Nuts

Chocolate Hazelnut Granola

Granola is one of my favourite things to eat in the morning with fresh homemade yogurt or thick Greek style yogurt. I didn’t always like yogurt or granola, it all started 7 years ago when I was pregnant with my son…talk about cravings!

I was visiting my friend Penny in Chicago and quickly got addicted to a local made chocolate granola. Needless to say, I packed up a suitcase worth to take home and to eat for the duration of my pregnancy haha and she was nice enough to mail me a quick fix when I ran out.

Eventually I started making my own with a newborn in tow, in between naps and feedings. I have so many recipes 7 years later but this one is a definite favourite. I love hazelnuts and I love chocolate, so what could be better! Even my son loves it!😉

Chocolate Hazelnut Granola Recipe

Preheat oven to 350°F

Line a baking sheet lined with parchment

Ingredients

3 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup dark cocoa powder

1 tsp ground vanilla bean

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1/4 tsp kosher Salt

2 tblsp almond oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/8 cup water

1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped

1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped

Instructions:

In a large bowl combine the oats, cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Mix well.

Add the almond oil, maple syrup and water. Mix until all the oats are saturated.

Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10 min.

Remove and add the chopped hazelnuts.

Return to the oven and bake another 10 minutes.

Turn the oven off and leave in for 5-10 minutes more.

Remove and let it cool completely.

Add the chopped chocolate and transfer the granola to a large mason or weck jar.

Enjoy with milk, yogurt or with your favourite dessert as a topping.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Directions:

  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.

DARK CHOCOLATE TART WITH TOASTED SESAME CARAMEL

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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 pc.ca/blacklabel.

     

    DARK CHOCOLATE TART WITH TOASTED SESAME CARAMEL RECIPE

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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.

    Ingredients:

    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

    Instructions:

    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.

    Assembly:

    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.

    Enjoy!

    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.)

    Roasted Rhubarb with Nuts + Oats

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    Roasted Rhubarb with Nuts + Oats

    Ingredients::

    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

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    Recipe:

    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! 🙂

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    Financiers (Almond Tea Cakes with Fig Jam)

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    Recently, I was asked to create a recipe on behalf of Bonne Maman using their Fig Jam.  Many of you may know them by their familiar jam jars with the checkered lids.  The first thing that popped into my mind was Financiers. These delicious golden gems pair filled with this delectable jam served with tea. For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed eating Bonne Maman jams with my morning baguette and salted butter.  It’s such a treat!  Just one bite transports me back to France.
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    For decades, Bonne Maman has created special preserves following traditional and cherished recipes. Today, Bonne Maman continues shaping the sweetest moments by producing their preserves in France using all natural ingredients with no artificial colorings, no additives or preservatives.
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    The recipe for Financiers is straightforward and requires little fuss or expertise.  As these are petit fours, you can be creative with your choice of moulds or filings.  I have used rectangular financier mounds,  savarin ring mounds as well as mini cupcake liners.  You can also use a greased mini or standard muffin tin for ease. For best results, the batter must be prepared hours in advance or best if left rested overnight in the refrigerator.

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    Recipe: Financiers (Almond Tea Cakes with Fig Jam)

    Makes approx 12-15 mini cakes

    Ingredients:

    3/4 cup unsalted butter

    1 cup granulated sugar

    1 cup ground almonds

    3/4 cup egg whites (from 6 large eggs)

    2/3 cup all purpose flour

    1/2 vanilla bean scraped or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

    2 drops of almond extract

    1 cup Bonne Maman Fig Jam

    Mini baking moulds

    Method:

    Brown Butter:

    In a medium sized saucepan, bring the butter to a gentle boil until it turns a light golden brown. Take it off the heat and set aside to cool. Strain the browned butter into a small bowl.

    Preparing the Financier Batter:

    1.  In a large saucepan mix together the sugar, ground almonds and egg whites. Place the pan over low heat and stir for approximately 2 minutes until it’s heated through and the colour has changed slightly to white without overcooking the egg whites.
    2.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla, almond extract and the flour. Mix thoroughly and slowly incorporate the brown butter into the batter with a whisk.
    3.  Transfer the batter to a bowl and tightly seal with cling wrap.
    4.  Refrigerate for approximately 2 hours or overnight to allow the batter to rest and the flavors to infuse.

    Baking:

    1.  Preheat oven to 410°F and if you are using silicone bake ware, you do not need to butter them. If you are using metal molds or a cupcake tin, butter the insides and dust the interior with flour, tapping out the excess.
    2.  Remove the batter from the fridge and place the contents into a large piping bag or a cookie scoop for even results and ease of preparation.
    3.  Measure 1 cup of the Bonne Maman Fig Jam and set aside until you’re ready to use.
    4. Fill the bottom of each cavity with an equal portion of the Financier batter.
    5. Pipe or scoop a thin even layer of the fig jam followed by a layer of the Financier batter.
    6. Set the molds on a large baking sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the Financiers are golden brown and cooked through.
    7. On a large sheet of parchment invert the molds and transfer them to a cooling rack.

    Serve with your favorite cup of tea and enjoy!
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    *Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bonne Maman. I received a free sample of the product for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

    Almond Butter

    Have you always wanted to make your own Almond Butter? Well now you can with a few simple steps + ingredients. It’s so delicious your first batch won’t last long! Enjoy! 🙂

    Almond Butter Recipe:

    1 cup of raw almonds (preferably organic)
    1/2 tsp fleur de sel or Cyprian sea salt
    1 tblsp almond oil (or coconut oil)
    1 tblsp honey
    1/4 tsp ground vanilla beans

    *high speed blender such as a Vitamix or Nutribullet.

    1 cup measure glass jar/bottle (such as a mason jar) sterilized, dry

    Blend the almonds to a smooth paste, add the salt, almond oil, honey, and vanilla beans and blitz again until incorporated and completely smooth.
    Transfer it to a sterilized jar and refrigerate.

    Tastes great with toast, in your favourite smoothie or as a substitute for peanut butter. Healthy and delicious. Enjoy!

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