Posted at 7:34 pm
Cannelé Bordelais, is a traditional French pastry. Said to be created by nuns who would get egg yolk donations from wineries in the Bordeaux region of France. The wineries would use only the egg whites to clarify their wine, leaving the rich fatty egg yolks to be discarded. Here in Canada you don’t see many pastry shops offering cannelé bordelais as a treat, and even If they did, I doubt there would be many takers. The outside of this sweet treat is sugar that has been caramelized in the oven for over an hour, and when sugar is caramelized without added fat, it turns quite dark. Unlike the French, us Canadians tend to prefer everything golden brown. I promise that behind that crispy caramelized shell, there is a soft cruller like centre. So next time you’re in Bordeaux, or anywhere that’s offering cannelé bordelais, go ahead and try one, you might be pleasantly surprised. I gave my own twist on the tradition, and made browned butter cannelé bordelais.
Posted at 6:11 pm
I’ve been sitting, waiting, and wishing that this wasn’t the slowest time of year for chocolatiers. Unfortunately it is, and nobody wants to hire in May. But that’s okay. When I decided to go to culinary school, I knew what kind of risk I was taking. I fully accepted to get up at the crack of dawn, never paint my nails, work 32 hour shifts around Christmas, and make less money than the bag-boy at Safeway. I do it all because it makes me happy. Waking up at the crack of dawn isn’t so bad when the smell croissants coming out of the oven hits you.
I also decided that I wanted to take certain risks in my life. I don’t want to look back and think that I missed out on some great adventure. In the past two years I’ve met some great and some terrible people. Had some marvellous adventures, and tasted awesome food. I will trade in my comfortable bed, for the thin mattress from IKEA. All the while knowing what my goal is, and seeing the bigger picture. So it’s okay that I have to wait two more weeks until anyone that I want to work for will even consider hiring me. I am patient, and can wait for my next big adventure.
In pastry you need to be consistently patient. Waiting for things to rise, bake and cool. A perfect example is croissants. These flaky pastries take all day to make, but in the end all the waiting and folding is worth it.
Posted at 4:16 am
I haven’t been to vernon in a what feels like a very long time. I had forgotten what it was like to look out and see vineyards and orchards rolling over hills of lush grass. Although the lake may be cold, it’s still as beautiful as I remember when I was five.
Because the weather is so warm here, everything is already in bloom. Therefor I had the chance to pick myself some wild rhubarb. Roasted with vanilla and citrus, and places on a bed of vanilla coconut cream. This dessert is as simple as my vacation.
Posted at 10:39 pm
Have you ever met someone and wondered what the inside of their brain looked like? I certainly have. I can’t help but imagine what’s going on under some peoples chapeau. Some are clean and smooth, white all around, impeccably organized and orchestrated. I picture filing cabinets and shelves. All of this reflecting said persons personality. Then I see my own, much like my room. Filled with oddities and stacks of books and papers. Things lying about, and labyrinths that lead to nowhere. All those little oddities help contribute to things I make, and reflect heavily in my pastry and chocolate designs. Below is an oddity of nature, my latest chocolate musing. A pine cone.
Posted at 3:04 pm
My favourite famous person wisely wrote on the train back to London that “it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live”. She also reminded us that a nighttime stroll can remedy any lack of ideas.
Here’s the chocolate showpiece I was working on. I thought that I needed one for my portfolio, and it was good practice. They are a great deal of work when you have limited space and resources. Tempering 5kg of chocolate is no easy task. However the end result is always very rewarding. Some people might wonder what the point of doing a showpiece is, and there really doesn’t have to be a point. Everyone needs a medium to express themselves creatively, but if you were to sell it, it would most likely be to a bride and groom.
Posted at 2:50 am
The snow is falling lightly on my window sill and It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas. Too bad it’s May.
The April showers didn’t seem to do much for May flowers. Calgary still feels icy cold to me. That’s okay though, because it’s a new month, which means new things are on their way. It might not be sun shine and daisies yet, but they will come soon.
Meanwhile it’s Dad’s birthday this weekend, which means another opportunity for cake! This year he asked for a pink cake, so I gave him the pretty princess treatment. Two layers of chocolate genoise, imbibed in a Choco-vanilla soak. This is all topped off with pink French buttercream, and a white chocolate flower.