Sunday, December 20, 2009

Seasons Greetings & Happy Holidays

Have yourself a Happy Holidays! We look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.

Love always, your friends at the Bonnie Gordon School

Internship Opportunities at the Cake School

The Bonnie Gordon School is now accepting applications for Internship Opportunities in 2010.

While interning at the school, students will be working along side our talented group of teachers and be involved in all the class activities. Our next program runs January - April 2010 and students have the option to choose from our weeknight, Saturday, Sunday or our 6-week Confectionary Arts Program position. To learn more about this rewarding opportunity and to receive an application, contact the school today!

Intern Testimonials

Roxanne Wickware: I first came to the Bonnie Gordon School of Cake Design as a student after taking Introduction to Cake Decorating. I knew this was my calling; however, I was terrified to take on clients before I was absolutely confident in my skills. As an intern, I was able to assist the teachers with various tasks for each course offered and before and after classes, I was able to bother everyone with my hundreds of questions! Through the internship, I ended up attending classes as many as five times and it was such a great way to reinforce everything I had learned.

In the end, I was able to help students and troubleshoot almost any situation. It was an invaluable experience. Today, I have my own business "Roxycakes", and I owe it all to this internship. I take on every new project with absolute confidence and apply all of the values I’ve learned through my internship. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity the school has given me and wish every future intern the same wonderful experience!

Rossana Pantaleo: Doing an internship at Bonnie’s is such an excellent learning experience that I recommend it to anyone who wants to become skilled in the arts of baking and decorating cakes. I loved it and you will love it too!

Linda Kettlewell: If you are interested in cake design as a hobby, an artistic outlet or as a potential business venture, then being a Bonnie Gordon intern is something you should definitely be interested in! I had my first cake design class at Bonnie’s school in July ’08 and I was immediately hooked. I started thinking cakes, dreaming cakes, and imagining myself as a cake designer! As an intern, I was able to pick up on tips and tricks of all kinds, I learned more than I could have imagined and I expanded my networks with students, teachers and of course Bonnie herself. It was a wonderful 8 weeks and I would do it all over again if I had the chance!

Friday, December 18, 2009

New Year, New Resolution

Looking for a New Years Resolution?
Why not tickle your creative bone and sign-up for our 6-week Confectionary Arts Program (CAP).

Combining a fine arts background, a Masters in Education and many years as Canada’s leading cake designer, Bonnie Gordon has created this six-week intensive course which enables students to fast-track their studies in the confectionary arts. This programme focuses on teaching the fine art of cake design in a highly creative, hands-on environment with emphasis being placed on the development of individual creative expression.

Each of our course components have been designed to offer our students access to the most current techniques and highly qualified instructors. Our goal is to provide a wide range of technical skills, while also exploring cake design as a true artform. To learn more, feel free to contact us by phone at 416-440-0333 or via e-mail at We would be happy to provide further information and answer any questions you might have!

Our next program begins: February 1, 2010

Here are some pictures from the final projects from our last CAP's.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sweet News from Down Under: Three

Current location: Melbourne, Australia.
Thoughts of location: Incredible. Better than I ever imagined. I'm in love with the city.

- I met up with the charming Fran McGregor, from Planet Cake, who brought us over to Melbourne's Little Italy for a sublime breakfast of savoury sandwiches and sweet italian pastries. Fran and I chatted about cakes for a couple hours with a plan to meet the next day to continue my exploration of "Sweets from Downunder".

-Andrew and I wandered around the downtown CBD this afternoon searching for sweet things to report on and came upon a gorgeous chocolate boutique called KoKo Black. It's nestled down a small alleyway called, the Royal Arcade" just off the Bourke. The chocolatier was creating truffles when we arrived. Take a look at the picture below. But one of my favourite parts - the upstairs area was called, "Chocolate Lounge". Brilliant.

- Next we found a charming pastry shop called, Laurent. Their sweet selections were very inviting, but the macaroons had caught my eye. Evidently, this sweet trend is as popular 'down under' as it is back home. I was so sorry to miss Charmaine's French Pastries class in early December where she taught students have to make french macaroons. I heard it was a great success and I look forward to her next class in the new year. I digressed again. Here is a picture of Laurent.

- The next day I spent at Fran's house in the suburbs, chatting about cakes and the trials and tribulations of running a cake school. As we were talking up a storm, Fran was also finishing up an order for a Christmas themed cupcake. They look incredible. She is so talented!

- Well, it couldn't be all cakes all day. So we included a couple great "must-see" stops along the way.
We visited the 12 Apostles along the Great Ocean Road...

We visited the Victoria Market... which is very similar to St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. Fresh fish, seafood, meats and produce... but I knew I was in Oz when I saw that the butchers has Kangaroo on their menu.

And we visited Kangaroo Island, where I had a chance to hold a baby kangaroo and discover Koalas Bears nestled among the treetops. We also visited a colony of wild seals basking in the burning sun. Our only moment of cool relief on that visit what on a guided tour deep inside an underground cave.

- The sky's have been blue since we arrived, and the weather is as high as 41 degrees. It's been an amazing few days and I admit to pinching myself a few times. I really and truly am in the Wonderful Land of Oz.

To be continued...


Monday, December 14, 2009

Sweet News from Down Under: Two

... continued.

- Since this is part TWO of my savoury foods and sweet treats update, live from New Zealand - let me give you a quick summary of my findings to date. New Zealand is a country where bars, called 'slices' and 'cookies', reign supreme, and pastries are savoury meat pies. Not one cupcake shop in sight nor fine french pastries. I've never been a huge fan of bar style cookies, so I was underwhelmed by the dessert scene. On the other hand, the ice cream in New Zealand is delicious and tastes like it's supposed too; full of pure rich cream and of course, absolutely divine. A day didn't pass without a scoop or two. (Note to self, ice cream making class at the Bonnie Gordon School?) "Slices", in the Bonnie Gordon definition, are mostly rich heavy sweet shortbread style cookie dough that is baked in a pan and served with a multitude of very sweet icing sugar frostings or fillings; chewy, dense texture and very filling. A perfect treat with a cup of tea, though!
- For burger lovers, Fergburger is THE hotspot in Queenstown. Located right downtown and packed from open (8:00am) to close (5:00am - yes, AM). It's where everyone meets up to grab a quick meal. The massive burgers are available in a wide range of options. Andrew had the "Divine Swine" and I had a "Little Lamby". See for their menu.

- Hot out of the oven! A light and flaky pastry with tender bits of lamb. I devoured this meal while sitting on a bench by the pier in Queenstown.

- My next lunch in Queenstown was a sweet tender pork belly braised with pears on rocket and walnut salad. A perfect balance of young sweet rocket (arugula) and slow-braised pork with pears. (Another note to self, I want to move to New Zealand!). From take away quick meals at the airport to casual restaurants; I've discovered that Kiwi's know very well what North American's have forgotten - what real food tastes like. Despite the appearance of the occasional McD's or KFC looking food.WOW - bold statement.

- Okay, so we loved Fergburger so much that we had to return for breakfast. "The Dawn Horn" was so enormous that Andrew and I shared it. So what's in this yummy breakfast burger - streaky bacon, eggs, hash brown, avocado, lettuce, tomato, red onion beetroot, tomato relish, and Ferg's tarragon mayonnaise all served on a fresh locally made bun.

- So remember how I mentioned that I am devouring the ice cream down here? I just found this ice cream in a local grocery store - check out the name... "ORGASMIC ICE CREAM". Ahem, enough said.

- The Fishburger from Ocean Link in Christchurch, New Zealand - the last street food spot we made in New Zealand. I had a light flaky perfectly cooked whitefish served with fresh salad. It made me speechless, so I don't have much to say. But here are a couple pictures.

- Heading to the airport, we found a posh street vendor in the main square called, Escarto. Andrew and I warmed our stomachs with a steamy hot chocolate - a perfect cherry on top to overcome the cool and overcast day we were having.

Now it's off down the yellow brick road to the wonderful world of Oz... Ooozzzztralia that is!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sweet News from Down Under: One

So, as you may know... I've been travelling through the magnificent world of New Zealand for the past 10 days with my son, Andrew. Needless to say, words cannot describe the experience we have had in the world here, Down Under.
But of course... it's never all play, and there's always a little work. I mean, if you call finding and eating all the delicious confections from New Zealand work!

Here is a summary of my savoury foods and sweet treats experience from New Zealand. All pictures were taken from my phone as I devoured the food so excuse the quality of some of the pictures.
- Delicious street food! Korean pancake sweets from Corner Pancakes at Wellesley and Lorne St. (just off Queen) in Aukland, NZ.
- Auklanders LOVE their sweets - outdoor cafes are almost on every corner! One thing I noticed is that all their treats are pie shaped wedges of layered style bars or large filled cookies called, 'Melting Moments'. (I think Nanaimo bars would be a HUGE hit here). Carrot Cake seems to reign as the most popular cake flavour. Still on the hunt for a cupcake shop!

- En route to Waitomo, we stopped for some tea and cakes. More lemon slices and carrot cakes - so I opted out and picked up 3 fresh oysters. YUM!

- After a morning tour of the Waitomo Caves and the resident awe inspiring glow worms suspended from the cave-like glittering stars; we stopped for lunch at a roadside cafe. How do I describe the apple crumble and whipped ice cream? Oh wait, I know - it's food fit for the gods...

- Want a quick "DYK"? The Kiwi/Aussie dessert of choice for sale on grocery store shelves are all pure ingredients and additive free. Go Kiwi's! I attached a picture of a popular treat called, Pavlova. Also, unlike many other countries (ahem - Canada), eggs are displayed on grocery store SHELVES! They are not refrigerated. Weird!!!

- Now back to Pavlova's. After years of reading about the famous Kiwi/Aussie classic treat (Pavlova and Steam Pudding), I finally had my first taste of Pavlova - the sugary mound of whipped egg whites. It's toasty brown and crunchy on the outside, and pure, white and soft (light as silky air) in the centre. (Now I understand why this dessert is aptly named after a famous russion ballerina). I remember thoroughly anticipating my first bite. The creamy centre dissolved in my mouth and I tasted the sugary foam, which was a sharp contrast to my next bite of the crunch. All very, VERY sweet and just a couple bites was enough to satisfy. On another note, I found the steamed pudding bland and realized that it was just a simple bread pudding. Dark brown in appearance, coloured from the use of golden syrup, and was served with a custard cream sauce. Unimpressed. Fortunately, my Aussie table mates assured me the proper way to prepare a tasty steamed pudding with with lots of Brand and dried fruits.

- In the beautiful shores of Rotorua's lovely volcanic lake, we made a stop at a cafe. The pastry case was full of "slices" in multiple flavours such as Russian Slice, Jamaican Slice, Peppermind Slice, and Apple Slice. So many flavours! Someone has to introduce them to our Canadian version of Nanaimo Bars. There were also lots of pink square sponge cakes filled with fresh cream and covered in coconut called, Lamingtons and yummy looking passionfruit cheesecake.

- In the evening, we headed to a restaurant for some seafood. Andrew had a seafood soup brimming with NZ mussels, scallops and the freshest fish imaginable. I kept stealing bites of the fat juicy mussels. HHmmm... just thinking about it again is making me want to head back there and have another bowl. Take a look at this picture - things that make you say YUM!

- Check out this food from the Rotorua airport. Doesn't it look amazing - because the Spinach Feta Triangle I had definitely tasted amazing. Another great breakfast spot at the Rotorua airport is a place called, Robert Harris. All wholesome and homemade food, nothing processed, and not a styrofoam or plastic in sight.

- Just to quickly digress from food, check out the view from our window in Queenstown - the heart of New Zealands southern Alps. In the next picture, I am enjoying a delicious New Zealand Speights beer on the beach in Queenstown. It's spectacular.

To be continued...


Friday, December 4, 2009

Pie-licious with Wanda

A little bit about Wanda: Wanda Beaver grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario, in the heart of Niagara's Fruitland. She baked her first pie at the tender age of nine, using the cherries she picked in her backyard and her grandmother's crimper. By the time she was ready to graduate from Ontario College of Art, she was riding the TTC across Toronto, delivering so many pastries and desserts they exceeded subway capacity.
Today, Wanda still bakes the comfort of home into each and every bite at her Kensington Market bakery called, Wanda's Pie in the Sky. Her staff of happy pie-folk produces over 1,200 assorted goods every week!

This past November, Wanda joined us at the Bonnie Gordon School to teach our students the secret ingredients behind her delicious pies. Here are a couple pictures from the class.

A SECOND CHANCE! Wanda will be back at the Bonnie Gordon School early 2010 to teach another pie class. Stay tuned for more details.