Jennifer Blakney, head pastry chef of Feels Like More, stumbled into the edibles business entirely by accident less than a year ago. After discovering a cannabis gummy that could alleviate the chronic wrist pain that she had developed from years in the foodservice industry, she felt compelled to try to make her own, putting her Le Cordon Bleu training to use.
Not long afterwards, she developed a personal collection, which soon evolved into a medicated, European-inspired dessert brand. Wholly created by Blakney’s dessert brand, edibles from Feels Like More have a sense of whimsy and fun, as if you’ve just visited your favorite pâtisserie in France—but on weed.
With several hours a week dedicated to research and development of new recipes, Blakney explained: “I would always omit the cannabis until the recipe is perfected and tested in various conditions. You’ll quickly find out how resilient your product is when its shelf life and tolerance to various temperatures are challenged.”
In doing this, she deconstructed classic confections, developing her award-winning macaron, which took second place at the 2016 Karma Cup.
While the delicate meringue shells are cannabinoid-free, the sandwich filling is laced with a THC distillate coconut oil. It took eight months and six recipe tests to finally achieve the award-winning macaron recipe she shares today via Feels Like More, with Jennifer seeking perfection in every area from dosage to taste.
Watching Blakney in her kitchen, you can tell that she’s focused and takes medicated pastry very seriously.
She explained: “Most recipes look like child’s play (to me), so I never shy away from any wild concept that my brain may concoct.”
She also shared how she’s currently testing a recipe for mousse cakes with a mirror glaze finish, inspired by pastry chefs in Russia.
To perfect a medicated dessert, Blakney creates a concentrated THC distillate coconut oil, which is incredibly potent, goes a long way and leaves her products with little to no grassy aftertaste, allowing for more delicate flavors to shine through. While the process is not the easiest, Jennifer says it’s well worth the effort to make and create a product she can be proud of as well as to determine the exact THC dose in each dessert.
For many exploring the world of THC-laced edibles for the first time, misconceptions arise about how edibles work or what they can do. Blakney assured me that when dosed correctly, edibles shouldn’t render you into a useless mess but rather someone who can go about their business without constantly worrying about maintaining pain or symptom relief.
If you’re uncertain about the process, Jennifer advised “starting with a low dosage and asking a lot of questions. A good edibles producer should be able to easily explain their infusion process.”
While Canada is currently waiting for federal legislation to legalize marijuana in 2017, the level of scrutiny that edibles producers are facing until legalization comes into play is at an all-time high. For now, Blakney is dedicated to making edibles more accessible to the public and ensuring people have a greater understanding of how and what edibles can do for you.
Jennifer’s THC Laced Lemon Tart
Makes approximately one dozen 4” or 36 1.5” miniature tarts.
Equipment: Kitchen Scale
Pie Dough Ingredients:
100g butter, softened
70g icing sugar
3 egg yolks
1 lemon, zested
Almond Cream Ingredients:
60g icing sugar
60g butter, softened
60g almond powder
Lemon Curd Ingredients:
2 lemons, juiced
1 lemon, zested
Italian Meringue Ingredients:
60g egg whites
Medicated Oil Ingredients
3g of coconut oil
1. Start by making the pie dough. Sift sugar into stand mixer. Add lemon, salt and butter. Cream until light and fluffy.
2. Separate yolks from whites, reserving the egg whites for the meringue.
3. After scraping down the sides of the mixer bowl, add the milk, then the yolks.
4. Add flour and mix until combined.
5. Flatten dough into a disk, cover in plastic wrap and chill for 20-30 minutes.
6. While dough is chilling, make the almond cream filling. Combine sifted icing sugar in a bowl with softened butter, almond powder, flour and egg. Set aside.
7. Return to roll out the pie dough. Flouring your work surface and rolling pin, roll out dough, gradually rotating clockwise after each roll. Once thickness reaches ¼”, place two fingers on the side of the tart shell to measure a circle large enough to cover it.
8. Once dough is firmly pressed into shells, remove the excess dough from the top with your fingers. Prick the bottoms with a fork, and spread only enough almond cream on the bottom to fill no more than ¼ of the shell. Chill in fridge while you preheat your oven to 375º F.
9. Bake 4” shells for 12 minutes and 1.5” shells for 8 minutes, rotating halfway through for each.
10. For lemon curd, put sugar into a medium saucepan and zest lemon on top. Juice the two lemons into pan as well through a fine mesh strainer.
11. Over medium heat, add eggs and whisk constantly until thick and bubbling. Add butter and whisk until melted.
12. To make the medicated oil, combine distillate and 3 g of coconut oil in a small bowl over a double boiler until fully emulsified. This process should not take longer than 10 minutes. If you do not feel comfortable with this process, one could also use cannabutter for part (or all) or the amount that goes into the curd.
13. To medicate the curd, transfer into a new bowl placed on a scale to find out total weight. Once you know how many portions it yields, add the appropriate amount of medicated oil and mix until completely combined. (NOTE: Make sure you include the additional weight of the oil into your filling portion ahead of time.)
14. Cover and chill lemon curd until it’s thick enough to control when you pour it into your individual tarts.
15. For the Italian meringue, combine water and sugar in a small saucepan, and egg whites in your stand mixer. Using a candy thermometer, heat sugar and water until 115ºC, beating egg whites to soft peaks before this stage.
16. Once sugar has reached the desired temperature, immediately pour it down the sides of the mixer as you beat the whites on high. Continue beating whites until the base of the bowl reaches body temperature.
17. With a piping bag and pastry tip of your choice, pipe a decorative design onto your tarts. Setting your oven to broil, caramelize the meringue until golden. Enjoy!
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