The fine folks at Baker Street recently invited us to taste some of their pies, tortes and cakes, many of them geared toward holiday entertaining. Now although Baker Street might not sound familiar to you because they do not have a retail storefront, nor are most of their products branded as Baker Street, it's highly probable you've enjoyed some of their treats - the 30-year-old company bakes for grocery store private labels. While some items are branded as Baker Street, namely their apple pies which you've probably seen in the grocery store, most of them are not.
Of everything we tasted, I think my favourite dessert was the pralines and cream cheesecake (pictured below) - the crunchy sweet pralines made a delicious contrast to the smooth, creamy cheesecake. And while I could envision in my mind's eye some of my friends crying "It's too sweet!" I was in heaven - I have a sweet tooth like no one I've ever met! But I could see how someone with less of a sweet tooth might go into sugar shock just looking at it. But whatever. I like sugar shock, thank you very much ;)
The most unique dessert, which was probably my runner-up to the pralines and cream cheesecake, was the gingerbread torte with cream cheese icing. Now I usually don't jump at the chance to have cream cheese icing, I like buttercreams, ganaches and other frostings much better typically, but it was so well-suited to the gingerbread torte that I couldn't imagine it being iced with anything else. You also don't see a lot of desserts using gingerbread, so this was a welcome change from the typical desserts we get offered at grocery stores.
The apple pie was the closest thing to homemade I've had (nothing will ever top my Mom's, but this was pretty close). In addition to a typical full-size pie, you can get individual mini ones at Loblaws ($4.99 for two). Baker Street has a big emphasis on natural ingredients, which I noticed when reading the pie ingredients. You could tell the apples were nice and fresh, as in most pies they use bleached apples which tend, on my palate anyway, to taste more bland. I know, I know, some may argue it's like a very cool oldschool thing to try to bleach your own apples, but the truth is fresh granny smiths make for a better pie.
We also tried a few chocolate cakes which were also all moist and delicious. And although I usually run for the chocolate desserts first, I was impressed enough by all the others that the chocolate desserts were almost just an afterthought. Weird, I know - I'm sorry, chocolate - I still love you!
(For more photos, go here.)
Yours in food,