Forget pumpkin pies and lattes: apples shone at the annual Taste of Chappelle in south Edmonton’s Chappelle Gardens.
After a two-year hiatus, the culinary event returned to the southside neighbourhood — a Brookfield Residential Masterplanned Community — for Edmonton’s Community League Day on September 17.
“Our first event was in 2019 and the theme was cheese. We attempted to do one in 2020 — a tomato battle — but COVID shut us down pretty quick,” said Kaylie Thomas, Programs and Events Manager for the Chappelle Gardens Residents Association (RA). “We were glad to be back this year.”
More than 200 neighbours and guests came out to taste the culinary creations and ultimately vote for the one they found most a-peeling. For a $5 donation to the Chappelle Community League, food lovers could visit a series of stations set up in the Chappelle Presentation Centre and the neighbouring Daytona and Brookfield Residential showhomes to sample each dish. Outside, ticket holders could stop by Jackie O’s Mini Doughnuts food truck for free doughnuts and enjoy a live performance by singer-songwriter Steven Sware.
Five teams scrapped for culinary supremacy, which included neighbours, RA board members and local businesses (Co-op Food Store and Caffiend). After the votes were tallied, third place (and the bronze spoon) went to the team, Two Halves of a Whole Idiot, for their dish “Two-bite Dinner Delight (Apple Tacos).” Second place (and a silver spoon) went to local residents, The Pink Ladies, for their apple fritters.
First prize — and the coveted gold spoon — went to next-door-neighbour pals Minna Baker and Natasha Aiello, who called their team, How Bout Them Asian Apples. Their entry, caramel cake pops served with sparkling apple cider, won them not only the glory of crushing the competition, but a gold trophy and prize pack of kitchen items.
“It means a lot,” said Aiello, a long-time Chappelle resident and realtor. Neither she nor Baker figured they stood a chance of winning. ”We were up against Caffeind, which is my favourite restaurant in Chappelle! We just thought we’d do this to have fun and support the community.”
The Taste of Chappelle is just one of dozens of events held in the community every year. Each month, residents enjoy about 8 or 9 activities, including creative endeavours like the Sip ‘n Stitch knitting group or Zoomers paint nites, social opportunities like the monthly book club or Friends Trivia Night, and exercise classes like yoga and family karate.
To discover what life is like in Chappelle Gardens (and find a home that is perfect for you), visit their website.
Make the winning recipes at home:
Caramel Apple Cake Pops
Cake Pop Maker / Silicone Cake Pop Mold
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3-4 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into ½ inch pieces (3 cups)
1 cup chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Non-stick cooking spray with flour
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees if using a silicone mold for cake pops. Otherwise, preheat cake pop maker. Spray with cooking spray.
Working over a large sheet of parchment paper, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Gather sifted ingredients into center of sheet; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine vegetable oil, sugar and eggs. Mix on high speed until lemon yellow.
Fold reserved parchment in half lengthwise; with mixer on medium speed, gradually shake in dry ingredients until just incorporated.
Add apples and, if desired, nuts to batter. Mix to combine. Add vanilla, mixing until incorporated.
Pour batter into molds or cake pop maker, and bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Approximately 12 minutes
Remove and cool on a wire rack.
Caramel Sauce Ingredients
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (substitute Brandy if you’d like)
Pinch of salt
Caramel Sauce Directions
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar is completely dissolved and sauce is well-mixed.
Remove from heat and continue stirring until desired thickness.
Drizzle over cooled cake pops, or dip cake pops into the caramel with a slotted spoon.
Tip: For a shiny, sticky caramel, cook on low and do not let it boil. For a thicker, fudgier caramel, let it boil for about 1 minute and then take off the heat and stir and wait until it thickens.
To Complete the Look
Break off pretzel stick to make a stem
Make little leaves out of white chocolate and use buttercream to adhere it to cake pop
Insert Cake Pop stick on the side
Bonus Recipe, Sparkling Apple Cider
1 Apple Juice – Concentrate
1 Ginger Ale
1 Club Soda
Mix these three ingredients to taste. You can make a big batch, or a small batch — totally up to you!
We used a full can of apple juice concentrate and adjusted Ginger Ale and Club Soda. If you like it sweet, use an equal ratio of Ginger Ale to Club Soda. For less sweet, use a little more Club Soda.
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