Just like mom used to make…
YOU WANTED TO KNOW
Need to bring something yummy to your office potluck? Are you short on time to bake something that’ll get you that promotion? Well, you need to head directly to Bake: Dessert.
Bake: Dessert is a family-run wholesale bakery that not only creates mouthwateringly delicious treats; they create works of art. But what gives it the edge over your average bakery is that everything is made from scratch and contains no additives.
Toronto’s sweetest best-kept secret began in 2001 in Lynda Stoller’s home, but due to the huge popularity of her scrumptious treats, she had to consider getting her very own store. She eventually moved the business out of her home and into a cozy space and saw her business flourish.
The bakery is comprised of mother daughter team Lynda Stoller and Karen West, along with Randi Kates (pastry chef) and Lindsey Greflund (cake decorator).
After a month of trying to set a time to interview this dynamic duo, I was finally able to tear them away from their growing orders.
On a cold snowy morning, I entered the bakery and was hit with the overwhelming comforting scent of cookies and cakes. Hmmmm. It was definitely a great start to my day! As I waited for Lynda and Karen, I watched Lindsey work her cake decorating magic on The Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake, which is, by the way, the prettiest cake I’ve ever seen. It is a luscious chocolate cake adorned with a simple floral design – so chic!
When Karen greeted me, she presented me with a sampling of treats. She doesn’t know it, but she is now my new best friend! Instead of eating the cookies and tarts like crazy woman, I decided to control myself and taste test them later. (For my review, scroll to the end of the article.)
A few moments later, Lynda joined us and I got to the bottom of why this is one of the best bakeries in town!
What is Bake: Dessert?We are a high-end boutique bakery, meaning that we have the ability to do specialty items. Unlike big bakeries that mass-produce items, we are constantly changing our product list.
What makes Bake: Dessert so distinctive?
Lynda: Flavour! You can taste the ingredients that go into each item.
Karen: The other thing that makes us really unique is that we are very hands-on. When people call in for an order, we’re not there to just take their order; we’re always asking questions to see what’s best for them. We want to make sure that everyone is getting what they want.
When did you start baking?
Lynda: I have been baking since I was a kid. I’m a social worker by profession but I’ve always enjoyed baking. It was a hobby of mine. I started Bake: Dessert when my job ended and I was looking for work. My son’s a pastry chef, and I eventually talked him into starting a business with me. I also asked Karen to join. My son had to leave the business but Karen and I carried on. Karen does the business side, which works out very well. Who else can you trust more than family?
Karen: I grew up with my mom who is an amazing baker. Between her and my brother I really learned a lot. In the beginning I used to do all the cake decorating, and as the business grew I had to decide where I was going to go. When it gets busy here, I am able to step into the kitchen and help out.
What is your favourite thing to eat from your bakery?
Karen: The French Chocolate Torte. It’s a flourless chocolate cake with only 4 ingredients…it’s pretty much just chocolate!
What’s the best-selling item?
Karen: The Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake. It’s been in my family my whole life. We’ve found a way to take that same cake and really make it marketable. That’s what we’ve done with all our desserts. Even though they are made in a production oven, they are still very homemade.
Other than your bakery, where can we find your desserts?
Karen: Pusateri’s, Bruno’s Fine Foods, Madeline’s Cherry Pie and Ice Cream, Harvest Wagon and 7Numbers.
The holidays are coming up, what is the most popular treat that customers are requesting?
Lynda: People hare having parties right now, so I would say that almost everything from our cheesecakes to the tortes are flying out of the bakery.
Karen: The French Chocolate Torte and all of our Christmas cookies.
Do you have plans to open another bakery?
Lynda: No. We plan on focusing on the wholesale aspect. We’re just starting to branch out into retail.
The Bake: Dessert Taste Test
As I stated in the beginning, Karen kindly supplied me with a few desserts so that I could really get to know her bakery. I was given a slice of the French Chocolate Torte and Lemon Tart and I got to nibble on a Chocolate Candy Cane cookie.
Being a self-professed chocoholic, I immediately dove into the French Chocolate Torte. It was delicious! I liked that it wasn’t super sweet or heavy and had a nice dark chocolate taste. It definitely satisfied my chocolate craving.
The Lemon Tart was surprisingly really good. I tend to enjoy desserts with tons of chocolate, but the fresh lemony taste of this tart was superb. This tart definitely exceeded my expectation.
And finally, the moment that I was waiting for: I tasted the chocolate candy cane cookie. It is a fudgy chocolate cookie that has pieces of candy cane in it. Oh yeah, it’s better than you think! The candy cane pieces kicked this cookie up. My friends and family can definitely expect to get these from me. Thanks Bake: Dessert! ¤ Michelle
For more information, visit Bake: Dessert's official website at www.bakedesserts.com.