Go big and go fancy or go home on this week of GCBS

I am almost blinded by co-host Ann Pornel’s dress in the opening scene of this week’s episode of The Great Canadian Baking Show. Talk about a fashion statement!

Sweet and savoury pastries are the theme of this week’s GCBS episode

We’re down to five bakers on week six of The Great Canadian Baking Show–meaning we’re only one week away from the semi-finals– and right now, it’s all about pastries.

Co-host Ann welcomes the bakers to the “crustiest” week yet. If I was one of the show’s writers, I’m not sure I would have gone with that adjective.

Unrelated, her co-host Alan is wearing a very cool shirt that I now really want. Who does the styling for GCBS co-hosts and judges? I need to know them!

Signature Bake

Flowers and herbs are the theme of this week’s GCBS episode

This week, six remaining bakers face the first-ever Botanical Week on The Great Canadian Baking Show which celebrates fruit and herbs–as well as teaches us as viewers which flowers are edible and can add great flavours to baked goods.

Co-host Ann opens the show by asking Alan if he remembered his first time. She used adjectives such as soft, sweet, supple to describe her first. Ann was actually referring to the first time she baked…which was not what we were all probably thinking.

Canada’s top home bakers are tasked with creating Italian confections

We’re officially halfway through season 4 of The Great Canadian Baking Show and tonight, our bakers are confronted with Italian week. You know what that means; they’re living la dolce vita in the GCBS tent!

The episode starts off with co-hosts Ann Pornel and Alan Shane Lewis scooting around the park adjacent to the GCBS tent to mimic the way people get around in Italy. Ann gets a smile out of me with her line about not being able to keep up with Alan on the scooter because she had a big breakfast. I’ve been there. …

This week’s episode of GCBS is all about baking cookies

It’s cookie week on The Great Canadian Baking Show. Seriously, is there anyone out there who doesn’t love cookies?

My eyes light up when I see cookies come out of the oven. Plus, it’s one of the rare foods that can cater seamlessly to one’s emotions.

If you’re happy, cookies can make you even happier. If you’re sad, you reach for a cookie for comfort.

None of the challenges asked for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie, nor did any of the bakers attempt to make them as part of their cookie of choice. I found that surprising.

A chocolate chip…

Cha ingredients on counter

Some say chai, others say chai tea, which is completely wrong as it translates to tea-tea. People from Punjab called it (not chai). Every Indian family has their own way of making cha, but this is the real deal — an authentic cup made by my mom, which is the backdrop of many childhood memories for me. My mom grew up in a small village in Punjab in the ’60s. Back then, simple spices such as cardamom pods were a bit of a speciality item used in tea when guests came over, as the pods would perfume the house. …

Which baker’s dough will rise to the occasion in the GCBS tent this week

Photos provided by CBC

It’s bread week on The Great Canadian Baking Show and there is nothing better than a fresh loaf of bread still warm from the oven. Bread is my ultimate vice, so I was excited to see what the remaining nine bakers would be conjuring up throughout the episode.

There are three things I personally look for in a great loaf of bread…

  1. The chew: Chewy bread is typically flavourful bread.
  2. Air pockets: Essential to give (most types of) bread volume and bounce.
  3. The flavour: You should be able to smell the bread before you taste it.

With that, let the…

We want that cake, cake, cake, cake…

Photos provided by CBC

With a record-breaking 2,000 bakers across the country answering the initial call out for this new season of The Great Canadian Baking Show, it seems casting was an exceptional amount of work for the Proper Television production team due to overwhelming interest coupled with the pandemic. Virtual interviews followed by various screenings led just 40 Canadian home bakers to a Zoom baking competition. From here, the 10 competitors for season 4 of GCBS were born.

Before I get to those 10 individuals, I can only assume that judging a baking competition without being able to taste the end result must…

Pick up quality groceries in addition to takeout from these Toronto businesses

Toronto has extended the prohibition on indoor dining at bars, cafes and restaurants indefinitely. Initially scheduled to reopen earlier in November, Toronto’s Medical Officer postponed the relaunch as the city is now in the red zone with an accelerated number of cases.

Considering that grocery stores are still open for business, some eateries have made the clever extension to their own businesses, turning their restaurant spaces into makeshift grocery stores, while still offering takeout of course. …

The pandemic is changing habits — and we’re all embracing takeout like never before. While fast-food chains were always set up for takeout, other restaurants had to quickly adapt their business model to pay the bills. Fine-dining restaurants that previously relied on dine-in patrons are forced to now reimagine their food to offer an upscale dining experience to-go.

Hana in Toronto’s ritzy Yorkville neighbourhood offers one the best modern Kyō-kaiseki (Kyoto-style cuisine) dining experiences in the city. Chef Ryusuke Nakagawa’s food does a dance between modern and traditional — and pre-COVID, his preparation and presentation of each dish was so…

Deepi Harish

Published Storyteller on Bon Appétit, The Food Network Canada, The Huffington Post, China Daily, Post City Magazines and more. Follow me at instagram.com/d33pi/

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