Cake and Loaf Bakery 321 Dundurn Street South
You know me and my sweet tooth by now. I once even read a book dedicated to chronicling the history of sweet treats (a very interesting read, for those interested – Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert). So it was a bit of a dream to receive a special package of goodies from Cake & Loaf’s new department – Fair Trade Organic Chocolate & Confections, which specializes in hand-crafted confections. I’m such a big fan of C&L, so I knew it would be amazing. In keeping with C&L’s mandate of using local and organic ingredients, this new wing of the bakery does the same.
The new Confections department is led by Maria Boyd, who joined C&L in 2011. Born and raised in Germany, she moved to Canada in 2006 and attended George Brown in Toronto. Maria has worked in every department of C&L and is now dedicated to these candy creations. They let me know they’re one of the only stores in Hamilton working exclusively with fair trade, organic chocolate.
Many of the confections are C&L’s take on childhood favourites – candy bars like Twix, or Viva Puffs, or chewy caramels. It was exciting to unwrap the box’s bright blue bow and spread out all the treats on my table. I resolved to pace myself and sample them over the next few days, although it wasn’t easy! I almost couldn’t be trusted.
- Peanut Butter Fudge Bar
- Strawberry Marshmallow Sandwich
- Espresso Caramel Crunch Bar
- Goji Berry & Cocoa Nib Bar
- “Twix” Bar
- Raw Fruit Bar
- Chocolate Chews
- Peanut Nougat
- Vanilla Bean Caramels
The inaugural sample – the Peanut Butter Fudge Bar. Some of these candy bars are quite large, so I cut them into pieces to share, for maximum sampling. As I was struggling to snap a photo of my piece, the chocolate starting to melt as I held it, my mom already dug in. Her initial reaction: “Oh my heavens!” To put this into context, I’ve never heard her utter this phrase before. It was just that good! Satisfied with my photo, I followed suit, and wow – so good! It just melts in your mouth. You can tell immediately the quality of it and it’s so substantial.
Soon after, the Strawberry Marshmallow Sandwich was next (yup, I just couldn’t be trusted). This was their spin on the Viva Puff, so fluffy and delicious.
My “oh my heavens” moment came with the Espresso Caramel Crunch Bar. This was my very favourite of the bunch; it’s amazing! Think like a Coffee Crisp, but so much more rich, flavourful, and delicious! I’m still thinking about it. Dreamy sigh…
Another favourite of mine was the Goji Berry & Cocoa Nib Bar. If you’re a fan of dark chocolate like I am, this will be for you. It’s the real cocoa dark chocolate, so not super sweet, but that lovely dark chocolate flavour and texture, with the zing of berry. So tasty.
For a healthier alternative, the Raw Fruit Bar made for a great boost of energy one morning. With so many ingredients in there (cranberries, dates, apricots, raisins, oranges, cinnamon, honey, and rice paper) it was incredibly flavourful. I didn’t even know what rice paper was, but good to know it is edible, because I gobbled it right up.
There are some smaller nibbles that are just right to curb your sweet cravings – the Peanut Nougat, Vanilla Bean Caramels, and Chocolate Chews. The latter tasted like a brownie, and unlike store-bought treats, don’t get stuck in your teeth!
My thanks again to C&L for the treats! I can’t wait to try some of these again and to see what else Maria comes up with!
Note: I received this sample box courtesy of Cake & Loaf, but all thoughts about the samples are my own.