Bourbon Lavender Raspberry Applesauce

I will start off this post with clearing my guilty feelings. I am sorry fellow bloggers for not having been around to comment this week. Life has been nuts. Nothing majors, just super busy. I thought my schedule would calm down as the weather would cool down for fall…but nothing could have been further from the truth. Work is super busy and my social schedule is busting at the seam. So next week starting with a clean slate and I’ll be back at commenting.

Have you been suffering from the same busy bee ailment as I? I have to say I am not complaining, life has been a blast. Today will  be more of a visual treat of a day trip spent with friends. One of our stops was an apple orchard. And it was the perfect excuse to super-major-over the top-play with the best applesauce ever I made last year. The trick is making it over a long period of time in a slow cooker: it totally gets caramelized and the apple flavor dominates. This year I added notes of lavender, vanilla and raspberries with a splash of bourbon. Sounds like  weird mix but they all do go together and the notes were subtle. Time to make some Bourbon Lavender Raspberry Applesauce!

Bourbon Lavender Raspberry Applesauce top


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Puffy Raspberry Almond Clafoutis

I have found a new fantastic group to join which offers sweet delights for everyone. The Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge is all about baking sweets. Every month we are given to required ingredients to work with. This month it is almond paste and pastry. What a yummy combo!

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Saint-Valentin for One: Raspberry and Chocolate Pots de Creme

Happy Saint-Valentin’s day to everyone. I love you all my readers.  This year I will celebrate it as a single and I am more than happy about it. As a matter of fact I have 2 outings planned this February 14th with friends. I will be celebrating the love for my friends that are there day in and day out, year after year. I consider them more precious then gold.

Still, I cannot think of any other occasion that is both desperately desired or despised depending on whom you ask, whether single or in a couple. The only way to survive the whole ordeal is by consumming lots and lots of chocolate. And that is a sacrifice I am willing to partake in. Go ahead, twist my arm.

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I receive 3 tabettes of Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate, a fairtrade product. How can I say no to chocolate! I did make one big mistake: I had it delivered at work and I told my colleagues. I had no choice but to share lol. Well only the 2 flavored ones…

We tasted the Milk Chccolate Butterscotch Pieces bar which created with delicious milk chocolate blended with crisp, crunchy toffee. Now I am more of a dark chocolate kind a gal so milk chocolate does not knock my socks off but I do have to say these were quite tasty. And you can definitely taste the toffee. tI was more popular with the male colleagues.

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We also sampled the Orange and Spices Dark Chocolate bar. The taste of orange was quite intense and I enjoyed the touch of spice. Unfortunately the spices are not specified. I did enjoy my dark chocolate in this one and, for some reason, this was the winner with the ladies at work.

The 70% Dark Chocolate I kept for myself as it was perfect for this recipe for pots de creme – minus the cream – created by a local food star, Ricardo.  I added a touch of puree mixed with pain yogurt as a finishing touch. I present you a perfect chocolate sacrifice.


Raspberry and Chocolate Pots de Creme
Recipe Type: Desserts
Author: Ricardo
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • 100 g (3 1/2 oz) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 250 ml (1 cup) seedless raspberry puree
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  1. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the raspberry purée with half the sugar.
  3. In a bowl, combine the egg yolks with the remaining sugar with a whisk. Gradually add the warm raspberry purée, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook gently for about 1 minute, stirring continuously. Strain through a sieve over the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute, without stirring.
  4. With a whisk, stir until smooth. Divide among six espresso cups or 4 verrines. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
For about 250 ml (1 cup) seedless raspberry puree, puree 1 liter (4 cups) thawed frozen raspberries until smooth, then strain the puree through a fine sieve.


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Colorful Panna Cotta Verrine

I love verrines. They are just the cutest thing to have with a meal. I love how you can pack a visually stunning show in a small glass container. It is cooking and it is art all in one. This post was actually my second possible entry had I move on to the 4th round of the PFB contest on Foodbuzz. I already blogged about my first possible contender: the sugar sponge.

I actually chose 3 different glasses and created a different pattern per glass. I also chose 4 different recipes to make up my various flavors: a chocolate ganache, 2 panna cottas and the avocado. For the fruit purée I just processed whole fruits in a blender. You can make any kind of layer you want, be creative. Let’s take a look at the ones I chose.

But before…

– Plan your layers: decide which layer you want to go on the bottom and work your way up. If you make your top layer before your bottom layer is made a set…you top player will now be solid and unusable. So only prepare your recipes when you are ready to layer it.

– Plan on setting each layer for about 20 min in the fridge before adding the next layer.

– Get your tilt on. Set out what you will need to keep your glass tilted at an angle and be able to move it in and out of the fridge without disturbing your liquid. I propped up my glasses on a box of coucous inside a square cake pan.

Chocolate Ganache layer

50g dark chocolate
25g heavy cream

Heat heavy cream to a boil.
Immediately remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted.

Avocado layer

1 avocado
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp heavy cream

Mash avocado as finely as possible and mix with other ingredients.

Raspberry layer

70g raspberry purée
45g heavy cream
10g sugar
3/4 tsp agar-agar

Mix purée, cream and sugar.
Bring to a boil on the stove or the microwave.
Stir in agar-agar.


my purées, no agar agar yet

Cape Gooseberry layer

70g Cape Gooseberry purée
45g heavy cream
10g sugar
1/2 tsp agar-agar

Mix purée, cream and sugar.
Bring to a boil on the stove or the microwave.
Stir in agar-agar.

It will be messy a bit. I used a wet Q-tip to clean up little smudges inside the glass. Used a small spoon to pour small quantities of your liquid at a time. Art takes a bit of care and time. The Ohs and Ahs and Wows of your guest will be totally worth it though in sight and taste.


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Raspberry Heaven: Lazy Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Of course one of my favorite fruits would have a season that lasts about the length of a slow blink of the eye. Raspberries have always been a favorite of mine. I love their taste, their look, their feel. They compliment chocolate so well too. You can find them in jams, pies, puddings, cookies, ice creams, sorbets, coulis, cobblers and mousses.

And raspberries have become a yearly tradition at my parent’s cottage. A local farm opened shop on their raspberry production maybe 20 years ago. And they are  not 15 minutes away on foot. When in season, getting fresh from that morning berries at a much cheaper price is a normal treat. You can pick them yourself or call ahead to reserve a basket. Alas the last couple of years have cut down my visits to the cottage so I only get them from the Ferme Sarazin once a year (they also sell naturally raised pigs, the whole thing or the cuts you want).

This year I got a pint of them. That is a lot of raspberries so I decided to use half in a recipe. But I was feeling really lazy too so I used a cake mix. Please don’t shoot me! I know its bad, nothing beats a cake from scratch. I just succumbed and took the easy road out. But it was really good!

Lazy Chocolate Raspberry Cake

1 package chocolate cake mix
eggs as per cake mix (I needed 3)
oil as per cake mix (I needed 1/2 cup)
3 cups fresh raspberries (or mix of berries, I had a few blueberries)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F degrees and grease a 13×9 inch baking dish or pan.

Mix the cake mix as per directions on the box. Pour the cake batter into the baking dish or pan.

Sprinkle berries on top of the batter. Cover everything with the heavy cream.

Bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before serving.

And with the magic of the oven all your berries are now at the bottom of the dish. Yep I was surprised too. Make sure to keep a few extra raspberries for decoration and a bit of cream. I just poured a couple of table spoons on my plate before serving the cake portion. You could whip the cream too and put a dollop on top.

Please forgive my cake mix, it was hot, I was lazy! Of course you could do your favorite cake recipe instead. I also chose this pan format for convenience but for a fancier occasion you could divide the batter, berries and cream into 2 layer cake pans and make a 2 layer cake, perhaps with a raspberry whip cream frosting! Warning, it is extremely rich in taste with all the cream so go easy on it lol.

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