Dessert tasting at Canoe prepared by Chef Robert Gonsalves

Website: http://www.oliverbonacini.com/canoe.aspx
Address: 54th Floor TD Bank Tower, 66 Wellington St. W, Toronto ON
When I visited: May 2014, 7 people

I was honoured to be invited by a friend who knows the pastry Chef Robert Gonsalves at Canoe. Chef Gonsalves planned and created a spectacular menu for our group consisting of Toronto food bloggers and dessert lovers. I was ecstatic that the tasting was held at one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto and that I would be able to meet the man behind the masterpieces. According to Zagat.com, “Canoe has the most creative desserts in Toronto.” After the tasting, I can attest to that.

At Canoe. Gorgeous view of Toronto from out seats.

At Canoe. Gorgeous view of Toronto from out seats.

Because I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, I was afraid that I would be sick of the sweets mid-way through. Luckily this was not the case. Chef Gonsalves strategically planned the menu with light and refreshing desserts to start, then progressing into heavier flavours. As each dish arrived, I was impressed by his creativity in choosing each ingredient in the dessert to the artistic plating.

I arrived early and enjoyed the steak tartare and B.C Caesar before moving on to the dessert tasting. I took the opportunity to go with the wine pairings with the dessert, which accentuated the flavours even further.

The first two desserts were Chef Gonsalves’ take on traditional desserts. Both courses were paired with Cave Spring’s ‘Sparkling and Buzz’ (made exclusively for O & B restaurants). The lightness of the dessert was a perfect start.

For the first tasting, we had the  floating Island  with poached merinque, roasted rhubarb and pistachio cream.

Floating Island

First course: Floating Island

The second tasting was the ‘baba’ with lemon sabayon, poppy seed cream and fennel pollen meringue.

Second course: Baba

Second course: Baba

The third course was the ‘apple verrine’ with poached green apple, iviore elmulsion and cinnamon crumbs. This  was my favourite of the evening! The apple provided  tartness, the sorbet was refreshing and the panna cotta like cream was satisfying! The apple verrine was paired with Cave Spring’s Indian Summer Riesling.

Third course: Apple verrine

Third course: Apple verrine

Next we had the ‘Japanese rice cake’ with Okanagan hazelnuts, green tea custard and red bean sherbet. The dessert was paired with the Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Riesling.

Fourth course: Japanese rice cake

Fourth course: Japanese rice cake

The fifth course was the ‘Canoe chocolate bar’  with puffed rice, banana butter and smoked marshmallows. I enjoyed the decadence of the dessert. I felt that a dessert tasting should include one traditional chocolate dish and here it was. What better way to wrap up the evening then to pair this with Taylor Fladgates 20 year old port.

Fifth course: Canoe Chocolate bar

Fifth course: Canoe Chocolate bar

And the final course was the ‘P.F’ (macaron) with white chocolate and black fig mendiant.

Sixth course: P.F

Sixth course: P.F

We paced ourselves which gave us an opportunity to mingle and enjoy the gorgeous setting. This will be a dessert tasting to be remembered. If there was such an award, I would nominate Chef Robert Gonsalves for being a creative dessert genius!

Pastry Chef Chef Gonsalves and I

Pastry Chef Chef Gonsalves and I

 

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