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Apr 9, 2011 01:42 PM

Toronto Bakes For Japan [April 9-10, 2011]

The Toronto Bakes for Japan event, a fundraiser for the Japan Red Cross Society, takes place at several locations across Toronto this weekend. There are several locations tomorrow (Sunday) across the GTA.

Toronto Bakes For Japan website:

Today's kick-off at the Brickworks had tables laden with goodies from big-hearted bakers (and baker-bloggers!). It’s an open donation (they suggest $5) with 100% of the proceeds going to the Japan Red Cross. I ran away with some awesome treats and a light heart. Here’s my haul and just a mere sampling of what was on offer:

Delicious and airy cream puffs from Taku. I ate these on the spot. Both of them. Really liked the custard cream. Smooth texture and nice vanilla taste.

I couldn’t resist these cute sumo guys on vanilla cupcakes. There were spice cupcakes as well, but decorated with sugar flowers. Clearly, the sumo dudes won that contest.

Cake pops: the next rage. I haven’t had one, so thought it was a good opportunity to try. No idea what flavour. But it was purple.

Chocolate Hazelnut Meringues from Bonita of Boneats. Can't wait to try these out. Really light and lovely. Crisp on the first bite, and then melts in your mouth. Had mine with some jasmine tea. Perfect.

Red Velvet Poppers. I think these are cake pops, minus the stick. Nevertheless, these truffle-sized treats are perfect for me to have just a taste. They're a lot wetter than I'd imagined. An interesting experience indeed.

I wish that all the bakers had been able to put their names on their goods! Whomever you are, thanks for donating your time and effort to raise money for Japan – and for giving me an excuse to try new delicious things.

The blog with a map of Sunday locations:

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  1. its a great cause and I heard it went really well.
    Some pictures of today's event (to encourage you all to go to other BfJ events running on Sunday.

    1. Love this, thank you for posting about it! Amaranto Cafe is now a destination for me tomorrow!

      1. I'm going to try and hit the Rivoli location tomorrow at 11! Say hi :) If you have time afterward, check the google group. Going to do an impromptu food hunt afterward.

        The Rivoli
        334 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

        1. Just to follow up, I posted about my haul from day 2 of Toronto Bakes For Japan, this time, at The Rivoli. I shot (and ate some of) these at David’s Tea next door to the event. Had a fun time chatting with fellow chowhounders whilst sipping on some very fragrant butterfly jasmine.

          I didn't try it, but I really liked the cookie from @eatspecialk. Looked awesome.

          Red Velvet cake pop from oh yenner! Not too sweet, more cakey, and less wet, than yesterday’s inaugural taste of cake poppers (from someone else). This was more what I was expecting from a cake pop. I missed the fact that they were trying to make it look like a rice ball – which it totally does looking at it now. Would have been hilarious had they made it look like onigiri (hmnn…)! Very cute and makes me want to try my hand at making my own. Maybe for easter. Cake eggs?

          A lot of cupcakes today at the Rivoli in batches of 6 and 12 mini ones. Also, trays of quite decent butter tarts from Bo Peep’s Bake Shop. I liked the filling.

          Gingerbread cookies from Flour Fancies. Good taste, but a little hard for my liking. Goes well with tea though. Looking forward to trying the granola from Punk Rock Betty Crocker and the molasses cookie from Bo Peep’s Bake Shop.

          Thought this mochi needed to be more chewy, but appreciated that the red bean filling wasn’t too sweet. Like I should talk, since mine were not nearly as pretty as these. And last, but not least, theses macarons were the favourite from the Rivoli haul. Flavours were hazelnut, coffee, and green tea (? – sorry, was hitting sugar fatigue by then). Nice shell, moist cookie, good fillings.

          I tried to find who made what, but my Google-fu failed on some. If you recognize any of these treats and know who baked/made them (or see that I’ve attributed them to someone else in error), let me know!

          At the end of the day, seems like Toronto Bakes for Japan met, and surpassed, their goal raising over $10,000! Great job to all – organizers, venues, bakers, and eaters.


          The Rivoli
          334 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

          2 Replies
          1. re: jlunar

            It was a fun way to spend a couple of hours. The bake sale itself took up the rather limited space of the patio of the Rivoli (under an awning, thank goodness!), and it was hard to avoid getting soaked by the rain draining off the edge of the awning as you tried to walk around people to see the other tables. But the soaking was for a good cause and it was lovely to go into David's Tea next door with our goodies and sample everything while warming up with a cup of tea.

            The macarons were the big surprise for me. It's not clear who made them (professional bakery? home baker?), but I was sure that the wet weather would have destroyed the texture. Happily, the shells had a nice balance of crisp and chew and the flavours were distinct without being sickly sweet or artificial tasting. They were better macarons than most I've tried in Toronto.

            The cupcakes were an unsurprising disappointment. I bought a red velvet one and a 6-pack of chocolate and vanilla with pastel frostings. The cake portions of all were tender, but had a spongecake-like texture and very little flavour. Why can't cupcake makers use good cake recipes?

            I still have the sugar cookies, chocolate chip banana bread and a chocolate chip cookie to try. Regardless of the quality, it was a nice event for a good cause and I don't regret spending my money there.

            On a side note, I have to give a shout out to the folks at David's Tea next to the Riv. They were super nice and happy to let us sit for over an hour eating our purchases. My butterfly jasmine tea was fragrant and soothing.

            The Rivoli
            334 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

            1. re: TorontoJo

              Yeah, the butterfly jasmine was really nice - might have to get some when my current dragon tears run out. Not sure how hosed on the price I'll be...

          2. jlunar,

            It was my friends and I who made the cupcakes with the sumo guys, cherry blossoms, and japanese flags on top. There were only three sumo cupcakes in total. You managed to get two of them. Great score for you! Hope you had a good time.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Crispier Crouton

              Ah, that was you! Great job on them. I grabbed them as soon as I saw them :) Thank you for making them. I've updated my original post crediting you. Let me know if you want to change anything :)

              Update: Apparently, the event raised over $20,000! And counting...

              1. re: Crispier Crouton

                Crispier Crouton -- how did you do the sumo wrestler? Please describe. I wouldn't mind making cookies like that.

                1. re: merlot143

                  jlunar - thanks, but no need at all to credit me for the cupcakes. A friend organized a cookie/cupcake baking party for the Japan event, and I was just one of maybe 9 or 10 people helping out that evening. If there's a person to credit, it's a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, who is an avid baker and made all the sugar decorations (sumo wrestlers, cherry blossoms, japanese flags) at home, then brought them with her. Her name is Yitung.

                  merlot143 - as previously mentioned, I didn't make the sumo guys. She made them at home and brought them with her. I asked her myself, but didn't get much detail. All I know is that they're mostly pure sugar and food colouring, and was also assured that for that reason, they don't actually taste very good, but have a great shelf life.

                  1. re: Crispier Crouton

                    I went to this event and it was amazing. I went to LIberty Noodle first and bought a few things and then I went to the Rivoli to buy even more things.
                    My favorite item; A vegan pumpkin whoopie pie.
                    Congratulations to all the bakers and to the organizers.

                    The Rivoli
                    334 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA