Meet Modest Marce

Friday, December 11, 2015






One glimpse at the beautifully curated feed of Marcella DiLonardo helps us understand why this young food blogger from Toronto, Canada has had such incredible success.  Launched in March, Marcella's blog soon found it's credibility in collaborations with Ghiradelli, West Elm, The Feed Feed and others, garnering a host of loyal fans (over 26,000 at last count!) captivated by the combination of exquisite photography and easy-to-follow recipes.

In her hometown of Niagara Falls, Marce, as she loves to be called, grew up in an Italian family where she was surrounded by cooking.  "Of my siblings, I was constantly the one at my grandparents' home making homemade pasta, gnocchi, canning tomatoes & peaches," she said, "and I loved everything about it," she added.  For a birthday one year, her aunt gave her an Easy Bake Oven and from then on they would make and decorate sugar cookies together each holiday season.

Then there was the time in high school when she decided to cook the family's entire Thanksgiving dinner by herself.  Which was fine, except she forgot to defrost the turkey so it went into the oven frozen solid. "We ended up eating turkey at 10:00 that night," she laughed.

After years of working in restaurants, studying business and economics in school, and most recently working for a bank in Toronto's financial district, Marce now spends her days cooking, baking and working on her blog.  And on a cozy night when the snow flies and the weather is perfect for sipping hot chocolate, you may find her playing piano or curled up by the fire with a stack of magazines for inspiration - Saveur, Food and Wine, Bon Appetite and others - as she dreams of the new year and all the exciting opportunities it holds.




"Modest Marce"



All the ingredients for homemade hot chocolate.




A luxurious holiday breakfast in bed. For the recipe and step-by-step directions, click here.




Who wants to lick the bowl?




"Christmas is the best baking season."




Rosemary Cranberry Spritzer, a non-alcoholic choice for Christmas dinner party guests.  




Eggnog Cake.  Whaaaaaat?




The Queen's Hat, er Dulce de Leche Cake.





The enchanting Christmas market in Toronto.




"My little Grinch of a dog who was not feeling the Christmas spirit at all!"




Recipes...

Alfajores


Alfajores
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup dulce de leche (store bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • powdered sugar, for dusting
directions
  • in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter & sugar until just combined. add vanilla.
  • sift in flour & salt, beat until dough comes together.
  • roll out on floured surface & shape into a disk. if the dough is a bit dry, add a teaspoon of water. wrap in plastic & refrigerate for one hour (or over night).
  • once the dough has chilled, roll out on a floured surface to ¼ inch thick. use desired size round cookie cutter (i used a lid!).
  • bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges JUST begin to lightly brown.
  • once cool enough to handle add a touch of dulce de leche to the bottom cookie & top with another. roll the gooey caramel edges in coconut & dust with powdered sugar!




Cranberry Apple Cobbler




Cranberry Apple Cobbler
for the filling
  • 3 lbs firm apples (approximately 5-6 large apples)
  • 1.5 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
for the topping
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold & cubed
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
directions
  • preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • in a mixing bowl mix apples, cranberries, cornstarch, vanilla, sugar & nutmeg.
  • place mixture into baking dish and bake in oven for 10 minutes, while you prepare your topping.
  • in a separate mixing bowl sift flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • blend in butter like you would a pie dough, until mixture resembles a crumb like texture
  • add milk & vanilla until just combined.
  • remove filling from oven & evenly top with the mixture.
  • finish off by sprinkling raw sugar & dusting with cinnamon.
  • bake for 20-25 minutes until topping begins to slightly brown.
  • remove from oven, dust with powdered sugar & serve.





Peppermint Bark Chocolate and Vanilla Cake


Peppermint Bark Chocolate and Vanilla Cake
for the vanilla cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup william sonoma peppermint bark, chopped
for the chocolate cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups raw sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dutch process cococa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup william sonoma peppermint bark, chopped
for the ombre frosting
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4-5 cups icing sugar, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
directions
  • for the vanilla cake: in the bowl of a stand mixer cream butter and sugar. add the eggs and butter until light and fluffy. mix in vanilla and oil until combined. in a separate bowl sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. gradually add to stand mixer at low speed. once the flour is JUST combined into the wet ingredients, add the milk. stir in peppermint bark. divide batter equally into two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans. bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until cake bounces back to touch.
  • for the chocolate cake: in the bowl of a stand mixer cream butter and sugar. add the eggs and mix until light and fluffy. mix in vanilla, peppermint extract and oil until combined. in a separate bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. gradually add to stand mixer at low speed. once flour is JUST combined into the wet ingredients, add the milk. stir in peppermint bark. divide batter equally into two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans. bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until cake bounces back to touch.
  • for the frosting: add all ingredients except cocoa powder in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until light and fluffy, about 8-10 minutes. separate frosting into three bowls (the plain should have the most frosting reserved because of the crumb coat): keep one plain, then mix cocoa powder by the tablespoon into the remaining two. Use your discretion on the color, adding more or less cocoa powder to create the contrast you like best.
  • to decorate: begin with a white frosted crumb coat layer and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. next, begin with the darkest chocolate frosting at the bottom, followed by light chocolate, followed by white. add some chopped peppermint bark to the top and serve!







All photos courtesy of Marcella DiLonardo and used with permission.


5 comments:

  1. i love it! thank you so much. can't wait to share it with my family

    marcella

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. A wonderful post! I love Marce's photography and baking and just made her stunning Peppermint Bark Cake:)

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's very great to see your post!I like it .I'm looking forward to you in the next

    post.Thank you .There is a dell recovery software to you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for sharing this helpful post! Do you need fake ray ban sunglasses? Go to have a look and you may find a desirable one.

    ReplyDelete