Bonnie's Book Clubs
News and Events
When Bonnie Stern started her cooking school in 1973 she wanted people
to have more fun in the kitchen, eat more healthfully and nourish their
families and friends with delicious food. That goal has never changed.
Bonnie is still sharing her love of cooking in everything she does.
Bonnie is an award winning author of twelve best-selling cookbooks and
writes weekly in the National Post. As well as offering a wide variety
of corporate services, cooking classes and unique book clubs where
authors actually attend and dinner is included. She is the recipient of
the 2007 Premier’s Award.
Many people go away for the holidays but I love staying at home. The city
is quieter than usual, it’s a great time to read those books that are
piling up beside your bed, it’s fun to catch up on the movies and you
can get reservations at popular restaurants. I am so lucky to be
able to travel but I love home the best.
Having said that, on a recent trip to Montreal with food journalist and Rachel Ray Magazine features editor, Gabriella Gershenson, we discovered so many wonderful places to eat. We ate and met with many talented chefs and food writers. I went to Chez Sophie with my friend and mentor Gwen Berkowitz who also introduced Gabi and I to Nicola Travaglini, a modern Italian deli with a small restaurant inside where we had the best potato gnocchi. (See recipe in recipe section below.) Gabi introduced me to a fantastic new bakery, Hof Kelston, owned by chef/baker Jeff Finkelstein, where we decided to bring home his incredible caraway rye bread instead of Fairmont Bakery’s bagels - actually we did both!. We went to Hotel Herman (not really a hotel - like Hotel Gelato in Toronto and the Sourdough Hotel in Stockholm) with the Montreal Gazette’s restaurant reviewer, Lesley Chesterman, and had modern French food that was delicious and very beautiful. We met up with Eater Montreal’s Ian Harrison for dinner at Joe Beef’s new wine bar that serves amazing food, Le Vin Papillon, and then went with Lesley and her partner, Le Devoir’s wine columnist Jean Aubry to Martin Picard’s (owner/chef Au Pied de Cochon) Cabane a Sucre for an over-the-top 14 course feast! The whole trip was a feast! See the restaurant section for recommendations below.
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
I couldn’t resist a quick stop in London on my way home from Sicily (more about Sicily in January) which gave me more opportunities to meet people and try new restaurants to add to my London recommended list. Check out the restaurant section below (and last month’s recommendations) especially if you are going to London for the holidays or print and/or file for future trips.
We are super excited to announce that Linden MacIntyre will make his third visit to our book club with his new book Punishment. See book club below. I just finished reading it and it’s a fantastic book. Our January book club is fully booked but let me know if you would like to be on the wait list.
Wishing everyone a delicious holiday season and the happiest new year.
|Bonnie's Book Club|
|Bonnie's Book Club is a labour of love. Nothing pleases Bonnie more than to have the opportunity to bring readers and writers together in a truly unique way that offers the rare opportunity to meet some of the country's leading authors, discuss their work and enjoy a delicious meal inspired by the book.|
Drawing on her degree in English and her passion for food and cooking, Bonnie Stern invites you to a literary feast you won't soon forget - Oprah's book club never tasted this good!
*Small print: All registrations must be paid in full when registering. Please check your schedule carefully before registering. Cancellations can be accepted only up to 14 days before event date, a $50 charge (plus HST) applies to cover the administration fee and cost of the book. At any time you may send someone in your place for no additional charge. It is the attendee’s responsibility to mark their calendar with the date, time and location of the event.
|ALISON PICK: BETWEEN GODS|
|Alison Pick’s extraordinary new memoir, Between Gods, is an unflinching, moving and unforgettable book about family secrets, the rediscovered past and depression. Alison is the Booker-nominated and Jewish Book Award-winning author of the novel Far to Go and one of our most talented young writers today.|
Between Gods grapples with who we are, with family and faith, and what it means to live a good life. It asks us what does faith really mean? And what happens if we are born in to one faith and then suddenly find out we are something else?
As a teenager, Alison made a discovery that instantly changed her understanding of her family, and her vision for her own life, forever. She learned that her Pick grandparents, who had escaped from the Czech Republic during WWII, were Jewish—and that most of this side of the family had died in the Holocaust. In her early thirties, engaged to be married but struggling with a crippling depression, Alison slowly began to research and uncover her Jewish heritage. As Robert Frost said, the only way out is through. And Alison comes to realize that her only way out is to reclaim her history.
|Date: Monday, January 19, 2015 (Wait list only)|
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: Rose and Sons
176 Dupont Street, Toronto
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Between Gods sent out as soon as possible after registration)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810
|LINDEN MACINTYRE: PUNISHMENT|
|In February Bonnie is very pleased to welcome back legendary television journalist and Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Linden MacIntyre, as he presents his new novel, the national bestseller Punishment.|
In Punishment, Linden MacIntyre explores justice and vengeance as a tight knit Maritime community grapples with the loss of one of its own. When Mary Alice Stewart, a teenage girl, is found dead at the home of a young ex-con and drug dealer, the tragedy draws together a disparate group of characters - each with their own history, desires, and secrets.
Tony Breau has returned to his hometown following an early retirement from years as a prison guard. Divorced and broken by his premature departure from a long career, Tony struggles to regain his bearings. But returning to St. Ninian brings Tony little peace. Rediscovering old relationships and sorting through feelings of guilt, betrayal, and regret, he finds a return to home and the past raises more questions than it answers - and the present is looking more complicated with each passing day.
Dwayne Strickland has a complex relationship with Tony, who knew the young ex-con as an inmate. Strangely, they bonded over the killing of another prisoner - a crime that incriminated both inmates and guards. When the two men each give testimony against their kind, they bear the label of "rat." But once Dwayne is accused in Mary Alice's death, all bets are off.
Linden MacIntyre has established himself as a writer of great skill and range and Punishment is a powerful book that examines the fierce and complicated emotions of revenge. As the novel hurtles towards its shocking conclusion, it builds into a page-turner that blindsides readers with its twists and betrayals.
|Date: Tuesday, February 17, 2015|
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: To be announced
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Punishment sent out as soon as possible after registration)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810
|Book Club Locations|
Rose and Sons
It isn’t just me that loves Rose and Sons. The line-ups have become legendary at Rose’s cozy hip diner. Toronto Life said “The eatery has an undeniably buzzy energy, with a bustling bar operating beside a semi-enclosed kitchen, which turns out the kind of elevated comfort food that Rose has become known for.”
176 Dupont Street
647 748 3287
Corporate culinary events are a great way to host a corporate function. Great food always brings co-workers and staff together. People have fun, learn a lot and take home delicious memories.
Events are customized to meet your location, schedule, objectives and food preferences. Bonnie works with nutritionists, food producers, restaurants, etiquette experts and authors to create exciting programs.
All events will be planned and hosted by Bonnie personally.
Bonnie Stern has worked with various food manufacturers, grocery chains, restaurants, chefs, health professionals as well as cookware manufacturers, etc., offering a wide variety of corporate services, such as:
Corporate culinary events
Corporate family dinners
Private cooking classes
Personal chef training
Menu consulting for parties
For detailed information,
please call: 416 484 4810
Friday Night Dinners
Bonnie's latest cookbook with her favourite menus, recipes, photos and stories. Over 170 delicious recipes for every occasion - holidays, barbecues, fast suppers and fabulous feasts - and Bonnie makes sure you can make fantastic meals and still enjoy the food and fun with everyone else. You'll want to use this book every day of the week.
Published by Random House of Canada, 2010, 320 pages, paperback
Essentials of Home Cooking
Winner of the 2004 International Association of Culinary Professionals Award. A beautiful cookbook filled with Bonnie’s personal favourites - dishes that reflect the way we are cooking today.
Published by Random House of Canada, 2003, 208 pages, paperback
This wonderful compendium is a must for every kitchen featuring over 300 favourite recipes from the bestselling Simply HeartSmart Cooking, More HeartSmart Cooking and HeartSmart Cooking for Family and Friends, as well as 75 brand-new recipes to add to your HeartSmart repertoire. Many of the classic recipes have been fully updated to incorporate current food trends and new nutritional information.
Published by Random House of Canada, 2006, 480 pages, paperback.
Cuisiner au gout du coeur
Published by Trecarre, 2006, 512 pages
A very special collection of over 150 mouth-watering recipes including soups, spreads, salads, hors d'oeuvre, pastas and much more. Complete with presentation, entertaining, menu planning tips and over 50 detailed illustrations.
Published by Random House of Canada, 1990, 176 pages, paperback
Over 120 recipes for decadent cakes, pies and pastries, scrumptious cookies, creamy mousses and ice creams – A collection of recipes from a master that stand the test, and tastes, of time.
Also provided are elegant decorating tips, helpful information on equipment and ingredients, and black-and-white illustrations throughout demonstrating basic techniques that will make these recipes absolutely no-fail.
Published by Random House Canada, 1998, 214 pages, paperback
for Family and Friends
Featuring nine entertaining menus (over 200 recipes) with complete work plans, presentation ideas and wine suggestions, as well as complete nutritional analysis for each recipe, plus the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Food Choice Values. Colour photos and black and white instructional illustrations throughout.
Published by Random House of Canada, 2000, 320 pages, paperback
Recevoir au gout du coeur:
recettes, menus et conseils pour des réunions de famille et d’amis
Published by Trecarre, 2000, 320 pages, paperback
|News And Events|
|THE STOP'S FARMERS' MARKET|
AT STEAM WHISTLE BREWING
|Sunday December 14 & 21, 2014|
Celebrate this season with the gift of local eats from The Stop’s Holiday Farmers’ Market two-day special pop-up event. Hosted indoors in the warmth of Steam Whistle historic brewing.
For more information visit:
|January 30 to February 12, 2015|
Delicious prix fixe menus created by some of Toronto's best chefs
to unique ticketed culinary events, Winterlicious is one of Toronto's
most anticipated culinary celebrations and offers something for
For more information visit: www.toronto.ca/winterlicious
|Restaurant Recommendations and More|
2031 Yonge Street
416 488 2031
|If you are looking for a great place for cocktails north of Davisville, with delicious snacks, this is the place. It’s the little sister of one of our faves – Quince Bistro – just across the street.|
11 Duncan Street
647 660 0909
|The food in Toronto’s theatre district keeps getting better and Byblos is a good bet. The lamb was so delicious but the appetizers were so delicious I almost didn’t have room for the lamb (almost). And don’t miss desserts. Ask to sit downstairs unless you are in a clubby mood.|
Moderate to Expensive
53 Scollard Street
(Entrance is through the
Four Seasons courtyard
416 962 2822
|This casual, yet stunning new restaurant is quickly attracting a crowd. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner you can’t miss. At a recent lunch we had the dandelion, pomegranate and hazelnut salad; pizza bianche with wild mushrooms, anolini stuffed with roasted squash and parm, squid ink gnocco fritto and chocolate hazelnut torte with butternut squash gelato. Delicious.|
Moderate to Expensive
414 Dupont Street
647 340 6142
|Our book club with Janna Gur (Jewish Soul Food) was so much fun. Janna was great and so was the food, ambience, Anthony Rose, Chef Kevin Gilmour and staff of Fat Pasha. It was a great night.|
414 Dupont Street
647 350 4261
|At the back of Fat Pasha (side door), Anthony Rose has opened his fourth adventure on Dupont Street. This is a tiny store, with a few bar stools at the counter and features many Jewish take away specialties like all kinds of smoked fish, cream cheese, gefilte fish, sandwiches and lots of other indulgent treats. And of course they sell schmaltz.|
1568 Bayview Avenue
416 485 1568
|We hosted our December book club at L’Avenue Bistro (on Bayview not Avenue Road) with author Terry Fallis No Relation. Their delicious French bistro food matched a scene in the book where the key character goes to Paris. Articulate author, delicious food and fun conversation made for a great night out.|
1581 Bayview Avenue
416 485 1581
|L’Avenue Bistro’s ‘little sister’ is a tapas bar across the street. (Are these ‘little sisters’ a trend?) it’s a fun neighbourhood spot with amazing caipirinhas.|
1974 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest
438 380 2365
|This is a gem of a restaurant – a little formal, a little quiet but very friendly with delicious food – we had succulent scallops, perfectly cooked fish and a decadent French toast kind of dessert.|
Moderate to Expensive
4524 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
514 649 7991
|This new bakery has the most delicious caraway rye bread, pumpernickel, challah on Fridays, house smoked salmon (their sandwiches on rye with dill and fennel are fantastic), huge cookies, croissants and lots more. Owner Jeff Finklestein supplies bread to some of Montreal’s best restaurants.|
5171 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
514 278 7000
|This isn’t really a hotel, just as Hotel Gelato in Toronto and Sourdough Hotel in Stockholm aren't really hotels. (Actually, believe it or not, the Sourdough Hotel is a hotel but only for looking after your sourdough when you travel!) Hotel Herman is a wonderful restaurant with both French and Nordic styles. We especially loved the Nordic shrimp and the venison with wild mushrooms.|
Moderate to Expensive
|Le Vin Papillon|
2519 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest
|Although this is Joe Beef’s new wine bar, the food can also stand alone. Let Vanya Filpovic take care of you in both areas and you are sure to have an amazing experience – worth waiting for! The menu changes often, we loved our vegetable dishes – like the whole cauliflower covered in chicken skin and our desserts – like the totally amazing lemon meringue multilayered crepe cake!|
Moderate to Expensive
152 Avenue Moart Est
514 352 0555
|This modern Italian deli, near Jean-Talon Market, has a few tables in the middle of the shop serving daily specials. The day we were there they were making potato gnocchi that was so good I rushed home and have not stopped making them (see recipe section).|
Moderate to Expensive
|Cabane a Sucre,|
Au Pied de Cochon
St-Benoît de Mirabel
Fully booked until
|For the past few years Martin Picard (chef/owner of the popular Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal) has operated a sugar shack about one hour outside of Montreal. It reminded me of a summer camp dining hall but one that serves up an incredible feast - we had fourteen courses: 6 appetizers, 3 mains and 5 desserts! The price is reasonable (approx. $60 without beverages, tax and gratuity) and it sells out for the season in about an hour. Some of our favourites dishes were the tomato soup with slices of a brioche-wrapped sausage, an amazing pork roast with delicious carrots, a huge meatloaf covered in Brussels sprouts, mushrooms and breaded sweetbreads (or was it brains), incredible fruit tarts and a modern castle-like version of a vacherin filled with ice cream. Wow!|
|Intercontinental Hotel Montreal|
360 Rue Saint Antoine Ouest
514 987 9900
|We loved our stay at the perfectly located Intercontinental Hotel in Montreal. The rooms were spacious and comfortable, the staff was friendly and professional and rates are reasonable.|
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
34 Rupert Street
+44 20 7439 8777
|My second visit to Palomar, the London sister of Jerusalem’s Machneyuda restaurant, was even better than the first. That's because we had lunch with the talented Sami Tamimi. The food was the same - delicious, creative Middle Eastern style - but this time we were able to taste much more due to all the treats from the chef in honour of Sami.|
|Duck and Waffle|
+44 20 3640 7310
|Sunday brunch was fun and stylish on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower in London’s east end. The view was spectacular as was the decor inside. We had amazing duck confit with waffles and duck egg, ox cheek Benedict and we couldn’t leave without waffles with banana brulee and homemade nutella.|
|Social Eating House|
58 Poland Street
+44 20 7993 3251
|On our last trip we had a great meal at Berner’s Tavern so we weren’t too surprised that Social Eating House from the same excellent chef, Jason Atherton, was also great. From the modern British menu don’t miss the wild mushrooms and cep puree on toast, squash soup in any form (there were two on the menu the day we were there and they were both outstanding), roasted Cornish cod and the magical coconut meringue with mango sorbet, calamansi and curry crumble – that plate looked like a party!|
Moderate to Expensive
60 Berwick Street
+44 20 7439 8057
|We were so glad our dinner at Ember Yard Tapas Bar located in the theatre district was to our taste because the play we went to afterwards wasn’t so great. Don’t miss the Iberico pork ribs with quince glaze and amazing short ribs.|
William IV Street
+44 20 7036 0660
|Delicious lamb chops with chard, anchovies and capers, gilt head bream, the best creme brulee (in a shallow wide bowl that offered lots of the brulee part) and great company made this a wonderful lunch.|
42 Tavistock Street
+44 20 7836 3638
|When British author Caroline Moorhead (Village of Secrets) was the guest at our book club in October she mentioned her daughter Martha Swift owned two bakeries in London and that I should meet her on my next trip. So, my daughter and I met up with Martha over coffee one morning and fell in love with her engaging style and delicious pastries. She said that ten years ago when she was making cupcakes with her kids she wondered why there weren’t any bakeries in London selling cupcakes. She started the trend and now has two adorable bakeries and is the author of four cookbooks!|
|The Ace Hotel|
100 Shoreditch High St.
+44 20 7613 9800
|I loved my stay at this super cool, hip hotel in Shoreditch. Even though I am not super cool or hip, it was a fun and vibrant place to stay. The restaurant, Hoi Polloi, offered modern British food that was comforting and delicious and the bars feature great cocktails.|
|1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or more2 lbs round Sicilian eggplants, cut into 1" cubes with skin, or regular eggplants4 ribs celery, sliced 1/2" thick16 cippoline onions, peeled and quartered through the stem or halved or whole if small (or other small-ish onions)1 cup pureed San Marzano tomatoes, (puree one 28oz tin and freeze the rest)1/2 cup each black and green pitted olives2 tbsp capers, rinsed (salted or brined)2 tbsp red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar2 tbsp sugar kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley1/2 cup fried or toasted, salted almonds - optional||I brought this recipe (and the plate it is on) home from a recent trip to Sicily. We love it! Serve warm or at room temperature as an appetizer with lots of crusty bread or as a side dish. It also makes a great sauce for pasta.|
1. Heat oil in a deep skillet on medium high. Add eggplant, in batches if necessary, and cook 10 to 15 minutes until browned. Remove eggplant to a large bowl. Add more oil to the pan as necessary.
2. Add celery to the pan and cook 8 to 10 minutes until partially tender and golden brown. Add to the eggplant.
3. Add onions to the pan and cook 10 to 15 minutes until tender and browned. Add celery and eggplant back to the pan along with tomato puree, black and green olives and capers. Add 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook gently 10 minutes.
4. Bring vinegar and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan or in a glass measuring cup in the microwave just to dissolve sugar. Add to the vegetables. Stir well and cook a few minutes.
5. Add parsley and cool. Season to taste. Serve at room temperature. Scatter with almonds if using.
makes about 6 cups
|2 eggs2 tsp kosher salt1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper1 large onion, cut into chunks2 lbs large baking potatoes or Yukon Golds, peeled (or unpeeled if they are clean) and cut into chunks1 small carrot, peeled and cut into chunks1/2 cup matzah meal, cornflake crumbs or breadcrumbs1/2 cup unflavoured vegetable oil (or more as needed)sour cream or applesauce||Foods fried in oil are traditionally served at Hanukkah to celebrate the miracle of the oil (it lasted eight days instead of one). For Ashkenazi Jews, nothing says Hanukkah like potato latkes (pancakes). Latkes always taste best hot out of the pan (hey, I am a purist) but most people make them ahead and reheat. At a recent family Hanukkah party (an early Hanukkah party) a few of us had to make 150 latkes ahead and then heat them up at the party. No one cared they were made ahead and reheated – they just wanted latkes! Serve with applesauce or sour cream.|
1. Combine eggs with salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
2. Place onions, potatoes and carrots in food processor fitted with chopping blade and pulse on/off 10 times until vegetables are coarsely grated/chopped (not pureed). In about four batches, place potato mixture in a strainer set in a bowl and press out extra liquid or wring vegetables out in a clean tea towel. Combine with eggs. Mix in matzah meal. (Alternatively grate onion, potatoes and carrot on a box grater.)
3. Heat about 1/4" of oil in a large non-stick skillet. Using a 1/4 cup measure, shape mixture into patties, add to the skillet and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Cook until browned and crisp, turn and cook second side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat until all batter is used. Add additional oil if necessary between batches.
4. Serve with sour cream or applesauce.
makes about 16 to 18 pancakes
|POTATO GNOCCHI WITH TOMATO AND BASIL|
|2 lbs baking potatoes or Yukon Golds1 tbsp kosher salt1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (or more)2 cups canned plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), freeze any extra2 tbsp butter2 tbsp shredded or torn fresh basilsalt and pepper1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano||At Nicola Travaglini, an Italian food shop that serves up daily specials, we had light-as-a-feather potato gnocchi that the chef, Joe Depalo, was making in front of us. I made them as soon as I got home from Italian cookbook author, Biba Caggiano’s recipe. She used to teach at my school and her gnocchi were so good!|
A food mill or potato ricer works the best for making smooth mashed potatoes, or use a masher or mixer but NEVER mash potatoes in a food processor.
1. Pierce potatoes with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 400F oven one hour until very tender. Cut into quarters. Cool slightly. Peel and pass through a food mill. Stir in salt.
2. While potatoes are still warm, knead in flour lightly about a third at a time. Knead until dough is only slightly sticky. Add more flour if necessary. Divide dough into four pieces and roll into long ropes about 28". Cut into 1" pieces. Place gnocchi on a baking sheet lined with a floured tea towel. (They can be refrigerated up to a day.)
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tbsp salt. Add gnocchi and cook about 3 minutes until they all come to the surface and water returns to the boil. Cook two minutes. Drain well.
4. Meanwhile in a deep skillet, break the tomatoes up with a wooden spoon and cook over medium heat until reduced and slightly thicker about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, basil and butter. Add drained gnocchi and cook together gently about one minute. Sprinkle with cheese.
makes 4 to 6 servings
|YOTAM OTTOLENGHI’S CAULIFLOWER ‘CAKE’ |
|1 small cauliflower (about 2 lbs), trimmed and broken into 1 1/2" florets (about 4 cups)1 medium red onion1/3 cup olive oil1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary7 eggs1/2 cup chopped fresh basil2/3 cup all-purpose flour1 tsp baking powder1/3 tsp turmeric1 1/2 tsp kosher salt1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Parmesan (or other aged cheese)1/4 tsp freshly ground black peppermelted butter for brushing pan1 tbsp white sesame seeds1 tsp nigella seeds||This is a spectacular holiday vegetarian main course from the new cookbook, Plenty More, by Yotam Ottolenghi. The recipe is like a cross between a frittata and a cake. I used a combination of smoked and aged Cheddar.|
1. Cook cauliflower in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 15 minutes until florets are tender and break when with pressed. Drain well.
2. Cut four round thin slices off one end of the red onion and break it apart into rounds. Reserve about 16 rounds of different sizes to decorate the top. Chop remaining slices of onion coarsely and cook in oil with rosemary until tender. Transfer to a large bowl and cool. Beat in eggs and basil. Whisk flour with baking powder, turmeric and salt and beat into eggs along with cheese and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Whisk until smooth. Gently fold in cauliflower.
3. Line bottom and sides of 9" spring form pan with parchment paper (butter sides of pan lightly to hold parchment in place if necessary). Butter sides of parchment paper and sprinkle with sesame and nigella seeds. Add cauliflower mixture and smooth evenly. Arrange onion rings on top. Place pan on a baking sheet (in case your pan leaks) and bake in a preheated 350F for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean and top is golden. Cool at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
makes 6 to 8 serving
|DORIE GREENSPAN’S CREAM PUFFS WITH VANILLA PASTRY CREAM + CHOCOLATE SAUCE|
|Cream puffs:1/2 cup whole milk1/2 cup water1/2 cup butter, cut into 4 pieces1 tbsp sugar1/2 tsp kosher salt1 cup all-purpose flour4 large eggs, at room temperature|
Vanilla pastry cream:2 cups whole milk1/2 cup sugar1/4 cup cornstarch, sifted6 large egg yolks1 tbsp pure vanilla extract3 tbsp butter, in six pieces
Bittersweet chocolate sauce:1/2 cup whipping cream1/2 cup whole milk1/2 cup water1/3 cup sugar4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
|What could be a more magical holiday dessert than a big bowl of cream puffs filled with vanilla pastry cream, whipped cream and covered with chocolate sauce.|
This recipe is from Dorie Greenspan's new cookbook Baking Chez Moi (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), one of my favourite new cookbooks this year.
For a simpler version fill them with whipped cream or ice cream and sprinkle them with icing sugar. You can freeze the puffs unbaked or baked if you want to make them ahead but fill and sauce them just before serving.
1. Position oven racks to divide oven into thirds. Preheat to 425F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Bring milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil in a medium sized heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add flour all at once, lower heat to medium low and stir until the dough comes together into a ball. Keep stirring another minute or two, spreading dough on the bottom of pan to dry it. A thin crust will form on bottom of pan.
3. Transfer dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl and use a hand mixer or wooden spoon. Let dough sit for three minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating until the dough comes together after each addition.
4. Using a small ice cream scoop (1 1/2 tbsp), two spoons or a piping bag, place approximately 1 1/2 tbsp of dough for each puff on baking sheets. Leave about 2" between mounds. Place in preheated oven and turn oven down to 375F. Bake puffs 20 minutes, Rotate pans top to bottom and back to front. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer. Puffs are done when golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on racks.
5. For pastry cream bring milk to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. Whisk sugar and cornstarch to combine in a medium sized heat-proof bowl and whisk in egg yolks until combined. Whisking constantly add 1/4 of the hot milk to the egg yolks. Slowly whisk in remaining milk. Transfer egg yolk/milk mixture back to the saucepan and whisking constantly bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Still whisking, boil 1 minute longer. Mixture will be very thick. Strain if necessary. Stir in vanilla extract. Cool mixture 10 minutes and then whisk in butter, one piece at a time, until fully incorporated and mixture is silky and smooth. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled about two hours (or stir over a bowl of ice and water until cold). (This can be refrigerated up to three days.)
6. For chocolate sauce place cream, milk, water, sugar and chocolate in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan and, stirring or whisking occasionally, bring to a boil over medium low heat. Lower heat and simmer gently, stirring often, 10 to 15 minutes until sauce coats a metal spoon. Do not leave the kitchen as it could bubble up. Cool ten minutes before serving. (This can be made 3 weeks ahead and refrigerated. Warm to serve.
7. To serve: cut top third off puffs and pull out custardy strands if you wish (I don’t). Fill with pastry cream and top with whipped cream (2 cups whipping cream beaten with 1/4 cup sifted icing sugar and 1 tsp pure vanilla extract). Replace tops. Serve drizzled with chocolate sauce in a trifle bowl as shown and let guests help themselves or serve one or two per person on individual plates with additional sauce.
24 cream puffs
© Copyright 2014, Bonnie Stern Cooking Schools Ltd.