Lentil and Walnut Pâté

Appetizer, Lunch, Snack

Lentil and Walnut PateI know we’ve found a great recipe when within the span of a week we’ve made it twice.  

As it must be clear – this vegan pâté is one of those recipes.  Several years ago, during a trip to Montreal, we went out for brunch at a vegan restaurant called Aux Vivres.  We ended up coming back to eat there twice more before we left as the food was so incredible and this is what I loved about it – it wasn’t incredible for Vegan food (as neither myself nor Fabio are Vegan) it was just fantastic food.  One of the appetizers we had during one of our visits really stuck with me and every once in a while I go on a search online for something comparable.  It was a vegan pâté served with french bread and pickles.  It was so good, and somehow I could not decipher what any of the actual ingredients were.  

Fast forward – now 3 years – and during a weekend morning spent surfing Vimeo for food related videos I found a company called ‘the real vegan’ that specialized in making something called Faux Gras and while it was made entirely with plant based foods it was often mistaken for the texture and flavor of real pâté  – the video gave away a few of the secret ingredients – mostly japanese condiments – Mirin, Umeboshi plum paste, and miso and I was intrigued so I googled those ingredients and lo and behold, through the magic of the internet I found exactly what I had been looking for since our lunch at Aux Vivres 3 years ago in Montreal. 

We’ve made this twice this week, and while I am sure it will run its course and stop being a daily indulgence I know we will return to this recipe over and over again.  This is why we started this blog, this is a recipe to share.  Enjoy!

Lentil and Walnut Pate

Recipe adapted from the Real Food Daily Cookbook via The Bojon Gourmet 

Ingredients / Ingredientes

  • 3/4 cup De Puy Lentils (AKA green lentils or French lentils) / taza de lentejas
  • 3 cups water / tazas de agua
  • 1 bay leaf / hoja de laurel
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil / cucharadas de aceite de oliva
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)/ cebolla cortada en cuadritos
  • 6 cloves of garlic – minced / Ajos cortados finamente
  • 1 tbsp Mirin / cucharada de Mirin (vino de arrroz dulce japones)
  • 1 1/4 cups walnuts (toasted for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven) / tazas de nueces (tostadas por 10 minutos en el horno a 350 grados)
  • Optional – 1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs (we used a mix of parsley, cilantro and basil) / taza de una mezcla de perejil, culantro y albahaca cortados finamente (opcional)
  • 2 tbsp red miso / cucharadas de miso (pasta de soya japones)
  • 1 tbsp umeboshi paste / cucharadas de pasta de umeboshi (ciruelas japonesas fermentadas)
  • 3/4 tsp ground pepper / cucharilla de pimienta

Instructions / Instrucciones

  • Place the lentils and bay leaf in a saucepan and cover with 3 cups of water, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for approximately 20 minutes – the lentils should be ‘al dente’ (cooked but not falling apart).  / Colocar las lentejas con las 3 tazas de agua en una olla a fuego media alto, cuando esté hirviendo reducir a fuego lento y cocinar por 20 minutos hasta que las lentejas estén ‘al dente’
  • Drain the Lentils once ready, remove the bay leaf, spread out on a large dinner plate and place in the refrigerator until everything else is ready. / Colar las lentejas y remover la hoja de laurel. Colocar las lentejas en un plato y poner al refrigerador.
  • Toast the walnuts in the oven – around 10 minutes – the remove from the pan and place in a bowl in the refrigerator to cool down. /  Tostar las nueces por 10 minutos, cuando estén listas ponerlas en un plato y colocarlas al refrigerador.

Caramelized onions, garlic and Mirin

  • Set a saute pan over medium heat and caramelize the onions and garlic in two tbsps of the olive oil. / En un sarten colocar la cebolla con los ajos y dos cucharadas de aceite de oliva, cocinarlos hasta que la cebolla este caramelizada.
  • Once the onions are caramelized – will take around 15 minutes – deglaze the pan with 1 tbsp of Mirin, stir together well, spread the onions on another plate and place in the fridge. / Cuando las cebollas están caramelizadas (15 minutos) agregar Mirin y mezclar bien. Colocar las cebollas en un plato y ponerlas en el refrigerador para enfriar.
  • Blend the walnuts in a food processor or high speed blender until they turn into walnut butter.  Scrape down the sides and add the onions and lentils and blend for another 30 seconds.  / Triturar las nueces en un procesador de alimentos hasta que se tornen como mantequilla, agregar las cebollas y lentejas y triturar bien.

Lentils, Umeboshi plum paste, and Miso

  • Add the final ingredients – Miso, Umeboshi paste, chopped herbs (optional), final tbsp of Olive oil and ground pepper, then blend until completely smooth. / Agregar miso, umeboshi, perejil-albahaca-culantro y una cucharada de aceite de oliva. Triturar todo hasta que este suave.
  • Serve with crackers or a sliced baguette with cornichons on the side. / Servir con pan francés tostado o con galletas.

Lentil and Walnut Pate… Provecho!


Liege Waffles

Brunch, Dessert, Snack

Liege WaffleA few years ago our friends introduced us to the fantastic Patisserie Lebeau. A small breakfast/waffle/pastry spot in Kits located on west 2nd.  This is where I first tried a Liege waffle and, as with most foods I fall in love with, the hunt was on to recreate it back at home. 

A Liege waffle is a dense, rich, yeast leavened waffle that uses pearl sugar to create the unique caramelized outer layer.  A Brussels waffle on the other hand is the more common image of a waffle to most people in North America.  Brussels waffles are the perfectly square (or circle) shaped waffles which have been leavened with baking powder/soda or have been made with whipped egg whites to create an airy texture.  As Brussels waffles are naturally less sweet on their own they are generally served with custard, whipped cream, fruit, syrup etc.  A Liege waffle may be eaten on their own and are sweet enough without anything added – however – as I’m sure you’ll agree, a little chocolate ganache never hurt anyone.

Liege waffle / chocolate ganache

We tried at least 3 different Liege waffle recipes before trying this one – which is funny because this recipe comes up first when you Google Liege waffle recipe (the website is liegewafflerecipe.com) I suppose we delayed trying this one because of the added time required to make the batter but, as I have learned, in life and in cooking, some of the best things require patience and time.  These are more than worth the day ahead planning.  We hope you enjoy them also! 


  • 1 tbsp sugar / cuchara de azúcar
  • 3 tsp yeast / cucharillas de levadura
  • 1/2 cup milk / taza de leche
  • 1/3 cup water / taza de agua
  • 4 cups flour / tazas de harina
  • 2 large eggs / huevos
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar / cucharadas de azúcar morena
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder / cucharillas de polvo para hornear
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt / cucharillas de sal
  • 1 cup butter / taza de mantequilla
  • 2 tbsp honey / cucharadas de miel
  • 2 tbsp vanilla / cucharadas de vainilla
  • ** 3/4 cup pearl sugar / **taza de azúcar aperlada
  • optional – 2-3 tbsp ground cinnamon / opcional – 2-3 cucharadas de canela

** The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of pearl sugar.  Using half of the called for amount yields a sweet waffle that still lends itself well to toppings/dipping.  If you are interested in a sweet waffle entirely on its own, adjust the pearl sugar according to your tastes / La receta original usa 1 1/2 tazas de azúcar aperlada, nosotros usamos menos debido a que servimos los waffles con un ganache de chocolate, si quieres los waffles mas dulces puedes agregar más azúcar aperlada.

Instructions / Instrucciones

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment mix the milk, water, yeast and 1 1/2 cups of the flour for 3-5 mintues. / En una batidora de pie agregar la leche, agua, levadura y 1 1/2 tazas de harina, mezclar por 3-5 minutos.
  • Let the contents sit for 1 hour / Dejar la mezcla a un lado por 1 hora

Add the following to the top of the mixture during the hour that it is rising: / Agregar los siguientes ingredientes a la mezcla mientras que esta creciendo por una hora.

  • The rest of the flour (2 1/2 cups) / lo que resta de la harina (2 1/2 tazas)
  • Brown sugar / azúcar morena
  • White sugar / azúcar
  • Baking powder / polvo para hornear
  • Salt /sal
  • Butter / mantequilla
  • Eggs / huevos

Once the hour of rising is up, add the vanilla and honey to the pile of ingredients already in the bowl and mix everything together for 5 minutes. / Después de que haya pasado la hora, agregar la vainilla y miel y mezclar todo por 5 minutos.

Liege waffle batter

  • Let dough rise for 4 hours at room temperature / Dejar que la masa repose/crezca por 4 horas más a temperatura ambiente.
  • Punch the dough down, deflating the dough completely. / Dar un puñetazo a la masa para que se desinfle completamente.
  • Place a plate or bowl on top of the dough and weight it down (I used a jar of cherries) then place in the refrigerator to slowly rise overnight / Encima de la masa colocar un plato y encima algo pesado (ver foto), colocar al refrigerador para que poco a poco crezca durante la noche.

Liege waffle batter

  • In the morning add the pearl sugar – I’ve used half the amount normally called for in the recipe as I was intending to eat the waffles with powdered sugar/chocolate ganache – however if you are having them on their own or you prefer a much sweeter waffle the recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of the pearl sugar. / En la mañna agregar la azúcar aperlada , puedes agregar máz azúcar si quieres, depende de tu gusto.
  • Once the pearl sugar has been evenly distributed – divide the dough into balls approximately 50 grams in weight and allow to rise for another hour – until doubled in size. / Cuando este la azúcar aperlada bien incorporada a la masa, dividir en pequeñas bolitas de 50 gramos cada una y dejar reposar para que crezcan por 1 hora más.
  • If your waffle iron has a heat adjustment dial – begin one or two notches below max and increase to maximum heat if needed.  The dough should cook within 2-4 minutes.  Most machines will alert you with a ding when ready however this is designed for more classic waffles which these are not so keep an eye on them and make note of how long they take in your waffle iron. / Poner la masa en tu máquina para hacer waffles por 2-4 minutos en temperatura alta.

Liege waffle - dough rising

  • Careful removing the waffles from the griddle as the pearl sugar on the outside will have melted and can burn you easily. / Con cuidado tienes que sacar los waffles de la máquina porque la azúcar aperlada se va a derretir y puede quemarte.
  • Serve on their own or dusted in powdered sugar.  They make a great vessel for a dip like chocolate ganache as we have done here or try them served with a side of custard (such as the pastry cream from the St. honore cake) whipped cream and fruit salad. / Sevir con azúcar impalpable encima, puedes agregar un ganache de chocolate como nosotros hicimos con crema pastelera , crema de leche y hasta una ensalada de frutas.

Enjoy! / Disfruta!

Liege waffle… Provecho!

Battenberg Cake

Dessert, Snack

9 square Battenberg cakeA Battenberg cake is a classic British Tea cake, made out of basic sponge cake that has been cut into rectangular logs which are then ‘glued’ together with apricot jam and eveloped in thinly rolled marzipan.  When you slice a piece of Battenberg you should see a symmetrical grid of squares.  Traditionally a Battenberg is made as a two by two grid but more recently I have made it as a three by three design with success.  It looks more impressive and isn’t much more work so I’ve included the detailed instructions below.

I have always loved marzipan and I first learned to make it myself just so I could prepare this cake.  Just as I prefer a cake covered in Modeling chocolate to one in fondant, marzipan is another cake covering and decorating medium that I actually enjoy eating.  It is hugely versatile, and fast to put together, provided you have a food processor.  I’ve also made a vegan version of marzipan (just swap the egg white for corn syrup) and I’ve used it to decorate a carrot cake (upcoming post) as well as covering many Battenbergs.

A detailed kitchen project for sure, but if you take your time it really isn’t as difficult as it looks.  Enjoy!

Battenberg Cake

Ingredients / Ingredientes

  • 175 grams sugar / gramos de azúcar
  • 175 grams unsalted butter (room temperature) / gramos de mantequilla a temperatura ambiente
  • 175 grams self raising flour* / gramos de harina con levadura*
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten / huevos ligeramente batidos
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract / cucharilla de vainilla
  • 3 tbsps milk / cucharadas de leche
  • pink or red food coloring / colorante de comidacolor rojo o rosado
  • Apricot jam / Mermelada de durazno
  • 300 grams Marzipan – recipe below / gramos Mazapán – receta abajo

*1 1/2 cups flour, 2 tsps baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt mixed together will make slightly more self raising flour then is needed for this recipe / * 1 1/2 tazas de harina, 2 cucharillas de levadura, 1/2 cucharilla de sal

Instructions / Instrucciones

  • Prepare an 8 x 8 inch square cake pan with foil, creating a divide directly in the center.  The two colors of the cake need to bake separately in the same pan. / Primeramente preparar la bandeja para hornear. Nosotros usamos una bandeja cuadrada de 8 x 8 cubierta con papel aluminio y con una división (ver foto)
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees / Calentar el horno a 350 grados
  • Cream together the sugar and butter using the flat beater attachment until the butter is light and fluffy. / Mezclar la mantequilla con la azúcar en una batidora de pie hasta que esté suave.

Battenberg batter

  • Add half of the eggs and mix well. / Agregar la mitad de los huevos y mezclar en la batidora.
  • Add a tbsp of the flour and mix together to keep the mixture from curdling / Agregar una cucharada de harina con levadura.
  • Add the remaining eggs and beat together. / Agregar la otra mitad de los huevos y seguir batiendo.
  • Sift the flour over the batter and fold together. / Colar la harina sobre la masa y mezclar todo junto.
  • Measure the milk in a small container and add the vanilla extract then pour into the batter and mix until just combined.  / Agregar a la leche la vainilla y colocarla en la masa y mezclar hasta que esté todo bien combinado.

Battenberg batter

  • Divide the mixture in two evenly and color one half with food coloring until it is a bright pink. / Dividir la masa en dos, agregar colorante de comida rojo o rosado a una mitad hasta que este rosado brillante.
  • Fill the two sections of the cake pan with their respective batters and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the top springs back when lightly touched / Colocar la masa en la bandeja para hornear que preparastes anteriormente, poner al horno por 20-25 minutos hasta que la torta esté esponjosa .


  • Allow to cool completely.  Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack. / Dejar enfriar y  remover de la badeja.

Marzipan / Mazapán

  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almonds / tazas de almendras
  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar / tazas de azúcar impalpable
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice / cucharada de jugo de limón
  • 1 tsp almond extract / cucharilla de extracto de almendra
  • 1 egg white / clara de huevo

Instructions for Marzipan / Instrucciones para el Mazapán

  • If using unblanched almonds you will first need to remove the skins.  To blanch the almonds – cover the almonds with boiling water and let sit for one minute, drain and cover the almonds with cold water, strain once again and cover with fresh water and drain once more.  / Cubrir las almendras en agua hervida caliente y dejar por 1 minuto, colar las almendras y cubrirlas con agua fría, colar nuevamente y cubrirlas con agua fresca y colar por ultimo vez.

Blanching almonds

  • The skins of the almond should peel off easily. / La cáscara de las almendras se podrá pelar facilmente.
  • Once the almonds are peeled, add to a food processor along with the powdered sugar and grind together for about a minute.  After the mixture is well combined, add the egg white (or corn syrup), almond extract and lemon juice and blend again until the mixture comes together and forms a dough.  You may need to add more powdered sugar if the mixture is too wet.  The dough should clean the sides of the bowl as it spins, and should feel completely smooth (not at all grainy) when it is ready. / Una vez que las almendras estén peladas colocarlas en un procesador de comida junto con la azúcar impalpable y triturarlos por 1 minuto. Agregar la clara de huevo, extracto de almendras y jugo de limón y triturar nuevamente hasta que se torne una masa y todo este bien incorporado, posiblemente necesites agregar más azúcar si es que la masa esta muy húmeda. La masa debe ser sueve.

Making Marzipan

  • Form into a log, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until needed. / Formar la masa como en la foto y envolver en plástico y colocar al refrigerador.

Assembling the Battenberg / El montaje de la Battenberg

  • Place the two sponge cakes on a cutting board with the short sides facing you. / Colocar las dos tortas en una tabla para cortar con los lados cortos mirando hacia ti.
  • Trim the edges of each cake / Cortar los bordes de cada torta

Assembling the Battenberg

  • Cut each cake in half lengthwise, and then cut each of those halves in half again.  You will have 4 ‘logs’ of each color. / Corta cada torta por la mitad a lo largo, y luego se corta cada una de esas mitades por la mitad otra vez. Asi tendrás 4 piezas largas de cada color.

Trimming the sponge

  • As the sponge will have risen slightly more in the center of each cake, tilt each piece of cake on its side and trim – the cross section of each piece of cake will be square. / La parte del medio de la torta habrá aumentado un poco más de tamaño cuando estaba en el horno por lo tanto tienes que cortar la parte superior para que los pedazos largos de la torta sean perfectos cuadrados.
  • You will now have 8 pieces of cake all trimmed to the same dimensions. / Tienes que tener 8 piezas largas de tortas cortadas en el mismo tamaño.
  • Follow the photos below alternating pink and yellow strips of cake building a three by three grid. / Colocar los pedazos de tortas según la foto, alternando el rosado y el  amarillo.

Battenberg assembly

  • There will only be 8 pieces of cake, whereas we need 9, so trim the cake, as per the photo above, so that you maintain a 6 inch cake, use the extra pieces of pink cake to build another log for the grid. / Sólo habrá 8 porciones de torta, pero que nosotros necesitamos 9,  por lo tanto debes cortar la torta (como la foto) para que la torta sea de 6 pulgadas, utilice las piezas extra de la torta de color rosado para la construcción de otro pedazo largo.
  • I rearrange the cake so that these segmented pieces are in the center of the cake rather than on the edge for ease of assembly later. / Colocar el nuevo pedazo largo de torta en el centro (ver foto), esto ayudará a que el montaje del mazapán sea mejor.
  • At this time – roll out the marzipan (300 grams) on a sheet of parchment as thin as possible to a rectangle of approximately 6 x 12 inches / Amasar el  mazapán (300 gramos) lo más delgado posible a un rectángulo de aproximadamente 6 x 12 pulgadas
  • Heat a few tablespoons of Apricot jam in the microwave to loosen and assemble the cake onto the center of the rolled marzipan.  Brush the marzipan with apricot jam as well as each side of each additional piece of cake. /  Calentar unas cucharadas de mermelada de durazno en el microondas, para montar la torta colocar un poco la mermelada caliente en los lados y el centro de los pedazos largos de torta.

Battenberg assembly

  • Once the 9 pieces of cake are assembled, brush the outer layers of the cake with apricot jam and pull the sides of marzipan up around the cake, trimming the marzipan as necessary so that the ends meet at the bottom, use a knife to seal the pieces together.  Roll the cake so that the joined edges are on the bottom, trim the edges and using the back of a knife make a criss cross patterned impression on the top of the cake. / Colocar o cepillar un poco de la mermelada alrededor de la torta para que el mazapán se pegue a la torta. Cortar el mazapán cuando sea necesario para que sea el mismo tamaño que la torta, hacer un diseño en la parte superior de la torta sobre el mazapán  con un cuchillo como se ve en la foto

9 square Battenberg

  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours. / Envolver en plástico y refrigerar por algunas horas.
  • Slice, serve and enjoy. / Cortar, sevir y a disfrutar!

Battenberg… Provecho!