Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Another recipe I stole from Ros. Makes a great side dish with just about everything.

Brussel sprouts
1-2 apples
5-6 strips of bacon
1 table spoon maple syrup
Olive oil
salt and pepper


1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F
Cook the bacon until half done (still soft) and set aside.

2. Rinse the Brussels sprouts and discard any dry of damaged outer leaves.

3. Trim off any dry part of the root and slice in half.

4. Chop the apples and add to the bowl.

5. Chop the bacon and add to the bowl. Drizzle with the maple syrup and the olive oil and add black pepper and a bit of salt (the bacon is already salty). Toss to coat evenly.

6. Line a baking tray with aluminum paper and pour the sprouts into a mostly even layer. Cook for 20-25 minutes.

7. The Brussel sprouts are ready when soft.

8. Serve warm.


Baked cider doughnuts

Tiny bites, perfect with tea or coffee or just to eat by the handful. Slightly modified from the recipe found here.

Next time I make them I might add a shredded Granny Smith apple to the dough.

1 1/2 cup apple cider
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tea spoon baking soda
1 tea spoon baking powder
1 tea spoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tea spoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
2 table spoon melted butter
1 tea spoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tea spoon cinnamon (or more, to taste)
4 table spoon melted butter


1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F
Pour the apple cider in a pot and boil for 15-20 minutes until reduced and syrupy.

2. Meanwhile, combine all of the dry ingredients.

3. Whisk the wet ingredients in with the reduced apple cider.

4. Combine the wet into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. If you over-reduced the apple cider, add some more until the batter is loose enough that no more dry flour remains.

5. Spoon into a non-stick mini-muffin pan (or spray the thing with something like Pam). Or use a doughnut pan if you own one.

Put in the oven for 15 minutes.

6. In the meantime, melt the butter for the glaze. In a large shallow plate (pie dish, here) combine the sugar and cinnamon.

7. Remove the warm little doughnuts from the pan (they should just fall out).

8. Using a pastry brush, brush some melted butter on each doughnut. Dust with the cinnamon sugar (or roll it in the sugar for a thicker glaze) then allow to cool fully.

Yields 48 mini doughnuts. Enjoy!

Apple Chutney

Originally from the Preservation Society book but I tweaked it a bit, so getting a full post so I remember what I did.

I did two variants. The main one with Xeres vinegar, which tastes like something I will use anywhere onion jam would be used (in a grilled cheese or a burger comes to mind).

The second is a balsamic variant which I have dreams of using on some baked brie with walnuts…

Still, go buy the book!

Yield : 6 half pints

2 birds eyes peppers
3 cloves garlic
900g apples (cortland, spartan, empire, snow globe, gala)
450g onions
170g raisin*
550g brown sugar
1 1/2 table spoon salt
30 ml grated fresh ginger
10 ml allspice
10 ml cloves
10 ml black peppercorns
10 ml ground tumeric
2 ml dry mustard
375 ml apple cider vinegar
375 ml xeres vinegar **

Balsamic Variant :
* A bit less raisins, add dried apricots (cut in small pieces)
** Balsamic vinegar.

1. Grind the spices together.

2. Put the onions and apples through a food processor and chop finely. Transfer to a large pot and add the vinegar.

3. Finely chop the garlic and thai peppers. Add to the pot along with the raisins.

4. Add the rest of the spices.

The Balsamic variant will look darker like this :

5. Turn the heat on medium until a slow boil form. Turn the heat down and simmer for 1 hour.

The balsamic version will start to look outright Halloween worthy. I added a finely minced jalapeno along the way to this one, as the sugar was getting too dominant.

6. Scald the jars. Fill with hot chutney. Leave 1/4″ headspace. Process for 10 minutes.

And the darker balsamic.

Apple Spiced Cake with goat cheese icing and caramel drizzle

My brother asked for a home-made birthday cake for this birthday. This is what I made… It’s a pretty long process, do not try to make it after work as I did… Mine came out a bit “clumsy” for that reason.

Ingredients for the cake :
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tea spoons baking powder
1/2 tea spoon baking soda
1/2 tea spoon salt
1/2 tea spoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tea spoon ground allspice
1/4 tea spoon ground dry ginger
pinch nutmeg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tea spoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cup applesauce

Ingredients for the icing :
6 oz goat cheese
8 oz mascarpone
2 table spoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tea spoon cinnamon

Ingredients for the caramel sauce/drizzle
1 cup sugar
6 table spoons butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup 35% cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch allspice


1. Butter and flour your cake rounds. Cut out parchment paper to line the bottom.
I used 1x 9″ and 2x 8″ cake molds because that’s what I have. If you have all the same size it’ll look better. If you have 4x 8″ that’s probably be best to have slightly thinner cake layers.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg.

3. In a measuring cup combine the whole milk and vanilla extract.

4. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the butter and sugar.

5. Cream together for a few minutes until fluffy.

6. Add the eggs one at the time, beating well between each addition.

7. Add the dry and wet ingredients in increment, starting and ending with the dry. No in between step pictures but the order is :
Dry -> Wet -> Dry -> Wet -> Dry

8. Fold in the applesauce.

9. Divide the batter into your cake rounds.

10. Bake for 25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes.

11. Remove from the pan (use a plate, they should drop right out when you flip them).
Remove the parchment paper and allow to cool fully on a rack.

12. While the cakes are cooling, make the icing.
Wash the bowl and paddle of the mixer and put all the ingredients in the bowl.

13. Beat until smooth, scrapping down the sides a few times.
Stick in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up some.

14. Time for caramel!
In a large sauce pan, combine the sugar with 1/4 cup of water. Turn the heat on medium.

15. From this point on do not step away from the stove.
The sugar will first melt and get bubbly. You want to stir a few times to ensure all the sugar is melted.

16. Then it will start to look hard and dry. You want to keep breaking this at this point to prevent lumps in the sauce.

17. When it gets a color you like, turn the heat to low. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Add the cream and stir until smooth.
Remove from heat and add the bourbon and spices. Stir until smooth.

**Note my caramel is a shade darker then most people would aim for because I kinda like a tiny bit of the bitterness of it. YMMV stop at your preferred color of caramel.

18. The residual heat in the sauce pan is enough to push the caramel into scorched territory (especially if you take it as far as I did). So transfer the caramel to a heat neutral vessel (here a quart mason jar) and allow to cool.

19. Time to assemble.
Stack up your cakes with icing in between, ending with a thinner layer on top.
If you want to make it prettier cut the domed top of the cakes so they stack up more neatly.

20. Drizzle as much caramel as you want over the whole thing.

21. In a perfect world, put the assembled cake in the fridge for an hour to firm up. But my brother got home so we didn’t wait.

22. Drizzle more caramel on the slices, if you want.
Makes for a rich but not too dense or heavy cake with plenty of sweetness. the tartness of the goat cheese is very nice in the icing and the caramel rounds it up.

Fruit Ketchup

I did a large batch of canning as gifts for my family. I found (well, ok, asked the gatekeeper of all her old typewritten cards to send me a copy) my grand-mother’s recipe and proceeded to fill the house with steam. It was worth it! This was my set-up at the beginning of the day…


First up is Canadian Fruit ketchup. A classical condiment; I associate it with meat pies at Christmas.

Total Yield : 6 pints (12 half pint jars)

Ingredients :
6 tomatoes
6 peaches
6 pears
6 apples
6 onions
2 green bell pepper
4 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
3 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pickling spices



1. Peel the tomatoes.
Carve an X into the bottom of the tomatoes.

2. Dunk the tomatoes into a small pot of boiling water.

3. Transfer to a bowl of ice water.

4. The peel should come right off. Repeat with the rest of the tomatoes.

5. Dice and put in a large pot.

6. Same process for the peaches. make a cross on the pointy bottom side.

7. Put in the boiling water for 30 seconds.

8. Transfer to ice water.

9. Remove the skins.

10. Dice the peaches and add to the pot.

11. Peel, core and dice the pears. Add to the pot. I used Forelle pears, but use what you like.

12. Peel, core and dice the apples. Add the vinegar to stop the pears and apple from turning brown.
13.  Dice the green pepper and add to the rest.

14.  Pulse the onions though a food processor to make sure no large chunk remain. Add to the pot.

15. Add 3 tablespoon salt and 4 cups sugar.

16. As soon as you start to mix in the sugar it will start drawing water out of the fruits and everything will start to float.
Turn on the heat to medium.

17. Time to put in the pickling spices.
If you have cheese cloth of a mousseline bag use that. I didn’t, so I used a tea ball.

18. Stick you spices into the pot.
Allow to stew/reduce for an hour and a half, at least.

19. It should start looking like this.

20. Remove the spices and discard.
Scald 7 half pint jars. Fill with warm fruit ketchup.

21. Process for 10 minutes. Allow to cool fully.
Repeat with 5 more jars.

Coq au porc

A one-ish pot meal, easy to throw together and warm for the cooling weather. But really the rice is the star here. I’ll have to try with dry rubs or marinades for the meat for the next time.

4 coq-au-porc (about 300g per)
2 granny smith apples, diced
12 dried apricots, diced
2″ fresh ginger
2 onions
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup to 1 1/2 cup unfiltered apple juice
1 table spoon moutarde de meaux
1 1/2 cup rice
olive oil
salt and pepper


1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Season the coq-au-porc with salt and pepper. Put a bit of olive oil in a stainless steel pan and sear the meat on all sides.

2. Once all the meat is seared, set aside. Swap the stainless steel pan for a large cast iron dutch oven. Put a bit of olive oil at the bottom and set the heat to medium-low, allowing the casserole dish to warm up.

3. Dice the onions and ginger.

4. Sweat until the onions are translucent then add the garlic and rice. Stir well to coat the rice with the oil.

5. Combine the apple juice, chicken broth and mustard.

6. Add to the rice. Heat to a simmer.

7. Add the apples (with the skin) and the dried apricots.
add fruits

8. Nestle the meat back in the pot.
add meat

9. Cover and put in the oven for 25 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through, the pork pink and the rice just done. Serve and enjoy!

Spiced Apple Cake

This cake makes the whole house smell of cinnamon. It’s dense and moist though it could use a bit more cinnamon. Taste as you go and see what you like!

Ingredients :
3 cups flour
1 tea spoon baking powder
1/4 tea spoon salt
2 sticks of butter + some for the pan
1 2/3 cups sugar + 2 table spoons
1 1/2 tea spoon cinnamon
1/2 tea spoon Chinese 5 spices
1 tea spoon vanilla extract
6 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 table spoon lemon juice
4 large Cortland apples


1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Grease and flour the bottom and sides of a 10″ spring form cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.

2. Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

3. Grind the spices. Set aside 1/2 tea spoon of cinnamon. Combine the Chinese five spice with the remaining tea spoon of cinnamon.

4. In the bowl of a mixer combine the sugar (1 1/3 cup), butter, mixed spices and vanilla extract.

5. Beat until lighter and slightly fluffy. Add the eggs one at the time, mixing well between each.

6. While those are working, core and slice two of the apples. You can peel them or not, according to your personal preference.

7. Once all the eggs have been added, mix in 1/3 of the flour.

8. Then add 1/2 of the sour cream.

9. Repeat until all the flour and sour cream has been added. Add the lemon juice.

10. You should end up with a smooth, elastic batter.

11. Spoon 1/2 of the batter into the spring form pan. Spread the apples on top of the batter.

12. Combine the remaining cinnamon with that + 2 table spoons of sugar.

13. Spoon the remaining batter in the pan, core and slice the remaining apples and display on top. Dust the apple slices with the cinnamon sugar mix.
Put in the oven for 60 minutes.

14. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

15. Run an offset spatula carefully around the cake then release the springform.

16. Slice and enjoy!