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Second Draught: a beer with a hint of chocolate, literally

Chocolate and coffee are two of the easiest words to use when describing the flavour of a beer made from dark malts. All three have different beginnings as tree seed, plant seed, or grain but since the roasting process is similar it’s not surprising that drinks made from all three share similar flavours.

For a few years now Guelph’s Wellington Brewery has pulled chocolate off the bench that is the beer writer’s thesaurus and called it into play as an actual ingredient. There’s also milk sugar on the ingredient list to make the Chocolate Milk Stout name official. No need to worry though that this is an over-sweet, kid’s beer; the chocolate flavours are dark and slightly bitter and the lactose only adds a touch of balancing sweetness.  (more…)

Green & Black’s and Pangaea Restaurant

Green & Black's Pangaea 1

Ten courses at lunch. All with chocolate. Cooked by Chef Martin Kouprie and his team at Pangaea Restaurant. You know what? There is absolutely nothing there that I can complain about.

Obviously, I was happy to be invited to Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate extravaganza but I have to admit I went in with a bit of skepticism. Chocolate has a pronounced, sometimes bitter flavour. It’s fans are so devoted–eyes open wider, mouths salivate more possibly only for bacon–that it can sometimes be stretched beyond its comfort zone. New packaged food items need to break into the all-important bachelorette party market with something-and-chocolate parties, after all. (more…)

Banana Bread with Banana Cream

Banana bread with custard-like banana cream for breakfast.

February 23 is my Personal I Haven’t Had Banana Bread in a While Day. I’m not sure exactly why, but banana bread seems to be a summer thing for me. That doesn’t make much sense given that there are so many other fruits that are in season and lend themselves well to things like peach cobbler, cherry pan dowdy,  or blueberry grunt.

It seems more appropriate that banana bread is a winter recipe given that bananas seem to be equally available all year. (Do they still have a season or has the global banana conglomerate managed to plant them widely enough for that not to matter?)

Wanting to make my unique contribution to the science of banana bread I considered how I could improve on the standard classic. To reduce the number of concerned notes I get from my parents I’m trying to avoid filling everything with bacon so I skipped over that idea. Banana bread can always use a little insurance against being too dry so a pudding like sauce seems in order. (more…)

Bacon Blondies

The Bacon Blondies ready for sampling at the FoodieMeet bake off.

The Bacon Blondies ready for sampling at the FoodieMeet bake off.

On a couple occasions over the last few weeks I have written about the foodiemeet bake off that I was entered in as a competitor.  I’m pleased to report that my bacon blondies took first prize in the taste category from the crowd voters.  In today’s post I’m going to share the recipe and the process that went into developing it.

Obviously, I’m a really big fan of bacon.  There is something about cured and smoked pork belly that gets my culinary juices flowing.  Like bread and butter, bacon is a product that is still consumed in great quantities even though very few of us go to the trouble of making it.  I have made my own a couple times and really wanted to work some homemade bacon into my recipe. (more…)