Gastronomy and Life's Other Pleasures

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Posts tagged caramel

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South Beach Creamery, Bells Corners, Ottawa

I am actually a bit embarrassed to admit that I partook in this humongous sundae! The husband and I had driven past this little truck in Ottawa’s west end a ton of times before we finally decided it was time to stop and check it out. 

I was kind of hoping for some homemade ice cream, but was disappointed to learn that they served Nestlé ice cream. Nonetheless, as we perused the menu, we were immediately drawn to their crazy sundaes. Bonus: everything was on sale because it was the end of the season, so the sundaes were basically half price! (SCORE!)

We ended deciding to share the poutine sundae, which sounds really weird but was actually quite genius in its presentation. Two generous scoops of your choice of ice cream (we chose pralines and cream - there were limited choices as they were closing for the season the next day) came topped with caramel sauce (to mimic the gravy), vanilla wafer cookies (to mimic the french fries) and mini marshmallows (to mimic the cheese curds). There was also sliced banana and generous flourishes of whipped cream, both of which weren’t there to mimic anything but to make the sundae more decadent and delicious! Obviously this was one super rich sundae, and we weren’t able to finish it all, but it was pretty creative. 

If you like simple, run-of-the-mill ice cream, this little truck is for you. From our experience, they are also good at turning these simple ingredients into something fun with their creative sundaes (there was a whole menu of them - at least 8 or 10 creations!). However, if you prefer a homemade product, this is not the place for you (check out Carp Custom Creamery - see my review here). I’m not sure if we’ll revisit this truck, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it if you’re looking for a quick, cheap, basic ice cream cone.

Filed under food dessert treat ice cream food truck Ottawa Bells Corners sundae vanilla wafer cookie marshmallows caramel sauce praline pralines and cream whipped cream sweet

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The husband finally felt well enough to have some of his Baskin Robbins ice cream birthday cake last night! He has been sick since the day before his birthday (which was almost two weeks ago now! Yikes). He really loves Baskin Robbins’ ice cream cakes and decided that he wanted a gold medal ribbon ice cream cake for his birthday this year.  If you like ice cream cake but are looking for something different than a DQ ice cream cake, Baskin Robbins is a great alternative.  Their cakes are simple: it is their ice cream formed into the shape of a cake! Usually there is a little something extra on top (ours has a layer of delicious fudge as you can see in my photo above) which adds some extra colour and flavour. 
I’m just glad he is beginning to feel better.  How rotten is it to be sick on your birthday?!

The husband finally felt well enough to have some of his Baskin Robbins ice cream birthday cake last night! He has been sick since the day before his birthday (which was almost two weeks ago now! Yikes). He really loves Baskin Robbins’ ice cream cakes and decided that he wanted a gold medal ribbon ice cream cake for his birthday this year.  If you like ice cream cake but are looking for something different than a DQ ice cream cake, Baskin Robbins is a great alternative.  Their cakes are simple: it is their ice cream formed into the shape of a cake! Usually there is a little something extra on top (ours has a layer of delicious fudge as you can see in my photo above) which adds some extra colour and flavour. 

I’m just glad he is beginning to feel better.  How rotten is it to be sick on your birthday?!

Filed under food dessert cake ice cream ice cream cake Baskin Robbins gold medal ribbon caramel chocolate vanilla birthday sweet treat celebration

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The salted caramel mocha: a Starbucks experience
I love Starbucks, and I go there fairly frequently. But I am a creature of habit: if I order a latte, it is usually a vanilla latte (or pumpkin spice when it is in season, of course).  Or just brewed coffee. I rarely order any of their new drinks or fun stuff.  That’s until recently, when Starbucks seems to be stepping up their game.  Since becoming a gold club member in 2009 (and even prior to that), I have rarely ever received any kind of coupons or promotions from Starbucks.  The reason this is a significant point is because I am one of those people who will use these types of coupons!  So, when I received coupons in the mail (yes, snail mail!) recently, I was excited to use them! Which leads me to today’s post: why you should try the salted caramel mocha.
I am not cheap, but when I get a coupon that would allow me to sample something I might find delicious for almost half the regular price, I’m sold. This is how I came to taste Starbucks’ salted caramel mocha, which is one of their limited time fall drinks.  I’ve tried a regular mocha once before and enjoyed it (it was a tad sweet for my liking, but still pretty tasty), so I wondered how different the salted caramel mocha would really taste.  Well, was I astounded! From what I can see on Starbucks’ website, there aren’t any new flavours of syrups or sweeteners in use here: it is their basic toffee nut syrup and mocha sauce mixed with espresso and steamed milk.  So what must create the most insanely deliciously sweet yet salty, buttery richness is the mixture of the decadent topping on the drink: fluffy whipped cream, drizzled caramel and what Starbucks calls “a tiny sprinkle or our premium sea salt and sugar topping.”  I was floored at the depth of flavour in this latte, and I relished every sip!
If you’re looking for a once in a while delightful treat, sip on a salted caramel mocha: it is very sweet, a little salty, and incredibly rich.  And now it looks like I have a chocolate chai latte in my future: I just got a new coupon in my e-mail! 

The salted caramel mocha: a Starbucks experience

I love Starbucks, and I go there fairly frequently. But I am a creature of habit: if I order a latte, it is usually a vanilla latte (or pumpkin spice when it is in season, of course).  Or just brewed coffee. I rarely order any of their new drinks or fun stuff.  That’s until recently, when Starbucks seems to be stepping up their game.  Since becoming a gold club member in 2009 (and even prior to that), I have rarely ever received any kind of coupons or promotions from Starbucks.  The reason this is a significant point is because I am one of those people who will use these types of coupons!  So, when I received coupons in the mail (yes, snail mail!) recently, I was excited to use them! Which leads me to today’s post: why you should try the salted caramel mocha.

I am not cheap, but when I get a coupon that would allow me to sample something I might find delicious for almost half the regular price, I’m sold. This is how I came to taste Starbucks’ salted caramel mocha, which is one of their limited time fall drinks.  I’ve tried a regular mocha once before and enjoyed it (it was a tad sweet for my liking, but still pretty tasty), so I wondered how different the salted caramel mocha would really taste.  Well, was I astounded! From what I can see on Starbucks’ website, there aren’t any new flavours of syrups or sweeteners in use here: it is their basic toffee nut syrup and mocha sauce mixed with espresso and steamed milk.  So what must create the most insanely deliciously sweet yet salty, buttery richness is the mixture of the decadent topping on the drink: fluffy whipped cream, drizzled caramel and what Starbucks calls “a tiny sprinkle or our premium sea salt and sugar topping.”  I was floored at the depth of flavour in this latte, and I relished every sip!

If you’re looking for a once in a while delightful treat, sip on a salted caramel mocha: it is very sweet, a little salty, and incredibly rich.  And now it looks like I have a chocolate chai latte in my future: I just got a new coupon in my e-mail! 

Filed under food drink beverage coffee Starbucks caramel salted caramel mocha caffeine espresso warm hot whipped cream Canada Ontario Ottawa sea salt sugar

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Macarons from Fauchon in Paris, France

I truly have the best sister ever!  Knowing my absolute adoration of the delicate and sweet macaron, my sister brought me back a wonderful six pack of these delightful little beauties from Fauchon in Paris after spending some time there for work (and a little holiday) recently.  

Well, of course when I say brought me back I mean the the husband and me; I was nice enough to share! haha

She hand selected the flavours in our box, which were as follows (following the photo from left to right, top to bottom):  vanillla, chocolate, four red berry and pistachio, caramel de sel, raspberry, lemon, pistachio and praline.  My favourite was the praline: the filling was incredibly rich and buttery.  I surprised myself in that I actually liked the four red berry and pistachio as my second favourite - I could not believe how amazing the filling was in this one!  It was tart and sweet at the same time and just so fresh.

The husband preferred the fruit flavours - the lemon and raspberry - but agreed that all six were the best macarons he had ever tasted.  I couldn’t agree more!

Filed under food dessert sweet macarons Fauchon Paris France treat delicate pistachio chocolate lemon raspberry vanilla praline caramel de sel caramel gift

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Truffles from Crazy4Chocolate
The husband and I had the pleasure of meeting Sue, owner and chocolate magician of Crazy4Chocolate, an Ottawa-based truffles company, at the Wed by Hand show this past February. 
We got to sample a number of her truffles at the show, and we were impressed! So, when it came to choosing our wedding favours, we chose Sue’s truffles.  We decided on the maple truffle (the one covered in little maple sugar bits in the photo) and the mimosa truffle, an orange flavoured white chocolate dream (the white truffle with orange sprinkles in the photo above).  The foursome in my photo is a little pack that Sue gave to us as a little thank you! She is the best.
Our guests loved the truffles and so did we.  Click on the photo for a link to Sue’s website.

Truffles from Crazy4Chocolate

The husband and I had the pleasure of meeting Sue, owner and chocolate magician of Crazy4Chocolate, an Ottawa-based truffles company, at the Wed by Hand show this past February. 

We got to sample a number of her truffles at the show, and we were impressed! So, when it came to choosing our wedding favours, we chose Sue’s truffles.  We decided on the maple truffle (the one covered in little maple sugar bits in the photo) and the mimosa truffle, an orange flavoured white chocolate dream (the white truffle with orange sprinkles in the photo above).  The foursome in my photo is a little pack that Sue gave to us as a little thank you! She is the best.

Our guests loved the truffles and so did we.  Click on the photo for a link to Sue’s website.

Filed under food chocolate truffles ottawa Crazy4Chocolate sweet treat wedding mimosa caramel dark chocolate maple wed by hand

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Breakfast at Eggstyle (again)
The fiancé adores Eggstyle, so much so that he begs me to go there every weekend.  Most of the time I say no, but even I have to give in every once in a while! haha
We try something different each visit, and this time we set our sights on the french toast.  But not just any french toast: apple bread french toast!  Two generous pieces of apple bread dipped in french toast batter, grilled and topped with hot cinnamon apples, yogurt, caramel and toasted almonds.  It was quite a treat!  The bread was fluffy and light and the combination of the apples, yogurt, caramel and almonds was a delightful taste and textural adventure.  

Breakfast at Eggstyle (again)

The fiancé adores Eggstyle, so much so that he begs me to go there every weekend.  Most of the time I say no, but even I have to give in every once in a while! haha

We try something different each visit, and this time we set our sights on the french toast.  But not just any french toast: apple bread french toast!  Two generous pieces of apple bread dipped in french toast batter, grilled and topped with hot cinnamon apples, yogurt, caramel and toasted almonds.  It was quite a treat!  The bread was fluffy and light and the combination of the apples, yogurt, caramel and almonds was a delightful taste and textural adventure.  

Filed under food breakfast brunch Eggstyle french toast cinnamon apple bread yogurt caramel almond Ottawa review restaurant fruit delicious sweet treat

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The Cake Shop

This newly relocated shop has nestled itself in the Hintonburg neighbourhood (on Wellington St. West between Holland and Parkdale) which, lucky for me, is very close to my workplace.  Formerly of Greenbank Road, this lovely shop is filled with all sorts of treats: cookies, custom cakes, cupcakes and other baked goods.

While browsing in the store, the boyfriend and I sampled some of their shortbread cookies, which were delicious.  They have a huge wall filled with unique flavours of shortbread cookies (photos to come in another post).

But what really brought us to the shop was to sample the cupcakes.  We still haven’t tired of the cupcake craze and are always up for trying out new spots!  We settled on the rolo and red velvet.  Both were fantastic - the cake was very moist and light.  The cream cheese icing on the red velvet was fluffy and not deathly sweet and the ganache and caramel top of the rolo cupcake was perfect. 

The shop itself is super funky with a modern pink theme interior and a number of tables to sit and enjoy your purchase.  We will definitely be back to sample some more!

Filed under The Cake Shop caramel chocolate cupcake dessert food red velvet rolo sweet Ottawa Hintonburg

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SuzyQ Doughnuts

As I was mentioning in a previous post, one recent weekend was all about enjoying the little things, including these SuzyQ doughnuts…..mmmmmmmmmm, doughnuts!

Fresh, hot, chewy and oh so delicious, SuzyQ’s doughnuts are not to be missed.  We scarfed down three in the parking lot on our visit: blueberry buttermilk; lime margarita (non-alcoholic of course); and caramel skor.  Our favourite was the lime margarita as it was just so flavourful - you could see the little bits of what we assumed were grated lime rind and it was sprinkled with fleur de sel, just like a salt-rimmed margarita glass!  I truly hope that this little business continues to be a success so we can be treated to these little gems!

Read the story of how SuzyQ’s came to be on Ottawa Magazine's website here.  Follow SuzyQ’s Doughnut on Twitter here.

Filed under Hintonburg Ottawa blueberry caramel deep fried dessert donuts doughnuts food hipster lime margarita sweet Ottawa Magazine Twitter

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Bread Pudding with Candied Bacon
I had the pleasure of enjoying this delectable looking delight with the boyfriend and my sister a few weeks ago.  I haven’t experienced the pleasure of bread pudding too many times in my life, but this was to die for.  So chocolatey/peanut buttery and moist, topped with a heap of fresh whipped cream and candied bacon, nestled into a warm gooey puddle of caramel sauce….are you drooling yet?  We sure did!  This dessert disappeared in mere moments!  Definitely one that will not soon be forgotten.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bread Pudding with Candied Bacon

I had the pleasure of enjoying this delectable looking delight with the boyfriend and my sister a few weeks ago.  I haven’t experienced the pleasure of bread pudding too many times in my life, but this was to die for.  So chocolatey/peanut buttery and moist, topped with a heap of fresh whipped cream and candied bacon, nestled into a warm gooey puddle of caramel sauce….are you drooling yet?  We sure did!  This dessert disappeared in mere moments!  Definitely one that will not soon be forgotten.

Filed under food dessert sweet bread pudding chocolate peanut butter caramel sweet whipped cream

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Banoffee Pie

For my birthday, I treated myself to something new, something I’ve never had before: banoffee pie! 

I decided to check out Thyme and Again’s January dessert menu, and I was delightfully surprised when I saw they had banoffee pie available to take home. 

Not knowing exactly what to expect, the boyfriend and I sliced up the pie and dove in to our ooey gooey slices.  It was fantastic!  The combination of the moist graham crust, the oozing caramel/banana centre, and the massive amount of whip cream was sinfully delicious!  I would definitely buy this again.

Filed under food dessert banoffee pie caramel whipped cream Thyme and Again Ottawa

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Coffee-filled mornings in Barbados
While staying in Barbados last year, my friend and I found a little cafe serving up delicious coffee, lattes, and other caffeine-laced drinks, as well as delicious baked goodies.  We enjoyed many a start to our day at this peaceful cafe, which sat directly near a large pond with the most beautiful aquatic flowers.  I really wish I could go back every day!
Here, I am enjoying an iced banana caramel latte and my friend has her favourite, and iced chai latte.  Yum.

Coffee-filled mornings in Barbados

While staying in Barbados last year, my friend and I found a little cafe serving up delicious coffee, lattes, and other caffeine-laced drinks, as well as delicious baked goodies.  We enjoyed many a start to our day at this peaceful cafe, which sat directly near a large pond with the most beautiful aquatic flowers.  I really wish I could go back every day!

Here, I am enjoying an iced banana caramel latte and my friend has her favourite, and iced chai latte.  Yum.

Filed under coffee iced latte caramel chai drink beverage cold Barbados

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The desserts at Play are a must.  They have a fabulous selection to amuse any tastebuds.  This delectable combination of ice cream, caramel and brownie was lustful!  A perfect end to my friend`s birthday celebration.  And the zany piece of peanut brittle was a nice crunchy boost!

The desserts at Play are a must.  They have a fabulous selection to amuse any tastebuds.  This delectable combination of ice cream, caramel and brownie was lustful!  A perfect end to my friend`s birthday celebration.  And the zany piece of peanut brittle was a nice crunchy boost!

Filed under dessert ice cream caramel brownie food