I know we’re still a few months away from tomato season, but I couldn’t resist. Which is odd because I don’t actually like raw tomatoes very much: I really want to, but there’s something about the texture and sometimes watery taste (I think?) that puts me off. However, roasting magically changes both of those things and turns them into super flavourful little tomato bombs. Continue reading
The Daring Bakers’ April 2012 challenge, hosted by Jason at Daily Candor, were two Armenian standards: nazook and nutmeg cake. Nazook is a layered yeasted dough pastry with a sweet filling, and nutmeg cake is a fragrant, nutty coffee-style cake.
Armenian baking is not something I had ever contemplated before this challenge, which may ring true to many (have you ever contemplated Armenian baking?). However, Nate’s paternal forebears came from Armenia several generations ago, and he has a very Armenian last name, so it does surprise me just a little bit that, me being me, I never looked into it. That’s totally something I would do. Continue reading
This is something I’ve been meaning to do for years. I’ve made pasta before, but it was using my Mum’s pasta roller, which means I was still living with my parents, which means it was a loooong time ago. Somehow rolling pasta out by hand just seemed too daunting. But then a while back I read Greg’s post about making pasta by hand and it didn’t seem quite so intimidating. Continue reading
Today is my last day of work before an (unfortunately unpaid) four month summer vacation; an occasion which, I think, merits a cake. This strawberry shortcake torte actually made its appearance as dessert after Easter dinner, and it disappeared pretty darn quickly. Really though, what’s not to like? Lemon-scented sponge cake topped with marshmallowy meringue, layered with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. Continue reading
Some fun things have been happening behind the scenes here on my little piece of the internet, one of which is that I’ve started a stint as a guest blogger for SeaChange Canadian Gifts. SeaChange is a company based on Salt Spring Island, BC, where I grew up, and they are known for their delicious smoked salmon products (among other quintessentially Canadian edibles). I’m really excited to be working with them and using their products to develop recipes, the first of which is this Fettuccine Alfredo with Smoked Sockeye Salmon. Head over to the SeaChange blog for the full post and recipe!
One of the truly great taste combinations is mushrooms and cheese, so it is a no-brainer to put them together on a pizza. What is not a no-brainer is making mushroom pesto to put on the pizza instead of tomato sauce. That is brilliant. Another brilliant thing is to roast the mushrooms in the oven before making them into pesto. How have I never roasted mushrooms before? The smells coming out of the oven while they were roasting were just incredible. Continue reading
Once again, the start of spring and the approach of Easter mean that it’s hot cross bun season. I had pretty good success last year making hot cross buns, so I gave them another try – but this time I added chocolate, because almost anything is better when you add chocolate. Prior to this, I had never actually had a chocolate hot cross bun, but I have seen them in bakeries and heard wonderful things about them (apparently they are very popular in Australia). There doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of recipes available on the internet, so I decided to come up with my own. I added cocoa powder and chocolate chips (plus dried cherries and apricots) to my existing hot cross bun recipe, along with a healthy dose of cinnamon and cardamom, with which I have recently become enamoured and which happens to go very well with chocolate. And for the cross on top, white chocolate. Continue reading
Aka, The Easiest Dessert Ever.
When I was at home suffering from the plague last week, I had a major craving for chocolate, specifically something rich and creamy and easy. These chocolate pots de crème satisfy all of those criteria: throw some chocolate chips and eggs in a blender, blend with some steaming hot coffee, chill, and eat. Couldn’t be simpler, or more decadent! I topped them with a little coconut cream (I didn’t have any whipping cream) and they were totally delicious. It’s a good thing I only discovered these recently, or I would have been making them once a week. Very dangerous.
Technically, I don’t think you can call these “true” pots de crème, because they don’t actually contain any cream, nor are they baked in a water bath. However, the flavour and texture are pretty much right on. The hot coffee serves to cook the eggs and imparts a little bit of coffee flavour, but mostly it just intensifies the chocolate flavour. I think you could use hot milk or cream instead of coffee and change up the dark chocolate chips for milk or white chocolate, and add whatever flavours you want (I added a pinch of cinnamon). I intend to do lots of experimenting with this one – it got rave reviews from everyone who tried it, and was waaaay too good not to make again soon! So if you need a quick chocolate fix, here you go: you can thank me later.
Chocolate Pots de Crème
Adapted from the Pioneer Woman. Makes 4 servings.
In a blender jar, combine:
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
a small pinch of salt
1 tbsp or so of liqueur (I used French vanilla Kahlua)
Put the lid on and blend to combine.
Pour in 1/2 cup very hot coffee and blend, blend, blend. You are supposed to pour the coffee in through the hole in the lid while the blender is going, but I’m not very good at reading instructions and just dumped the coffee in all at once, then put the lid back on and blended. It worked fine.
At this point you can also add a pinch of cinnamon or a dash of vanilla if you feel so inclined.
Pour the blended mixture into 4 small vessels of about 1/2 cup capacity.
Chill them in the fridge for a few hours until cold and set. Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream (or coconut cream) and devour.