Posts Tagged ‘Sweets’

Flaming Cherries Jubilee

Posted on: February 14th, 2013 by Carla Johnson No Comments

“Love must be as much a light as it is a flame.” H. D. Thoreau

Cooking With Sin Carla Johnson

This past Saturday I shared Flaming Cherries Jubilee, a simplified version of  “She’s a Trooper” Cherries Jubilee on the Cooking Stage at The Total Woman Show in Kitchener. On the Friday evening before I was practising my flambé skills – fortunately nothing was singed! – when I realized I was running low on Kirsch. I made a point of heading out early Saturday morning to buy another bottle only to learn the entire city of Cambridge was sold out!

Cooking With Sin Carla Johnson

I needed something with an alcohol content of 40% so it could ignite and one of the liquor store managers talked me into using marshmallow vodka. I had never bought or tasted it before, but I decided to take his word for it. I’m so glad I did!

When I arrived at the show I was so happy to find out my friend Jay Chagnon was hosting my segment. I was also relieved to have my friend Chef D of Chef D TV working nearby to help re-jig that cooking surface for me. Jay and I ended up inviting Chef D to join us on stage and we had a fantastic time. Much hilarity ensued and I just hope the audience had as much fun as we did.

Cooking With Sin Carla Johnson

Me and Chef D on The Total Woman Stage - Photo Credit K. Stenhouse

Deciding to add the marshmallow vodka at the last minute was certainly a risk, especially with a live audience there to taste it, but it was a wonderful surprise! In fact, it was so good that two of the volunteers who were helping afterward cleaned up the pan with their bare fingers! Yup, “finger licking good!” 😆

If you saw us on stage, you know we joked about measuring the booze with a “wrist feel” where you pour until your wrist feels lighter, but for this post I’ll give you some more specific amounts. Feel free to add as much as you want. That’s all part of the fun and it’s especially timely for a Valentine’s Day dinner.

Flaming Cherries Jubilee

Serves 6
1 can cherry pie filling
2 ounces Cointreau
2 ounces marshmallow vodka
2 ounces Kirsch
vanilla ice cream

1. Pour the can of cherry pie filling into a large pan. Heat on high until bubbling.

2. Move the cherries to the side of the pan then pour the alcohol onto the scrapped side of the pan. This ensures the alcohol comes in contact with the pan directly and heats up quickly. Using a lighter with a long nozzle, ignite the alcohol.

3. Let the flames burn down then mix it into the pie filling. You can also douse the flames with the pan lid if you wish.

4. Pour the warm cherries and sauce over individual dishes of vanilla ice cream and serve.

*Tip* You will want to make this in the evening when it is dark to appreciate the glow of the flames.

I especially like this recipe because it is very simple, very showy and the cherries remain a nice red colour.

Cooking With Sin Carla Johnson

Photo credit

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“IPM 2012” Brandy Cream Sauce

Posted on: September 23rd, 2012 by Carla Johnson No Comments

“When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.”
– Daniel Webster

If your September has been like mine, it has been really, really full. Two weeks ago we held our wonderful Best Bites, Taste of the Region fundraiser and this weekend I was invited to present at the International Plowing Match 2012 (IPM) here in Waterloo Region.

Thank you to all the IPM volunteers who pulled off this magnificent event. Hundreds of vendors and thousands of volunteers worked tirelessly for 2 years preparing for approximately 100,000 visitors. Astounding!

Bird's eye view of the IPM tent city in Roseville.

Sandwiched nicely between Anna Olson & Rose Murray. So great to be around the best!

Wonderful to meet Anna Olson in person!

Ontario Gleaners was one of the IPM vendors and my dear friend Shelley Stone, who shared her recipe and story “Special Delivery” Black Forest Cake here, is the manager of the of the Ontario operations. So, it was a perfect fit to share Shelley’s recipe and story at IPM.

Challenges often lead to new and more wonderful things. Shelley’s recipe has brandy sprinkled on cooked layer cake, but for the IPM presentation, I was asked not to serve anything with uncooked alcohol. Getting a little creative, I made a brandy cream sauce instead and it is deelish! Think creamy toffee spiked with brandy! Hello!

Brandy Cream Sauce

1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons brandy

1. Fold the sugar into the butter until it is mixed well.

2. Put the mix in a sauce pan and add the cream and brandy.

3. Stir and heat over medium heat until the sugar crystals melt and the mixture becomes a smooth liquid toffee.

4. Can be poured between the layers of the cake or served over the cake slices. When pouring between the layers try trimming off the top of the bottom layer so the cake soaks up the sauce.

Tip! Shelley’s recipe uses simple boxed cake and I made it *sin*ful by replace most of the water with red wine. :)

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“Not From Your Grocery Store” Icewine Marshmallows

Posted on: June 9th, 2012 by Carla Johnson No Comments

Carla Johnson "Cooking With Sin"“You’re a marshmallow. Soft and sweet and when you get heated up you go all gooey and delicious.” ~ Janet Evanovich, One For The Money

For most of my life I thought marshmallows were the simple candy treat you buy in a bag at the grocery store. Simple and inexpensive, they make great rice crisp treats and I love roasting them for S’mores over campfires at our family cabin.

Camping enthusiasts know that roasting a marshmallow on a stick over the coals of an open fire is truly an art. You want a crispy, toasty brown colour on the outside and slightly melted, warm & soft on the inside, but the temperature must be not be too hot. A burnt lip or tongue will definitely spoil the fun.

I also have a soft spot on my palate for the chocolate covered, heart-shaped marshmallows on a stick you can buy at the corner store for Valentine’s Day. A few years ago, my eyes were opened to a whole new marshmallow landscape when I found out that Reid Chocolates, our local, wonderful chocolatier made their own marshmallow for their seasonal treats. Their soft, tasty chocolate-coated sweets took marshmallow to a whole new level. I was a convert!

Chef Jason Parsons, Executive Chef at Peller Estates Winery Restaurant and the creator of this recipe, claims it is a fool-proof recipe, but I was still really happy that my friend Connie Campbell tested the recipe instead of me. She is a passionate, brilliant chef. If you know me, I don’t even consider myself a proper cook. Connie did a great job and you can read about it on her blog post “Icewine Marshmallows… or should I say Marshmellow…?

I didn’t ask Connie if she would use them in S’mores, but I think a light coating of chocolate might be perfect.

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Icewine Marshmallows - all photos on this post are courtesy of Connie Campbell

“Not From Your Grocery Store” Icewine Marshmallows

3/4 cup Icewine (Connie used red)
3 envelopes unflavoured gelatin
3/4 cup water
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla (Connie used a clear vanilla)
¼ cup icing sugar (more if needed)
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  1. Line a 9-inch square pan with oiled plastic wrap.
  2. Pour Icewine in a small saucepan over medium heat and simmer for several minutes until reduced to approximately 4 teaspoons. It will be a thick syrup. Watch closely to prevent scorching. Let cool.
  3. In a mixer bowl, pour 1/2 cup of water and sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand 10 minutes to let it soften.
  4. While the gelatin sits, combine remaining water, sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan. Bring to a boil until it reaches 240°F the “soft ball” candy stage.
  5. Stir the sugar-syrup mixture into gelatin mixture along with the salt. Beat with whisk on high speed for eight minutes.
  6. Add the reduced Icewine and vanilla. Continue beating for 2 more minutes.
  7. Transfer mixture to the lined pan. Use an oiled spatula to spread evenly.
  8. Allow to set several hours in a cool area, but non-refrigerated.
  9. When the marshmallow mixture is firm, remove from the pan. Cut into squares with a lightly oiled knife and coat each square in icing sugar.

Tip! When you cut the marshmallow be sure to pull the pieces apart or they will join back together again becoming “uncut.”

Carla Johnson "Cooking With Sin"

Carla Johnson "Cooking With Sin"

Carla Johnson "Cooking With Sin"

The marshmallow mush took over Connie's food processor!


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The Marshmallow plant

Marshmallow probably first came into being as a medicinal substance, since the mucilaginous extracts come from the root of the marshmallow plant, Althaea officinalis, which were used as a remedy for sore throats. Concoctions of other parts of the marshmallow plant had medical uses as well. The root has been used since Egyptian antiquity in a honey-sweetened confection useful in the treatment of sore throat. The later French version of the recipe, called pâte de guimauve (or “guimauve” for short), included an egg white meringue and was often flavored with rose water.Pâte de guimauve more closely resembles contemporary commercially available marshmallows, which no longer contain any marshmallow plant. The use of marshmallow to make a sweet dates back to ancient Egypt, where the recipe called for extracting sap from the plant and mixing it with nuts and honey.

~ Wikipedia “Marshmallow”

Gin & Tonic Sorbet

Recently, Connie sent me a picture of a recipe she and a friend found online for Gin & Tonic Sorbet. They tried it out and found it “yummy and very sweet.” I told her that at some point we need to publish “Cooking With Sin With Connie” because she is such a rich source of interesting food and recipes.

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G & T Sorbet

  • 400ml cold water
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 300ml tonic water
  • gin to taste – around 50ml
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon glucose (optional)

 Carla Johnson "Cooking With Sin"

Here is the original recipe from Walnut Grove Cookery in France.

See Connie’s other posts here on “Cooking With Sin”

“Oops I Did It Again” Bouillabaisse

“Good Neighbour” Gluten-Free Beer Braised Beef