Squash and White Chocolate Cream and Caramelized Apples
Evoking memories and comfort, gingerbread cake is a dessert we served at our restaurants last winter, and it was very well received. In harmony with the seasonality of the harvests, it highlights squash and apple, two of our accomplices in the cold season. This celebration of local ingredients continues in our hot cider recipe, in which the cores and peels of the apples used for the cake are infused. This tip, which is as ingenious as it is delicious, helps maximize all parts of the fruit, thereby avoiding food waste. Finally, a boreal touch is added to the recipes thanks to birch syrup, Nard des Pinèdes, and Labrador tea, as a gentle reminder of the uniqueness of our terroir.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
- ½ cup birch syrup
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup buckwheat flour 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 ½ tbsp. powdered nard des pinèdes (or five-spice)
- 1 ½ tbsp. grated fresh ginger
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup molasses
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- In a saucepan, heat the birch syrup, water, and balsamic vinegar until an even mixture is obtained. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients and the grated ginger.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream the butter with the brown sugar for 2 minutes.
- Incorporate the molasses and beat for 1 additional minute, then add the eggs one at a time.
- Add the dry ingredients to the mixture, alternating with the buttermilk.
- Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Pour the mixture into the pan.
- Bake in an oven preheated to 350°F (180°C) for about 50 minutes. To check for doneness, insert the tip of a small knife or a toothpick into the centre of the cake. It should come out clean.
- Reheat the birch syrup and spread it evenly over the warm cake so that it is absorbed. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Note: Nard des pinèdes is a boreal bud that usually grows in blueberry fields. Its taste is reminiscent of cinnamon, cloves, and honey. It can be found online at racinesboreales.ca or oceandesaveurs.ca.
Squash and White Chocolate Cream
- 4 cups butternut squash, cut into cubes (1 average-sized squash)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup maple syrup
- ½ cup 35% whipping cream 125 g white chocolate drops
- In a saucepan, cook the squash cubes over medium heat in the water added to the maple syrup until the cubes are fully cooked and the syrup has been absorbed.
- In a blender, blend the squash cubes to obtain a smooth puree. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil.
- Arrange the white chocolate drops in a bowl, then pour the hot cream over the white chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute.
- Whisk the mixture until it becomes smooth.
- Add the squash puree to the white chocolate mixture and blend until it becomes even.
- Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Note: To use the entire squash, rinse then dry the seeds. Roast the squash seeds at 425°F (218°C) until a beautiful colour is obtained. Season with a pinch of brown sugar and five-spice.
For the thin squash peels, spread them over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and drizzle them with sunflower oil. Sprinkle with five-spice and a pinch of fleur de sel, and let dry in the oven at 300°F (150°C) for about 30 minutes until the peels are crispy.
- 8 Honeycrisp or Cortland apples
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 tbsp. water
- ¼ cup cider vinegar 1 tbsp. corn syrup
- Peel the apples and remove the cores.
- Keep the peels and cores in slightly lemony water for the hot cider recipe on the following page.
- Dice the apples into 2 cm cubes. In a large frying pan, melt the sugar with the water, cider vinegar, and corn syrup over medium- low heat without stirring. Once the sugar has melted, increase the heat to medium-high.
- Once the caramel starts to take on colour, stir gently to even out the colour. When it obtains a bronze colour, remove from heat and add the apples.
- Put the pan back on heat and let the apple pieces cook over medium heat in the caramel for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Cut the gingerbread cake into slices and position each slice on a plate. Let stand at room temperature for a few minutes.
- Garnish to taste with dollops of squash and white chocolate cream as well as a few caramelized apples.