frenchfood

Cranberry Vanilla Bean Scones

We’re back with another exciting month of delicious President’s Choice PC Black Label Collection products.  Let’s take a closer look at this month’s box.

 

PC BLACK LABEL PURE PEPPERMINT EXTRACT

A must-have during the holiday season and colder weather months, add a drop or two of this refreshing pure peppermint extract to hot chocolate, cappuccino, cookies, candies, icings, and sweetened whipped cream. It’s also great massaged onto your temples to relieve a headache!

PC BLACK LABEL FIG CABERNET WINE JELLY

This sweet wine jelly is infused with ripe, sweet figs and dry, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, a red wine with rich black currant and dark cherry notes. It’s the perfect pairing this holiday season, whether it’s a part of an appetizer cheese tray or brushed onto a plum or pear tart for dessert.

PC BLACK LABEL MADAGASCAR BOURBON VANILLA BEAN

Known for its superior quality, the Madagascar-Bourbon vanilla bean is the most popular of all the vanilla varieties. It is highly fragrant, with desirable thin, oil-rich skin, and has sweet, smooth flavours and aromas.

I have had a chance to try these products in various recipes and I must say that my favourite item this month has been the PC Black Label Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean. 20181103101116_img_1556.jpg As a Pastry Chef, this is a highly coveted item that I love to work with and always reach for before using any extracts. The flavour is rich and shines in any sweet or savory dish that it is used in. For this month, I decided to showcase my love for cranberries and vanilla bean in the form of scones. I love this time of year with the fresh cranberries and the holiday season fast approaching, these are perfect to make for a weekend brunch.  They are sure to please everyone.  If you’re not a fan of cranberries, you can swap them out for blueberries or raspberries. I’m excited to be hosting a giveaway for next month’s PC Black Label Collection Black Box on my Instagram feed.  Read on for more information and how to enter below.  Good Luck! I hope you’ll enjoy the recipe and it becomes your favourite go-to breakfast dessert.  I would love to see your recreations using the hashtag, #hautesucre on your social media channels. 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.

*PC Black Label Collection December Black Box Instagram Giveaway*

Giveaway details will be posted on my Instagram account @hautesucre. Head on over to find the post of this Cranberry Vanilla Bean Scones Recipe to enter via the Instagram comments. Giveaway Rules:

  • The giveaway will be open for entries on Instagram from Monday November 26th, 2018 to Wednesday November 28, 2018 9:00PM EST.  Please follow the instructions in the Instagram post to enter.
  • The winner will be chosen randomly on the morning of Thursday November 29, 2018 and contacted via Instagram direct message.
  • The giveaway is open to residents of Canada only.

Cranberry Vanilla Bean Scones Recipe

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup buttermilk

1 PC BLACK LABEL MADAGASCAR BOURBON VANILLA BEAN

1 tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp fleur de sel (sea salt)

1/2 cup cold PC BLACK LABEL NORMANDY STYLE UNSALTED CULTURED BUTTER cut into cubes

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

orange zest (from 1 orange)

Topping:

2 tsp cream

2 tsp raw sugar

Finishing:

½ cup white chocolate, melted

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

For the Scones:
  1. Using a sharp paring knife, slice the vanilla bean lengthwise from tip to end. Use the back of the knife to scrape out the vanilla beans. *The vanilla bean pod can be reused and added to your sugar container to make vanilla scented sugar.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2-3/4 cups flour, vanilla bean, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, orange zest and salt.
  3. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly and pea sized, do not overmix.
  4. Pour in the buttermilk and cranberries and stir with a fork until a soft, sticky dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and, with floured hands, gently knead and shape the dough, adding more flour to prevent sticking as necessary until dough comes together.
  5. Pat out to a 9-inch (23 cm) circle or square as shown and cut into 12 wedges. Place on prepared baking sheet, at least 1-inch (2.5 cm) apart.
Topping:
  1. Brush tops of scones with heavy cream and sprinkle with raw sugar.
  2. Bake for 15 to 20 min, until puffed and golden.
  3. Let cool for at least 20 min on a wire rack.
  4. Melt the white chocolate in a heat proof bowl for 45-60 seconds on high in the microwave.
  5. Using the tines of a fork or the back of a spoon, drizzle the white chocolate over top of the scones. Let it set for a few minutes until the chocolate sets and is no longer runny. Enjoy!

(This post is sponsored by President’s Choice. I used their to PC Black Label Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean to make these scrumptious Cranberry Vanilla Bean Scones).

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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!

Apple Pie

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For some, Autumn is a sad reminder that summer is over, but for me it is the pleasant and sweet smell of caramelized apples oozing out of the pie crust. Just as the leaves are starting to turn colour and start to fall to the ground; the orchards are filled with ripe apples to be picked and the air becomes cool and crisp.

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Autumn also reminds me of when I arrived in Paris at the beginning of a new adventure as I was about to start the fall semester at the Le Cordon Bleu. One of the first things I learnt to make at Le CordonBleu was an apple tart baked in a bottomless ring.

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Some of the simple techniques I learned  included how to properly peel and slice an apple; the perfect thickness of the slice and the most presentable size. So many miniscule details to make the perfect dessert.

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All of these things stay with you and sometimes when you bake familiar things, it evokes these wonderful memories and take your dessert to a whole new level.

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Last week I baked an apple pie with my 4 year old son,  Xander.  He loves to help in the kitchen and he has a soft spot for pies, especially in his tummy.  I’m so impressed that he’s almost mastered crimping the pie shell.  I hope he will remember and cherish these memories that we are creating together and I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. :)🍏🍎

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Apple Pie Recipe:

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Pie Crust:

Makes 2 single crusts or 1 double crust

2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tblsp sugar
1 cup butter
1/4 cup or less cold water

Pulse the flour, salt, sugar and butter. Slowly add just enough water until the dough is combined.

Flatten and chill until ready to use.

Blind bake at 400F for 20 min or until brown 
*Do not pre-bake for Apple tart or Apple Pie

Apple Pie Filling:

4-5 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (any variety but I generally use a mix of red + green)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tblsp maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
2 tblsp flour
1 tblsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, chopped

For the top:

1/4 cup cream (or egg wash)
Raw sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425°F

In a large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon,  salt, vanilla and flour.  Toss to evenly combine and layer into the pie dish.  Dot with the chopped butter.

Roll out your second pie shell and crimp the edges with the base layer overhang to create a sealed crust.  If you have any pastry leftover, you can make cutouts and decorate the top.

If you want to keep your pie eggless,  brush cream all over the pie crust (and edges) with a pastry brush and generously sprinkle the raw sugar over top.

With a sharp knife, make slits in a decorative pattern and bake in your preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Let cool before slicing.  Enjoy! 

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Caramelized Coconut + Walnut Pandan French Toast

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Caramelized Coconut Walnut Pandan French Toast Recipe

1 extra large egg + 3 tblsp eggwhites
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
4-6 slices coconut pandan bread

2 tblsp melted butter
Maple syrup

Whisk the egg + eggwhites, add the sugar, coconut milk,  ground cinnamon,  and vanilla. Set aside.

In a frying pan, melt 1 tsp butter .
When the pan is hot, quickly dip a bread slice into the egg mixture, covering both sides and add to your hot pan. Cook for a few minutes until golden and then flip to cook the other side.
Once browned,  spoon over 1 tsp of maple syrup and ensure the top of the slice is coated. Quickly flip (on high heat) and sear for 1 minute to create a caramelized crust.   Repeat with the other side.
Put it onto a plate and top with fresh berries and more maple syrup, if desired. 
Repeat with remaining slices of bread until the egg mixture is used up.

*Take note that creating a maple crust will make it sweeter, so you may not want the additional sweetness. Enjoy! 🙂

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Puff Pastry Tarts

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I’m holding onto summer, the best way I know how.  To eat an abundance of in-season fruits and veggies and turning them into some of the easiest desserts ever, simple and delicious.
You don’t need a lot here, grab your favourite fresh fruits and some puff pastry and you’re ready to go!

This is a basic recipe for in season Ontario nectarines, sweet black mission figs and raspberries. You can’t go wrong with any combination.  Enjoy! 🙂

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Puff Pastry Tarts:

1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
3-4 nectarines,  sliced
5 black mission figs,  sliced
1/4 cup raspberries
1/4 cup blueberries
*Jam (optional)
Raw sugar for
Maple syrup (for the glaze)

Preheat oven to 425° F

Line a baking sheet with parchment and place the puff pastry on top.  With a sharp knife, section the sheet into 3 long rectangles.

Score the edges and top 2 rectangles with the sliced nectarines and raspberries or blueberries in desired pattern.

Arrange the sliced figs on the third and scatter with raspberries.
Sprinkle raw sugar over the top and bake for approx 25 minutes or until golden and the pastry has risen.
Glaze the top of the tarts with the maple syrup with a pastry brush.  Slice into pieces just before serving or when fruit has set.
Top with fresh whipped maple cream or serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  Enjoy! 🙂

*optional ~ you can brush the base of the pastry with your favourite jam before topping with fruit.

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