December brings back memories of holiday family traditions. Being born and raised in Montreal, I can’t honestly remember any of our relatives or friends having a real Christmas tree in their homes. Maybe fake Christmas trees were the “in decorating style” at the time? My parents even bought a metallic silver Christmas tree when I was a baby. Yes, those were very popular back in the 70’s. Don’t know why, but they were. After this tree, they always purchased an artificial one that look so real, you had a really hard time noticing it was a fake one.
It’s only when I came to live to Ottawa in the 80’s, that I really saw for the first time a real Christmas tree at one of my friend’s house. They cut it down themselves at a farm not too far from the city. Was it ever tall, beautiful and majestic, all decorated in their living room with garlands, silver tinsels, Christmas balls, and candy canes! I told myself, when I get older, I would purchase a real Christmas tree for my home. Well, what you know, when I got married, my husband and I bought an artificial one. Go figure, the family fake tree tradition stuck with me!
I find when you tie the knot, you also blend together his family traditions with yours. My husband’s mom is an excellent cook and bakes the famous traditional French Canadian Holiday meals from scratch such as the “tourtières” (meat pies), and the “ragoût de pattes de cochon” (Pork Stew with Meatballs). Of course, I had to get the recipes from her and start baking a storm for the Holidays. We also started our own traditions when our children were old enough, we bake gingerbread and shortbread cookies, and decorating them together. What a great tradition we started as a family!
A tradition that I keep over the years is to purchase one new decoration for the tree that represents a memory from a trip or an event, a special moment in our lives, or relevant to our family’s habits, such as this ball that I purchased at Marineland Niagara Falls and this Timbits on a slay from Tim Hortons. I also enjoy trying out one new recipe during the holidays. This year, I baked a Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake with my kids. It is divine and melts in your mouth!
- FOR THE CAKE:
- 1 cup of Gay Lea unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups all-purpose white flour
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup of Gay Lea sour cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
- 2/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1/2 cup of 35% whipping cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. and position the rack in the center.
- In a saucepan, add the water, butter, salt, and cocoa powder and heat at medium. Stir until melted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and the sugar together. Add half of the melted butter mixture and whisk until completely blended. The mixture will be thick. Add the remaining butter mixture and whisk until mixed. Whisk in the sour cream and the vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until completely blended. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.
- Butter and flour a Bundt pan.
- Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes and then invert onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely before glazing.
- Combine the heavy cream and sugar in a small saucepan and heat at medium. Stir until the cream is hot and the sugar is dissolved. Put the chocolate chips and corn syrup in a medium bowl and set aside. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake, and let it to drip down the sides.
- Cut into pieces and serve with Ice Cream and Gay Lea Whipped cream (optional)
Recipe modified from Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food by Sam Mogannam and Dabny Gough
Oh yes, can you tell we are Ottawa Senators Fan!
What are your family holiday traditions?
“Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”