As Christmas is slowly sneaking up, it’s time to start thinking about your holiday menu. Or maybe you need some ideas for when you will be entertaining guests? Maple creme brûlée is a perfect example of a French-Canadian inspired dessert for the holiday season. It’s simple, creamy, delicious — and a little more impressive than the typical sugar cookie.
2 cups heavy cream ( or whipping cream )
1/2 cup Canadian Pure Maple Syrup
1 tsp maple sugar or granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp Demerara sugar ( for topping )
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a medium saucepan, scald the cream until small bubbles start to form. Then remove from heat.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla extract, maple sugar and maple syrup. Blend well.
Slowly pour the egg mixture into the hot cream and stir until smooth and of a uniform colour.
Fill your baking dish or individual ramekins with the custard mixture, but only halfway.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Once done, leave the custards to cool for about 40 minutes or refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat the broiler, or prepare your brûlée torch.
Place the custard dish on a baking sheet and evenly sprinkle the Demerara sugar on top of the custard.
Once sugar is even this means caramelization will be equal and ensure a crunchy top layer all around.
Broil /torch until light brown.
Hope you will enjoy cracking into this delicious treat. Let us know in the comments.
Winter and chocolate go together like…summer and ice cream. Canada experiences some truly brutal storms throughout December and January, so to make up for it I like to consume as much chocolate as possible. What’s the relevance, you may ask? There is none — I just love chocolate!
Last week, Women’s Post profiled Jennifer Snider, founder of SugarMommy, and it got us thinking: sending chocolate is great, but what if you just want to eat chocolate on your own? While I’m sure Snider would have no objection to creating a personalized basket for one…it is a little awkward. So, where do you go if you If you are looking to indulge in some tasty chocolate, here are five place you can go!
There are three locations in Toronto – that isn’t enough! Cacao70 is a chocolate lover’s paradise. There are no canned or powdered hot chocolates to be found in this restaurant. Originating from Montreal, Cacao 70 specializes in fondue, crepes, waffles, and of course, dessert pizzas. It started with sipping chocolate, melted pure cacao that you could drink in a shot glass. It has since transformed to become one of the most talked about chocolate-themed restaurants in the city. I’ve eaten at this restaurant a few times, once for fondue and the other for a breakfast waffle and it was divine! The fondue is thick, creamy, and comes with loads of dip-able items like fruit, cookies, brownies, and marshmallows you can grill at your table. For brunch, I tried the apple bacon waffle, which has vanilla ice cream, white chocolate, bacon, and apples on top of a fluffy waffle with caramel drizzle. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back!
This chocolate factory has a “bean to bar” philosophy that ensures top quality products you can’t get anywhere else. Founded in 2003, cacao beans are roasted and winnowed on site. Creators David Castellan and Cynthia Leung love to play around with different concoctions and mixtures of dark and milk combinations. Their bars are truly unique, topped with real ingredients like coconut, ginger, orange peels, or nuts. These ingredients aren’t mixed into the chocolate as is typical of a bar you would get from a regular grocery store. Instead, they are placed on top of the chocolate so as not to take away from the pure taste. There are two stores in Toronto, with the one in the distillery district being the most popular, especially around the holidays. They also have drinking chocolate, ice cream, truffles, cookies, and toffee.
Chocolate really does affect the soul — in all the best ways that is! This storefront specializes in single-origin chocolate bars, which means every bar is unique. They roast and refine beans from around the world, making sure to keep each bean’s special flavour and history in tact. The owners also pay top price for the beans they use in what they call a 100 per cent Direct Trade business model. Everything is ethically sourced and pure in taste. All of the bars sold at Soul Chocolate is vegan, with only cacao and organic cane sugar as ingredients. Visit their storefront on Gerrard and Broadview for a speciality coffee or a sipping chocolate shot.
While many will mourn the loss of MoRoCo Chocolat’s restaurant in Yorkville, where you could go and experience high tea like any self-respected Brit, their new storefront on Madison Ave is worth checking out. The owners now specialize in small chocolate delicacies like truffles and macaroons. This french-inspired boutique is beautifully classy, and will make you feel like purchasing a treat is a luxury you absolutely CAN afford. All the products are made in small batches to ensure freshness and quality.
This is for the kid in all of us. Think back to your childhood and remember sitting down with your mom or dad and sharing a giant chocolate milkshake. Well, these milkshakes aren’t your typical childhood drink. Peace Treats on Ossington have a variety of incredibly gourmet concoctions available. They also have some pretty amazing hot chocolates if you aren’t feeling like ice cream in the winter (although who doesn’t feel like ice cream?)!
Do you have a favourite chocolate store in Toronto? Let us know in the comments below!
Fancy ice cream sandwiches or crazy cones are all the rage, but the wait to get one of these trendy desserts can sometimes take all the fun out of eating them. Instead, try to make your own at home. Dust with fun ingredients and make these desserts as Instagram-worthy as those $20 cones from downtown Toronto!
The first step is, obviously, to create the ice cream. If you have an ice cream maker…well, you shouldn’t need to go out for ice cream to begin with. If you don’t, it’s quite easy to make using some items you find around the house.
First, stir together two cups of heavy cream and one can of condensed milk. Whip it until the cream creates peaks. Add in a flavour (cocoa powder, vanilla, strawberries, ect.) and fold in to the cream mixture. Put it in a freezer-safe container and freeze overnight. Use an ice cream scoop to get circular scoops.
If you want to go the old fashioned route, you can also make ice cream with Ziploc freezer bags. Fill one with half and half cream as well as a few tablespoons of sugar. Mix in your flavours and put these items in a medium size bag. Place the bag in the larger bag and fill the large bag with ice and table salt. Shake until it creates a ice cream consistency.
This process can take a while and is better performed with groups so that everyone has a turn shaking!
If you want to make a vegan alternative, try using coconut milk or almond milk as the base and add your sweetener. You can also create an ice cream by using puree banana and swirling in peanut butter and chocolate chips! No milk-base required.
Top your ice cream with chocolate sauce and fruit. If you want, you can melt chocolate chips in the microwave (or in a glass bowl on top of a pot on the stove) and dip your ice cream in it. Make sure your ice cream is really frozen so nothing slides off. Then, top with sprinkles, marshmallows, or cookies. Get creative and use whatever you have in the cupboard!
If you want to use a cone, make sure to do any “fancy-ing” to it before putting the ice cream on top. Fill the inside with melted chocolate and dip the ring in white chocolate. Stick some sprinkles, cotton candy, chopped nuts, or any other toping on the chocolate. Let dry – this only should take a few minutes.
The best part — once you have the ingredients, you can indulge in much more than a single ice cream cone!
There can be so many treats to eat around Thanksgiving that some people get overwhelmed by the choices. However, as a vegan, those choices can be limited. Never fear! Women’s Post has you covered. This Thanksgiving, if you are looking for a healthier or vegan recipe try this raw pumpkin pie with delicious coconut whipped cream. Yes, it is as delicious as it sounds!
Crust For your crust you can use a variety of options, including nuts, dried fruits and shredded coconut.
3/4 cup almonds ( or nut of your choice)
1/2 cup pitted dates (or raisins work well too)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp of water
1/2 tsp sea salt
Are your ready to barbecue this summer? At my house, no one ever uses the oven during the months of July and August unless it’s for baking sweets or pastries. It’s all about the BBQ. Who doesn’t love the smell of grilled meats and vegetables? The best thing is, there is almost nothing you can’t cook on the barbecue. Here are a few ideas for those of you looking to try something new:
Kabobs: This one may be a bit obvious, but it’s all about what you put on the kabob. Just grab some chicken, steak, shrimp, or even tofu for those vegetarians out there and put it on a wooden kabob stick. Make sure to alternate between protein source and vegetables. My favourite vegetables are button mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and yellow peppers, but feel free to spice it up.
Cheese: To be clear, this does not mean every cheese can be grilled. But, some brilliant person invented cheese that you could grill. It’s great on sandwiches, wraps, or even served on it’s own with tomatoes and basil as an appetizer. It has a texture a bit similar to tofu, but with the squeak of a curd. The taste is incredibly rich, and it takes on the taste of it has a very rich taste. Halloumi is the most well-known of grilling cheeses, but you can get some at any artisan cheese stop or market.
Potatoes: You can cook potatoes on the grill similarly to how you do it in the oven. But, you have to cut them into larger pieces. it’s recommended that you slice them so that they don’t fall through the grill. Top the potatoes with cheese and cooked bacon and serve with sour cream! If you want a healthier option, simply grill the potatoes with oil, salt and pepper.
Pizza: Try to make your own pizza using your barbecue. I would lightly-precook the vegetables and meats, just to ensure they are cooked at the same time as the dough. Don’t cook them completely though or you risk soggy toppings on your pizza. Make a crust and place it on your grill with tomato sauce and your toppings of choice. Close the lid and wait 10-15 minutes. This only really works with thin crusts, depending on the size of your barbecue.
Pineapple or watermelon: Not all fruits can be put on the grill, but these two are wonderfully refreshing. The grill chars the fruit and keeps the juices in, while also giving it a nice smokey flavour. Grilled watermelon is fantastic in cold salads and grilled pineapple makes an excellent appetizer or a great topping on a meat dish.
Smores: You don’t have to go camping to have this beautiful and sticky dessert. I should warn you though, once you realize you can make smores in your backyard, you will never want to go camping again! Wrap your smore in tin foil to make sure it doesn’t get too messy, and make sure to watch them carefully, as the marshmallow will melt fast.Another rendition is to split open a banana, place bits of chocolate and marshmallow within that split, and wrap it in tin foil. Place on top of the grill until everything is gooey and delicious!
What are your favourite foods to grill? Let us know in the comments below!
Let’s face it, the only reason to celebrate Thanksgiving is so we can much on guiltless calories of cinnamon and pumpkin and a lot of spice. This recipe has everything that you need and more. Just don’t forget to spend time with your family while you’re sneaking seconds at your kitchen table!
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Crumble Bars
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (use brick-style, lite okay)
1 large egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
about 2 cups small dices apples (from about 2 med apples, peeled and cored; I used 1 Fuji and 1 Gala)
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned-whole rolled oats (not quick-cook or instant)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 of 1 stick), softened
1/2 cup+ (salted) caramel sauce, for drizzling (homemade salted caramel), or storebought; use a thick caramel sauce and not thin, runny ice cream sundae topping)
ice cream, optional for serving
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang and spray with cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
Crust – In a large bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, and cut in the butter with two forks. Keep working until mixture is combined and pea-sized crumbly bits are present.
Turn mixture out into prepared pan, hard-packing it with your fingertips in an even, smooth, flat layer to form a crust. Bake for 14-15 minutes, or just until set (set a timer). Remove from oven; set aside. While crust bakes, prepare the remaining layers.
Cheesecake – In a large bowl (same one used for crust is okay, just wipe with a paper towel), add all ingredients and beat with a hand mixer (or whisk vigorously by hand) until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes on high power; set aside.
Apples – Peel, core, and dice apples and place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and toss well to combine; set aside.
Crumble – In a medium bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, oats, and cut in the butter with two forks. Keep working until mixture is combined and pea-sized crumbly bits are present. If necessary, add an extra tablespoon or two of flour or oats for preferred consistency if mixture is loose.
After removing pan with the crust layer from the oven, pour cheesecake mixture over the crust, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
Lightly and evenly sprinkle the apples.
Evenly sprinkle with the crumble mixture. It looks like a lot, but it sinks some while baking.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes (I baked 48 minutes), or until crumble topping is just set and very lightly golden browned. Place pan on a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes.
Caramel – After 30 minutes, evenly drizzle with (salted) caramel sauce. Allow bars to cool, in pan, on wire rack for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Cover with foil if cooling overnight. Don’t slice bars too early because you’ll have a literal hot mess and bars will likely fall apart. Prior to slicing, lift bars out using foil overhang, slice, and serve. Bars will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Optionally serve with ice cream.