1780 West 3rd Avenue
T: 604 731 4645
Brief Description: Quince is a one-stop food shop. You can purchase pre-packaged frozen food, imported grocery items or freshly baked bread from their store front, enjoy a wholesome and delicious lunch or breakfast in the small deli, or partake in a cooking class.
By now, dear reader, you may be a little over my fascination with Quince. After reading my blog entries you may be disappointed when you finally visit Quince to find that the store is not in fact lined with gold. However, I offer up no apologizes that I am, yet again, writing another review of Quince – I just cannot help myself.
I decided to give my usual food accomplice, B, a day off and instead invited my sister to Quince for an hour of hot chocolate and madeleines. It was definitely something more for the ladies. We made our way there on Saturday afternoon with the thoughts of smooth, creamy hot chocolate and fluffy madeleines running through our heads. And we did not leave disappointed.
Similar to our preview of the French Bistro cooking class, this was more of a demonstration than a hands-on cooking class. Perched on the edge of our seats we watched intently as Chef Andrea showed us how to make genuine hot chocolate from scratch. I am a firm believer in using the best ingredients that you can to cook with as even the simplest dish can be transformed just by using high quality ingredients. It would seem that Chef Andrea shares the same idea and began the recipe by melting dark couverture chocolate (more buttery than run-of-the-mill chocolate) into some cream, cocoa and honey. She then whisked this mixture into some warm milk and topped it with whipped cream and grated chocolate. The result was a silky smooth hot chocolate that had me licking my lips and contemplating pilfering another cup from some of the children in our group. Honestly, this hot chocolate rates as one of the best hot chocolates that I have ever had. The only other real contender was a hot chocolate that I had years ago in Germany that I still vividly remember. Drool…
We sat there quaffing our hot chocolates and prepared ourselves for the next part of the demonstration: the madeleines. For those who don’t know, madeleines originated in France and are small, fluffy sponge cakes shaped into delicate shell-like shapes. They are quintessentially feminine and are the perfect delicacy for an afternoon tea.
The recipe contains only a few ingredients however, it is the process of aerating the eggs and folding in the flour just so that makes this recipe a little tricky. Too little aeration and too much folding will guarantee that your madeleines will fall flat. And that is exactly what you don’t want.
We were served pre-made madeleines and warm ones straight from the oven and, like most baked goods, the ones served warm were more superior (although the others were still fantastic). We were given three of these lovely delights to munch before the class came to an end.
I had a lot of fun attending this short afternoon escape. For $15 we were able to enjoy a decadent hot chocolate and numerous freshly-baked madeleines whilst also getting to learn how to recreate them at home. The recipe handouts are extremely helpful and I will certainly be trying to make these at home (particularly the hot chocolate). If you are planning on catching up with your girlfriends for an afternoon coffee, perhaps consider this as an alternative. Now, please excuse me whilst I lose myself in a day-dream about that hot chocolate…