Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cask Day

It's sort of amazing that at our very first Edmonton Beer Geeks Anonymous meeting in April, they announced that along with Wunderbar Hofbrauhaus, they would be hosting a Cask Day on the afternoon of June 23rd. Thankfully we purchased our admission tickets for $15 a piece right on the spot - the event sold out in under 24 hours.

Last Saturday afternoon felt much like today - hot and sunny - and beer fans packed the patio at Wunderbar whilst enjoying casked conditioned ales from Phillips, Yukon, Alley Kat, Amber's and Jasper Brewing Co.

We enjoyed all the beer on offer and savoured the luxury of having so many great local-ish microbrews to choose from. I loved Ambers' Ginger Lemongrass beer - it was perfect in the heat and had some great flavours going on that didn't overpower the base beer too much. Charles went the opposite way and chose Yukon's Mr. Monk's Stout as the winner for the day.

The favourites.

We also won this lovely door prize signed by everyone who contributed casks that day:

This was a fantastic event and we're glad to have made it out. Thanks and congratulations to everyone involved in the planning and to all the volunteers. Can't wait for next year!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Naughty {Buckwheat} Rhubarb Scones

That's right, Naughty Rhubarb Scones. Why? Apparently the 2/3 - 3/4 cups of cream that help make up twelve of these creamy, palm sized scones originally posted on Food 52.

And the buckwheat part? A few people noted in the comments that they successfully swapped up to half the AP flour with whole wheat. But with all the cream in these scones, I could tell this recipe was calling for a little buckwheat flour (not only that, but buckwheat is in the rhubarb family, so this recipe was meant to be). The first time round I used one cup of buckwheat flour and 1 + 1/2 cups AP, and I've been doing the same since (I'm now on batch three).

One of my favourite things about this recipe is the ease with which it comes together. There's no rolling required, and while they suggest using the food processor to blend everything, I did it by hand in no time at all.

The buckwheat flour gives these scones a beautiful colour, and its fruity, wine like flavour compliments the rhubarb well. I took the first two batches to work and they disappeared instantly. The second time around we munched on them with some of this nectarine jam one of our volunteers gave me.

If you've got some rhubarb hanging around (and really, who doesn't in Edmonton?), I'd definitely suggest saving a few stalks for these scones.

The recipe is posted here on Food 52, however, I did change a few things. I didn't have vanilla sugar, so I added some vanilla bean paste to the rhubarb-sugar mixture. About a tablespoon of Kirsch went in with the rhubarb as well. As mentioned above, I swapped one cup of the AP flour with buckwheat. I added three stalks of rhubarb to my first batch of scones as directed by the recipe, and I didn't think it was enough. So this last time I doubled the amount of rhubarb and liked the extra tart punch that came with each bite (the stalks I used were on the smaller side though).

I ended up using more than the 2/3 cup of cream because it's quite dry here, but the amount varied between the two different times I made the recipe. Both times, I had more than enough cream left to brush the tops of the scones before they went into the oven (the recipe doesn't call for this). Enjoy!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cally's Teas

I'm one of many people happy to see Cally's Teas open again. The new location is beautiful, with fun wall paper, comfy chairs and pretty paper lanterns (you can purchase the latter at the shop), and of course, an entire wall full of tea.

New this time around, is the addition of baked goods and a solid high tea. We stopped a few weeks ago and filled up on fresh, warm scones with raspberry butter and cream, in addition to soft, pillowy brioche alongside a pot of single estate Darjeeling.

Along with Tanya and Tom, we managed to make it over last Saturday evening for the grand opening party. Cally, Laurel (the baker) and Trevor (the designer) were all on hand to greet guests and answer questions as we enjoyed a fruity, summery tea, scones with strawberries and cream and more of their brioche, this time studded with currants.

Cally and Trevor


Congratulations to Cally, Laurel and all the staff at Cally's! I can't wait until my next visit.

Cally's Teas
10151 82 Avenue

*Check out other posts on the new local:

Girls and Bicycles
City and Dale
Blue Butterfly Blissful Bites

Sunday, June 17, 2012

High Tea at Devonian Gardens

Last Sunday Charles and I ventured out to Devonian Gardens for high tea with friends. The weather was only sort of cooperative, with rain showers creeping up throughout the afternoon. That said, it was lovely to enjoy tea and snacks under the shelter of the 'Pine Pavillion', and the gardens looked beautiful and green after all the rain.

We'll be back out at the gardens this Friday evening for the Edmonton Opera's third edition of Opera al Fresco. They've changed up the formatting since our first year, and we're anxious to see what improvements have been made. Some fantastic music is a given, but here's hoping for sunny weather.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Olive Oil Cake

I mentioned in my last post that I was devoting that bottle of blood orange infused olive oil picked up at Evoolution to this olive oil cake, and that's exactly what happened a couple weeks ago.

The timing turned out to be perfect; we had a few straight days of heavy, cool rain, and the citrusy cake was a lovely warm contrast. While the cup of olive oil keeps the cake moist, it still has a mealy crumb which makes it perfect alongside a cup of tea.

The kick of citrus is nice in this cake - and I think pretty classic for an olive oil cake - but as the recipe indicates it would be lovely with a nice fruity or peppery olive oil. I added Valrhona's Manjari 64% to compliment the citrus flavour of the oil, but any dark chocolate would do. And while I didn't put nearly as much rosemary as the recipe suggests in this version, I'm certainly upping it next time.