Address: 55 Glen Cameron Rd Unit #9
Phone Number: (647) 613-2253
Manal Bashir Pastry Co. is a cake and pastry shop headed by the bakery’s namesake, none other than Manal Bashir. With culinary roots North of the 6ix, both Manal and her bakery are perfect embodiments of the talent, passion, and artistry that inspired us to start our instagram venture 5 years ago.
The bake shop itself is a bit hard to find, but once you do get there, we swear it will be worth the journey. Upon opening the box bestowed on us by Bashir, we were amazed at the breathtakingly beautiful desserts that were created for us. Manal Bashir Pastry Co. specializes in beautiful cakes, macarons, tarts, and other confections that taste and look wonderful.
Let’s start with the smallest of the bunch – the mini tarts. We sampled both the maple pumpkin mini tart and the chocolate salted caramel tart. The latter was balanced in richness, marrying sweet and salty together in a luxurious little package. The chocolate was decadent, but not overpowering in sweetness; the salted caramel center was slightly salty and buttery; and the crust was flaky and flavorful. The gold leaf garnish added a fancy flair, and the salted caramel balls added a delicious crunchy texture.
The pumpkin maple tarts were comforting due to the light pumpkin spices and flaky crust, but pillowy and soft in the best way because of the sweet cream on top. These were also stunning pastries, minimalistic in design, but gorgeous nonetheless.
Both mini tarts come in larger sizes, so whether you are looking for cute petit-fours or a delicious and decorative dessert, Manal Bashir has you covered.
Next, we tried the chocolate meteors, which – at the risk of sounding cheesy – were truly out of this world. Think aero bar, but elevated. Light as air chocolate bubbles are presented in meteor-like chunks, and dusted with green and red raspberry powder. The raspberry flavor was lovely and added a tartness to the otherwise creamy chocolate base. We almost wish there was a bit more of that beautiful raspberry flavor in the chocolate! We couldn’t get enough. We also can’t speak enough about how beautiful these are, like tiny morsels from the heavens.
And now the main event – the cakes. Manal Bashir Pastry Co. creates stunning cakes that are a splendid mashup of the art of cake decoration, and the science of baking and flavor. Each cake was decorated entirely with buttercream – we were shocked that these intricate designs had not been made with fondant! We aren’t huge fans of fondant ourselves, so we were extremely pleased to discover this about the cakes.
The buttercream as a whole is delicious when left out the recommended hour before eating, and each flavor of sponge was beautiful. The crumb on the cakes is perfect, and they are super moist and light. The flavors we had the pleasure of sampling were as follows:
Ras Malai (vanilla-cardamom sponge, rosewater cream, ground pistachio). Super moist, floral, nutty, and buttery. Pistachios provide a nice crunch for a complex texture.
Lemon Chiffon (Lemon chiffon sponge, citrus curd, lemon buttercream). Tart and bright – sunshine in cake form!
Wild Berry (Chiffon sponge, wild berry compote, seasonal berry buttercream). Sweet & jammy. Reminiscent of afternoon tea, would pair wonderfully with a warm earl grey and light conversation with friends.
Mocha (Chocolate sponge, dark chocolate ganache, espresso buttercream). Chocolate sponge is rich and perfectly chocolatey. Coffee notes both enhance the cocoa and are amplified by it. Cacao nibs provide texture and a slight bitterness akin to the first sip of a piping hot cup of coffee in the morning.
Chocolate Hazelnut (Chocolate Sponge, gianduja ganache, hazelnut buttercream). Features the same rich chocolate cake as the mocha, but with a lighter hazelnut buttercream and crushed hazelnuts. The ganache was absolutely delicious. We would have preferred roasted hazelnuts as a garnish (we love that toasty flavor!), but they did provide a great crunch.
Finally, Salted Caramel (Vanilla sponge, salted caramel, caramel buttercream). Buttercream is salted in flavor already, lends itself very well to this particular cake. The crunchy caramel candies are a nice addition, providing crisp flavor bursts between bites of the velvety smooth vanilla sponge.
Our opinions were divided on what we believed the superior cake flavor to be – one half was #TeamMocha and one half was #TeamSalted Caramel, although that decision was hard enough to make, seeing as we thoroughly enjoyed all of them! Give Manal Bashir Pastry Co. a try for yourself and let us know which team you’re on!