Everyone seems to be catching social media fever these days. I never really paid much attention to online marketing brands such as living social, groupon and social shopper until I worked in the retail industry. As a great way to motivate team members, build team work and productivity, groupon came into play. Still I was not convinced; however, when friends started posting tasty photos of food thus a dangling carrot, I quickly hopped and pounced at it. Drat!!! Like a mouse to cheese I was lured into purchasing a online special with more to come :). The first of these outings was afternoon tea at the Vancouver Airport Hotel. There was a certain ambience and grandeur to the hotel. Fairmont definitely spent a shinny penny to pretty up the place. From over hanging brilliant translucent lights resembling a wave in the lobby, to the sophisticated yet modern decor in lounge and tea area, I really was amazed. You could definitely relax while sipping away at smooth tea and savouring delicious delights. (photos to come shortly)
The highlight of the whole experience were the scones for me. I really liked the crumbly texture. It was to die for when served warm with jam and devonshire cream. Well, I liked the scones enough that I decided to make some at home. Unlike biscuits, scones actually contains eggs and higher amount of sugar. IMHO, this added to the richness of the scone. There was a saying in Chinese, one hits the iron when hot to form something. With this in mind, I surfed the net and came across a beautiful blog created by a pastry chef. I really liked his recipe for scones and thus decided to try it.
To make the scone batter, first combine the cold butter, flour, sugar and baking powder. Work the dry ingredients together until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add in the eggs and milk/cream. Although the recipe called for raisins, I opted to add dried cranberries and blueberries. I found that berries added complexity to the flavour of the scones. Once combined together, let the dough rest for approx 10 mins. Roll and cut into cirlces and brush the tops with egg wash. I baked mine for approx 20 mins at 390 F.
If you find the dry add bit more cream and milk. The results were superb. I really liked warm baked pastries and with jam… well….you can decide….
Scones (recipe also found here)
500 g flour (I used all purpose and organic flour)
95 g sugar
25 g baking powder
125 g butter (I used approx. 115)
100 ml milk (I used a combination of cream and milk)
60 g sultanas (I used dried cranberries and blueberries)
Bon Appetit !!!
As always this was the weekend, kind of a sad day today as it was damp dismal and dreary a stark contrast to yesterday’s bright sunny warm weather. Two more months hopefully till warmer weather and sunnier skies. After scooting around town for next week, I decided to take time to make snacks for munching on next week. I saw some cranberries, pistachios and white chocolate sitting around so I decided to make some classic white chocolate bark. To me, white chocolate was always delicious but it was even more so when studded with little green and red jewels, pistachios and cranberries that was. When eaten, you get combination of a nutty floral and tangy sweet taste, from the pistachios and cranberries, along side the natural sweetness of white chocolate. Mind you, there was also milk chocolate or dark chocolate bark. There are probably many combinations, but I so happened to have pistachios, cranberries and white chocolate.
I first toasted some pistachios and cranberries while the white chocolate was melting over a bowl. Next I arranged the pistachios and cranberries over a pan and once the chocolate was the right temperature, I poured it onto the cranberries and pistachios. The chocolate mixture was then placed in the fridge to cool, set and once set, the bark was broken into separate pieces.