Sunday, December 25, 2011

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles with Baileys


I love the holidays.

It's a time of travel for me, I feel like I have four different homes across Canada.

Going from Toronto to Winnipeg (my home town) to Kicking Horse for a ski, then Revelstoke (which is my absolute new favourite mountain) then to Oliver in the Okanagan, then heading back to Banff and Canmore for Sunshine and Lake Louise, then back to the Okanagan and then finally back to Toronto.

But during that time, I get to relax, see old friends, knit a scarf, cuddle with my dog, learn German in the car, go skiing, chill with my family (I started a shit my mom says, I suggest you do the same), cook, bake and eat seconds, maybe even thirds.

Okay so maybe you won't eat three plates of turkey dinner, but you most definitely can eat three of these chocolate hazelnut truffles with Baileys.

Yes. All your favourite ingredients in one.

Hazelnut. Chocolate. And Baileys. I've substituted Baileys for some good Canadian whisky before, and that is just as good. Maybe even try a sweet bourbon for a hint of vanilla and caramel.



Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles with Baileys
  • 8.5 oz of finely chopped good quality dark chocolate (56%-70%) I used Callebaut Dark Chocolate, UH-mazing
  • 1/2 cup of heaving whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp of Baileys
  • toasted hazelnuts
  • cocoa powder for dusting
  1. In a saucepan bring the cream to a simmer or heat in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  2. Place dark chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl is not touching the water. Pour in the heated cream, stirring the chocolate from the inside out, making sure all chocolate melts with the cream. Once the chocolate and cream is incorporated together stir in the butter one tablespoon at a time. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in the baileys or whisky until all incorporated.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the chocolate is pliable and firm like clay. Place the cocoa powder in a bowl to roll the truffles in.
  5. Once chilled, scoop the chocolate out with a small ice cream soup and place a hazelnut in the center, use your fingers to mold the chocolate around the hazelnut and form a ball. Take the ball and roll in the cocoa powder. The ball doesn't have to be perfect, you will find rolling in the cocoa powder will make shaping the ball easier. Try not to roll the ball in your palms as it will melt the chocolate. Chill in the fridge overnight.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chewy Ginger Cookies


Ginger is so in right now.

Seriously, are you not seeing it everywhere?

Gingerbread lattes at Starbucks, gingerbread donuts at Tim Hortons. Ginger! Ginger! Ginger!

Ginger is a wonderful ingredient to cook with, but in this post I am baking with it. I love the many different ways that ginger can be prepared, each form bringing out an entirely differently flavour. Fresh ginger has a pungent and penetrating flavour. Candied is sweet and chewy, and the spice has an aromatic peppery flavour that is added to all sorts of cakes and cookies. This versatile spice is sometimes referred to as ginger root when actually it is a rhizome, acting as the stem of the ginger plant.


So forget your ginger snaps and add these soft and chewy ginger cookies to your holiday baking.


Chewy Ginger Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ tsp dried ground ginger
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup chopped crystallized ginger (the chunky sugar coated kind)
  • ½ cup Crisco
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup fancy molasses
  • sugar for rolling
  1. Combine flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a bowl and whisk to blend well. Mix in chopped ginger.
  2. Beat butter and shortening until smooth. Beat in the sugar, egg and molasses until incorporated. Add the flour mixture and beat only until blended. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheet with parchment paper. Place ½ cup sugar on a small plate, replenishing as necessary. With wet hands, roll dough into 1 ¼” balls, then roll in sugar until completely covered. Place on baking sheets spacing 2” apart. Bake until the cookies crack on top but are still soft to the touch, about 12 min (it may seem like they are not ready by they will harden a bit when cooled). Cool on baking sheets for 1 min. then carefully transfer to wire rack to cool.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Deep Fried Chocolate Banana Wontons

Okay so I know it's the second week of December and I stil haven't posted anything for the holidays, so I suppose this better be a good one.

Well it is.

Deep fried chocolate caramel banana wontons. And if that isn't good enough, I don't know what is.

The best part of this dessert/appetizer/snack/yumminess is watching people bite into the crispy wonton expecting something savoury but instead getting a sweet surprise. And during the holidays who doesn't love a sweet surprise?

And the brilliant part about these wontons is the ease of making them and how little ingredients are required. There is no fusing with measurements and you can add whatever you like into the wontons, well whatever you can fit. You can replace the Caramilk with Rolos or bits of Mars bars, and switch up the peanut butter for Nutella, or use strawberries instead of bananas. Endless possibilities.

These can also be made ahead of time, wrapped and refrigerated till you are ready to deep fry them. They don't take long to fry up as you're not trying to cook what's inside the wonton but simply creating a beautiful golden crispy shell.


Deep Fried Chocolate Banana Wontons
  • wonton wrappers (3 1/2" x 3 1/2")
  • peanut butter
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced
  • Caramilk bars
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
  • powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
  1. Prepare a small bowl of water at your prep station, this is to glue and seal your wontons. Take one wonton wrap at a time and smear about 1 tsp of peanut butter in the center. Press down a slice of banana onto the peanut butter and top with chocolate.
  2. Dip your finger into the water and trace around the edge of the wrapper. Fold the corners of the wonton into the center like an envelope and pinch and seal. Make sure the edges are sealed properly, use a bit more water if you feel it is needed, but do not soak the wrapper.
  3. In a small pot, heat up enough oil to fry 3-4 wontons at a time, about 3 inches deep. Heat the oil till it reaches 350°F or if you don't have a thermometer insert a chopstick or toothpick into the oil and it is ready when you see bubbles form.
  4. When the oil is ready slowly place in 3-4 wontons at a time and fry for approximately 1-2 minutes or until the wonton wrapper is a golden brown. Remove and place on paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  5. Dust the wontons with powdered sugar if desired and let cool for 1 minute before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.
Recipe from Bob Blumber
Check out an interview I did with Bob on Roger Mooking's blog!

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