Nadège Patisserie sends its desserts down the catwalk

Nadège Patisserie sends its desserts down the catwalk

Pink pillars of cake known as Addiction at Nadège Patisserie on Queen Street West (All photos by Catherine Hayday)

Nadège Patisserie continues to find original ways of flogging pastries to Torontonians. Last week, the Queen West shop held a fashion show-like event to unveil its fall 2009 cake collection. And just like at a fashion show, there was one strict rule: look but don’t touch. We don’t want to be too literal, but at the unveiling of a cake collection, shouldn’t guests, you know, try the cake?

Of course, it was hard to be bitter when surrounded by so much sweet—especially when Nadège’s near-flawless macaroons and homemade marshmallows circulated so freely. The fall cake collection itself incorporates the elements we’d expect of a transition season. To really abuse this fashion metaphor, let’s call gingerbread and mulled wine the tweed of the fall food lineup. They were certainly well represented: the gingerbread appeared paired with caramel in Obsession Caramel, while the mulled wine was mixed with cinnamon and orange in Avida Dollars.

Full slide show of the cakes, after the jump.

Dessert designers like Nadège can be relied on to create something unexpected, as well. Take the cylindrical pink leopard print of Addiction (dark chocolate and pomegranate) or the emphasis on exotic fruits in Ayutthaya. The latter was, in our opinion, the most lush-looking cake on display. Its printed sides were constructed of thin chocolate, barely buttressing a mousse centre topped with the aforementioned fruits. When choosing it to take home, we tripped up on the pronunciation, but Wikipedia was kind enough to fill in the blanks of our ignorance: Ayutthaya was a Siamese kingdom that existed from 1351 to 1767.

This is an area for improvement in the showing of Nadège’s next line of sweets. The shop’s designs are so intricate and the executions so creative that the story of how the cakes came to be would add extra richness to the show. Our imaginations were left to their own theories as we wondered whether or not the Marie Antoinette mini-macaroon was so named because it looks like it is missing its head. What is the Salvador Dali-based inspiration behind production of Avida Dollars? Empereur Kaldi, made of coffee, banana and chocolate, is named for the goat herder who discovered the first coffee plant, but how did he upgrade to imperial status? We can glean bits of the stories, but we’d love to be told more.

The gorgeous cakes will be available at the pâtisserie over the fall and winter. We contented ourselves with the free goodies and will surely be back for more, but for advice on the next cake fashion show, we suggest following Marie Antoinette’s advice: Let them eat cake.