Chocolate Yule Log (Bûche de Noël)

Chocolate Yule Log (Bûche de Noël) is the French roll cake very popular during the Holiday season. This is a delicious version of Yule Log you can make at home using very simple ingredients you can find in every store.

Chocolate Yule Log (Bûche de Noël)

Natalija
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 6 hrs 55 mins
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients
  

Sugar syrup

  • 150 g sugar
  • 300 ml water

Chocolate ganache

  • 200 ml heavy whipping cream ( 35%)
  • 200 g dark chocolate (60-70% cacao)
  • 15 g unsalted butter

Biscuit

  • 4 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 120 g sugar
  • 120 g all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder

Chantilly cream

  • 250 ml heavy whipping cream ( 35%) very cold
  • 45 g mascarpone cheese
  • 1.25 Tbsp sugar

Decoration

  • Few meringues, pieces of chocolat

Instructions
 

Sugar syrup

  • In a small pot, bring cold water and sugar to the boil. Keep boiling for a few minutes, stir constantly until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool down. When the syrup is cold, you may add vanilla or the Triple Sec liqueur (optional).

Biscuit

  • Preheat oven to 380 degrees F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until the mixture becomes thick, fluffy, and triples in volume.
  • Using a spatula, gently fold in flour and cocoa powder.
  • Spread the batter evenly in thin layer into the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in center of biscuit comes out clean.
  • Turn upside down onto clean kitchen towel and carefully remove parchment paper. Let cool down.

Chocolate ganache

  • Boil the heavy whipping cream. Pour the boiling cream over the dark chocolate. Wait for one minute.
  • Then mix it until the mixture is smooth.
  • Add butter and mix until this is fully dissolved.
  • Let cool the ganache for about 30 minutes in the fridge. Mix and check frequently: the ganache is ready when it’s not anymore liquid and has a spreadable texture.

Chantilly cream

  • Beat together very cold heavy cream and cold mascarpone cheese until this is whipped. Keep gradually adding sugar.

Assemblage

  • Paint the biscuit with sugar syrup.
  • Spread the chantilly cream evenly over the biscuit.
  • Roll up firmly.
  • Tightly cover with plastic wrap, and keep in the fridge until chocolate ganache is ready.
  • Remove the plastic wrap. Spread the ganache over the cake. Using a fork make lines to look like a log. Transfer the cake to a serving platter and let stand in the fridge for a night or at least 3 hours.
  • Before serving, dust with cacao cocoa powder and decorate with meringues or pieces of chocolate.
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Cranberry Cake

This homemade cranberry cake is perfect for the winter season. Its bright red color brings holiday spirit to your family dinner or friends party. Easy to make and delicious!

Cranberry Cake

Natalija
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 eggs
  • 220 g granulated sugar
  • 115 g melted butter
  • 150 g all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 380ºF. Grease and flour a cake pan.
  • Beat eggs and sugar with mixer until slightly thickened.
  • Add melted butter and mix well.
  • Stir in the flour and baking powder.
  • Add the cranberries and stir gently.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool. If desired, dust with confectioners sugar.
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Pumpkin Soup

French recipe for a silky and smooth Pumpkin Soup with two main ingredients. Healthy, colorful, and easy to make. If you have a blender, you have to try this recipe as soon as pumpkins are in season.

To impress your guests, serve this soup in individual pumpkins.

Pumpkin Soup

Natalija
This soup is delicious and silky even without any cream. I add very little, just to make it look beautiful.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 leeks (white part only)
  • 1 medium pie pumpkin or sugar pumpkin (about 1.5 kg)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Some heavy whipping cream or sour cream (optional)
  • Some fresh herbs (cilantro, green onion, parsley) to garnish

Instructions
 

  • Wash and chop the leeks.
  • Wash the pumpkin and cut it in half horizontally. Scrape the inside of the pumpkin clean with the spoon or ice cream scoop (you can use the seeds for another recipe).
  • Peel and cut into regular cubes.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook and stir leeks until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add pumpkin cubes and cook for 5-7 more minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Transfer the veggies into a large pot. Add just enough water to cover them, and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Simmer about 15 minutes until the pumpkin is cooked.
  • Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Add a little more boiling water if the soup is too thick. Taste for flavor, and feel free to add more salt or pepper.
  • Serve hot, with sour or heavy whipping cream and fresh herbs.

For a special presentation:

  • Cut off the top of a small pumpkin and scrape the inside.
  • Before adding the soup, heat the pumpkin for few minutes in the oven, then add the hot soup and serve immediately.
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Roasted Pumpkin Wedges

Roasted pumpkin wedges are a simple and healthy dish that pairs well with fish and meat. This recipe is easy as pie and requires just basic ingredients like pumpkin, salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil and some fresh herbs.

Roasted Pumpkin Wedges

Natalija
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 wedges of a big pumpkin
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • salt and black pepper
  • Some olive oil
  • Some fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro or scallions)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 390F (200С). Line your baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  • Wash the pumpkin thoroughly, cut into two parts and remove seeds with a spoon.
  • Cut the pumpkin into wedges. Keep in mind that this kind of pumpkin doesn’t need to be peeled. Season the wedges with salt and pepper. Next, mince or grate finely some garlic. Coat the wedges with a mixture of olive oil and garlic.
  • Place the wedges on the baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes (depending on the kind of pumpkin and wedges size). When the wedges are soft, remove from the oven. Make sure they are not overdone.
  • Sprinkle the roasted pumpkin wedges with fresh herbs and they’re ready to be served!
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Easy poached pears with chocolate

The pears are poached with a vanilla bean and a bit of sugar. Then, they are cooled down and sprinkled with shredded chocolate. This is a very easy recipe to make and will be perfect for a special event or holidays.

Easy poached pears with chocolate

Natalija
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 pears
  • 750 ml water
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean cut in half longwise
  • 50 g dark chocolate
  • Some Fresh mint

Instructions
 

  • Peel the pears.
  • Cut them in half, then core.
  • In the pot, bring water to a boil with sugar and vanilla bean.
  • Add the pears and boil for 10 to 15 minutes, until they became soft but keep their shape. Remove the pot from the heat and let the pears cool in the syrup.
  • To serve, drain the pears well. Then place each half on an individual plate.
  • Sprinkle with shredded chocolate and decorate with mint.
  • You can also serve this dessert in a glass.
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Boursin™ Stuffed Mushrooms

Tasty and very easy recipe with only 2 main ingredients that you can find in every store: mushrooms and Boursin.

Boursin Stuffed Mushrooms

Natalija
The Boursin™ Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese is aleredy salty enough so don’t add more salt. On the other end, if you like spicy food, season with pepper.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 30 small mushrooms (Cremini or Button Mushrooms)
  • 1 block Boursin™ Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Some fresh herbs (cilantro, green onion, parsley) finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Wash and dry mushrooms. Remove stems. (You can use them for another recipe),
  • Place mushroom caps on a baking sheet. Season with pepper. Fill each mushroom’s hole with 1-2 tsps of Boursin™.
  • Bake about 25 minutes until mushrooms are golden and cooked through.
  • Sprinkle the baked mushrooms with fresh herbs and they’re ready to be served!
Keyword Appetizers, mushrooms
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Chickpea salad with bell pepper

Cans are usually pretty handy at home or on the go; there is no need to go to a store and they are quick to prepare. This chickpea salad is a great example of the usefulness of cans. Just open a can and mix it with other ingredients available at home.

There are multiple recipes of salads with this legume: here is one of them with bell pepper, olives and fresh cilantro.

Chickpea salad with bell pepper

Natalija
This salad can by served immediately or chilled for few hours to get all of its flavors.
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 400 g (1 can) garbanzo beans drained
  • 1 bell pepper cored and slices
  • 80 g olives (black or green), drained and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic pressed
  • 1/2 red onion cut into thin slices
  • Fresh herbs (cilantro or parsley), finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 3-4 Tsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Combine all veggies in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with freshly pressed lemon juice and olive oil. Toss gently.
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Homemade Hummus

With or without tahini, homemade hummus made from scratch only takes 5 minutes to make. No needs to cook the chickpeas, just open a can and mix with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil! This delicious healthy snack can be serve for any occasion with pita bread or garden vegetables.

Homemade Hummus

Natalija
If you don’t like spicy food, use paprika instead of chili powder, it makes the dish look pretty, and only slightly alters flavor.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can (400 g) garbanzo beans (chickpea)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2-3 cloves garlic chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp tahini (sesame paste) optional
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • A few pinches chili powder (or paprika)

Instructions
 

  • Drain garbanzo beans, keep half of the juice.
  • In a food processor, place the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, salt, black pepper, tahini, chili powder and 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Mix until smooth. Add 1 or 2 Tbsp of the juice from the can (or water) to give a desired texture to the hummus.
  • Transfer hummus to a serving bowl, drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder or paprika.
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Appetizer Shishito Peppers

You can find shishito peppers in your favorite grocery store. Prepare this super quick recipe in no time and your guests will love this delicious appetizer.

Did you know that 1 in 10 shishito peppers are really spicy?

Appetizer Shishito peppers

Natalija
Minimal preparation for an excellent appetizer (or side dish).
You can serve them with soy sauce for dipping.
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 6 oz Shishito peppers
  • a bit of olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a saute pan heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the shishito peppers and stir for 1-2 minutes, heating them up until they blister. Add salt and black pepper.
  • Place the peppers on a paper towel to remove excess oil and serve.
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Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh salad has been a fundamental part of Middle Eastern cuisine for many years. The main ingredients are bulgur, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil, the rest ingredients are fresh or marinated vegetables, olives, raisins and spices. This salad is very flexible, fell free to add more or less of any spices of your choice.

Tabbouleh Salad

Natalija
Tabbouleh Salad can be served as a main course or side dish.
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g couscous
  • 200 ml boil water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 english cucumber or 4 small ones
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bell pepper (any color) (I used 3 mini bell peppers)
  • 1/4 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1/4 bunch Fresh mint
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Few drops tabasco sauce (optional)
  • 1 large lemon
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan, bring the water and 1/4 tsp of salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover tightly with a lid and remove from heat, let steam for 5 minutes. Cool it down.
  • Cut tomatoes into small pieces.
  • Peel and cut cucumber into small cubes.
  • Peel and thinly chop onion.
  • Remove seeds from bell pepper and cut into small cubes.
  • Finely chop fresh parsley and mint.
  • Place the chopped vegetables, herbs and bulgur in a mixing bowl. Add Tabasco sauce. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Mix gently. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Transfer to a serving plater or serve it as a castle (using a ring)
  • Or in a glass.
  • Or as stuffed tomatoes.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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