I don’t know about you, but I always find that first section of spring to be a little awkward.
Don’t get me wrong I am more than anxious for the warmer weather and the novelty of winter pretty much wears off around Jan 2nd. Just kidding. I can tough it out till about the end of February and then I have had enough. Around that time I am tired of layering clothes and strapping on the boots. Days on end of me walking to work hoping the snow doesn’t pelt my face can be taxing.
The only thing that keeps me going is the richness of cold weather food: the velvety sauces, hearty soups, roasted meats and saucy desserts.
There I admit it, seasonal food keeps me going. Nothing tops a big bowl of chili on days that a 15 minute walk trudging through snow that seems to lasts for hours on end. If you live in a colder climate, you know what I mean. The colder days seem to out number the warmer and last twice as long.
When I say the transition of winter to spring can be awkward it is in relation to the first few weeks when the initial signs of the warmer weather happen. When it is still frosty and cool in the morning, but around mid day it is a balmy plus 10 degrees Celsius (yes. to some Canadians this is a fairly warm day during this time). It seems like you don’t know what to wear. Bulky sweaters are to hot for all day and it is too cold to wear the summer clothes that are packed away till May if you are lucky.
The frosty morning weather still calls for light gloves, ear muffs, scarves and boots. Not only do you need to get yourself dressed and undressed in lighter layers, but if you have little ones you know that putting on a snowsuit in any which shape or form is a process. It’s a process that must be repeated at least twice a day which helps with your cardio if you are trying to stay fit. You run after them mid dress to put on their boots! “Put on your boots”, I say, “Put on your boots”. It can be like a winter merry-go-round that you just want to jump off of as you long for the days of just ‘Shoes on? Yes! Great! Now let’s go.’
I was thinking about how many of us foodies base our diets on the seasonal food that is offered. Is there such a thing as the awkward stage for meals also? Possibly.
I have not really noticed it before but there is a transition from the heavier to the lighter meals. Lately I have been making the likes of beef roast without the potatoes and double the green vegetables instead. Chicken with a rice, quinoa or couscous salad. There are more vegetarian based meals in the routine.
Does this theory hold true for the delectable dessert? One would hope so. This chocolate cake is rich, deep and bittersweet. It is not over the top sugary but needed something to balance the heaviness of it. When I was deciding on what to pair with the cake it was as easy as looking in the pantry. On the shelf from the last trip to Quebec was a bottle of rose salt. It had been there for a while as a little goes a long way. It has a floral scent that gives a bit of lightness and colour to the moody cake. It’s like a bit of spring peaking through the earth and reaching out on it’s own; the light at the end of the tunnel of winter, a transition from one season to the next.
I hope you enjoy this time as it can be the best of both seasons as long as you try to embrace it.
Salted Chocolate Rose Cake
The sharpness of the salt with the floral rose awakens this rich chocolate cake.
- 2 onces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup strong coffee, room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 Tbsp corn syrup
- 3 ounces, bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
- 1 Tbsp rose salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the bundt pan by spraying it with oil.
- In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt the chopped chocolate while stirring constantly. Once melted, transfer it to a medium sized bowl to cool slightly. Whisk in the vegetable oil and sugar until smooth. Whisk in the egg.
- In a large measure cup combine the buttermilk and coffee. Set aside
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add 1/3 to the chocolate mixture and combine. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk coffee mixture and combine. Repeat until you have added all the ingredients and ended on the flour mixture.
- Pour the batter in the prepared bundt pan and bake for approximately 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, then invert onto rack and let cool completely.
- In a small bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and corn syrup.
- In a small sauce pan bring cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate and corn syrup. Let sit until the chocolate is melted or about 5 minutes.
- Whisk the mixture until smooth and let the ganache cool slightly to thicken up but still able to pour over the top of the cake. Let set for 15 minutes and add the crushed rose salt to the top. Let set for another 15 minutes before serving.
For the Chocolate Cake
For the Ganache