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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Chocolate Pop Tarts (Homemade of course)

Inspiration:  Throwback to Saturday mornings when I was a kid.






I recently saw a post on Pinterest for pop tarts and boy did that bring me back to my childhood.  When I was young - I'm gonna say around 8 years old - we were allowed to have chocolate pop tarts on Saturday morning while we watched cartoons.   This was such a treat and I remember vividly the taste and texture of those breakfast delicacies that we waited all week for.   

Since I started teaching cooking classes to kids at Williams-Sonoma in Brossard, I thought this might be a cool recipe to try.  I really don't know if kids these days eat pop tarts ?!  but it is such a great memory for me that - why not?  

These turned out almost exactly like the Kellogg's brand in texture with a bit of a more refined, less processed taste.   I did choose to omit the chocolate royal icing of the store bought ones because I find that too sweet.  Instead, I was generous with the fudge filling 😉.  

These are not just for kids either.  What a great throwback desert to serve to friends, topped with a little homemade vanilla ice cream and extra chocolate sauce (it's the same sauce that goes in as a filling - just warmed a little) or just as a cookie with a nice cup of coffee.  Bringing back the pop tart!  Enjoy!


For the chocolate filling:  You will have more than you need so use the rest as a hot fudge sauce.

  • 2T (10g) of good quality cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (100g) of sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) of light cream or condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) of maple syrup or corn syrup
  • 2T (30ml) of salted butter
  • 1t of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (80g) of chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (I used 70% cocoa)
  • if you didn't use salted butter, add a pinch of salt
Place all the ingredients in a medium sized pot and cook over medium heat until it reaches a simmer, stirring to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.  Allow the sauce to boil gently for 5 minutes (keep stirring every minute or so) and remove from heat.  Place in a covered container in the fridge for a few hours to thicken.  Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Pop Tarts:  Makes about 8 pop tarts


For the chocolate shortcrust pastry:
  • 1/2 cup (120g) of butter, softened (I used salted)
  • 3/4 cup (75g) of powdered sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups (225g) of all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1t of vanilla extract
  • 1t  of baking powder
  • 2T (10g) of coco powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
Sift the flour (1 2/3 cups - 225g), baking powder (1t)  and coco powder (2T - 10g)  together into a bowl.



Using a hand or stand mixer, whip the butter until it is light and fluffy.  Add icing sugar (3/4 cup - 75g) and continue mixing until well blended.  


Add the egg and vanilla extract (1t) and continue to mix.  Add the flour mixture and continue to beat until everything is well combined.  You can finish up by using a spatula, scraping the sides until no traces of flour remain.



Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour.


To assemble:

Heat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and place the racks in the centre-top section of your oven.  Cut the pastry in half and roll out to about 3mm thick.  Use a rectangle or square template or cookie cutter to cut even shapes (you will need an even number).    Keep the trimmings to knead together and roll out again.  





Spoon a generous tablespoon of cold filling into the centre of half of the squares/rectangles.  Spread evenly with a knife making sure to leave a 1/4 inch (2cm) border.  



Pierce the square that will be placed on top with a fork and brush the edges of the bottom layer with a beaten egg (to form a glue).  


Gently place the top layer over the filling and press down the edges.  Seal the edges by pressing gently with the thongs of a fork (dip in flour to prevent sticking).  

Put the pop tarts on a parchment line baking sheet and return to the fridge for about 10 minutes (this is to harden the filling).  

Bake in the centre of your oven for  13 - 15 minutes.  Cool, shower with icing sugar (optional) and enjoy!

Pop these in the toaster to gently heat before eating.  Top with some vanilla ice cream and thick chocolate sauce for a more decadent desert.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Friday, July 15, 2016

Summer Desert Sushi

Inspiration:  Tasty, creative summer project for kids





It took me three tries to get the sweet sushi rice for this recipe to the perfect consistency.   The result is a delicious and not too sweet summer desert that is a fun project for kids during the summer months.  Let your imagination go wild with different fruit combinations.  Add a little puffed rice (Rice Krispies) to mimic tempura flakes, or maybe a drizzle of nutella, chocolate or salted butter caramel sauce (try the ones from Williams Sonoma - they're delicious).  

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Deep Rich Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding Soufflé, Charred Marshmallow Fluff

Inspiration:  Smores and toasted marshmallows by the fire





Ahhhh marshmallows!  I love them.  I love them plain and can eat quite a few but really, for me,  they are best when toasted over the fire, slightly burnt, crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Pulled Ham

Inspiration:  The ham with brown butter served at Vin et Papillon in St-Henri (Montreal) - right now my favourite restaurant with wonderfully inspired dishes (a lot of emphasis on vegetables and seasonal products).

Delicious pulled ham served with potato, onion perogies, poached egg,  maple brown butter and roasted cauliflower


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Easy, No Fail, Poached Eggs

Inspiration:  Julia Child's recipe - the best!



Poached Eggs:  makes 4
  • 4 very fresh, large eggs
  • salt and pepper
I have just recently discovered Julia Child's technique for cooking the perfect poached egg and I have to admit it is amazing.  Much easier than what I have traditionally done (swirling water and vinegar) and it allows you to cook many eggs at one time in one pot.  This method helps the whites adhere to the yolks to form a nice uniform shape.  

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