Saturday, 13 October 2018


Cinnamon Twist Ring made with my sourdough starter, Douglas
My teen-bae requested cinnamon rolls...but the only problem is I don't want to use commercial yeasts.  I want to employ Douglas, my sourdough starter!  She's always complaining about the "sour" flavour and how she wants me to bake like I used to (without Dougie)

Roll out the enriched dough as if you were going to make cinnamon buns
well, that ain't happenin'!
the butter, sugar & cinnamon mixture is spread thinly across the dough
I decided to watch things closely to ensure that I didn't over-ferment too long.  I made the levain overnight and in fact made 2 different jars of levain so I could also bake a Hokkaido Milk Loaf with the starter too.
slice the dough lengthwise
In the morning, I mixed the doughs, bulk fermented and then shaped. Then I put them away to proof until after we came back from our shopping trip to Costco for the week's groceries.  I looked at the proofing doughs and thought it could do with a bit more rise.  It should be at least double and look all poofy!  The 2nd proof took approximately 4 hours
twist the 2 lengths and then join the two ends into a ring

I had created two jars of levain last night.  One for hokkaido milk bread and one for this cinnamon ring

the cinnamon twist ring was tender and had a slight twang from the sourdough starter
I decided that the best option for the whole fam would be to dust the cinnamon twist with icing sugar because my mother and husband don't like frosting.  The kids LOVE frosting so I made kiddo's favourite: cream cheese frosting.  I kept that in a little glass container for the kids to spread on their cinnamon twist.   The crumb was soft, tender and delicious.
my hokkaido milk bread employed a tangzhong as well as the starter.  I replaced my usual active yeast with 1 cup of levain
Right after baking the twist, I reduced the oven temp for the hokkaido milk bread.  I popped the proofed dough into the oven with a pan of hot water sitting in the back of the oven.  I got great oven spring and the crumb was shreddable.  Watch the video I made of milk bread as I take it from the oven and open it up.
weekend sourdough baking

It's always fun for me to pull freshly baked bread out of the oven.  Watch the shreddably soft crumb in the hokkaido milk bread as I pull it apart.  So satisfying!


adapted from


  • 100 g water 
  • 100 g bread flour
  • 1 Tbsp of active sourdough starter


  • all of the above starter (appr. 200 g)
  • 180 g warm milk 
  • 370 g bread flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp of melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp of sugar
  • 6 g salt


  • 100 g soft butter
  • 60 g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon

Sourdough starter

  1. In the evening before, prepare the sourdough starter. Mix 100 g of bread flour, 100 g of water, and 1 tablespoon or the starter. Leave it to ferment until puffed, active and bubbly, about doubled or more in size.


  1. In the morning, mix the dough. First, dissolve all of the starter in 180 g of milk. Add egg yolk and melted butter. Next, add all of the flour (370 g), salt and sugar.  Add the butter after the dough comes together in a ball.  Mix well, and knead the dough until windowpane test.  On my KA, this took 20 minutes on speed 2 with the dough hook.  Shape it into ball and place it into a bowl lightly sprayed with baking spray. Cover with a plastic wrap and leave to bulk ferment until doubled in volume. My dough needed 2 hours in the oven with the light on for warmth.  I kept a pan of hot water in the oven for humidity. 
  2. When the dough is doubled, prepare the filling. Mix softened butter, sugar and cinnamon


  1. Roll the dough to be 5 mm thick or 30×45 cm (12×18 inch) wide. Spread the filling across the rolled dough thinly, leaving 2 cm (1 inch) from all sides.  
  2. Roll the dough from the longest side, jelly roll style. Cut the rolled dough vertically (see picture above) in half length-wise. Secure the ends and twist the two lengths.  Join the ends into a ring.  Place the ring on a piece of parchment in order to transfer it easily to the pan or dutch oven.  Place the ring into the DO or pan to proof.

Final rise

  1. Leave the dough to rise until puffed (doubled in volume). My dough needed approximately 4 hours


  1. 30 minutes before the baking preheat the oven to 200°C (375°F). Place the dutch oven into oven and bake it for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown.
  2. Dust with confectioners' icing to serve

Sunday, 10 June 2018


Summer's almost here!
I can feel the anticipation in the air!

I've been madly testing Japanese Cheesecake recipes the last few weeks and tweaking my recipe for both Matcha and Londog Fog flavoured Japanese cheesecake.  During all this time I haven't actually tasted the Uncle Tetsu cheesecakes that have been selling like crazy (limit of one per customer!) because of the crazy 2 hour lineups.  

Sunday, 21 January 2018


gf chocolate cupcakes with raspberry-blueberry-vanilla swirl buttercream
No worries people, no unicorns were harmed in the making of these cupcakes.

Saturday, 23 September 2017



Said the 10 yr old upon tasting the pie: "Mommy, your apple pie exceeds expectations!"

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Foraged-Blackberry No-Churn Ice-cream & Totoro Choux au Craquelin

What to do with the many buckets of FREE local blackberries you've picked along railroad tracks, parks and roadways in Vancouver? How about Foraged Blackberry No-churn Ice Cream?

Friday, 25 August 2017


What kind of witchcraft is this?

I've never had a gluten free bread that has this amount of chew in it.  While mixing the dough you can imagine my skepticism that the ingredients would turn out looking like proper bagels.  I even had fewer hopes of them tasting like bagels let alone tasty ones.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

LEMON MERINGUE TARTS (Paleo, GF, Refined sugar free)

A tiny slice of the 4"Lemon Meringue Tart I made 
Am I in the minority? do you salivate like Pavlov's Dog when you see a lemon meringue pie cross-section like this?

Wednesday, 22 February 2017


SO, this is me lesson prepping for tomorrow's Creative Writing 11 Book Chat tomorrow.  I had my students select a Canadian Novel for an independent project which culminates in a Tea 'n Cookies Book Chat with their peers.

Silly me...I asked what they'd like me to bake and they said "Totoro Cookies!"  
I don't know why I was hoping they'd all say "CAKE!" --but they didn't.  
Ah well.  They're not for me to eat anyway!

I used matcha powder to create tiny leaf cookies to rest on Totoro's head.  With the leftover matcha dough I made some larger leaf cookies 'cause I didn't want to make any more of those time-consuming tiny leaves anymore 🤣

I added black sesame paste to a blob of cookie dough in order to make the tiny black sesame sprites. They were so cute but something about grey cookies is so unappealing to many people.  I guess they don't look appetizing being the colour of soot!

Raw cookie dough is so tasty-looking to me.  I prefer how it looks to the baked product because you can see the crisp lines and Totoro's cute expression very clearly.

In case you want to make these with a totoro cutter, be aware that they cost $$$.  All you have to do is google it and you'll find plenty of styles of Totoro cutters to buy.  Before I bought a cutter, I used a cardboard template that I cut out.  I traced the cookies with a knife and they were tedious but they turned out well.  Alternatively, if you're crafty you can cut up an Arizona Tea can and create your own personalized cookie cutter.  I have a pusheen one that I made like that because I'm too cheapie to pay money for more cutters.  

Totoro Vanilla Butter Cookies 
  • 2 Cups unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Large egg 
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 5 Cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp teaspoon coarse salt
  • OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon matcha powder (for the matcha leaves)
  • OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon black sesame paste (or ground black sesame seeds) (for the soot sprites)

  1. Preheat oven to 350degrees F.
  2. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in whole egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt and mix until combined.
  3. Halve dough; shape each half into a disk. Place one disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate. You can use the other half for the optional coloured decorations or soot sprite cookies.  Continue making cookies with the remaining refrigerated dough.
  4. Roll out dough and cut with a template or cutter.  Transfer cookies to parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  5. OPTIONAL LEAVES & SOOT SPRITES:  take a handful of dough and add 1 teaspoon of matcha powder to it, kneading until thoroughly combined. Roll out and cut into tiny leaves to decorate Totoro's head.  Take a handful of dough and knead in 1 teaspoon black sesame paste and knead thoroughly until combined.  Roll out and cut into soot sprites.
  6. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned (Totoro's ears will get brown first, so watch them)  The soot sprites will take only 10-12 minutes and the tiny leaves take 7 min.
  7. Let cool on wire racks. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017


Basho's gone, but you can make these Mini Mochi Cupcakes yourself!

Do you miss this tiny Japanese cafe on E. Hastings street?  Well, cry no more because you can easily make these mini gluten-free Japanese sweets.  Just pull out your knitting needles, knit a cozy for your potted succulent plant and whip up some matcha tea to go along with your sweets.

This mochi recipe is highly adaptable; you can add your own unique flavours.  Stay tuned for more flavour possibilities!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Happy Lunar New Year!

Celebrate with cake!
Happy Chinese New Year! 
Gung Hay Fat Choy!   Sun Neen Fai Lok!

It's the year of the rooster...and today married Chinese people everywhere are handing out red envelopes to kids.  So the kids are raking in the money$$$

My kid's birthday party is today and she wanted a DQ ice cream cake, which means pretty much nothing for me to blog about.  So I made my go-to cake for all-around snackin' while the kids indulged in their oreo blizzard ice cream cake.  

This Coconut Chiffon Cake is made from coconut oil instead of veg oil or butter, which gives it a nice light coconut scent and flavour.  Because I'm gluten intolerant (hello Hashimoto's suck) I used my current fave gf flour mix that I picked up from Costco in the States.  Costco Canada doesn't carry it here in Vancouver which is a shame. 

I wish you Health, Wealth & Happiness this Lunar year and may your celebrations be filled with a good amount of cake too!
Gluten Free Coconut Chiffon Cake with berries

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Drip Cake: Chocolate Quinoa Layer Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream (gluten free)

Made my own Birthday Cake. Yes I did😆
6 inch GF Chocolate Quinoa Cake layers and Vanilla Bean Buttercream
This is my favourite part of making a cake

Decorated with my fave goodies: matcha macaron, Lindt chocolate balls, dragées, a mini KitKat and mini Coffee Crisp and crushed macaron shells
The chocolate ganache was perfect. I threw dragées on the side of the cake too and they stuck🙌
It's late November and the only thing blooming in my garden are these little purple Daikon flowers.  I just let the daikon go to seed and never did harvest the daikon (so bitter!)  The flowers sure are pretty...and edible
Scroll down past the recipes to watch a video of me assembling the layers

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Gluten Free Oatmeal-Banana Bread

My 9 yr old's Gluten Free Oatmeal-Banana Bread...all made in the Vitamix!

I'm the only person in the household that avoids gluten because of my autoimmune disease...Hashimoto's.  One of the things I miss a lot is a really good Banana Bread...full of gluten. There's something about the texture of gluten-full banana bread that I miss!  But lucky for you I hit upon a lovely oat flour banana bread that is not only super easy to make (in one container!) but has an amazing texture and flavour.

She made mini doughnuts too! They were absolutely delicious with my espresso...and my 15 hours of marking


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