Pavlova may seem like an exotic, complicated dessert to make for the novice cook, but rest assured it is really quite easy to prepare and will leave your guests thinking you are a culinary superstar.
Not only can the dessert components be prepared in advance leaving you time to mingle with friends and family on this long weekend, the toppings can be easily adapted to suit the season and specialty diets.
Because maple syrup is in its glory days this time of year, it is only fitting to use the liquid gold in an early Spring inspired dessert. If you don't want the extra sweetness, feel free to omit the cascading syrup and instead add a little to the whipped cream. Don't like bananas? Substitute sour cherries or lightly stewed rhubarb instead. Allergic to nuts? Skip 'em! Can't have dairy? Whip coconut milk instead of heavy cream. Gluten sensitivities? There isn't any gluten in this recipe.
Have some fun in the kitchen this Easter and don't forget to send me a picture of your finished desserts to Cindy@elginharvest.ca
This week we celebrated my mom's 65th birthday. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday dessert, she said, "Something chocolate, decadent, rich." With the permission to not hold back, I knew this was the cake to make. Full of flour, sugar, commercial marshmallows, malted milk powder, chocolate, and butter, this Malted Chocolate Layer Cake was prepared with 5 separate components.
As much as I would like to take credit for this recipe, it's actually inspired from Momofuku Milk Bar in New York. Don't even attempt to count the calories when you are devouring a piece of this cake - just make sure you have a big, black coffee to wash it down with.
Hot cross buns. Hot cross buns. One-a-penny, two-a-penny. Hot cross buns.
Traditionally enjoyed on Good Friday, I thought it would only be fitting to share a recipe for these buns the day before, just in case you need to pick up a few ingredients before the stores close.
Moist, chewy, lightly spiced, and barely sweetened, you don't need to be Catholic to enjoy fresh baked buns.
When you think of sodas you probably think Coca Cola, Pepsi, Mountain Dew and the like. Overly sweetened, liquid candy manufactured with artificial colours and flavours and then mass-marketed to kids and big kids alike.
But what if I told you sodas weren't always prepared that way? What if I told you soft drinks were once a way to not only quench your thirst (especially in places where water alone was not drinkable), but also deliver vitamins, minerals, and pro-biotics to help nourish the body? That's right - soda fountains were once found in pharmacies for a reason and fermented beverages themselves have been prepared and consumed since the beginning of civilization. Somewhere along the way money, convenience, and ignorance transformed nourishing and traditional culinary practices into tasteless, homogenized, and artificially-cheapened empty calories.
I, like many other fermenting and preservation enthusiasts, think it's time we bring back those traditional practices to the forefront of our kitchen counters.
It's been a whirlwind of a week and a lot of changes are happening with Elgin Harvest. I've been feeling 'out of sorts' for the past few days but I'm looking forward to interacting with the crowds and friends for some much needed sharing and smiling.
For the past three years (almost four), I have been a vendor and very active volunteer with the St. Thomas Horton Farmers' Market. Through the market I've had the fortune to meet not only some incredibly unique artisans and passionate farmers, I've also had the fortune to meet and share my love of food with many of the customers that religiously attend the hustling and bustling farmers' market every Saturday morning from May through November.
St. Thomas Horton Farmers' Market is the little market that could. Run by a dedicated part-time market manager with help from generous volunteers and friends, the market is unique to this area in that it is a producer-only market. That means you either have to grow it or make it in order to be a vendor. The market is a small business incubator, has become a centralized community meeting place, and most importantly provides a lively, fun atmosphere with access to fresh and LOCAL foods and products. It's a welcomed contrast to the industrial manufacturing plants and fast food chains that can (and has) overshadowed the city in a monocultured cloud.
With Spring and the beginning of a new market season right around the corner, I know other vendors and market attendees are just itching to get back into the Saturday morning routine of picking up seasonal fruits & veggies, fresh baked goods, and artisanal crafts. While I wait for May to roll around, I'm going to make the best of my time by continuing to experiment with new recipes and culianary techniques and plan out my vegetable garden.
I'm so excited!
The latest issue of Relish Elgin magazine has been published and Elgin Harvest's recipe for Maple, Walnut & Banana Pavlova is not only included inside (on page 28), but my photo is the cover image!
You can pick up the latest issue of Relish Elgin (with Maple Pavlova!) for free in many local retail establishments.
For those in Aylmer, the magazine is available at: The Prime Ingredient, Victorian Elegance, The Flower Fountain, Clovermead, the Community Complex, and Heritage Line Herbs.
For those not close enough to pick up a printed copy, the magazine is available for viewing online at Relish Elgin's website.
You can also show Relish Elgin some love by connecting with them on Facebook, or Twitter.
Go, go local local!
On Friday I shared a recipe on how to prepare and bake a simple no-knead bread. Since I have made the bread many times before, I decided to try another variation and that was to use the dough as the base for a pan pizza.
With a completely unplanned but fortunate bit of timing, the batch of preserved lemons I prepared in early February was due for a quality check and it was also the warmest day of the year (so far). The result: A fantastic, barbecued pan pizza with a moist & chewy thick crust (and crispy toasted bottom) topped with turkey, mushroom, bacon, basil, and preserved lemon.
Almost as long as we have been consuming grain and cereals there has been bread. Bread is familiar and is the staff of life to which hundreds of generations have used for sustenance. Did you know the words "companion" and "company" are derived from the Italian word companio, which means "one who shares bread"?
Bread is thought to have been part of the human diet for some 12,000 years which makes it one of the oldest subjects in food history. Archaeological evidence from Egypt confirms yeast was used in leavened bread as early as 4000 BCE. A lot has happened in those 12,000 years and there is no way I can elaborate on all of the fascinating details in one day.
In this post I will share with you a basic run-through of the evolution of bread with the intention of revisiting certain topics again in future. And since I am writing a simple overview of bread, it's only fitting that I include a simple recipe for a bread. The simplicity of the recipe is deceiving though; it's taken 6000 years to get here.
Experienced gardeners know what I mean when I say I must have had "catalog fever". In several moments of weakness, the gloomy dark days and re-circulated dry air of February weighed much too heavy on my summer-loving soul and I did the only thing I could to find relief - I read seed catalogs and dreamed of a colourful, diverse garden filled with every kind of vegetable under the rainbow.
Notice: March 5, 2013
At this point in time, Elgin Harvest is no longer accepting orders.
My lease for the commercial kitchen in Straffordville has expired and I have yet to source an affordable replacement.
You may not be aware of this, but it is actually ILLEGAL to prepare and sell food from an un-inspected kitchen. If I were to cook and sell food from my home kitchen, not only would I be at risk for fines, my professional reputation would also be damaged. The local health department and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency enforce these regulations and more information can be found on their websites.
I plan to continue my search for an inspected kitchen that is suitable for my needs to continue the growth of Elgin Harvest, but for now it will exist only online and in print. I love sharing my photos, ideas, experiences, and knowledge with readers and viewers and I don't need a commercial kitchen to do that.
I thank you for your continued support and I will keep you updated on when I am able to begin accepting orders once again.
PS- Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any leads on an affordable kitchen in the area to rent or would like to hire my services as a free-lance article writer. I would love an opportunity to teach cooking or preserving classes as well.
Eating. Drinking. Sharing.