Evelyn Chartres Author

Sucre à la Crème

Sugar Fudge

Sugar fudge is a sugary dessert which can be tricky to master. Recipes online offer various methods, including the use of thermometers or precise timings.

This recipe covers the method my mother uses to make this dish a reality.  She occasionally checks to see if the fudge is ready before she pours it onto the plate.  This is likely the traditional way of making this recipe come to life!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (235 ml) of whipping cream
  • 1½ cups of (355 ml) of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of butter

Preparation

  1. Grease a dinner plate.
  2. Add cream, sugar and butter into a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Stir constantly until mixture begins to boil over.
  4. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain boiling level without it boiling over.  Over time, the mixture will begin to thicken and reduce in size.  Keep stirring from time to time.
  5. To confirm that fudge is ready, dab a bit on a plate while saucepan is removed from heat.  Use a spoon and stir vigorously, if ready fudge will thicken and then harden.  If this does not occur, return saucepan to heating element continue reducing mixture.
  6. When mixture is ready, remove from heat and stir frequently with a spoon until it starts to harden.  When nearly ready, pour onto the plate and allow to cool.
  7. Refrigerate for about an hour, then cut it into bite sized pieces.

Crème Brûlée

Crème brûlée is not a dish that I grew up with, nor was it readily available in English Canada. Though over the years Tim Hortons and Starbucks have offered themed drinks and goodies based on this dessert.

This dish features a chilled creamy base with a caramelized top. While easy to make, it requires timing since you have to refrigerate the dish prior to serving. It also gives you a reason to go out and get a culinary torch!

Ingredients

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3½ ounces (100 g) of sugar
  • 17 fluid ounces (500 ml) of whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons (20 ml) of brown sugar

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat oven to 215°F (100°C).
  2. In a bowl whisk egg yolks and sugar until mixture whitens and is frothy.
  3. Add vanilla extract and cream to the bowl while whisking contents vigorously.
  4. Pour the cream into 4 stoneware cups. Bake in oven for about an hour.
  5. Let stoneware cool to room temperature then place in the fridge. Leave for 2 hours or however long it takes for contents to gel.
  6. When ready to serve, pull from fridge, cover with approximately 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of brown sugar then caramelize top using a butane torch.

Cipaille

Sea Pie

featured_cipaille_webI saw an article about Quebe’c Secret Meat Pie. Cipaille is a recipe which hails from my mother’s side of the family.  After a bit of research and I was able to adjust my mother’s recipe to be more historically accurate.  Now this recipe features six layers and uses quatre épices which is popular in French Canadian cooking.

This recipe is said to have origins from within the British Navy. It features a deep-dish pie which features three meats and potatoes.  The cloves give it a distinctive flavour which really makes this unique among my recipes.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2½ cups (590 ml) of sifted flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of milk

Cipaille

  • ½ pound (225 g) of porc
  • ½ pound (225 g) of beef
  • ½ pound (225 g) of chicken
  • 4 ounces (115 g) of onions
  • 3 cloves (9-15 g) of garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt
  • 1½ pounds (700 g) of potatoes
  • 30 fluid ounces (900 ml) of chicken broth

Preparation

  1. Cut pork, beef and chicken into small ½ inch (125 mm) cubes.
  2. Mince onions and garlic.
  3. In a small bowl add pork, beef, chicken, onions are garlic. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pepper and salt then knead until you have a consistent finish.
  4. Cover bowl then place in the fridge overnight.
  5. Preheat oven at 300°F (150°C).
  6. Cut potatoes into cubes then set aside.
  7. Except for ½ cup (120 ml) of flour, place ingredients for the crust into a medium-sized bowl.  Knead and add remaining flour until your dough is no longer sticky.
  8. In a 4 quart (3.7 l) pot, layer half of the meat mix, layer half of the potatoes and cover with half the dough.
  9. Repeat with the remaining half of meat, potatoes and dough.  Make a hole in the middle of the dough down to the bottom of the pot.  This will allow you to monitor fluid levels.
  10. Pour chicken broth into the hole until level with upper crust.
  11. Place in oven for 5 to 6 hours.  Check levels from time to time, adding remaining broth until ready.
  12. Remove from oven and meal is ready-to-serve.

Coffee Cake with a Creamy Nutmeg Sauce

featured_coffee_cake_with_sauce_webI have fond memories of visiting my grandmother and coming face to face with this cake. This recipe combines a delicious coffee cake with a creamy nutmeg sauce that really sells it!Interestingly enough, this recipe required a fair amount of deciphering.  For example, the original recipe called for 2 eggs of grease for the cake.

The sauce needs a consistent temperature to thicken reliably. If you can get an even flame then this will be no problem. However, for electric ranges I recommend using a cast iron or steel saucepan to compensate for the on-and-off cycle of the heating element.

Ingredients

Coffee Cake

  • 1 cup (235 ml) of sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) of shortening
  • 2 cups (470 ml) of sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of baking powder
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of brewed coffee

Creamy Nutmeg Sauce

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of sugar
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.625 ml) of nutmeg
  • 4 teaspoons (20 ml) of corn starch
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) of water

Preparation

Coffee Cake

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a large bowl mix ingredients until you have a smooth and consistent finish.
  3. Pour contents into a greased 9 inch (22 cm) pie tin.
  4. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes until ready.
  5. Let cool, remove from pie tin and serve with sauce.

Creamy Nutmeg Sauce

  1. Pour sugar, milk and nutmeg into a small saucepan then medium on medium.
  2. In a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch.  Stir until you have a smooth finish.
  3. When sauce begins to boil, lower temperature to medium-low or low to maintain a light boil.
  4. Add ¼ cup (60 ml) of the cornstarch and water mix then whisk contents vigorously until sauce thickens.  Add more cornstarch and water if necessary.
  5. When sauce is thick, pour over a slice of coffee cake and serve!

Tire Saint-Catherine à L’Erable

Tire Saint-Catherine à L’Erable

Featured_Saint_Catherines_TaffyA French-Canadian tradition that began when Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys made these sweet candies each year on Saint Catherine’s Day (November 25th) to attract young students to school. Later on, marriage-age girls would make taffy for eligible boys on that day. This taffy is made from molasses, maple syrup and sugar and can be a great deal of fun if children are involved.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (235 ml) of molasses
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of maple syrup
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of white sugar
  • ½ cup of (120 ml) of water
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of butter
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of cream

Preparation

  1. Combine all ingredients except for the baking soda into a large pot (approximately 3 liters).
  2. On high-heat bring the mixture to a boil.  Attach a candy-thermometer to the side of the pot and boil until liquid temperature reaches 255°F (125°C).
  3. Remove from heat then add baking soda.  Mixture will expand while changing to a lighter tone of brown.  Mix vigorously then pour into a greased cookie sheet.
  4. Allow mixture cool for a few minutes.  On occasion fold the poured mixture onto itself using greased utensils.
  5. When safe to handle, butter hands then grab a fistful.  Roll into a cylinder, stretch, fold onto itself, twist and repeat as necessary. If taffy becomes too hard to handle, toss in the microwave and reheat to soften.
  6. Taffy will lighten in shade (golden brown)  with the above process.  When ready form to appropriate size then cut into smaller pieces using a knife or scissors.
  7. Individually wrap in waxed paper so they do not stick to one another.  This recipe makes between 100 and 150 pieces depending on size and consistency.