Archive | August, 2013

Summer’s Last Hurrah

30 Aug

lake louise

Lake Louise has got to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet. We hold it near and dear to our hearts for year-round excursions: hiking in summer and fall, skiing and skating in the winter.

The Chateau Lake Louise has been the scene of the crime for more than a few New Year’s Eve celebrations. Skating through the ice sculptures on the lake and dining like royalty in the regal ballroom with friends are beloved memories.

But our most cherished memory involved a leisurely stay with our junior high bestie and family. We had the run of the place, and we really did feel like royalty in such a grand hotel. The lush carpets, the rich wooden antiques, the sterling service. The skiing was amazing and the apres heavenly.

We loved having breakfast in the cheery Poppy Room, now a memory. So we were charmed to discover a bone china pattern aptly named Lake Louise Poppy.Lake Louise poppies

And speaking of teacups, these scones arrive on a silver, multi-tiered tray when you take tea at the chateau. Perfect excuse to visit!

CHATEAU LAKE LOUISE SCONES
Dominique Guyot, executive chef

4 cups bread flour

1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar

2/3 cup (180 mL) butter

1 1/4 tbsp (20 mL) baking powder

3 whole eggs

1 cup raisins (We prefer currants)

1/2 cup (125 mL) sour cream

a pinch of salt

Eggwash:

2 tbsp (30 mL) milk or cream

1 egg or egg yolk

Combine flour, sugar, butter and baking powder in a countertop mixer. Blend together at lowest speed. Add eggs and mix well. Add raisins. Slowly add cream and salt.

When dough is smooth, cover and place in refrigerator for 12 hours.

When ready, dust counter with flour. Roll out dough. Cut to desired shape or size and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

In a small bowl, mix together eggwash ingredients until completely blended. Use a pastry brush to brush the scones’ top surface with egg wash. Bake at 375 degreesF (170 degreesC) for 15 minutes.

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For a more rugged experience of Lake Louise’s wilderness, lug some of these Chateau granola bars with you on a hike!

CHATEAU GRANOLA BARS
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup canola oil
2 tbsp fancy molasses
3 cups rolled oats (do not use instant)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup chopped cashews
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup milk powder

Preheat oven to 375F. Mix oil, honey and molasses together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour liquid over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly
Press mixture out in a shallow rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool and cut into squares.

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Summer Camp

27 Aug

Remington-House-3-933x620We’ve just nearly died and gone to heaven after a weekend in the wilderness. Call it summer camp for grownups: a foothills retreat property packed with artists who paint all day, dine communally and take part in fireside chats, wine and much merriment in the games room. Croquet, anyone?

In truth, it’s really more of a hotel, complete with china tea cups, lovely antiques, bookshelves stacked with classics, lounging nooks inside and out, walls filled with an amazing art collection and lavish buffets featuring Alberta cuisine. And surrounded by so much beauty.

Chef Doug — he of the chocolate truffle cake and sour cherry/apple crumble — served these decadent cookies still warmed from the oven.  What a great treat to serve with cold milk or hot tea or coffee after an exhausting day in the exhilarating outdoors.

The recipe is from Cinda Chavich’s High Plains cookbook, which she got from pastry chef  Marianne Sanders. She warns not to overbake these.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIESRiver-4-933x620

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
7/8 cup (225g) Dutch process cocoa
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder (Doug uses 2)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 pound dark or white chocolate chunks (preferably Callebaut) 100 g
3/4 cup salted peanuts

Cream butter and sugar with mixer until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa and mix to incorporate. Add the eggs, one at a time, at medium speed, then the vanilla.
Combine the baking powder and flour and fold into the batter to combine. Fold in the white chocolate chunks and peanuts.
Chef Doug used a small ice cream scoop to drop the cookies onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper, using about 2 tablespoons of batter per cookie and leaving 2 inches between cookies to allow them to spread. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes.  Makes 2 dozen.

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SNICKERDOODLES

Recipe: The Crossing
“This is a recipe that we use, origin unknown.”

Preheat oven to 370F
Cream 2 cups of butter with 3 cups of sugar
Beat in 8 tsp. of white vinegar
Sift, then add…4 cups of all purpose flour, 2 tsp. of cream of tartar, 2 tsp. of baking soda, ½ tsp. of salt.
Form into 1 inch balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture: 2 tsp. of cinnamon, 2 Tbsp sugar.
Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.