Forget the tin of cookies; this bark will truly bring holiday joy. Adding in the coffee serves to heighten the chocolate goodness. The bark can be made one week ahead of time if kept chilled.
12 oz (340 g) dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) +1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted almonds, chopped in half
1/2 cup (125 mL) +1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried cherries
1 Tbsp (15 mL) instant espresso powder or very finely ground coffee
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) coarse salt, such as fleur de sel
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt dark chocolate in double boiler or heatproof bowl set over pan of lightly simmering water, stirring often.
Stir in 1/2 cup (125 mL) almonds, 1/2 cup (125 mL)cherries, espresso powder or ground coffee, and cinnamon. Spread chocolate mixture onto baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining almonds, dried cherries, and salt. Chill in refrigerator until firm, about 30 minutes. Break into pieces of desired size.
Makes enough for 3 to 4 gifts.
Each 2 oz (56 g) serving contains: 209 calories; 3 g protein; 14 g total fat (7 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 18 g total carbohydrates (10 g sugars, 4 g fibre); 55 mg sodium
source: "Love Bites", alive #386, December 2014
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.