Makes 9 lollipops.
In the world of food pairings, cheese with chocolate probably isn’t the first one that comes to mind. These fancy-looking lollipops have maximum wow factor for very little effort. One of the cornerstones of this recipe is the best-available ingredients to ensure the tastiest results. Try these lollipops as a fun hors d’oeuvre with a glass of full-bodied red wine or as a dessert.
If you’re a fan of spice, try jazzing up Parmesan Chocolate Lollipops by omitting the black pepper and substituting a pinch of your favourite smoked paprika or spicy chili pepper powder for a sweet, spicy, and salty bite.
With oven rack in middle position, preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper and set aside.
Place 6 medium-length wooden skewers on baking trays, leaving at least 4 in (10 cm) between each. Place 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grated cheese at alternating ends of each skewer. With your fingers gently spread cheese into 3 in (7.5 cm) circle, ensuring that part of the circle lays over the skewer. Season lightly with black pepper.
One tray at a time, bake Parmesan circles until cheese has melted, spreads slightly, and is lightly golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. It’s important to keep an eye on the lollipops as they cook. If undercooked, they won’t be crisp; if overcooked, they’ll taste bitter. Let Parmesan lollipops cool on baking tray. Repeat baking process with remaining tray.
While Parmesan lollipops cool, in heatproof bowl set over saucepan of simmering water, melt chocolate while stirring constantly with rubber spatula. Make sure water in saucepan does not touch bottom of bowl or you run the risk of burning the chocolate. Once chocolate has melted, remove from saucepan and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Lightly drizzle chocolate over cheese lollipops on baking trays and transfer trays to refrigerator, allowing chocolate to set for 10 minutes.
To serve, gently remove lollipops from baking trays and enjoy. If not ready to enjoy right away, they will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Pears and chocolate make for a very natural friendship and play together beautifully in this plant-based, dairy-free cake. This cake is dense and rich, with a medley of spices, and enhanced by just a hint of espresso powder, which allows that chocolate flavour to shine through. In addition to slices of pears being laid on top, this cake employs some pear purée to add moisture and sweetness to the slightly nutty texture provided by the whole wheat flour. Pear primer A firm pear such as Bosc, recognizable by its distinctive dusty brown skin, is perfect for this dish. When eaten raw, Bosc pears are crisp and not too sweet. When baked, this variety softens up and its flavours are enhanced, but it maintains its characteristic long-necked, graceful shape. Unlike a Bartlett pear, which turns from green to bright yellow when ripe, Bosc pears don’t change much in colour when ripe. Give it a little nudge with your thumb near the neck of the pear and it will give slightly—that’s how you know you’ve got a ripe one. Compared to other pears, Bosc will still be quite firm.
Many flavours that complement pears—sage, ginger, maple syrup—also go well with butternut squash, so it makes sense to bring the two together. For this autumn salad, mixed greens are tossed with marinated squash ribbons that serve to dress the salad with spicy, gingery brightness. A juicy yet firm medium-sweet pear, such as red Anjou, works well here, and its vibrant red skin makes a pretty plate alongside butternut squash. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of crispy sage and maple syrup-toasted hazelnuts. Refrigerator tip Treat butternut squash ribbons as you would a dressing, keeping them in the refrigerator until ready to use. They will last a few days in the refrigerator, and you can have them on hand to dress small amounts of lettuce. If, rather than making one large salad, you want to serve individual amounts of this salad, just dress a few leaves with some ribbons; cut up pear and fry sage leaves as you serve.
Luscious figs loaded onto hearty flatbread make a satisfying breakfast or brunch. They’re sweet and delicious when paired with savoury cinnamon-flavoured crunchy pumpkin seeds and tart goat cheese. And, with a dough enriched with whole wheat flour, hempseeds, and nigella, these flatbreads are sure to be satisfying. They’re also chock full of fibre and protein, and with 6 mg of iron, you’ll be on your way to 31 percent of the recommended daily value. A freezer favourite By making dough in advance and freezing, you can make these individual flatbreads part of your routine for days when you don’t have much time. Simply portion dough individually right after mixing, allow it to rise in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours, and then freeze in individual containers. To thaw an individual ball of dough, 24 hours before you wish to use it, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. At least an hour before baking, allow dough to come up to room temperature outside of the fridge.