Blueberry and Hazelnut Crostata 

Crostata evokes many memories of a summer semester I spent in Bologna, Italy when I was backpacking in Europe as a university student. I spent most of my hard-earned money on eating and sightseeing and I fondly remember all the bakeries serving many variations of this infamous Italian Tart. Plums, berries, apples, grapes all made their way into these traditional crostatas bursting with homemade jams, flaky and buttery crusts liberally dusted with icing sugar.


I used to walk through the streets sightseeing and eating my crostata with icing sugar dusting my face, a happy memory! I had a sweet tooth and couldn’t resist trying all the delicacies in the dozens of pastry shops that lined the streets.

When E.D.SMITH contacted me to collaborate on their fall campaign to celebrate their 135th birthday, I was delighted as it brought back memories of baking as a child with my mum. We used to love using their pie fillings and their jams were a staple in our house.

E.D.SMITH is an iconic Canadian food brand with roots dating back to 1882 and is currently the #1 pie filling in Canada and the largest Canadian manufacturer of jams and fruit spreads.

For their fall campaign, E.D.SMITH is inspiring the newest generation of Canadian home cooks to look past traditional jam on toast and plain pies to get creative with E.D.SMITH’s products.

My mission is to inspire you to explore the versatility of their products and show you how E.D.SMITH’s pie fillings and Triple Fruits spreads can fit within your lifestyle and today’s food trends.

I love a good challenge and what better way than to recreate one of my favourite desserts, a fruit filled crostata! A traditional crostata is an open-faced fruit tart, often with a decorative lattice top and made with a homemade jam.


I particularly enjoy E.D.SMITH’s Blueberry Pie Filling and thought it would be a great swap out for a traditional blueberry jam. As we head into the fall season, I made this crostata with the addition of ground hazelnuts as it gives the crust a gently nutty bite and it complements the Blueberry Pie Filling nicely. If hazelnuts are not to your liking, they can easily be replaced with ground almonds.


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The addition of nuts in the pastry dough, coupled with the yolks creates a well rounded, rich crust that pairs nicely with the pie filling making you want to savour each bite.


This Blueberry and Hazelnut Crostata is sure to become your favourite too. It’s a delicious twist on a traditional, familiar dessert with a delicate lattice topping. I hope you enjoy making it as much as I do.




Blueberry and Hazelnut Crostata Recipe

Pastry Crust Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup ground hazelnuts (or almonds)

3 Tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp citrus zest (lemon, orange or grapefruit)

1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean (or extract)

Pinch of ground cinnamon

3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, chopped

1 large egg + 1 yolk

3/4 can of E.D.SMITH Blueberry Pie Filling

Egg wash (1 egg + 2 tsp water)

9″ Fluted round tart pan with a removal bottom


  1. In a stand up mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, add the flour, ground hazelnuts, sugar, salt, zest, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix on low until combined.
  2. Add the chopped butter and egg yolk, and mix until combined. Do not overmix as you still want to see bits of butter throughout.
  3. On a clean surface roll out 2 sheets of cling wrap and place the dough in the centre and gently form a disk. Flatten, cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F
  5. Roll out the pastry dough on a floured surface to approximately 14-16″ in diameter and l/2” thickness. Gently transfer it to the tart pan and press into the pan, bringing the dough up to the sides.
  6. With a sharp knife, cut off the excess dough and reserve to make a lattice top.
  7. Add the E.D.SMITH Blueberry Pie Filling into the base.
  8. Roll out the excess dough and using a fluted pastry wheel cut strips to place over top the filled pastry.
  9. In a crisscross pattern overlap the strips and crimp the edges.
  10. *Alternate method; on a flour dusted parchment sheet you can create your lattice top pattern and chill it for 15 minutes. Gently flip it over-top the tart, sealing the edges and discarding any excess dough.
  11. Brush with the egg wash and bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes or until golden.
  12. Remove and place on a baking rack to completely cool.
  13. Remove the tart ring and dust generously with icing sugar and cut into slices. Enjoy!

*The Crostata will keep for 4-5 days in an airtight container, refrigerated.



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Chocolate is one of my favourite ingredients to bake with and this deliciously easy tart is no exception.  I used dark chocolate as it pairs amazingly well with the Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce from #PresidentsChoice.

When I received this month’s box I was delighted to see 2 ingredients that I really love, which are Passion fruit and Caramel.  The PC Black Label Passion Fruit Condiment is quite heavenly in the sense that it works well as a vinaigrette poured onto salad or glazed on your BBQ shrimp.


The Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce is the perfect consistency of a runny caramel speckled with flecks of toasted sesame seeds (genius!) and pairs well with so many desserts including pouring it on your favorite ice cream, spread on crepes and my personal favourite used as a filling for a dark chocolate tart.

When I opened  jar of toasted sesame caramel, I was amazed how smooth the texture was and the right amount of sesame. Instantaneously, a thought of a traditional chocolate tart with caramel center emerged and I became challenged to make a tart that would compliment the sesame flavor. The idea of using dark chocolate was my first option as it is not overly sweet and would complement the sweet caramel. The toasted sesame hardly gets the attention it deserves as it flavor is not overbearing. The caramel sauce inspired me to decorate the tart with a hard set caramel, but can be served on its own or dusted with cocoa powder.

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Another suggestion if your willing to take a chance is to add espresso and cinnamon to the tart mixture.  I have fond memories of travelling through Italy and being served a dark chocolate square with my shot of espresso. The espresso’s bitterness is followed by a sweet but not having the fatty texture of milk chocolate to remove the after taste of the espresso. In this recipe, I have added both ingredients.

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As we roll into the second month of #PlayWithYourFood #PCBlackLabel campaign with #PresidentsChoice, I want to share some exciting news!  President’s Choice has offered to giveaway a #PCBLACKLABEL BLACK BOX for you to win on my Instagram account! You can win 2 delicious #PCBlackLabel products in addition to a $50 gift card! How exciting is that?  In order to enter the contest, you will need to go to my Instagram page

    The contest will run until June 28th at which time a winner will be selected randomly. Good luck!  *This contest is open to Canadian residents only.

    Whether you’re a home chef or an aspiring foodie, the PC Black Label Collection makes it easy to unleash your culinary curiosity and get creative. Discover the entire collection and be inspired to #PlayWithYourFood at



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    *  This recipe makes enough for a standard 8 to 9 inch round tart pan.

    It’s important to use a spring form pan (or tart ring) with a removal base for easy baking and removal of the tart and source out high quality ingredients as it produces the best flavours and will quickly get noticed by your guests.

    The steps are very straightforward and relatively easy to put together.  Just be sure to chill the tart dough until its firm enough for you to roll out. Once it’s baked, be sure it is completely cooled before adding the caramel sauce.  Finally, another important note is to ensure that the caramel is hardened (slightly) or really cold before adding the layer of chocolate ganache otherwise the chocolate will mix into the caramel.


    Tart Shell:

    1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

    1 1/3 cups all purpose flour

    1/2 cup cocoa powder
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 tsp fleur de sel or kosher salt
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    Pinch of baking powder
    Pinch of ground cinnamon
    Pinch of ground espresso

    Chocolate Ganache (Recipe below)

    1 jar of  PC BLACK LABEL Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce


    1. Whisk all the ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
    2. Chop the butter and add it to the flour bowl mixture, crumbling it into the flour making pea sized crumbs.
    3. Work the ingredients quickly until they come together creating a pliable dough.  Do not over mix, you should still see little pats of butter throughout.
    4. Shape the dough into a disk and flatten
    5. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.

    Chocolate Ganache:

    1 cup cold whipping cream
    2 cups dark chocolate, chopped

    1. In a microwave safe bowl, warm the cream until just boiling – about 1-2 minutes, depending on your microwave.
    2. Carefully remove and add the chopped chocolate.
    3. Let it sit for 1 minute.
    4. Whisk gently until incorporated and set aside.

    Bake the Tart:

    Preheat oven to 375°F

    Butter an 8″ or 9″ spring form pan or tart ring and set aside.

    1. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to 1″ thickness and line the tart ring or pan. Ensure you bring up the dough on the sides that’s deep enough to hold the caramel filling and the chocolate ganache, approximately 2-3 inches in height.
    2. Use a fork and gently indent the dough all over to create tiny little holes.
    3. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until cooked through.
    4. With the back of a spoon, push down the base of the tart to ensure it is flat and no holes remain (they should be baked through).
    5. Let the tart shell cool completely.


    1. Pour the caramel in an even layer in the tart base and refrigerate or freeze until set and it’s no longer runny.
    2. Once chilled completely, remove and pour the chocolate ganache over top the caramel and smooth out with a spatula quickly as it will start immediately.
    3. Return to the refrigerator until completely set.
    4. Remove 20 minutes before serving and use a hot knife to slice through the tart.  Rinse the knife and repeat.  This ensures you get clean slices each time you cut into it.


    If you make this recipe please share and use my hashtag, #hautesucre on the social media channels, as I would love to see them!


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     (This post is sponsored by President’s Choice.  I used their PC Black Label Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce to make this easy Dark Chocolate Tart.)

    Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes


    Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
    (Makes 12)


    Wet Ingredients:

    1 zucchini, shredded
    Pinch of fleur de sel (sea salt)
    1 cup sugar
    1 large egg
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/3 cup plain 2% yogurt

    Dry Ingredients:

    1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
    1 cup cocoa
    1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
    1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean (or extract)
    1 tsp baking powder
    Pinch of fleur de sel (sea salt)

    1/2 cup Guittard super cookie chips or any other dark chocolate,  chopped


    Preheat oven to 350°F, prepare 12 baking cups or cupcake liners

    1. In a large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk well.

    2. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients and mix slowly, careful to not create any air bubbles.

    3. Add the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate and gently fold into the batter.

    4. Measure 1/4 cup of batter into each baking cup for 12.

    5. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove and let completely cool.

    6. Dust with powdered sugar or top with your favourite buttercream.


    Aquafaba Meringue:

    1/2 cup of strained chickpea water (from a can)
    3/4 cup powdered sugar
    Pinch of salt
    1/4 tsp cream of tartar
    1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean

    1. In a stand mixer, whisk the aquafaba, salt and cream of tartar on medium until frothy.

    2. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue mixing on high speed until you reach a meringue consistency, approximately 15 minutes.

    3.Add the vanilla and whisk until combined.

    4. Pipe or spoon the meringue over the tops of the cooled cupcakes.


    Roasted Rhubarb with Nuts + Oats


    Roasted Rhubarb with Nuts + Oats


    7 stalks of rhubarb, cleaned and chopped
    1/2 cup raw sugar
    1/8 tsp fleur de del
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean
    1/4 cup water

    Topping :

    1 granny smith apple, sliced or chopped
    1/2 cup oats
    1/4 cup Hazelnuts
    1/4 cup Pistachios
    1/4 cup raw sugar
    1/4 cup unsalted cold butter, chopped



    Preheat oven to 400°F

    Place the rhubarb in an even layer in a baking dish.

    In a small bowl combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla.

    Sprinkle over the rhubarb and add the chopped apple or arrange along the perimeter as I have done in the photo.

    Pour the water around the base.

    For the top layer, sprinkle the oats evenly and repeat with the nuts.

    Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and dot with the chopped butter.

    Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

    Also great for breakfast with Greek yogurt or as a topping over your favourite ice cream. Enjoy! 🙂




    Gougères with Gruyère Cheese




    Gougères Recipe


    125 ml milk
    125 ml water
    100g room temp butter, diced
    5g salt
    15g sugar
    150g flour
    4 eggs
    2 tsp fresh thyme or very finely minced fresh rosemary

    1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

    1/2 tsp red chili powder (you may omit)

    Good sea salt (to sprinkle on top)

    1 cup grated Gruyère cheese (or any other hard cheese you like – but, it should have a pronounced flavour)

    Preheat oven 425°F and line 2 sheets with parchment or silpats

    1. In a saucepan, combine milk, water and cubed butter.  Combine and stir in salt and sugar – bring to a rolling boil.

    2. Sift flour into a separate bowl

    3. Crack eggs into a small bowl

    4. Once mixture has boiled, add flour and stir vigorously to form a paste. (Do this in intervals on/off the heat). When the paste dries out (no longer sticks to spatula), it’s ready. Do not brown

    5. Add paste to stand mixer bowl and add eggs one by one, on med speed – approx 3 min (when it’s all combined)
    6. Add in black and red pepper, thyme or rosemary and cheese.

    7. Add to piping bag and pipe 1″mounds, 1/2 ” high onto sheets
    Brush with eggwash and slightly flatten tops with a fork – sprinkle tops with rosemary and sea salt.

    8. Bake for approx 25 – 30 min ~ until they have doubled and are golden brown.
    Makes approx 30 Gougéres.

    *can be filled or served warm as is.  They also freeze well.


    Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Bûche de Noël

    Are you looking for the perfect holiday dessert?  Look no more!  I created this exquisite Chocolate Bûche de Noël just in time for the Holiday season!


    A very simple and elegant cake to put together and you can make some of the components ahead of time.  From start to finish, if you have all the ingredients on hand; it shouldn’t take more than a few hours to prepare and decorate.

    A few notes about this cake: I make many cakes for the holiday season and there is no limit to the variations possible.  I like to add rum and/or a shot of espresso to my simple syrup as it goes very nicely with chocolate.  If you don’t like alcohol, leave it out as I have in the recipe below. Also, try to use the best cocoa and chocolate couveture possible as the flavours are very pronounced in this type of cake.

    I hope you enjoy the recipe and please leave a note in the comments if you try it as I would love to hear from you.

    Wishing you a safe and happy Holiday Season, Enjoy!

    Asima 🙂

    Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Bûche de Noël 

    Serves 8

    Bakers half sheet (13 x 18) lined with parchment paper or silpat

    Preheat oven to 400F


    Chocolate Sponge Cake:

    3 large eggs at room temperature

    1/2 cup sugar

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    80 grams of all purpose flour

    1/2 tsp baking powder

    pinch of salt

    30 grams of cocoa


    In a small bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and set aside.

    In a stand mixer or large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar on high speed for 8 minutes until tripled in volume and you have a thick ribbon-like texture.  Whisk in the vanilla and then slowly incorporate the flour mixture by folding it into the batter with a spatula with quick movments and becareful not to deflate the batter.

    Spread the batter evenly on the lined baking sheet and bake on 400F  for approx 6 minutes.  Allow it to cool while you prepare the buttercream.

    Flip the sponge over onto a clean parchment sheet, set aside until you’re ready to assemble.

    Chocolate Buttercream Filling:

    120 grams or 3/4 cup chocolate couveture melted

    115 grams of softened butter

    125 grams icing sugar

    1/2 tsp vanilla extract


    In a stand mixer or a large bowl, whisk the softened butter and icing sugar for a few minutes until no lumps remain.  Add the vanilla and cooled melted chocolate and whisk until combined. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

    Simple Syrup:

    1/2 cup sugar

    1/2 cup boiling water

    coffee extract or one shot espresso


    In a small pot bring the water and sugar to a boil.  Take it off the heat and allow it to cool slightly.  Add the espresso or coffee extract and set aside.

    Chocolate Ganache/Glaze:

    1.5 cups of dark chocolate couvture melted

    3/4 cup heavy cream (35%)

    8 Ferrero Rocher Chocolates or more (to decorate the top)


    In a large heatproof glass bowl boil the heavy cream (microwave on high for 2 minutes) or bring to a gentle boil in a small pot.  Add the chopped chocolate and let it stand for 1 minute.  Whisk until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is smooth and silky.


    Working with the sponge cake first leaving it on the parchment. With a pastry brush, gentlely brush the syrup all over the cake until it is absorbed.  Spread the prepared buttercream evenly across the entire sponge.

    Starting lenthwise with wet hands, start rolling the cake towards the opposite end keeping it fairly tight, but not so tight that the filling comes out.  Roll it over and ensure that the end seam is underneath.

    If you have any syrup left, you can brush the remaining on the top of the cake.

    You have two options here.  You can either simply glaze or ganache style frosting and decorate the cake into a log.  Glaze the cake while the chocolate is warm by pouring the warm ganache over the cake using a cake rack with a ladle and allowing it to cool and then frosted it again with an offset spatula as the ganache firms up.

    Just before the ganache hardens, adorn the top with whole pieces of Ferrero Rocher Chocolates so that each cake slice will have a piece on top. You can further design the cake however you like with crushed Ferrero Rocher Chocolates on the top or around the bottom.  Dust the set cake with icing sugar (optional).  Enjoy!