Wednesday, June 24, 2009

: countertop buzz :

As you may have noticed, there's been a lack of posts lately on kitchen mischief. I'm still testing and developing recipes, but alas, most of it has been done at work! Chef Ian and I at the Compliments Culinary Centre at George Brown College have been having some fun cooking up storms in the kitchen (most of which you'll find in the upcoming Holiday issue of Inspired Magazine!). In the meantime, here's a delicious summer wrap that we cooked up recently - take a peek at Counterbuzz for this recipe and other tasty ones!

Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps (makes 4 Wraps)

450g Compliments Balance Lean Ground Chicken
1 can 227ml water chestnuts, chopped
4 tbsp (60ml) Compliments Sensations Lemongrass and Four Peppercorn Marinade
1 cup (250ml) diced onion
1 tbsp (15ml) Compliments Pure Olive Oil
1 tbsp (15ml) Hoisin sauce
¼ cup cilantro chopped
1 head hydroponic bib lettuce

1. In a heated pan, add oil and diced onion. Stir fry for about 2 minutes until onions are translucent.
2. Add ground chicken and water chestnuts and cook until chicken is done.
3. Add Compliments Sensations Lemongrass and Four Peppercorn Marinade, Hoisin sauce and cilantro and combine thoroughly.
4. Spoon chicken filling into individual "lettuce cups".
5. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, June 12, 2009

: coffee crisp cake :

There are lots of wonderful treats only available in Canada that I missed when I lived overseas. Maple syrup was one of them, and the other - Coffee Crisp. I happen to love both coffee and chocolate, so it's no surprise that I was immediately smitten with this candy the first time tried it! I decided to pay tribute to this bar of deliciousness by turning it into a cake. Layers of vanilla cake, creamy coffee icing and crispy wafer cookies add lots of texture to this cake, and the chocolate glaze is the finishing touch to making this dessert absolutely unbelievable!

Coffee Crisp Cake


1 store-bought vanilla loaf cake, or vanilla cake mix baked in a 9x5 inch loaf pan
2 x 150g cappuccino or vanilla flavoured wafer cookies

Coffee Icing:
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp instant coffee
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup unsalted butter
4 cups icing sugar

Chocolate Glaze:
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp butter
2 x 100g milk chocolate bars, chopped

1. Use a serrated knife to cut edges off loaf cake to make a rectangular brick. Carefully cut cake sideways into 3 1/2-in slices. Freeze slices in one layer on a baking sheet until ready to use.
2. To make icing, stir whipping cream with instant coffee and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Microwave for 15 sec until cream is hot. Stir to dissolve coffee. In a large bowl, beat unsalted butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually beat in icing sugar, adding cream when it gets too thick. Set icing aside.
3. Place one slice of cake on a platter. Spread a thin layer of icing over cake. Top with wafer cookies. Spread with another thin layer of icing. Repeat with 2 more layers of cake, icing and wafers. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake. (It's fine if it looks a bit messy as it will get covered in chocolate glaze.) Refrigerate cake for 30 minutes.
4. To make glaze, microwave whipping cream and butter for 15 to 30 sec until cream is hot. Pour over chopped milk chocolate in a bowl. Stir until chocolate is melted. Let the chocolate cool slightly. It will thicken up a bit.
5. Pour glaze over top of cake. Use a metal spatula to spread the glaze over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
6. Slice and enjoy!