Thursday, October 31, 2013

Homemade Peanut butter Cups

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 The Gourmandise School  
 Sweets and Savories

Peanut butter cups, far right. Ready for tonight.
Replenish your stash.
It's all downhill from here.  The insanity of the holiday season starts tonight.  You might be where we'll end up tonight- at the kitchen table, sorting, trading and hiding.  My husband's go-to candy is the peanut butter cup, and most of them will be consumed by Saturday.  We'll get tired of the saccharin candies and crave something a little...more.  More flavor, less sugar, more richness.  Enter THE HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER CUP.

Ruth is our resident chocolatier and confectioner, and the spoils from yesterday's Halloween Chocolates class did not disappoint.  I bit into one of the peanut butter cups (it's part of the job) and swooned over the creamy, not-t00-sweet-or-peanut-buttery filling.  Got me thinking.  You could swap the peanut butter with any number of nut butters- halzenut cups anyone?  Almond with dark chocolate shells?  In any case, we want you to have fun with this one.  

The recipe calls for tempering chocolate, a process which involves melting the chocolate and cooling it to just the right temperature (varies with different chocolatep percentages) so you can create that perfect snap and shine on the chocolate.  Don't despair if this is out of your reach; just melt the chocolate carefully in the microwave or gently simmering double boiler. If you want to learn to temper, Ruth's just added two more Making Chocolate Basics classes on January 17th and  February 6.

Homemade Peanut butter Cups
-Tempered* Milk chocolate
-Peanut Butter Ganache (see recipe)
-Mini baking cups

1) Temper* milk chocolate. Pipe 2 tsps of chocolate into bottoms of mini baking cups.
2) Let set in fridge for 15 minutes.
3) Pipe peanut butter ganache in center of cups.  Place in fridge for another 15 minutes.
4) Pipe tempered milk chocolate to top baking cups.  Set in fridge until firm.

Peanut Butter Ganache
7 ounces milk chocolate
8.5 ounces creamy peanut butter (or nutella, or other nut butter)
2 ounces butter, browned 

1) Melt and bring the butter to a golden brown color.
2) Gently melt chocolate over double boiler then mix with peanut butter and butter.
3) Let cool for 15 minutes.  Chill if necessary.

*Generally speaking, in order to temper milk chocolate, you'll want to melt 3/4 of the chocolate you are working with until it reaches a temperature between 104 and 113 degrees F.  Remove from the heat (microwave or double boiler, careful not to let a drop of water or steam anywhere near your bowl) and stir in the remaining chocolate.  Keep stirring until the chocolate cools down to between 82 and 83 degrees.  The chocolate is considered to be in temper at this stage, though you can warm it no higher than to 87 degrees in order to make it more fluid when using it.
Wishing you a most delicious day, 
Clémence and Hadley 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

This will be disturbing to lot of folks as we are not comfortable with our own death

For a period of time, while we believe it to be perfectly still,
lifeless flesh responds, stirs and contorts in a final macabre ballet.
Are these spasms merely erratic motions
or do they echo the chaotic twists and turns of a past life?
The co-director of the upcoming TRIPTYQUE, Pedro Pires ushers in his cinematic collaboration with the legendary Robert Lepage with the short film DANSE MACABRE. Thus began a formidable adventure throughout over a hundred festivals and more than 40 prizes, including Best Canadian Short at TIFF, the Grand Prix National at Regard sur le court métrage au Saguenay as well as the doublé : both the Jutra and Genie for Best Short Film, in the same year.
Scenario and Director: Pedro Pires
Concept: Robert Lepage
Original Idea, Choreography and Interpretation: AnneBruce Falconer
Artistic Direction: Catherine Chagnon
Images and Editing: Pedro Pires

Lots of you do not know then before becoming Mr. Spices and sea salt in Vancouver 22 years ago, I did my university studies in Arts with a major in Contemporary dance  at L Universite du Quebec a Montreal this will explain my fascination with arts of all sort. Art is another way to make a distance between animal and human another way to create a culture of who we are in time
I really like this disturbing short film and this is why I posted it on my blog
Attention not for everyones this talk about death and show powerful images who will stay with you for life, Oh ya for the sensitive one here a warning,  there is nudity, violent scenes (suicide) ... you know ! but a surprising beauty in the choice of images, lighting, the choreography is very interesting 
hope you will like it

Friday, October 18, 2013

This is the greatest cupcakes ever

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 The Gourmandise School  
 Sweets and Savories

No need for marshmallows.
This is the greatest cupcakes ever.  It is deeply chocolatey, its crumb impossibly light.  The ganache on the inside feels like a river of chocolate, and the meringue on top of it all sinfully falls melts away, leaving only a marshmallowy mustache on your lips.

Hungry yet?  The entire process will take you less than an hour.  Go on, then.  

Devil's Food Cake
Line 6-9 cupcake pans with papers, depending on their size.

Whisk together in a small bowl:
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsps baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

Whisk together in a large bowl:
2 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsps vanilla extract
3/4 cup coffee, cooled to room temp.

1. Sift the dry ingredients over the wet.  Whisk until well combined.

2. Place the cupcake pan on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. 

6 ounces chocolate (any you like, I prefer bittersweet)                               
8 ounces heavy cream

1. Place the chocolate in a bowl, chopped finely if not in pieces already.
2. Bring the cream to a simmer and stir.  Pour over chocolate, waiting a half a minute before whisking until smooth.
3. Hollow out 1 tsp from the top center of each cupcake.  Pour ganache inside.

Toasted Meringue 'Frosting'
In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl for a hand held mixer, place:
5 egg whites                                
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt

Set aside:
2 tsps vanilla                                    

1. Place a medium saucepot filled 1/3 of the way with water and bring to a simmer.
2. Whisk the sugar, salt and egg whites in the bowl of stand mixer, holding the bowl over the saucepot.  Whisk until it feels warm to the touch.
3. Place the bowl on the stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.
4. Add the vanilla and whip on high until smooth.
5. Spoon immediately in large swoops and torch.

Wishing you a most delicious day, 
Clémence and Hadley 

Last fresh figs of the season

Nature so beautiful 

The last of 2013
Fresh fig from my garden on french baguette from Terra bread  Granville Island and some jarlsberg cheese 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Carol's Tapenade

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 The Gourmandise School  
 Sweets and Savories

Here's a quick favorite from Carol's collection.  
One of my most memorable experiences this year was teaching in southwest France. Beautiful assortments of olives at all the open-air markets! You can use any brined olive you favor (don't forget to get the pitted ones). This tapenade is excellent served with a fresh cut baguette and some soft goat cheese. It is also tasty spooned on a piece of grilled fish. 

2 cups pitted, brined olives, rinsed, dried and finely chopped; 
picholine, nicoise or kalamata are good choices
2 Tbsps capers, finely chopped 
1/2 cup roasted almonds, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced 
1 tsp orange zest 
1/3  cup extra virgin olive oil 
2 Tbsps minced parsley

Combine ingredients in a bowl. The tapenade can be made 24 hours before serving.

Have a delicious day!
Clémence and Hadley