Maple Products from Canada

Naturally sweet.

So, let me nail my colours to the mast …or in this case hang my accolade from a tree! I am an unapologetic fan of Canadian Maple products. Having lived in Montreal, Québec, I grew to love the flavour of maple syrup and appreciated the passion of the producers.

Each year in spring as maple sap, frozen solid over the long, cold winter, starts to thaw the maple tapping season begins. The sap flows back down towards the base of the tree which is then tapped. The sap is collected in buckets and taken to a sugar shack where it is boiled down to make maple syrup. It takes about 40 litres of sap to make just one litre of syrup.

Maple syrup comes in four different styles and colours, each one having its own character and flavour:

Golden maple syrup has a light and delicate taste and is mostly produced from the syrup collected at the very beginning of the season.

Amber maple syrup has a rich taste and is the most commonly used style found in the UK. It is light in colour, it has a pure, rich taste and is ideal for using in vinaigrettes or drizzled over sweet and savoury dishes. It is perhaps the most versatile maple syrup and the perfect introduction to this fabulous, sweet liquid.

Dark maple syrup has a robust and lingering flavour and is my favourite of all the maple syrup grades. It presents a stronger maple flavour and is perfect for cooking both savoury and sweet dishes.

Very Dark maple syrup has a strong taste, is almost mahogany in colour and is a wonderful ingredient for cooking with game and strong meats.

Once you have used maple syrup you will find it an indispensable addition to your pantry. Maple sugar can replace your regular refined variety in your favourite dishes, and the syrup will enhance and add depth when basting or glazing meats. A simple drizzle of maple syrup finishes a classic vanilla ice cream. Pour over cool cardamom rice pudding. Finish a platter of feta cheese and prosciutto with a splash or two.

Here is a recipe from Maple from Canada,

Maple and Whiskey Liqueur Christmas Profiteroles

For the choux buns:
250ml milk
100g unsalted butter
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp of pure maple syrup (preferably amber syrup for its rich taste)
150g plain flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten

For the maple and whiskey liqueur filling:Maple Profiteroles
200ml double cream
50g mascarpone
4 tbsp pure maple syrup (preferably amber)
1 tsp vanilla extract
30ml your favourite whiskey liqueur
25ml whiskey

For the maple caramel sauce:
150g maple spread
100ml double cream
10g salted butter

For the chocolate sauce:
50g cocoa powder
100g maple sugar
1 pinch of salt
50ml water
70ml double cream


To make the profiterole dough:

Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare your baking sheet with baking parchment or non-stick mat.
In a saucepan, add the milk, maple syrup, salt and butter. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
Quickly add the flour and stir with a rubber spatula.
Return the saucepan to a medium-high heat and continue to stir until the paste is smooth and shiny. This should take about 1-2 minutes. The mixture will pull away from the sides of the pan and leave a thin coating of cooked paste on the bottom when ready.
Transfer the paste to a stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low while the choux cools down.
Gradually add the eggs and mix until combined.
Prepare a piping bag with a round nozzle and transfer in the choux paste.
Pipe the choux paste onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving roughly 2 inches between each. You should have enough for approximately 35 buns.

To make the maple and whiskey liqueur filling:
Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and whisk with an electric mixer for 3-5 minutes until soft peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag.

To make the maple caramel sauce:
On low heat, boil the maple spread and double cream in a pan for 2 minutes.
Add the salted butter. Stir well, then set the maple caramel aside for later.

To make the chocolate sauce:
In a saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder and maple sugar until all lumps are removed.
Add the salt, double cream and water.
Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer, stirring constantly.
Simmer for about 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Set aside to cool.

Using a small knife, cut the choux buns in half.
Pipe some filling in the bottom of the choux buns. Replace the top of the choux buns.
Place the profiteroles on a large plate or a dish in a pyramid or tower shape.
Pour the warm chocolate sauce on top, followed by the maple caramel sauce, and serve.