Foodbuzz 24x24 Sugar on Snow

Even though it's spring we got a little more of winter this week blanketing everything in a few inches of fresh snow. It made for the perfect backdrop for a maple syrup weekend. We started the day heading to Trout Brook Sugarhouse, to watch maple syrup be made and learn about what makes grades of syrup different, and most importantly taste every last one of them!

Did you know it takes 40 gallons of sap to boil down and make 1 gallon of pure maple syrup? Makes you understand why the good stuff is so expensive doesn't it :) That process is what is happening in the picture above. Think about it... 39 gallons of water needs to evaporate out of the sap to make just one gallon of the sweet stuff. (that's a lot of steam! and it smelled amazing if you were wondering)

(from left to right: Grade A light amber, Grade A medium amber, Grade A dark amber)

My favorite was grade A medium amber. Do you know what yours is? Did you know the maple flavor gets more intense the darker the syrup is?

The grades are based on the color which is dependent on the time of season the sap is harvested and the temperature outside. The later in the season (and warmer the outside temps are) the darker the syrup, until eventually it is so dark it is considered Grade B (super intense maple flavor), this is classified as a cooking grade and goes well in marinades, baking, and even in beer making!

Care for a little sugar on snow? (traditionally maple syrup on fresh snow... but today we had it on vanilla ice cream, YUM!)

Next was a ride down to Canandaigua Lake to the NY Wine and Culinary Center to take a class on baking with maple syrup. The class was taught by Chef Andrew Chambers and was a sweet treat, literally.

Jeanne and I were assigned to make Maple Walnut Baklava. Here's the recipe... and a picture of what you get when you follow the recipe.

Maple Walnut Baklava (made by another set of our awesome classmates!)

Somehow I didn't get a picture of what we made... (ours also had nuts on top... whoops guess you aren't suppose to do that) You see Jeanne is also a recipe tweaker like me. So instead of using 1 cup of butter (seriously...) we used 1/4 cup. And instead of slathering butter in between ever sheet of phyllo we did butter every 2, and alternated that with maple syrup every 2! We just stole some of they syrup from the sauce you make later... shhh don't tell.

4 out of 5 people we asked liked our slimmed down version better than the full on butter version! Go us! And we didn't hate on the one who liked the butter version better, to each their own :)

Other things the other groups made:

Maple Nut Brittle Muffins

Maple Pecan Tart

Somehow I also missed out on a picture of the chocolate covered maple bavarian... it was DELICIOUS!!! And really beautiful... and we just dug right in and didn't take a picture... sorry :D

This post is brought to you by 24x24 sponsored by Foodbuzz! Thanks so much Foodbuzz for sending us on this maple adventure!

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14 chews:

Tracy said...

This sounds like SO much fun! I would totally love to do this. Ever since I tried pure maple syrup I can't go back to the fake stuff. :-)

Mike and I went on a maple syrup walk in VT when we were on our honeymoon. It was awesome. Mike kept stealing samples of the hot syrup to drink.

Bethanneleach said...

Oh this looks like so muihc fun! I'm glad you two had a great girls weekend!

Wow I LOVE this! It was so interesting learning how maple syrup is made, I had no idea about watering needing to evaporate. This looks like so much fun, I wish I could have been there. What a great idea for the 24x24.:) You did an amazing job.

Thanks so much! We had a blast and it was so delicious trying all the
different grades of syrup!

Mercedes said...


so fun!!

It sounds a fun experience. Your muffins and tart look so delicious!

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Laura Bashar said...

How interesting! I'm licking my lips in admiration!

What a great idea for a 24x24. :-) I'm drooling over the baklava at this point. Such amazing company this month. I love reading what everyone came up with!

Hannah said...

What fun! I would love to go see maple syrup being made... I just love the stuff!

Tiffany said...

Being from New England, I love everything maple-flavored! What a great theme! Congrats on the 24x24!

Thanks so much! I still need to make it back over to the 24x24 page to check
out the rest of them! Hmmm maybe I'll have time today :)

Thanks so much! I know I probably got some VT maple syrup loyalists up in a
tizzy doing this one... but hey I love VT maple syrup too, it was just too
long of a drive hehe :D

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