Walnut cakes from Canaan Bakery.

A good walnut cake is comfort food for me. Something about the waft of vanilla, the chewy-soft cake-encasement giving way to a slightly sweetened filling, and having it end in a nice nutty crunch. I’m a big fan of variegated textures in food, and this is no exception. Pair it with a cup of jasmine tea, and I’m set. I try not to eat too many at once, because a light snack, these most certainly are not. I also don’t have these very often, knowing all too well in what dark chain-snacking voids I could find myself. You know, the ones where you find your fingers absently reaching in for another tasty bit and then the dawning realization that all you’re doing is brushing the bottom of an empty box. Sigh.

Having made dinner plans with friends at Korean Village (628 Bloor St. W), I’ve some extra time beforehand to walk up and down the Bloor strip between Christie and Bathurst. These seductive golden nuggets, like a Siren’s call, lure me into the many walnut cake joints that pepper that concrete shoal of Toronto. And it’s on the doorstep of Hodo Kwaja (656 Bloor St. W) that I find myself, trying to not press my face (too hard) against the storefront where the walnut cake machine is prominently placed.

Making my way in, I home in on boxes sitting ready on the counter. Briefly, my eyes dally with other offerings on display and I ponder the fun of randomly trying something new. However, I quickly come back to my original quest and am confronted with the eternal battle of red bean vs. potato. While there can be fierce debate over which version is better, potato and red bean are fairly equal to me. No, my true favourite is the custard version, found up in North York at Canaan (11 Spring Garden Ave.). Alas, none to be found at Hodo Kwaja, though I’m quite satisfied with the box of potato-walnut that I am was eating from. Thankfully, the problem of mindless zombie-snacking was mitigated by calorie-pimping a partial box to my family.

Now if only I hadn’t eaten a third of it while writing this up…

Previously taken at Canaan…

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