Tag Archives: egg

Daniel Le Chocolat Belge

Daniel ChocolatesOn an early April foodie safari along Granville Street, I came upon a little chocolate shop, just in time to add a few goodies to my Easter basket. Daniel Le Chocolat Belge had plenty of goodies to choose from. In addition to their regular supply of truffles and molded belgian chocolates in the candy case, there were shelves and displays filled with adoreable bunnies, chickens, and delicious praliné eggs. It was hard to decide what to pick!

I didn’t want to blow my basket budget, so I went with a small box of peanut butter bunnies, four exotic truffles, and a few praliné eggs. I’ve waited ages to break into them, but now I can tell you all about how delicious they are. These are some of the creamiest chocolates I’ve ever had, with gorgeous mouth-feel and flavour. Not grainy in the slightest, not too sweet, and the exotic truffle flavours were fun.

Here’s a rundown of my sampling:

Easter TrufflesDark Advocaat Brandy
Lush and velvety smooth

Milk Cinnamon-Nutmeg
Interesting. Snickerdoodley.

Dark Chipotle
Good. Super creamy, not peppery.
Flavour is a little hidden.

Peanut Butter BunnyMilk Mojito
Excellent! Creamy chocolate with
a fresh hint of mint and lime.

Praliné Eggs
Creamy, crunchy, sweet, delicious.
Milk or dark chocolate with a creamy chocolate filling made with ground caramelized almonds or hazelnuts.

Peanut Butter Bunnies
Melt-in-your-mouth cuteness.

About Daniel’s Divine Chocolates

View Daniel’s Chocolate Map

Daniel Poncelet (Chocolatier) was born and raised in Belgium, where he says “chocolate was an inseparable part of my daily diet. I still remember how good it was to let it melt in my mouth and try to make the piece last as long as possible in order to be the last one in the family still enjoying it.”

He learned his craft from Clovis Harmegnie, “an exceptionally passionate Belgian master chocolatier,” and grew to appreciate not only the art of making chocolates but also fine quality ingredients. According to Daniel, this inspired his determination to create chocolates “without compromise, with zealous adherence to purity.”

Daniel uses only 100% natural ingredients to make chocolates that are preservative free with no artificial colorings and flavors and no hydrogenated oils or tropical fats.Daniel sources premium chocolate from world renowned chocolate manufacturer, Barry Callebaut. Callebaut’s chocolate heritage spans more than 120 years, and the company actively supports cocoa farmers and communities as part of its commitment to maintaining a sustainable cocoa industry.

Daniel’s Belgian Chocolates is located at 2820 Granville St. Vancouver, BC with additional locations in Metro Vancouver and Toronto as well as an online shop.

A tisket, a tasket, what’s in your Easter basket?

shy-bunny

Easter Sunday (April 12, 2009) is this weekend. It’s a time for remembrance, repentance, resurrection, communion, and CANDY! Secularizing holy days into Holidays is the best thing American capitalists ever did for the chocolate industry.

Respect to religion, but lets talk about the basket. Mommy Dearest would set up Easter baskets well ahead of time, tantalizing us for weeks while our Peeps went stale (not that it mattered) and those cheap-ass jelly beans turned rock hard. To make it worse, the baskets were wrapped in multiple layers of clear Saran Wrap so we could see everything, touch nothing, and be sufficiently tempted.

Important Easter Tip: When breaking into an Easter basket, cover your tracks. Do not leave a hole that shows, and above all do not leave chocolate fingerprints.

Easter Bunny

Easter Bunny

After weeks of temptation and attempted basket burglary, we’d put on our Sunday Go-To-Meetin’ clothes (including the itchy white lace ankle socks and a pair of too-tight black patent Mary Janes) and do our hair up in ribbons and sit in our regular church pew trying to tune out the hellfire and brimstone rendition of our Lord & Saviour’s crucifiction and resurrection until the wine and wafers came around. Then, after a little nosh, it was time to shake the preacher’s hand and hightail it home to the egg hunt (providing no one was getting baptized).

eggbasketWe’d color eggs and make a big mess, then Daddy would go hide the eggs in the yard and my dog Patches followed him around, eating them. Then the kids would rush outside screeching and laughing with baskets in hand, frantically scouring one grass patch and underbush after another. Kids take egg hunting very seriously. I’ve seen deadly hair-pulling and UFC-quality kindergarten takedowns all because somebody saw the glitter egg first. I played it safe and followed the dog, collecting all the half-eaten eggs . . . they still count!

jbeansOnce the fights were over and the eggs had been tallied, we’d retire to a quiet corner and rip into those tantalizing treasure baskets, pink ribbons and easter grass flying. Oh, thou hollow chocolate bunny with the big long ears, I shall save you for last. You and your sweet candy eyes. First, we have to get rid of those black jelly beans (it was not  unusual for me to sneak in and remove all the black beans I could find, replacing them with cherry and lemon beans I stole from other baskets . . . it’s okay, I gave them all my black ones, so we’re even).

For the second course: Peeps, heads first. If no one dropped into a sugar coma at this point, it was probably time for Easter supper. Mommy Dearest would usually cook a ham, glazing with honey mustard and decorating with pineapple rings and cloves. I know, it sounds good, but after 24 hours in the oven, it gets a wee bit dessicated. Thank God for Easter hot dogs on the grill.

Once I left home, there were no more Easter hams or Easter baskets for me—until I started making my own (baskets, not ham). It just doesn’t seem right to have Easter without a basket. This year, I have a very tiny basket, so the candy has accumulated all around it, and I haven’t touched a thing. Come Sunday afternoon, that’s gonna change.

Easter Basket 2009Easter Basket Essentials

  • Basket: any size, any kind
  • Grass: raffia, plastic, or real
  • Ribbons: for decorating the bunnies and basket
  • Jelly Beans: to lose in the grass and find next year
  • Peeps: Yellow Chicks and Pink Bunnies
  • Chocolate Bunny: Any kind, must have long cute ears
  • Assorted Candy: Any kind, lots of chocolate
  • Toy Bunny: fuzzy and cute
  • A Prize: This year, it’s a book by Robert Rankin called The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse and a DVD of Wallace & Gromit’s Curse of the Were-Rabbit

bunnyineggs

Leaving a comment? I’m curious: What’s in your Easter basket?

Egg in a basket with a side of bacon, please.

Breakfast

Painting by Lisa Orgler

Bacon, eggs, and buttered toast—the perfect sunrise combo. A hearty breakfast reminds me of vacations at the beach, camping in the mountains, lazy weekend mornings in my pajamas, and family. Sometimes, as I eat, I can still hear the sound of white diner dishes and cheap flatware clinking and clattering in the background.

I love this particular breakfast so much, I sometimes make it for dinner. It’s fast, it’s filling, and it’s really easy. Perfect for two, and a big hit with the kids. Thick sliced bread becomes a nest for a soft over easy egg, topped by a crisp circle of toast for dipping. And crispy bacon on the side . . . yum. Orange juice, milk, and heaven.

P.S. Thanks for painting one of my favourite breakfasts, Lisa. If you haven’t seen her illustrations at The Lunchbox Project, you really must. So original and cute!

Egg in a basket with a side of bacon.

Egg in a basket with a side of bacon.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Cut the middle out of a piece of thick white bread with a round cookie cutter.
  • Cook bacon until crisp and set aside.
  • Melt a dab of butter in a frying pan on medium heat.
  • Place bread in the pan, then crack an egg into the hole. This is your egg in a basket!
  • Salt & Pepper the egg and let it cook until the white begins to set.
  • Lift the bread and egg with a spatula, toss another dab of butter into the pan, and flip your egg basket over to finish cooking. Toast the bread circle in the pan at the same time.

When the toasty parts are golden and the white of the egg is opaque, you are well on your way to deliciousness.

I like my yolk runny, but the whites firm. If you want your yolk hard cooked, poke it with a fork and cook on both sides until the egg feels firm to the touch.

You might also be interested in Toad In A Hole.

Lessons Learned

  • Dig out those cookie cutters and cut out fun toast shapes like stars or big flowers!
  • The secret to perfectly crispy bacon is never take your eyes off it. Use medium heat (or a bit lower) and a cast iron pan. Turn it occasionally with tongs, and if the grease gets too deep, take out a few spoonfuls. As the bacon cooks, it will shrink and start to brown. Turn it more often, and take it out when it has browned well. It will crisp a bit as it drains.

Efficient Kitchen Tips

  1. Use just one pan! Make the bacon first, set on a paper towel to drain, and pour off the grease. Then wipe out the pan with the bacon towel (don’t rinse or wash it) and continue cooking.
  2. Please, don’t pour grease down your sink! You’ll regret it. Clean and dry a metal can (coffee tin or soup can) and use it to collect drippings. When the liquid solidifies, scrape it out in the trash (clean the can for reuse). Caution: varmints love bacon grease!
  3. You can save bacon grease to flavor other foods. Pour it into a clean metal or pyrex bowl, let it cool, strain it (if you want) into a small storage container and keep it in the fridge. A little bit goes a long way, and you can freeze it, too.