MAPLE SUGAR

Oh Canada! We love your natural beauty, your nanaimo bars, poutine and butter tarts. But perhaps what we love most about you (in the culinary sense) is your maple syrup. It is 100% derived from nature and “healthier” than refined white sugar (except when you eat it in large quantities like we sometimes do). It’s melt-in-your-mouth delicious and sugar-sweet, certainly, but with that unmistakable maple flavour. Use it as you would regular sugar 1:1 in recipes to give an earthy, woodsy depth (like our maple caramel budino) – or like us, enjoy some of it stirred into coffee or right from the spoon whenever you have a late-night sugar craving.

NOTE: While this recipe calls for the use of a stand mixer, you can use a wooden spoon instead by mixing the hot maple syrup vigorously in a large bowl. Moderate strength required if you go this route. 

Makes 2 cups 

2 cups maple syrup, preferably light or amber

  1. Bring your stand mixer near to the stove (you’ll be transferring boiling hot liquid syrup to it, so make sure it’s safely nearby) and fit it with the whisk attachment
  2. In a large fairly high-sided saucepan, pour in the maple syrup and heat it over medium-high heat. The syrup will begin to bubble and rise as it increases in temperature, but do not stir unless it gets dangerously close to bubbling over the sides. Continue to heat until a candy thermometer ready 257°F to 262°F (this will take approximately 20 minutes)
  3. Being extremely careful, but also acting fairly quickly, remove from heat and pour the hot syrup into the bowl of a stand mixer and start to beat immediately.
  4. The syrup will begin to crystallize quickly as it cools and form into granules of maple sugar.
  5. Sift maple sugar and store in mason jar or other airtight container

TREVOR’S CINNAMON ROLLS

According to a recent (and very scientific) Instagram poll, 97.5% of respondents prefer to enjoy their cinnamon rolls with icing – and lots of it. (OK, maybe not super scientific, but we did conduct a poll, and those were the actual results). If life has taught us anything, it’s that the secret to making a cinnamon roll that everyone will love is to slather it with so much icing no one can complain there’s not enough. This recipe is fun, forgiving and always makes people smile. And that makes the Gluggable Team very happy!

Makes 12 rolls

For the dough
1 cup milk
2 ¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast
2 large eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
⅓ cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup granulated sugar
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour

For the filling
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup 35% heavy cream (or half-and-half), room temperature

For the frosting
1-250 gram package of cream cheese, must be at room temperature
2 ½ cups icing sugar
⅓ cup unsalted butter, softened (see note below)
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Warm the milk to 100°F-115°F and then pour into a large bowl with the yeast, eggs, butter, salt and sugar. Stir to combine, allowing the butter to melt into the other ingredients. Let rest for two minutes. Stir in the flour (you may have to use your hands here) until a dough forms, then tip it out and knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until it’s smooth and soft. Form into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap (or plastic bag) and leave it to double in size, about 30-60 minutes. In the meantime, you get on with the filling.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and set aside.
  3. Once the dough has risen, roll it out to a rough rectangle about 12” x 26” and brush with the melted butter. Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the buttered dough and gently press in. Beginning at the long side of your dough rectangle, tightly roll the dough and gently seal the edge by pinching the seam together. Cut the roll into 12 even rounds.
  4. Line a 9” x 13” metal baking pan with parchment paper and place the rounds, swirly cut-side up, in three rows of four (don’t worry about a snug fit, as they will puff and swell as they prove). Let rolls rise for an additional 20 to 30 minutes until puffed up until roughly 1.5 times their original size. While they rise again, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  5. Pour the 35% cream (or half-and-half) over the rolls and then put in the hot oven to bake for 25 to 35 minutes (check after 25 minutes) and are a rich golden brown (rolls are cooked when internal temperature reads 190°F). Remove rolls from the oven and set them aside to cool while you prepare the frosting
  6. To make the frosting: In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, icing sugar, butter, salt and vanilla. Then, generously slather frosting on top of cooled cinnamon rolls and enjoy

Professional Frosting Note (a ProFroNo, if you will): You can use softened (not liquid) brown butter here, as recommended by Claire Saffitz for an ultra-rich frosting. Make the brown butter and refrigerate until it solidifies, yet is still soft.

CHOCOLATE CAKE

Chocolate Cake Recipe from Gluggable

When we set about on this Gluggable (…don’t say journey…don’t say journey) adventure and sat down to write our favourite recipes, I (Simon) was of two minds when it came to this one. I thought: “Does the internet need another chocolate cake recipe?” – but also, “There’s a reason why I’m holding a slice of chocolate cake in our first photo shoot.” Indeed, it’s not just any chocolate cake; it is my maternal grandmother’s chocolate cake – and if this journey (dammit!) was about sharing recipes we love to make people happy, then there was no question: This one takes the cake.

I’ve fiddled a bit with Gran’s original recipe, and I might do her Yorkshire “prudence” a disservice in suggesting full-on icing coverage (“A dusting of icing sugar is fine, pet”) – but it’s deeply satisfying either way. For a gluten-free version, you could substitute the flour with 220 grams of ground almonds.

FOR THE CAKE

250 grams all-purpose flour (or 220 grams ground almonds)
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup cocoa
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt

FOR THE ICING

1 stick unsalted butter
200 grams dark chocolate (min. 70% cocoa), roughly chopped
3 cups icing sugar, sieved
1 tablespoon corn syrup
½ cup 35% cream

  1. Place all ingredients on your work surface and, while they come up to room temperature, preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Butter and flour – or otherwise line two 8” (20cm) cake tins
  3. Combine all cake ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Gran, however, would just mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl, then beat in the softened butter. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cocoa, yogurt, vanilla, and eggs. Tip this into the thick mixture and beat until smooth.
  4. Evenly divide the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 35 minutes (until a cake tester or skewer comes out clean) – though take a peek after 30. It’s not a bad idea to switcheroo your cake tin positions midway through.
  5. Set the cakes (in their tins) on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before turning out.
  6. To make this icing, melt the butter and chocolate together in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Don’t let the bowl touch the simmering water – nor let any drips splash into the chocolate and butter as you don’t want the chocolate to seize.
  7. Remove the bowl from the pan and let it cool a little before pouring in the corn syrup, followed by the cream and vanilla. A note: You might need to add a few drops of boiling water or add some additional icing sugar, depending on icing consistency. It should be smooth enough to spread easily yet still hold in place and not drip.
  8. To build the cake, slab some (about a third) of the icing onto the centre of one cake half. Spread the icing evenly to the edge, then carefully set the other cake half on top. Resist the temptation to squish together – but a gentle smoosh is good.9. Here’s where Gran would wrap things up with a final dusting of icing sugar (and us, grandkids would share the leftover icing!) – but to continue icing, spoon half the remaining icing on top. Smooth evenly and then spread the sides of the cake with the remaining icing. Leave to set for a few minutes, then dive in!

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