Roger Mooking’s Food Adventures: Coconut Ice Cream in Bangkok

coconut-ice-cream-recipe

Chef Roger Mooking recently traveled to Bangladesh and Bangkok and returned with lots of photos and stories about the incredible food culture. We’ll be publishing a new post every Thursday for the next two months, so stay tuned!  Without further ado, enjoy Roger’s eighth post below!

coconut-icecream

In Trinidad my family would make coconut ice cream from scratch nearly every single weekend with a hand-cranked wooden ice cream machine.  I grew up believing that all ice cream was made this way and needed piles of ice and salt to make the machine cold enough to chill the cold cream and coconut. To this day, coconut ice cream is my favorite and it’s as much about the flavour as the nostalgia.

In Bangkok I found a new respect for my coconut ice cream obsession. Once again, in the maze of Chatuchak Market, I stumbled upon the coveted obsession of my childhood.

The ice cream itself was impressive but even more impressive was the offering of toppings.  There were the usual things we may be familiar with in Canada like sugar sprinkles, chocolate chips, and nuts.  But those were not the real gems – those came in the form of corn, tapioca jelly, sweet pumpkin, sweet squash, pineapple and some stuff I did not recognize (which of course I tried without asking what it was). All of this was served in the empty half-shell of the coconut with the jelly still clinging to the sides of the shell. Yum.

All for a whopping equivalent of 30 cents, my childhood and adult dreams finally came true.
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‘Donut Showdown’ Series Premiere

Ready to satisfy your sweet tooth? Food Network Canada is set to premiere the newest baking battle show, Donut Showdown, on Tuesday, April 2nd at 10pm ET/PT.

Hosted by international food television personality Danny Boome (from The Chew and Recipe Rehab), Donut Showdown features an all-star judges panel, who will decide which fried dessert will make the cut. The judges are Food Network Canada chef David Rocco, culinary expert Maggie McKeown of Recipe to Riches and popular Toronto restauranteur Zane Caplansky.

donut-showdown

Each episode starts with three competitors who will be asked to create a fried treat using bizarre and top-secret ingredients. At the end of each week, only one will prevail and will walk away with a $10,000 prize.

Tweet us at @FoodNetworkCA or @DonutShowdown, and like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest Donut Showdown news!

 

Big Brother Canada Slop Recipe

Are you all ready for the premiere of the first season of Big Brother Canada? The show airs tonight (Wednesday, February 27th at 9pm) on Slice so make sure you tune in!

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This week, the Big Brother Canada Slop Truck has been rolling through Toronto handing out free samples of the iconic dish (with your choice of chocolate chips, maple syrup or hot dogs as toppings). Do you have any guesses about what ingredients go into making the Big Brother slop recipe?

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We’ve been hearing rumours about slop containing things ingredients like flax seeds, oatmeal and chia seeds, but even we don’t know for sure (we promise!). Tweet us at @FoodNetworkCA and mention #BBCan with your guesses and let us know how you’d garnish it!

 

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Top 5 Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes

So many people are cutting gluten out of their diets due to an allergy or sensitivity. If you’re one of them, that definitely doesn’t mean you have to cut yummy desserts out. These are the top 5 gluten-free dessert recipes from our site. Tweet us @FoodNetworkCA with your favourites!

1. Gluten-Free Summer Berry Crumble

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Topping our list is this delicious gluten-free berry crumble, courtesy of Reiko Mackenzie from The Real Housewives of Vancouver. You can use whichever berries you prefer and get creative with sweeteners like coconut sugar.

2. Gluten-Free Sunshine Muffins with Marmalade Frosting and Coconut Crust

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In the mood for muffins? This wonderful gluten-free recipe courtesy of Michael Smith is sure to satisfy your craving. The combination of orange and coconut adds an irresistible tropical twist.

3. Allergen-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Michael Smith is up again, this time with these mouth-watering cookies. Adopting a gluten-free diet shouldn’t have to mean giving up classics like chocolate chip cookies.

4. Best Gluten-Free Pie Pastry

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Craving a piece of pie? Make your own crust and fill with your favourite fruit for a delightful dessert. Or you can go the savoury route and check out our Gluten-Free Spiced Tourtière Meat Pie Filling recipe.

5. Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

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Who doesn’t love a good chocolate cupcake? Rounding out our list is another recipe from Reiko Mackenzie from The Real Housewives of Vancouver. Delicious!

 

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Delicious Winterlude

Winterlude seems to embody the very spirit of Ottawa at her finest. This annual celebration seems to get better each year with more and more people choosing to celebrate our nation’s capital and the winter season. The good cheer is infectious so you can’t help but have a great time!

 

Winterlude takes place every February and is truly a city-wide celebration of all things winter. Snow-shoeing, snow-tubing, ice-skating down the Rideau Canal, and ice-sculpting are some of the many things going on. With all of the wonderful outdoor activities in the brisk winter weather it’s easy to build up an appetite. Fortunately, delicious treats are always abound as they continue to add new and exciting options for families and foodies alike.

Visitors can try pure maple syrup rolled in snow and served on a stick and free outdoor pancake breakfast with hot chocolate to kick off Family Day weekend each year.  Skaters on the Rideau Canal can stop by the side of the river for a Beavertail – Ottawa’s flat whole wheat ‘donut’ served with crushed candies, syrups and whipped cream.
Food events also include an annual Winterlude charitable stew cook-off. Ten dollars provides access, all of the stew you can eat and a say in who walks away with the top prize. A fun event for a great cause!

WinterBrewed is another great opportunity to take part in the delicious side of Winterlude. The beer festival on Sparks Street features craft beers made in the Ottawa region and always includes a number of fun filled events such as snowman building contests and a winter games showdown.

The entire city embraces the spirit of the Winterlude festival. For foodies, it is fortunate that this celebration showcases Ottawa’s good eats, making it a fun, tasty, albeit cold party to look forward to each year in Canada’s capital city.

 

March Break with ‘You Gotta Eat Here!’

 

March Break is quickly approaching and for those of you with kids, that means you’ll either be jet-setting off to lie on a beach somewhere (if so, please feel the jealous vibes we’re sending you) or you’re looking for ways to keep the little ones entertained at home. If you fall into the latter category, we’re here to help! You and the kiddies will have a blast exploring your city (or creating these dishes at home) so try some new, delicious cuisine courtesy of You Gotta Eat Here! Check out these recipes and tweet us @FoodNetworkCA to let us know if you try any of these hot spots! You can also check out the You Gotta Eat Here! location map to discover more great restaurants!

 

 

British Columbia 

Fish Tacos like the onesfrom Wildside Grill in Tofino, B.C., are a fantastic way to switch up your typical Taco Tuesday.

Alberta

Lamb and Lobster Burgersfrom Big Fish in Calgary are a wonderful way for you and your little ones to indulge in some hearty cuisine. Seriously drool-worthy.

Manitoba

Kung Pao Chicken Pizzafrom Diana’s Gourmet Pizzeria in Winnipeg is a jam-packed pizza that will make your kids eat their veggies (amazing, right?). You can also get inspired and make your own version at home!

Newfoundland and Labrador 

Lamb and Stout Piefrom Rocket Bakery in St. John’s, Newfoundland, features ground lamb and scrumptious veggies in a crispy crust. Yum!

Nova Scotia

Tess’ Potato Crust, Mushroom and Swiss Quichefrom Chez Tass in Halifax offers this wonderful vegetarian dish that works for any meal of the day.

Ontario

This incredible-looking Indian Taco from Burger Barn in Ohsweken, Ontario, is an amazing fusion of two delicious cultures. Your kids will love this fresh take on tacos!

Prince Edward Island

Looking for a warm and hearty meal? Look no further than this Steak and Stout Pie from Churchill Arms in Charlottetown, or recreate the recipe at home!

Quebec

This Very Spicy Salsa recipe from Edgar Restaurant in Gatineau, is not for the faint of heart. If your kiddies aren’t fans of spicy food, try out a mild version.

Saskatchewan

This Pupusas recipe from EE Burritos in Saskatoon features refried beans, ground pork, cheese and Loroco filling, and is served with salsa and Salvadorian coleslaw. Enjoy out or make it with your kids at home!

Yukon Territory

In the mood for seafood? This Halibut TnT recipe from Antoinette’s, located in Whitehorse, is sure to be a hit with you and your kids. With so many flavours, what’s not to love?

 

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March Break with ‘You Gotta Eat Here!’

Marck Break is quickly approaching and for those of you with kids, that means you’ll either be jet-setting off to lie on a beach somewhere (if so, please feel the jealous vibes we’re sending you) or you’re looking for ways to keep the little ones entertained at home. If you fall into the latter category, we’re here to help! You and the kiddies will have a blast exploring your city (or one nearby) and trying some new, delicious cuisine. Check out these dishes and tweet us @FoodNetworkCA to let us know if you try any of these hot spots!

 

British Columbia

 

Oscars Menu

Lights! Camera! Action!

This year’s Oscar nominations for Best Motion Picture take the audience from the Middle East to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and from Mississippi to France. If you’re hosting a viewing party, we’ve got a world of dishes to perfectly complement whichever flick you’re rooting for!


Argo 

A delicious combination of nuts, sugar and spices conspire beneath a crispy phyllo cover in Anna Olson‘s take on an Iranian classic, Cashew Baklava.

Amour

This dish will have your heart “beeting” with true amour! Beet Hearts with Chèvre is a light recipe and great way to add some whimsy to your Oscar night.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

In honour of the film’s lead character, Hushpuppy, we’re cooking up our version of the corn-based Southern specialty of the same name! Try these Corn Fitters with Scallion Aioli, an award-worthy take on the deep South.

Django Unchained

For the southern backdrop of this flick, we’ve fished out a staple Mississippi ingredient! Go the extra mile and use a German brew for the Dark Ale-Battered Catfish to mirror the film’s dark (and nominated!) character.

Les Misérables

We feel like this cast could use some serious comfort food — our favourite French Canadian “happy dish” topped with, what we’ve lovingly dubbed, “Les Miser-balls” should do the trick. Meatball Poutine will have you singing!
Life of Pi 

This Indian Shepherd’s Pie  is such a perfect fit for the flick. With this kind of grub, we’d happily live a life of pie!

Silver Linings Playbook

Take a play from our Dining Playbook with this Lamb Chops with Feta Sauce recipe – an easy and elegant dish worthy of your finest silver!

Zero Dark Thirty
Zero time to make. Dark chocolate galore. Enough to last you through 30 awards! Dark Chocolate Popcorn is the perfect snack for any Oscar viewing party.

 


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Family Fun: Surprisingly Satisfying Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes. I had never made them before but had stopped to pick up Felix from a playdate and the family was having the legendary slovenly classic for dinner; I was invited to stay and…I enjoyed a delicious meal. This week, I decided to make my own version of the Sloppy Joe — and they were just as yummy.

 

Sloppy_Joe

 

Recipe: Sloppy Joes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6-7 crimini mushrooms, chopped roughly
½ can tomato paste
1 tbsp BBQ powder/seasoning
½ teaspoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
Ketchup
½ kg lean ground beef
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup grated cheddar

Sloppy_Joe_Mushrooms

 

The Sloppy Joe is perfect for hiding extra vegetables — in my case, mushrooms, but chopped peppers or celery or carrots would also work.

Sloppy_Joe_Garlic

 

Start with a medium onion, diced and sautéed over medium-high in a little bit of olive oil.  Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and let everything soften till fragrant. I add my mushrooms at this point (about 6-7 chopped crimini).

Sloppy_Joe_Onion

 

Allow the onions to get golden for a nice sweet flavour while the mushrooms reduce and cook as well.

Sloppy_Joe_Sauce

 

While the onion mixture is cooking, you can make your sauce. Grab a small bowl (cereal size) and mix together 1 tbsp BBQ powder, ½ can tomato paste (save the rest for pizza), ½ teaspoon Worcestershire, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt. (I also add a squeeze of ketchup.)

Sloppy_Joe_Beans
Once the onion is golden, add ½ KG lean ground beef and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Now add your sauce and cook until combined. Add 1 cup black beans and cook until everything is well heated.
Sloppy_Joe_Plated

Now, just pile the filling onto any soft bun (Kaiser is perfect) and top with shredded cheese, which will conveniently melt on its own inside the sandwich. Serve with a green salad and you have a fast, delicious finger-licking meal.

Recipe: Sloppy Joes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6-7 crimini mushrooms, chopped roughly
½ can tomato paste
1 tbsp BBQ powder/seasoning
½ teaspoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
Ketchup
½ kg lean ground beef
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup grated cheddar

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic until they start to soften. Add the mushroom and continue to cook until the onion and mushrooms are golden.
  2. While the onion mixture cooks, make your sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together tomato paste, BBQ powder, Worcestershire, brown sugar, white wine vinegar, salt and a generous squirt of ketchup.
  3. Add the beef to the onion mixture and cook until no longer pink. Then add your sauce and 1 cup black beans. Cook until everything is heated through and well combined.
  4. Serve on Kaiser buns with grated cheddar.

Sue_RiedlSue Riedl is a Toronto-based food writer with a passion for cheese who writes a column called The Spread for The Globe and Mail. She loves to push stinky cheese on her 4-year-old.

 

 

 

 

 

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Roger Mooking’s Food Adventures: Quail Eggs in Bangkok

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Chef Roger Mooking recently traveled to Bangladesh and Bangkok and returned with lots of photos and stories about the incredible food culture. We’ll be publishing a new post every Thursday for the next two months, so stay tuned!  Without further ado, enjoy Roger’s seventh post below!

quail-eggs

I love quail egg and have served them in many a restaurant over the years. They’re usually reserved for fine dining restaurants in Canada.  In Bangkok, quail eggs are an everyday street food and seemingly very abundant and readily available.

These eggs are cooked in cast iron pans that have about 2 dozen concave divets in them. After adding a little bit of oil and preheating the pan, the quail eggs are dropped in and allowed to get crispy and fully cooked through. Served in a plate with chopped lettuce, this is a quick, simple and tasty snack that can be topped with hot sauce, sweet chili sauce, or simply sea salt.

Not everything needs to be extravagant to be great.
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Top 5 Chicken Soup Recipes

Is it freezing outside or what? There’s no better way to warm up during the winter months than a nice, hot bowl of chicken soup. Is there anything more comforting? We’ve rounded up the top 5 chicken soup recipes from our site. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to add some fun touches to the classic dish this season.

1. Chicken Soup with Ground Chicken Meatballs

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Double the chicken, double the fun? Absolutely. This recipe, courtesy of Chuck Hughes, is a great option for a gloomy winter night.

2. Mediterranean Chicken Soup

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Want to add some more veggies into your chicken soup? Chef Michael Smith has some great suggestions in this Mediterranean-inspired recipe, including zucchini and red pepper. Yum!

3. Soul-Soothing Chicken Soup

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This hearty chicken soup recipe by Sophie Dahl is perfect for a night spent cuddling under a blanket while you catch up on your favourite shows.

4. Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

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Chicken soup and matzo balls – what a fantastic pairing, don’t you think? Full of carrots, parsnips and fresh dill, this is one refreshing yet soothing bowl of soup.

5. Latin Chicken Soup

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If you want to add a bit of a kick to your chicken soup, this Latin-inspired recipe (loaded with jalapenos) is a great way to do just that.

 

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Butter Chicken Sauce Naan Pizza

Tuesday nights are always hard to plan for. You’re never quite sure if you’ll be working late, still have leftovers from Sunday night dinner or have the energy to prepare something complicated. As The Hot Plate continues to grow, I realize more and more that having simple weeknight meals is the real answer to a busy schedule. Looking for dinner options that use just a few ingredients make life easier. In this case, I like to call it my half homemade approach.

Half homemade are those great dinners that are easy to throw together because half the work is done. For this pizza, instead of prepping a butter chicken sauce from scratch, I saved myself time and money by picking up a premade butter chicken sauce. It’s a creamy and buttery Indian type sauce with stewed tomatoes, real cream and ginger. I knew I could make a delicious naan pizza using the rich and tasty butter chicken sauce.

This simple pizza really is a great weeknight meal! In 15 minutes you can have a mouth-watering dish loaded with shredded Mozzarella, red onions and chicken! Not only can this meal satisfy your dinner needs, it can be cut into smaller pieces for a great appetizer! And if you have leftover sauce you can freeze it (before the expiration date) and thaw it for another weeknight fix later in the month. I love how easy this recipe is and how it has given me more time out of the kitchen to enjoy the rest of my evening!

*Calories per pizza: 580, Fat 28 grams, Cholesterol 42mg, Sodium 482.5, Carbs 70 grams, Fibre: 3 grams, Sugar 7.5 grams, Protein: 32.5 grams

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves 2

Ingredients
2 pieces naan
¼ cup Summer Fresh Butter Chicken Sauce
½ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
¼ cup sliced red onion
1 (3 ounce) cooked chicken breast, chopped
Fresh cilantro

Instructions
1. Preheat an oven to 425F. Arrange naan in a single layer on a baking sheet.
2. Spread Summer Fresh Butter Chicken Sauce on each piece of naan. Top with cheese, onion and chicken. Bake naan pizzas until golden and bubbly, 8-10 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven and top with fresh cilantro
 

Family Fun: Fries for Any Lazy Occasion

The nice thing about sweet potato fries is that they’re good for us and our kids (lots of Vitamin A) and if you bake them with a little bit of olive oil, you can turn them into a healthy-yet-decent version of classic french fries.

Sweet_Potato_Fries

Recipe: Sweet Potato Fries
Estimate 1 sweet potato per person

Ingredients
Sweet potatoes
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Sweet_Potato_Fries_Potato
In our house, there can be an initial grumble: “These don’t taste like the ones at the ski chalet.” Well, they’re not deep-fried. Still, we get over that quickly with a squirt of ketchup added to the plate (and having no other choice!). The fact is, these fries are fast and easy, and they work on their own or as a side for any meaty main.

Sweet_Potato_Fries_Peel

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Start with 1 medium sweet potato per person. Peel.

Sweet_Potato_Fries_Cut_Off_Base

Start by cutting off a slice from each potato’s base (any side, really). You will be able to stand it steadily on one end — meaning that once you slice the potato, it will not roll about awkwardly (and unsafely). This is a good trick to teach older kids.

Sweet_Potato_Fries_Slabs

Cut slabs of about ½”-3/4″ in size. Consistency is more important than thickness, here — we want everything to cook evenly.

Sweet_Potato_Fries_Fingers

Now, slice the slabs into fries. Some pieces will have perfect straight edges, some might be irregular — don’t worry, all will be good to eat.

Sweet_Potato_Fries_Olive_Oil

Before you lay out the fries on a parchment line cookie sheet, put them in a bowl and toss lightly with olive oil (or, another vegetable oil). Lay out the fries so they are not touching; you may need more than one cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (or paprika or garlic powder, whatever you can think of).

Sweet_Potato_Fries_Bake

Bake on one side for about 15 minutes or until the skin is browning and blistery. Now, flip the fries (careful, as they will be hot) and bake on the other side for the same amount of time. Try one to make sure they are cooked through. Serve immediately. I like to dip mine into mayonnaise, but “others” in my house will not veer away from ketchup. BBQ sauce is also an excellent option.

Sweet_Potato_Fries_Mayo

Recipe: Sweet Potato Fries
Estimate 1 sweet potato per person

Ingredients
Sweet potatoes
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Peel your sweet potato. You don’t need to wash it; you want it as dry as possible to hold onto the oil.
  3. Slice the potato into slabs about ½”-3/4″ thick. Now, cut these slabs into strips. Consistency in size is more important than thickness.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the strips with just enough oil to coat them lightly.
  5. Lay the fries onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, make sure the fries are not touching (otherwise, they will become soggy). You may need more than one sheet.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and some fresh ground pepper.
  7. Put them in the oven for 15 minutes. Flip the fries and bake another 15 minutes. When done, the fries should be cooked through, browning and slightly blistering on the outside. Serve immediately.

 

 

Sue_RiedlSue Riedl is a Toronto-based food writer with a passion for cheese who writes a column called The Spread for The Globe and Mail. She loves to push stinky cheese on her 4-year-old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anna Olson’s Bake-Off: German Chocolate Cake

I’ve been going through a chocolate cake phase right now, and thought that maybe you’d like to go through a similar phase (it’s a great way to make friends, sharing the results!)

German Chocolate Cake is a retro classic (just like Red Velvet Cake).  The cake does not originate from Germany, but gets its name from a fellow named Sam German, who developed a sweet baking chocolate used in this cake. I have kept true to the flavour profile, which includes a gooey caramel-like pecan and coconut filling & topping, but I have opted for a milk chocolate cake and frosting.

When taking on this month’s challenge, be sure to budget time, between the tender, moist cake layers, gooey filling, frosting and assembly, it is best made a day before you wish to serve it.  Also, keep in mind that milk chocolate candy bars or chocolate chips are not suitable for melting into cake batters and frosting, since they are designed to hold their shape – you must use baking chocolate, also known as couverture.  It is now sold at most groceries, bulk and specialty stores.

The effort will be worth it, and I look forward to hearing about and seeing photos of the end result.  Get those glasses of ice cold milk ready!
annacake

GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
Makes 1 2-layer 8-inch cake
Serves 10 to 12

Cake:
4 oz milk chocolate**, chopped
¾ cup boiling water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Pecan Coconut Filling:
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup maple syrup
¾ cup whipping cream
4 large egg yolks
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
¾ cup toasted & chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

Frosting:
2 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 oz milk chocolate**, chopped
2/3 cup full-fat sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

Directions:
1. For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 ?F.  Grease two 8-inch cake pans, line the bottom of the pans with parchment and dust the sides with flour.
2. Place the chopped chocolate into a bowl and pour the boiling water over top, letting it sit a minute.  Whisk to melt the chocolate (don’t worry if the mixture appears grainy).  Set aside.
3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk the brown sugar, buttermilk, mayonnaise, eggs and vanilla until smooth.  Add the flour mixture to this and whisk well, until there are no visible lumps.  Whisk in the chocolate mixture (the batter will be fluid), and divide this evenly between the 2 prepared cake pans.  Bake for about 45 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.  Allow the cakes to cool for 15 minutes and then turn them out to cool completely.
4. For the filling, whisk the brown sugar and cornstarch together in a medium saucepot.  Whisk in the maple syrup, cream and eggs and heat over medium-high, whisking constantly, until thickened and the filling just begins to bubble, about 6 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the butter, then stir in the coconut, pecans, vanilla and salt.  Scrape this into a bowl, cool and then chill completely before using.
5. For the frosting, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder together. Melt the chocolate and butter by stirring gently in a bowl placed over a pot of barely simmering water.  Remove from the heat and while still warm, beat in half of the icing sugar mixture using electric beaters or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla, scraping the bowl well and then add the remaining icing sugar until smooth.  Use the frosting immediately.
6. To assemble the cake, place the first cake layer on a platter.  Spoon about a cup of the frosting into a piping bag and pipe around the top edge of the cake.  Spread half of the filling over the cake, right to the piped edge of frosting. Top this with the second cake layer and spread the top and sides of the cake with the frosting, placing any remaining frosting into the piping bag, for detailing on the top edge.  Spread the remaining filling over the top of the cake, finish any detailing and then chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

** It is important to use milk chocolate made for baking (couveture), not chocolate chips or commercial chocolate bars which will not melt smoothly into cake batters or frosting.
The cake will keep, refrigerated, for up to 4 days.

Adapted from Bake with Anna Olson

Here’s how Bake Off works:
•Our hostess with the mostess, Anna Olson, picks a recipe middle of every month
•You make the recipe (follow it or add your creative flair)

Email us (giveaways@foodnetwork.ca a picture and short descriptive blurb before March 14th at 9am ET for your chance to win! Anna will pick the winner (We are giving away a$250 gift card to Williams-Sonoma and an autographed copy of Anna’s cookbook).

anna

Professionally trained pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of Food Network’s Bake with Anna Olson. Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, the technique and the process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, cooking and baking should be fun!

Roger Mooking’s Food Adventures: Meat on a Stick in Bangkok

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Chef Roger Mooking recently traveled to Bangladesh and Bangkok and returned with lots of photos and stories about the incredible food culture. We’ll be publishing a new post every Thursday for the next two months, so stay tuned!  Without further ado, enjoy Roger’s sixth post below!

meatonastick

One of the most common street foods I saw in Bangkok was meat on a stick. Meat on a stick is a favorite all over the world it seems. I’ve experienced it in Canada, the U.S., Malaysia, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Bangladesh and now Bangkok.

People love things cooked over a fire and Bangkok proved that once again. This time the meat stick is on a rolling food cart that is towed around to its location.

It’s a very simple setup with a coal-fuelled fire in a mobile pit. The pit is covered with a grate that serves as a grill and then the meat is skewered and cooked slowly to perfection. There are little crispy bits but mostly it is just tenderly cooked through and kept warm until a customer comes up to order the goods. The goods don’t last long so they are never sitting that long. Everything from a whole chicken wing splayed open and skewered, to slivers of shaved beef, chunks of chicken and whole finger length fish made the skewer before grilling.

The meats seem to be slightly sweet and savory simultaneously although not tossed in any sauce, so it must be a marinade that penetrates right to the stick.  I’m not gonna lie, I licked the bamboo skewer.
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Anna Olson’s Bake Off: ‘Show Your Style’ Granola Results

Great entries everyone!  I can tell that we were all getting into that January groove of feeling healthy, but also having the time to get creative, too.  Before I reveal the winners, a few observations:

I noticed how the additions of chocolate chips and coconut were the most common.  You tied these flavours in nicely, and clearly you know how to make a crowd-pleasing granola.

 

I love that you took the time to name your personal granola recipes!  Favourites include:

Nonna’s Biscotti Granola
Bountiful Berry Granola
Audrey’s Cherrific Mixed Nuts Granola
Savoury Curry Granola (very inventive – great idea!)
Take Me to the Tropics Granola
The Raisin Almond Awesomeness Granola
Carrot Cake Granola Delight

And for the winners:

Top prize: Jessica W. Congratulations Jessica.  Your command of nutritional values impressed me, and you put great effort into making a granola that packs a great punch in vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein and more, but also factored in a balance of flavour.

Second Prize: Melissa L. I very much enjoyed your story about your Meme, and now that you are baking as a Meme yourself, the love & caring shows.  Additionally I appreciated how effortlessly you adjusted the recipe to make granola bars.

Clearly we have a group of talented bakers who aren’t afraid to think as they bake!  Well, I’ll get you thinking with the next Bake Off recipe!
‘Show Your Style Granola’

Makes about 6 cups (1.5 L)

2 cups  regular rolled oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cups whole or sliced nuts (such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts or even pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, or a mix)
½ cup  wheat germ
¼ cup  sesame seeds
½ cup  pure maple syrup or honey
1/3 cup  vegetable oil
zest of 1 orange
1 tsp  ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
dash of vanilla extract
2 cups dried fruits (such as raisins, currants, chopped dried apricots, chopped prunes, dried cranberries, dried cherries or a mix)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2. Combine the oats, nuts, wheat germ and sesame seeds in a large bowl.  Add the maple syrup (or honey), oil, orange zest, cinnamon, salt and vanilla and stir well to coat.  Spread this onto the prepared baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes until a rich golden brown, stirring 3 times as it bakes.

3. Immediately after removing the pan from the oven, stir in the dried fruits.  Allow the granola to cool before packing into an airtight container.

The granola will keep for up to 3 weeks.

 

Anna_OlsonProfessionally trained pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of Food Network’s Bake with Anna Olson. Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, the technique and the process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, cooking and baking should be fun!

 

 

 

 

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Chopped Canada Casting

Chopped Canada

 

CHOPPED is coming to Canada!

We’re on the hunt for the country’s most competitive culinary talent to cook a high-stakes meal worth $10,000!
Are you a skilled, creative, quick-thinking chef who would thrive in this pressure-cooker?

Food Network’s hit show has challenged dozens of top chefs, and now it’s your chance to boil, brûlée and battle with the best professional chefs in Canada.

Think you’ve got what it takes to survive the Chopping Block?

Chopped Canada is looking for culinary champions.

Submit your online application at www.choppedcanadacasting.ca and tell us why you deserve to win*
Then follow us on Facebook (Chopped Canada) and Twitter (@ChoppedCanada) for audition info and updates.

*You must be at least 19 years of age as of May 1st 2013 and either (a) a Canadian Citizen, OR (b) a Permanent Resident of Canada, to be eligible for consideration as a competitor on Chopped Canada.

Valentine’s Day Finger Foods

Top Valentine’s Day Finger Food Recipes

Want to cook up something special for your loved one this Valentine’s Day? There’s nothing more sensual and romantic than serving a variety of dishes that you and your sweetie can eat with your hands (or feed to each other, of course!). Our menu of yummy finger foods is sure to inspire you to get creative in the kitchen.

 

Sweet

french-toast-cups

 

Savoury

beef-and-lamb

 

Related:

Top 5 Valentine’s Day Recipes

Valentine’s Day is only a few days away and if you’re stuck on what to make your sweetie for the special day, we’ve rounded up the top 5 Valentine’s Day desserts for you. This should narrow down your list of options!

dessert1

Nothing says romance like a French dessert of chocolate and raspberries, right? Test your baking skills with this delicate dish and watch your loved one be blown away.

dessert2

Coming in at number two is this Creme Caramel recipe by Laura Calder. Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t love caramel? We certainly haven’t. This is sure to be a hit.

dessert3

Double the chocolate, double the love. This delicious recipe courtesy of Christine Cushing is guaranteed to put a smile on your valentine’s face.

dessert4

Seriously, can you go wrong with cheesecake? The answer is no. Get into the spirit of the day with this irresistible recipe.

dessert5

  • Rounding out our top 5 is this decadent dessert. If you’re looking to indulge this Valentine’s Day, this is the way to do it.
  • On that note, if you or your loved one has a gluten, nut or lactose allergy, make sure you check out our Allergy-Sensitive Valentine’s Day menu. If lovey-dovey stuff isn’t your thing, that’s okay too! We’ve got you covered with this Anti-Valentine’s Day menu.

 

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Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off: Finale Recap and Giveaway

If you have yet to watch the latest episode of Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off, beware of spoilers below. If you need a refresher on the celebrity teams, check out our post here.

This week, the competition was down to two contestants – Dean (Team Guy) and Carnie (Team Rachael). The final challenge required the two to cook a three-course meal for 11 guests made up of celebrities, A-list chefs and restauranteurs. Comedian Kathy Griffin even made a guest appearance at the dinner table. In 90 minutes, Dean and Carnie had prepared some seriously impressive dishes. In the end, it was up to the guests to vote on their favourites.

finale1

The catch during this challenge was that the competitors wouldn’t know what ingredients would be available to them in the kitchen until they got there, ready to start cooking. Talk about pressure! Thankfully, they were each surprised by one of their closest friends to help them out throughout the afternoon.

finale2

Dean used his 90 minutes wisely, creating pan-seared scallops with lobster for his appetizer, flank steak-wrapped petite filet as his main dish, and grilled pound cake with syllabus for his dessert. Carnie went for a simple but flavourful approach, making tuna dip for her appetizer, pesto pasta with shrimp as her main course, and baby apple fritter balls for dessert. In the end, the judges criticized Dean for trying to do too much and cram too many flavours into each dish, while Carnie’s dishes were great on flavour but lacked in presentation and creativity.

finale3

When it all came down to it, Dean beat Carnie by one single vote. What a close competition! This means that he wins $50,000 for his charity, Miracle Babies. However, Carnie didn’t go home empty-handed. As the runner-up, she won $10,000 for her charity, the Autism Research Institute.

Do you think the right person won? What was your favourite dish from the episode? Tweet us at @FoodNetworkCA and let us know!

 

Giveaway

Email us at giveaways@foodnetwork.ca with the names of each of the contestants from Season 2 of Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off in the order they were eliminated. You’ll be entered for a chance to win a copy of Rachael Ray’s cookbook, My Year in Meals, as well as a copy of Guy Fieri’s Food. There will be two (2) winners for this contest, which closes on Friday, February 15th at 12pm. Good luck!

 

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