rhubarb beignets

This recipe is my ode to two people I heart.

Marysol Foucault (Edgar & Odile) and Patricia Larkin (aka Trish) (The Black Cat Bistro).

I heart them both.

Marysol will sometimes just send me a link to a blog or a recipe with a note that says “i thought of you”.  As a girl who loves loves LOVES food – especially baked goods – it’s like getting a virtual hug.

I’ve been hanging out with Trish a lot recently … she’s taught a few LCBO food events and I’ve been her assistant … I just heart being able to listen to her talk food and share her ideas and her tips to people.  Plus she shares her recipes (and is as equally in love with Downton Abbey as I am).  Loves it! 

So … you might wonder … how does a rhubarb beignet recipe become an ode to two people?

Easy!

Marysol introduced me to, and makes, the MOST INCREDIBLE lemon beignet in the ENTIRE world.  That’s right people.  Edgar, in Gatineau, Québec has the greatest lemon beignet in the entire world.  And Trish introduced me to, and makes this insanely amazing rhubarb curd.  Rhubarb AND curd … LOVES. LOVES. LOVES.  Absolutely brilliant.

I decided that since I heart the two things (and people) so much … I needed to combine them.

Hence … the rhubarb beignet.  A light fluffy cupcake, stuffed with rhubarb curd, bathed in lemon juice and coated in cinnamon sugar.

DEE-LISH.  Seriously tartly delicious.  With a hint of sweetness.  I am totally in love with this recipe.

The rhubarb recipe is thanks to Trish and the cupcake recipe is thanks to Marysol (she also shared it when she appeared on must.love.food. the *lemon* episode).

rhubarb curd

ingredients:

3 c. chopped rhubarb
3/4 c. sugar handful of strawberries or raspberries for colour (optional – I have also used cranberries)
juice from 1 lemon
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
7 egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
pinch of salt

Place the rhubarb, juice of the lemon, sugar and water in a small pot and simmer gently until the rhubarb is soft.  Keep an eye on your saucepan and stir the fruit from time to time … the first time I made this, the heat was a little high and the fruit stuck to the bottom of the pot.  Once cooked down and thickened, remove from heat and blend into a smooth purée.

Whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt in a bowl that can be used for a double boiler (either a glass or metal bowl).  Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, whisking the egg mixture until warm.  Gradually add the rhubarb purée, stirring vigorously between each addition.

Once the consistency is rich and thick, remove from heat.  Put through a sieve immediately and cool with plastic wrap directly on top of the curd.  Set aside in the fridge while you bake the cupcakes.

Marysol’s basic cake recipe:
 
ingredients:
 
1 egg
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. oil
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
  
Heat your oven to 350 F.  Spray your muffin tin with non-stick spray … no need to use cupcake liners for this recipe. 

In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, using a whisk attachment, beat the egg, sugar and oil.  Start at a low-speed and increase the speed, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.  

In a measuring cup, mix the buttermilk and vanilla.  
 
Alternating between the flour and the milk mixtures, add them to the oil – egg – sugar batter (flour / milk / flour / milk / flour).
 
Increase the speed of the mixer once the flour is completely incorporated, creating a smooth batter.  Once smooth … stop mixing!

Spoon the batter into your muffin tins.  Bake for about 17 minutes for large cupcakes.

Once baked, remove the pan from the oven, and turn the muffins out onto a wire rack immediately.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Time to pull out your rhubarb curd.  This is when I spoon it into a squeeze bottle.  A piping bag works too.  Basically … you just want something with a tip that you can stick into the bottom of your cupcake, allowing you to fill the centre with rhubarb curd.

Once the cupcakes are full of rhubarb curd love (that’s right … rhubarb curd is LOVE) … you need to bathe them in fresh lemon juice (I used 2 lemons for this … obviously this depends on how much juice your lemons yield).  Marysol taught me that the *best* way to do this is to put your hand into the lemon juice (palm side down); wet it, and then pat the entire cupcake surface with your wet hand.  The perfect amount of lemon juice gets soaked up … without overly saturating the cupcake.

Then roll the *lemon juiced* cupcakes in some cinnamon sugar.  The sugar will hold thanks to that lemon juice … plus it adds an extra zing to the cupcakes.

I heart these beignets.  Actually … I LOVE them.  I purposely didn’t use up all my rhubarb … I need to be able to make another batch of curd soon.  It’s just too good to resist.

guest blogging @ the urban element

Last January I was asked to guest blog about a mix & match dinner at the urban element.  Trish Larkin and Marc Lepine were collaborating on a pretty insane meal.

I loved it!

Which is why I’m so über thrilled to have been asked to DO IT AGAIN!

This time it was Trish Larkin (I’ve become her roadie) and Matt Carmichael.

Let’s just say … it was A-MAZ-ING.  Yep.  AMAZING.

If you check out the urban element blog you’ll get to read all about my meal.  But I decided I’d add a few more pictures onto my blog to continue sharing the experience …

You basically get to see what I ate.  It makes me hungry just looking at it again …  especially the strawberry – rhubarb *cheesecake* dessert.

Just in case you don’t check out my incredible guest blogging post on the urban element … I’ll let you in on what was plated (and devourered).

spotted prawns.

Larkin: crudo with yuzo and black better buttermilk (with avocado & cucumber).

Carmichael: prawns with fresh pasta (my favourite dish of the night).

albacore tuna.

Carmichael: sashimi with olive oil, coriander, cress, radish & maldon salt.

Larkin: nicoise with black olive *dirt*, haricot vert, tomato, soft boiled poached egg, potato crisp.

aspearagus.

Larkin: shaved with lemon, olive oil, shallots, tomme des demoiselles (second favourite dish of the evening).

Carmichael: asparagus with morel sauce (madeira)

beef.

Larkin: seared striploin, mushrooms, bordelaise & herbed butter.

Carmichael: tartar with argon oil, red chili & black tomato (not pictured).

rhubarb.

Larkin & Carmichael: cheesecake filling, graham cracker crumbs, rhubarb curd, diced rhubarb, strawberries, whipped cream.  sighs of happiness.  many many sighs of happiness.

must.love.meat

I have to say …

must.love.meat. 

LOVE. 

I LOVED everything about the *last* episode of must.love.food.

I loved filming it … I loved talking about it … I loved eating … EVERYTHING … and I especially loved watching the episode.

It made me giggle.  And it kinda made me hungry.  I mean … come on! 

First off … you should know that I HEART Trish Larkin.  I think she’s the bestest. 

I also think she makes a ridiculously tasty burger … 8 ounces of perfectly grilled love; sandwiched between the perfect bun, and topped with bacon, cheese, boston lettuce, tomato, red onion and … who can forget the mayo????

Remember … “if you bring homemade mayo to the party … you’ll impress everyone!”

You should have seen all of us (the volunteers, Todd and I) when Trish plated the burger and fries.

We were GIDDY. 

Because not only did it look and smell delicious … it tasted GOOD.  And I mean “jump around with happiness” kinda good!

(I have to admit … the BEST part of filming that day was that as soon as Trish finished making the burger and fries, our “lunch” arrived … and it was burgers too!  Let’s just say …Trish’s black cat bistro burger knocked the other one out of the park.)

The show then went from ground beef and burgers to making tartar (and a zucchini salad).

Mother of pearl.

Delightful.

First off … Ryan Mesheau is handsome.  And funny.  And super nice.  And can cook.

Heck ya!

Like I said on the show … some people know him as Mr. Rachelle Eats Food – his wife Rachelle, has this awesome blog, rachelleeatsfood and his meals are regularly featured on her blog.

He walked us through making the tartar (he certainly reminded me that it’s nothing to be afraid of … or an expensive dish to try), and making the zucchini salad … which was prefect.  It was fresh and light … a little lemony and just perfectly played off the richness of the tartar.

Every single one of us on the set dug into that dish.  There was nothing left when we were done with it.

It was awesome.

If you missed the episode on Sunday night … and the replay on Monday and Wednesday … you are in luck!  You can tune in on Saturday at 1 pm to RogersTV 22.