Meringue

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Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years, you've noticed the absolute explosion of "GF", or gluten-free. 

The gluten-free trend is now an everyday thing. My neighbour eats gluten-free bread, not because she has coeliac disease, but just because she thinks it's better for her. She complains that it tastes like cardboard and when I tell her that regular bread is fine when eaten in moderation, she just shrugs. "Gluten-free" is now synonymous with "healthy". However, that's not true. 
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Kalamata Olive Bread

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It's totally not fall here yet. 

I've seen a few other blogs already bringing in the pumpkin goodies and then there's me, laying on the beach in my bikini. I know that other places might already be having fall weather (my mom posted photos of her snowy Calgary neighbourhood on facebook! Yikes!) but over here on the west coast of Canada, it's still lovely and warm. 
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Chocolate Custard Ice Cream

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My mom, her boyfriend, my brother, and his girlfriend came for a little visit this week. They rented a cabin here at the lodge and I booked a few days off work, so I was able to stay with them in the cabin. We did a bit of surfing, went on a day trip to the natural hot springs, ate some great food, and just had a nice relaxing time up here in Tofino.

It's back to work and the daily routine, but I realized the other day that I have a little less than four weeks left here in Tofino. I have mixed feelings about this. Mostly, I'm really excited to go back home. I can't wait to see my boyfriend again and cuddle my little kitty. I can't wait to sleep in my own bed. I can't wait to be back in my own apartment. I can't wait to be back home.

But I will miss living on the beach. I'll miss going surfing. I'll miss the rugged and beautiful landscape of the west coast. I'll kind of miss living 5 minutes away from work because waking up at 4 AM is bad enough without any sort of transit time. I'll miss the quiet and slow pace of this surf town. 
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Strawberry and Blackberry Skillet Crisp

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A few days ago, I was on a Pinterest food photo binge (as you do) when I came across a photo of a cozy looking mug of hot chocolate being held by a lady in a big comfy sweater. The first thing I did was count how many months until Christmas.

It was exactly four months on that day and now it's three months and three and a half weeks away. Just so you know. 

I'm that kinda person.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Almond and White Nectarine Financiers

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Last year around this time, I remember leaving my apartment in the afternoon every week day and walking down the street on my way to pastry school. On the way, I would stop off a local grocer and buy two big peaches or nectarines. I could never wait to eat the first one - I would take a big bite as soon as I left the store. The bite would be one part biting into the fruit and one part sucking all the juices that immediately came out. I always felt like I was badly making out with the fruit with all the licking and sucking. Yet I always had juice dripping down my wrist as I walked down the street, which I shamelessly licked off. You don't waste good Okanagan stone fruit juice.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Strawberry Mousse in Honey Tuiles

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I'm a big fan of mousses. I feel like a good mousse can fit any occasion - a fancy dinner party, picnic lunch, or just a regular Tuesday night. A mousse can be almost any flavour you can think of, perfect for any and every season. And the texture of a light, smooth, and airy mousse can't be beat.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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Looking back, I wish I had made these into ice cream sandwiches with this Brown Butter Ice Cream. The nuttiness from the brown butter would pair perfectly with the hazelnuts in the cookies. The cookies are soft and chewy enough to not get too rock hard during freezing and they're not too thick so you'd get a great cookie to ice cream ratio. Oh, the regrets! 
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Coconut and Kaffir Lime Custard Pie

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If you've had Thai food, you've almost definitely tasted the flavour of kaffir lime leaves. It's often used in curries and broths and lends a tangy, slightly floral note. Coconut milk is also a very frequently used ingredient in Thai food. I figured that if they work so well in savoury dishes, they'd probably work equally well in a dessert together! And so, this custard pie was born.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Raspberry Swirl Brioche

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Sometimes I have blog posts that I can’t wait to put up. They’re so good, so pretty, so delicious that I’m just too excited to wait. I’m like a kid that made a macaroni picture and ran to show their parents before the glue was even dry. This is one of those posts!
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Brown Butter Ice Cream

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Everybody loves brown butter. Even if you don’t know what brown butter is, you love it. You will love it. 

Brown butter is basically caramelized butter. The milk solids in the butter toast and brown, giving a whole new flavour profile. Think about plain granulated sugar. Now think of caramel. Both are sugar, but they are wildly different from each other in all other aspects. It’s the same with brown butter. It’s still butter technically, but there are complex and rich flavours going on in there now. You wouldn’t have butter ice cream, but you can certainly have brown butter ice cream.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Coconut and Cardamom Panna Cotta with a Mango and Cilantro Salsa

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 I’m the kind of person that loves rich, decadent, and downright indulgent desserts. The ones that you say to yourself, “Oh, I shouldn’t, but I’ll treat myself. Just this one time.” Except it’s never just one time for me. 

But sometimes, especially in the summer, I want something lighter and fresher. Something that’s not filled with chocolate or covered in caramel sauce. Something like these panna cottas.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Sage and Walnut Bread

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I'd love to be able to write something witty, interesting, somewhat funny, and attention-grabbing here, but I've been staring at the laptop screen for about half an hour and my mind is still a blank.

Do I talk about how much I love homemade bread?

Nah, done that with pretty much every other bread post.

Talk about Tofino? 

Done that already, not much has changed since last week.

Talk about why I don't have anything to write about?

Well...
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Lemon Raspberry Macarons

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Ever since I arrived in Tofino, I have been asked by pretty much everybody, "Do you surf?". 

If you're not familiar with Tofino, it's a surfing town. Yep, a surfing town on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC. 

People come to Tofino specifically to surf, especially in the summer. Tourists come for lots of reasons, but surfing is usually one of them. On any given day, rain or shine, 6 in the morning or 9 at night, you'll see dozens of surfers out on the water. 

So, I finally decided to give it a go.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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S'more Cream Puffs

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Sorry about posting a little later than I usually do, but my mom was in town visiting me! Since she was only in town for one full day, we packed as much as we could into it. Boat rides up the coast, natural hot springs, tacos, good dinners, an incredible local clothing designer, more tacos, and some beautiful beach walks. All in a days work here in gorgeous Tofino.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Strawberry Hand Pies

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Yesterday at work, I had one of the sweetest, juiciest, most flavourful strawberries that I have ever had in my life. Small little local beauties with the stem on, bright red all the way through, and just...unbelievable, really. 

I guess I'm so used to the strawberries at the grocery store - white on the inside, kind of bland, a bit sour. Strawberries can kind of be the boring berry when compared to more flavourful ones like raspberries. But if all strawberries were like the ones I had yesterday, no one would be thinking of them as a boring berry.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Meringue Nests with Rhubarb Chiboust and Poached Rhubarb

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It has been seven days since I came to Tofino and five days of new job as a pastry cook. As always, expectations differ from reality, in both good and bad ways. It's certainly quite different than I imagined, if I'm being honest. 
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Charred Lemon Mousse with Earl Grey Cream and Lemon Sablé

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Only two more days until I leave Vancouver and arrive in Tofino for my new job as a pastry cook. I have to say, I'm getting nervous. The past few weeks, I've been excited and optimistic, which is good. But now I'm starting to worry about the nitty-gritty things, like what my roommates rules on fridge space and should I bring my bench-scraper and do I really need to bring all my piping tips. The important stuff.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Rhubarb Sorbet

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Do you guys remember Mat and I's little adventure at Rona? Where we were both totally clueless as to what type of nails I needed to build my own beautiful off-white backdrop for photos?

Well, there it is! I made that! All by myself (with a little help from the internet)! It's exactly what I wanted - off-white, distressed, rustic. I cannot believe that it actually turned out nicely. Whaaat.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Chocolate Kouign Amann

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Summer is fast approaching and that means the kitchens are going to get hot, especially in the afternoon. No one wants to turn on the oven or stand by a stove. You want to be outside, enjoying the sunshine and eating a cool refreshing dessert. 

So, I'm putting this recipe up now before it gets too uncomfortably hot to make these in your own kitchen. You have to give these a try before summer hits because these. are. unreal.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Ginger White Chocolate Mousse with Honey Roasted Rhubarb

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Are any of you guys up to your ears in rhubarb? I don't even have a rhubarb plant and I'm drowning in rhubarb. I have made more rhubarb desserts in the past few weeks than I have in my entire life. 

And I still have so much rhubarb left.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Strawberry-Rhubarb Streusel Bars

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Remember in the last post how I was talking about how boring my life is? Do you also remember the post before that where I was talking about how much I love Tofino? Well, first off, my life just got a little less boring. Secondly, I am going to be spending a lot more time in Tofino becaaaaaaause...

I'm (temporarily) moving to Tofino!
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Rye and Caraway Seed Bread

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I really cannot get enough of homemade bread. I make it every week now. I eat toast for dinner by choice. Everything else I eat is eaten on toast. It's just so darn good! If you still haven't tried these no-knead long fermentation breads that I've put on my blog (this will be the 7th, I think), then get on it! You're missing out on some delicious bread.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Almond and Raspberry Croissants

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For those of you that follow me on instagram, you know that for the past few days, I was in Tofino, BC! Tofino is a little seaside town on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It has beautiful beaches, great surfing, incredible rainforests, and a bit of a hippy feel to it. In the colder months, it's a great place for a relaxing vacation. You can rent a cabin, like my boyfriend and I did two years ago, and go for long walks on the beach in bright yellow ponchos, then come inside and dry your socks in front of the old wood burning stove. In the summer, there are tons of adventurous things to do, like kayaking, whale watching, hiking, surfing, and fishing. 
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Lemon Lavender Tarts with Honey Meringue

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I know absolutely nothing about building things. 

You can tell me to pipe meringue on 350 individual tarts in a specific pattern, I'll do it. You can tell me to make 5 litres of lemon curd, I'll do it. But you tell me to find the right kind of nails to nail two wooden boards together, I can't do that. I don't know, normal nails? There's different kinds of nails? Big nails?
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Raspberry Marshmallow Eggs

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To me, Easter is one of those holidays purely for kids. When I was a kid, I loved it. We would have Easter egg hunts in our back yard with little brightly painted baskets. Other kids that I don't think I even knew would come over and join the hunt. There are photos of me as a kid wearing a little polka dot dress and my face painted like a bunny, it was adorable.

But, seeing as my family is not religious, once my brother and I got older, we just stopped celebrating Easter. We would still get a little bit of chocolate on Easter, but that was it really. No more hunts. That's okay, I'm a 21 year old adult now who has bills to pay and things to do and people to see. But I still like getting a little craftsy around the fun kid holidays like Easter.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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Blueberry Rhubarb Pie

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Woah, hey, what's this now? Do these photos look a little...nicer? They do! 

Finally, I have upgraded my camera! Well, not officially because I am currently "borrowing" my boyfriend's camera, but I will eventually pay for him for it and be able to call it my own. Since my boyfriend upgraded his camera, I get his "old" camera, which is not at all old and is about 100 times better than the one I was using. Needless to say, I am stoked.
Posted by : Megan Voigt
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