This past Saturday, I awoke to the sound of my alarm, in the dead of the night... seriously. It was 5 o'clock in the morning and there wasn't a hint of sun anywhere in the sky. I had a dinner party that night to prepare for and one of the things I was anticipating the most was my trip to the St. Lawrence market, downtown Toronto.
So, off to market I went. My parents tagged along for the ride and we made it there within an hour, just before all of the Saturday morning crowds would start to appear.
Our first stop, as always, is a little Greek stand on the lower level. They make the greasiest of greasy breakfasts - perfect for Saturday mornings. My mom, Willen and I shared one while we went over our lists of things we needed to get.
Our first stop, and one of my favourites, was the Stonemill bakery stand. It's quite literally wall to wall baking: rows of fresh baked bread, bins of baguettes and piles of warm muffins, croissants and pastries. It's carb-laden bliss for anyone who enjoys something sweet with their coffee or some fresh bread with dinner. First, I picked out a baguette and two of their artisan loaves, cranberry pumpkin seed and roasted garlic. Next, I filled a bag with a few pastries to enjoy with coffee for on our drive to church the next morning. And finally, and most excitingly, I couldn't resist the little molten chocolate cakes. My sister-in-law and I are chocolate lovers and they'll be perfect warmed with some hot chocolate after skating this week.
Up next was the produce section. I was planning on roasting some vegetables so I wanted a few different varieties. I left with some purple fingerling potatoes, sprouts, little carrots and golden beets.
From there I moved onto another favourite, the coffee stand. It's a booth that's lined with rows of coffee beans. There must be 60 different varieties of beans! It makes it almost impossible to choose just one. I finally, after much debate, settled on their Holiday Blend. It's a combination of Bavarian chocolate, spices and hints of orange. It was divine.
I would then go on to pick up my meat from the butcher, and hold my breath as I walked through the smelly fish sections, and eventually end up on the other side.
Before all that however, I stumbled across a new booth that I hadn't seen before. It was something so special I couldn't resist sharing!
As I left the roasting booth, I saw this girl setting up a cute little booth. I noticed these colourful little circles she was setting up and hung around for a minute, patiently waiting for her to get herself established before going over to check theme out. As she hung the sign I heard myself let out a tiny little gasp of excitement.
"Lemon Tree Patisserie ~ French Macarons"
I was so jealous. I have always wanted to make these perfectly round little French treats. They're the prettiest of desserts and remind me of Marie Antoinette whenever I see them. They are in an entirely different league then the North American version, macaroons. Leave it to us to ruin something so lovely.
Anyway, I picked out a soft pink Vanilla Bean one and a green Pistachio one to bring home. They were even more delicious than they looked, and they were almost too perfect to eat. The tops were smooth and they were perfect circles of slightly crisp and chewy macaron. Between the two cookies was the butteriest of butter creams, infused with flavour. I really enjoyed them.
Anyway, it is my goal to attempt making them week. In the mean time, I'm looking for some flavour inspiration.
Perfectly French. This was an article done on Bobbette & Belle, French pastry specialists in Toronto.
Hazelnut. The flavour options seem endless!
This is Paulette - a bakery that specializes in macarons. I always wished we had something similar in our area so you can imagine my excitement when I found one in Toronto!
My most favourite cake pedestals. One day I would like to have a lovely little collection of them on display in my kitchen. They would look even more lovely with some french macarons.
Check out her website - lemontreepat.com - or better yet, stop in to her booth and pick up a couple to try at the market sometime! They're worth it!
I've always loved St. Lawrence market - I used to work a block away and spent many lunchtimes there. I can't believe there are yummy macarons there now - that would have been a very dangerous thing for me! :)ReplyDelete
I try to stay away from bakery's because when I enter them I eat more then I can handle.ReplyDelete