seasonsgreetings

Buckwheat & Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies (Gluten-free)

Buckwheat cookies are an amazing alternative for those with gluten intolerance. Made with healthy and hearty wholesome ingredients such as medjool dates, coconut, and my favourite – hazelnuts!

Hazelnuts can be substituted in this recipe, but these go nicely with the buckwheat and chocolate. These are so tasty you won’t miss a thing, my 7 year old loves them and we’ve made them many times.

I hope you’ll try them out and if you do, please share them with me using my hashtag #hautesucre, I would love to see them. Make these for your next cookie exchange or holiday brunch, they’re sure to become your new holiday favourite, get the recipe below.

Buckwheat Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies (gluten free) Recipe

Ingredients:

8 Medjool Dates

2/3 cups hazelnuts

2/3 cups maple sugar (or raw turbinado sugar)

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of ground cinnamon

1 large free range organic egg

2 tblsp almond milk (or other dairy/non dairy liquid)

1 cup Buckwheat flour

1/3 cup coconut manna (dried coconut)

1/4 cup cacao nibs

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground Vanilla bean

1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips

Topping:

1 cup dairy free chocolate Cacao nibs

Fleur de sel

Instructions:

1. In a high speed blender or food processor, pulse the hazelnuts and dates until broken down. You should still see chopped pieces of nuts – you don’t want hazelnut flour.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until the mixture comes together. Do not over process.

3. Transfer the batter to a small bowl and work it with your hands for a few minutes, ensuring it’s evenly distributed.

4. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.

5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

7. Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and scoop out the mixture into mid size balls.

8. Gently roll and flatten them slightly so that they bake evenly.

9. Bake for 12 minutes. Let them rest for 2 min and transfer to a rack to completely cool.

10. Melt 1 cup of chocolate into a small heatproof bowl and set aside.

11. When the cookies have cooled, dip each half cookie into the bowl of melted chocolate, shaking off the excess and laying it flat onto the parchment sheet to dry. Repeat with remaining chocolate.

12. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with raw cacao nibs and fleur de sel. Let the chocolate harden until set.

Enjoy!

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Apple Walnut Cake

Apple Walnut Cake
(This post is sponsored by President’s Choice. I used their PC Black Label “00” Farina Fine Wheat Flour to make this Apple Walnut Cake.)

When I received this month’s box I was delighted to see 2 ingredients that I really love, flour and pizza sauce!

PC Black Label Pizza Sauce is made in Italy with a traditional blend of Italian tomatoes, spices, extra virgin olive oil and onions. It’s perfect for those weeknight meals when you want to make a quick dinner. I used the sauce to make flatbread pizza and it made a delicious base with a burst of amazing flavours.

PC Black Label “00” Farina Fine Wheat Flour is a finely milled wheat flour that is ideal for use in pizzas, pastries and pasta. This wheat flour is soft and silky and easy to work with. Also, I love using this product to make my favourite Focaccia recipe.

I was really tempted to make Pizza for this month’s recipe but decided against it as I was really curious to see how the flour would turn out in pastries. Generally I use all purpose flour for baked goods but after doing some research and testing, I decided to create a recipe with this season’s generous bounty of apples and paired them with this delicate flour into a wonderful cake.

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This cake has a soft crumb with crunchy bites of walnut and sweet apples that just melt in your mouth. The flour is easy to work with and mixes well with the other ingredients. I’m glad I tried it! It looks like I have a new favourite flour to work with in the kitchen. Stay tuned for more recipes.

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As we roll into the fifth month of the #PlayWithYourFood PC Black Label campaign with President’s Choice, I want to share some exciting news! President’s Choice has offered to giveaway 1 PC BLACK LABEL BLACK BOX for you to win on my Instagram account! You can win 2 delicious PC Black Label 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 November 22nd – 9pm EST 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.

Apple Walnut Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean powder
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups PC Black Label “00” Farina Fine Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 cup cashew milk* or regular milk
2 apples, thinly sliced and tossed in 1 tblsp lemon juice
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tblsp sugar, for sprinkling on top

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Instructions:

Preheat oven to @350°F
1. In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and softened butter and whisk until smooth and fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth.
3. In a small bowl whisk the flour, salt, cinnamon powder and baking powder.
4. Alternating with the cashew milk, add half the flour into the large mixing bowl and gently fold to combine. Add the second half of the milk and flour and fold gently with a spatula. Do not overmix.
5. Pour the batter into a parchment lined loaf tin.
6. Arrange the Apple slices from one of the pan to the other end keeping it in a tight row, pushing them down halfway into the batter.
7. Sprinkle with walnuts and 1 Tblsp sugar.
8. Bake at 350°F for approximately 45 minutes.
9. Let the cake completely cool on a wire rack before removing from the pan before placing on a serving dish.
10. Dust with icing sugar, if desired. Serve.

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DARK CHOCOLATE TART WITH TOASTED SESAME CARAMEL

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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 Dark Chocolate Tart).

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.)

Gougères with Gruyère Cheese

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Gougères Recipe

Choux:

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.

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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!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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

Ingredients:

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

Method:

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

Method:

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

Method:

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)

Method:

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.

Assembly:

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!