Sneaking stout beer into these brownies helps make them the epitome of chocolate intensity. If possible, select a chocolate-flavoured stout beer. The naturally sweet orange spud produces fudgy, moist brownies with the need for much less sugar and fat such as butter or oil.
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 1/2 lb/225 g)
6 oz (170 g) bittersweet baking chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter
2 large free-range eggs, preferably at room temperature
3/4 cup (180 mL) whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup (160 mL) coconut palm sugar or natural cane sugar
1/3 cup (80 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (250 mL) stout beer at room temperature
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) pecans or walnuts, chopped
Steam or boil sweet potato until very tender. Place sweet potato in bowl and mash with potato masher or fork until smooth; set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Lightly grease an 8 x 8 x 2 in (20 x 20 x 5 cm) baking pan.
Place chocolate and butter in metal bowl over pot of barely simmering water and stir until melted.
Remove from heat and mix in eggs, one at a time. Gently stir in potato purée, flour, sugar, cocoa powder, beer, cinnamon, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Fold in nuts.
Place mixture into pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool several minutes before slicing.
Makes 16 brownies.
Each serving contains: 178 calories; 3 g protein; 9 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 21 g carbohydrates; 3 g fibre; 56 mg sodium
source: "Think Outside the Mug", alive #353, March 2012
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.