Bruno Feldeisen has made a career out of making exceptional food.
A judge on CBC’s Great Canadian Baking Show, he was twice named one of the top 10 pastry chefs in the U.S. by Chocolatier Magazine. He ran his own highly successful French-American restaurant in San Francisco, while his CV includes roles at Four Seasons properties in New York and Vancouver and at Semiahmoo Resort, in addition to a teaching position at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.
Now, the French-born chef has another achievement to his name, with the release of his first cookbook.
Baking With Bruno: A French Baker’s North American Love Story (Whitecap, $34.95) documents his culinary journey from Clermont-Ferrand to the West Coast. If features recipes for everything from pastry fundamentals (such as buttercream and French meringue) to cookies (like Espresso Langues de Chat, Halva Pecan Biscotti, and Lemon Honey Madeleines) to cheesecakes (including a fluffy Japanese version).
In between are some of his favourite jams, sauces, toppings, custards, puddings, mousses, cakes, tarts, loaves, pies, and more.
All of the photography is by prominent Canadian hotelier and restaurateur Henry Wu. Feldeisen was a chef at Wu’s Toronto restaurant Sen5es, and the two have reconnected for this project.
Feldeisen kindly shares a recipe from his new book with us, one that’s perfect for summer.
Rhubarb & Sweet Cherry Buckwheat Crisp
After a long cold winter, our moods always brighten at the thought of summer fruits—particularly cherries. Combined with rhubarb and topped with a flavourful buckwheat crumble, it makes for a delicious dessert.
Makes one 8-inch (20-cm) pie
2 cups (500 mL) frozen sweet cherries (pitted)
1½ cups (375 mL) diced fresh rhubarb
¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
½ cup (125 mL) light brown sugar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vanilla extract
1½ Tbsp (22 mL) corn starch
2 tsp (10 mL) cake flour
Preheat the oven to 360°F (180°C).
In a large bowl, combine diced rhubarb, thawed cherries, both sugars, vanilla extract, corn starch and flour.
Using a rubber spatula, fold continuously until all the fruit pieces are coated.
Transfer the mix into an 8-inch (20-cm) pie plate.
Top with Buckwheat Crumble topping (see below), covering the entire surface.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden in colour and you see the fruit juices bubbling on the edge of the cobbler.
Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
Crisp is best served slightly warm or at room temperature.
Tips & twists: Substitute the rhubarb with fresh juicy peaches or apricots, but keep the cherries.
Makes topping for one 8-inch (20-cm) pie or crisp.
Buckwheat has a delicious nutty flavour that marries so well with lots of baked fruits, like cherries or peaches.
1 cup (250 mL) buckwheat flour
½ cup (125 mL) light brown sugar
½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter
1 tsp (5 mL) sea salt
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
Cut the butter into small cubes.
Place all the dry ingredients in an electric mixer bowl.
Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for 1 minute.
Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter blends into the mixture creating a sandy texture.
Refrigerate in an airtight container until needed.
Streusel can be kept up to 7 weeks if refrigerated.
Tips & twists: Add 1 tsp. (5 mL) of almond extract.More