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By Sonu Purhar Cakes n’ Sweets is packed. Situated at Creekside Village, two blocks west of Coquitlam Centre Mall, the cozy café is rife with the intoxicating scent of vanilla, cinnamon and sugar. Each customer is seated in front of a mouthwatering dessert: strawberry and lemon macarons, salted caramel cupcakes, mango mousse… and cake. Oh, the cakes! View this post on Instagram A post shared by Cakes n Sweets (@cakesnsweets_) on Oct 31, 2017 at 8:30am PDT Owner Shiela De Villa works the counter, chatting easily with customers ordering custom cakes–-her specialty. Weddings, birthday parties, retirement celebrations, every occasion under the sun deserves a showstopping dessert, and Shiela is determined to send each client away with the cake of their dreams. Cakes ‘n Sweets is a popular place, but it wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for Shiela’s kids. You see, she spent nearly two decades…

By Catherine Dunwoody Jenna Perreault has a secret weapon. There’s a reason why her aptly named Delish Gluten Free Bakery in Port Coquitlam has folks from all over flocking to it. The top-secret weapon? Perreault’s grandmother’s gluten-free flour blend that took her 20 years to perfect. See what having celiac disease, and being a lover of baked goods will inspire a person to do? Jenna’s taken that flour blend and uses it to create everything from fluffy focaccia, to dense chewy fudge brownies, to pies with buttery crusts that would fool any discerning palette to believe these pastries surely must contain gluten. As a food writer, and being diagnosed with celiac disease just two years ago, I have tried every gluten-free bakery I can, usually with disappointing results. Textures like sandpaper, or Styrofoam is my motto generally – until I discovered Delish. I chatted with chef/owner, and new mom, Jenna…

By Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie Kipferl cookies originated in Austria and are traditional in Germany, Czech, Slovakia, Romania, and Hungary. Makes approx. 2 dozen cookies. INGREDIENTS Cookies Soft unsalted butter (2/3 cup) Icing sugar, sifted (1/3 cup) Ground almonds (1/2 cup) Bread flour (1 cup) Vanilla bean (1) Salt (a pinch) Vanilla sugar Vanilla Sugar Granulated sugar (4 cups) Used vanilla pod from the cookie dough DIRECTIONS Cookies 1. In a mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the butter, icing sugar, and salt till smooth at medium speed.  Scrape the sides of the bowl frequently to prevent lumps. 2. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape to remove the seeds.  Reserve the pod for later use.  Add the seeds to the butter mixture and mix till thoroughly combined. 3. Whisk together the bread flour and ground almonds.  Add all the dry ingredients into the butter-mixture and mix on…

By Joyce Chua, Vancouver Foodie Tours Though the Granville Island Public Market is most known for its supply of specialty ingredients, foodies can leave the details with Bon Macaron Patisserie when it comes to macarons. The boutique was opened by two talented French bakers who wanted to bring a bit of France to the Canadian west coast. The macaron, they decided, is the perfect French dessert, as they are rich, light, and decadent, with infinite flavour possibilities. Infinite indeed – Bon Macaron has over 50 flavours to choose from, both savoury and sweet. Here are 5 macaron flavours from Granville Island you absolutely can’t miss: Fuzzy Peach It’s the exact punchy-tart peach flavour from your childhood, complete with sugar crystals on top. Candied Pecan The shop on Granville Island has a few exclusive flavours made with ingredients from the Public Market. This nutty macaron is made with Candied Pecans from…

By Kathy Mak Audrey Wong is the force and founder behind Living Lotus, a Vancouver company focused on satisfying your sweet tooth with dreamy desserts that have better-for-you, rawsome ingredients.  Without turning on an oven, Wong is crafting an array of luscious plant-based desserts made from minimally processed whole foods that are packed with nutrients but gluten-free, vegan and devoid of chemicals, additives and refined sugar. Uniting delicious and nutritious – as sustainably as possible – has long been a priority for Wong who has been a vegetarian for over 26 years and a vegan for five.  Her mindful-eating interest turned to raw foods in 2007, inspired by Matthew Kenny’s book, Raw Food/Real World.  While gluten-free and vegan foods are becoming more commonplace, Wong found few options for dessert alternatives using only whole foods. After studying raw nutrition culinary arts, Wong made the leap to start a dessert company with…

By Ariane Fleischmann Hillcrest Bakery is serving up something a little different these days. Owner David Moyer had to think outside the box when the 45-year-old bakery relocated due to construction in the burgeoning uptown White Rock area. What started as casual conversations with local breweries White Rock Beach Beer Company and 3 Dogs Brewing soon became a new business model: using spent grain from the brewing process at the bakery to create unique and tasty eats. Canada’s West Coast is known for many things: scenic ocean and mountain views, hiking, biking, kayaking–pretty much every outdoorsy activity you can imagine–and craft beer. Yes, after a day on the water or in the woods, people love to grab a bite to eat and a craft beer to wash it all down with. So, is it really a surprise that a bakery would team up with some breweries to combine the two?…

By Kristi Alexandra You don’t always need wheat to stay sweet, and Cloud 9 specialty bakery owner Ray Porelatto knows it to be true. His gluten-free company started baking up treats for those with a taste for the toothsome in 2008, becoming a pioneer in wheat-free baking. Nearly 10 years later, the gluten-free movement is more of a lifestyle than a craze, and the New Westminster bakery and test kitchen’s popularity can attest to that. The delicious downtown haunt plays storefront to their wildly popular baking brand, serving up cupcakes, scones, buns, breads and more. That’s not to mention the baking mixes and custom-ordered cakes that can be purchased in the shop too. In the back of the shop is the test kitchen, where you can find your cupcakes being created or any other combination of the mad science of sweets. And just how has this speciality bakery kept alive…

By VisitRichmondBC.com Who doesn’t want to consume their weight in baked goods? This list of delicious, must-visit bakeries will make you want to throw out your diet, even if just for one day. Go ahead and indulge – try out these six bakeries – three Asian bakeries and three European/North American ones, all located in sunny Richmond, BC. Chinese Bakeries Lido Restaurant 4231 Hazelbridge Way Apparently, pineapple buns are a really big deal around here. Ask just about anyone who has lived in Richmond for any substantial period of time and, assuming that this person is reasonably up to snuff on Hong Kong style bakeries, they’ll tell you that Lido is king of the pineapple bun. Trays of these buns are brought out every 15 minutes, all day long. Bite into a deliciously fresh, hot bun with a slab of butter in the middle and you’ll see what we’re talking…

By Catherine Dunwoody Seriously. Just when I’d given up on finding gluten-free baked goods that were remotely close to the real thing, the skies parted and along came Pikanik Bakery. I was diagnosed with celiac disease (which is a serious gluten allergy) not long ago, and naturally as a food writer and having eaten gluten all my life, my quest for bread that didn’t have the texture of a dry, sandy sponge was all too real. (You don’t know what you’re missing until you can’t eat it anymore!) And I miss great, chewy-textured bread in a sandwich. And real pizza. And pie crust that isn’t made entirely of nuts – you get the picture. Pikanik is a dedicated gluten-free and allergen-safe bakery based in South Surrey, that also happen to be nut and dairy free and offers vegan options too. Best part? They deliver. Order a minimum of $30 online,…

by Catherine Dunwoody Burnaby’s constantly evolving Metrotown just got a little French and we couldn’t be more excited.   Paris-trained Chef Elena Krasnova opened her first standalone shop, “Mon Paris Pâtisserie” and that means delicious pastries, café au lait, and much more. The 1000 square foot space has a pretty modern, bright Parisian vibe with an open-concept kitchen, and intimate bistro-style seating (plus a patio space will open this spring). Republica Coffee Roasters is the café of choice, plus specialty teas, traditional French pastries, and Cacao Barry chocolate confections are served. Chef Krasnova trained at the famed Ferrandie Ecole de Gastronomie in Paris, and uses only the best local and international ingredients to create classic French desserts like the ‘Opera’ (intense coffee flavours melded with moist dark chocolate mousse), macarons, plus wedding and special occasion cakes. Feeling like trying your own hand at French deliciousness? We say oui! And with pastry…

By Dan Olson, Chef/Owner, Railtown Cafe Yields 15 servings INGREDIENTS Eggs (6) Sugar (¾ cup) Creamed corn (3 kg) Buttermilk (3 cups) Butter, melted and cooled (2 ¾ cups) Minced jalapeño (1 ½ cups) Flour (3 cups) Cornmeal (3 cups) Jalepeño jack cheese, grated (3 cups) Baking powder (3 tbsp) Baking soda (½ tbsp.) Salt (4 ½ tbsp.) DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 2.  Melt and cool butter to room temperature. 3. Wisk the eggs and sugar together. 4. Add in the buttermilk, melted butter and creamed corn and whisk just until combined. 5. Fold the dry ingredients, cheese and jalapeños, and mix until just combined (lumps are okay)! 6. Pour batter into a parchment-lined baking dish. 7. Bake for 30 minutes, rotate pan and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown. 8. Let cool completely in pan, wrap and refrigerate. Portion and reheat as needed. 9. Wrap in…

By Ashley Lockyer Wander through old growth forest, over streams and brooks, and you’ll find the perfect picnic place on Vancouver’s North Shore. The moderate Quarry Rock hike in Deep Cove leads to a rocky bluff with clear views of the water, mountains, and cityscapes, and is accessible year-round. All hikes require energy but don’t worry. This dockside town has plenty of portable portions to fuel your adventure. Stock your snack pack at these charming, locally owned businesses: Honey’s Donuts & Goodies Even the name of this place makes hikers hungry. This North Shore Vancouver breakfast cafe is famous for their doughnuts, baking, and all day, everyday brunch. Covert Cafe Apparently, the neighbours are complaining about the addictive scents wafting out of this spot’s door. They bake and make grandma-approved food in a modern and airy atmosphere. Bluhouse Cafe Local, organic, gluten free, and vegan. Experience the goodness in good…

By Old Yale Brewing Co. in the Fraser Valley Looking for the perfect beer cupcake recipe? Well, look no further! Introducing Screaming Banshee Beer Cupcakes. These little guys are quick and easy to make, and taste like heaven on earth. INGREDIENTS Screaming Banshee Irish Cream Stout (1 cup) Butter (1/2 cup) Cocoa (3/4 cup) Sugar (2 cups) Sour cream (3/4 cup) Eggs (2) Vanilla (1 tbsp.) Flour (2 cups) Baking soda (2 1/2 tsp.) DIRECTIONS 1. Melt Screaming Banshee + butter in a saucepan over medium/low heat 2. Whisk in cocoa + sugar and remove from heat 3. In a separate bowl, beat sour cream, eggs and vanilla 4. Pour step 3 mixture into Screaming Banshee / butter mixture from step 1 5. Whisk in flour + baking soda 6. Fill muffin tin with cupcake liners & fill each liner 3/4 full with cupcake mixture 7. Bake for 15 mins…

By Nikki Hillman In Coquitlam’s city centre, Glen Drive is evolving into a great place to stop for lunch or dinner. There are several Pho, sushi, and waffle stores – and there is a wealth of hidden Persian and Iranian gems. I found myself drawn to The High Street and stopped in at the Urban Gate Bar and Grill for some dinner, and was surprised to find a traditional Iranian/Persian Market attached to the restaurant. The scents of the sweets were enticing as I sat down to order. I asked my server to recommend a traditional Iranian meal and she instantly pointed out her favorite on the menu; Jujeh. This is a classic kebab of chicken, marinated in lemon, yogurt and saffron. The meal also comes with a small salad, barbecue Roma tomato, lemon, onion and saffron rice. The combination of the flavors was delicious but I was won over…