King Cake (Galette des Rois)

This King Cake (Galette des Rois) is a very popular French pie. It celebrates the holiday of Epiphany, the day when 3 wise men came bearing gifts for newborn Jesus. The traditional way to bake this king cake is to place a porcelain figurine, a charm or “fève” into the center of the galette.  The person who receives the slice with the charm is “King of the Day”. The lucky winner gets to wear a (paper) crown for the rest of the day!

King Cake (Galette des Rois)

Natalija
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Resting time (refrigerator) 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) softened butter
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp rum (optional)
  • 2 sheets ready-to-use puff pastry ( Puff Pastry Sheets)
  • 1 egg yolk

Instructions
 

  • Beat the softened butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs. Stir in the almond powder. Add vanilla, rum and set it aside.
  • Roll out one sheet of puff pastry. Poke holes with fork.
  • Spread the almond filling over the center of the dough, leaving a 1 inch (1.2 cm) exposed border. If you wish, place a little porcelain figurine “fève” somewhere in the almond filling.
  • Brush the edges of the pastry with water and cover with another circle of dough on top and press down to seal the edges.
  • Use a paring knife to create a design on top of your galette, then brush with beaten yolk. Poke 3-5 holes in the top, to allow steam to escape while baking.
  • Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 380 degrees F. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. (Bake on the bottom rack of the oven).
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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!

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Cranberry Cake

Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author Natalija

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.

Easy Apple Cake

Delicate and full of apples easy to make cake. Recipe is very similar to famous Russian Apple Sharlotka but with a little of olive oil and baking powder.  Must try!

 

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Easy Apple Cake

Take sour apples for this recipe.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings
Author Natalija

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g sugar
  • 150 g sifted flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 big apples Granny Smith
  • 1 tsp confectioner's sugar (facultatif)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 380 degrees F. Grease and flour a round cake pan or line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar. Add flour and baking powder. Mix well, then add oil and mix last time.
  • Peel and dice apples into small pieces. Lay out the apples on the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour the batter over the apples.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes or until а knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool then transfer to plate.
  • Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.

Gluten-free Almond Cake

Here is the incredibly delicate and gluten-free almond cake. This is the “Amandier” recipe by renowned French Pastry chef Christophe Michalak with minor modifications. The main ingredients are almond flour and mascarpone.

If you enjoy this recipe, check out my other gluten-free desserts, such as the delicious banana muffins!

Gluten-free almond cake

Natalija
Amandier
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients
  

  • 6 eggs
  • 190 g sugar
  • 40 g honey
  • 300 g almond flour
  • 150 g softened salted or unsalted butter
  • 100 g mascarpone cheese
  • Some orange zest
  • 1 Tbsp liquid vanilla (or 1 packet of vanilla sugar) (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • Some powdered sugar (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 330°F (150°С). Grease baking pan with butter or line with parchment paper.
  • In a mixer bowl, put eggs, sugar, and honey.
  • Mix together.
  • Add almond flour and mix again.
  • In another bowl, mush the butter and mascarpone cheese together using a fork.
  • Add the mascarpone and butter to the egg-sugar mixture and mix again.
  • Add orange zest and vanilla to the batter. Mix well for the last time.
  • Pour the batter into baking pan.
  • Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until golden, about 45 minutes. Allow the almond cake to cool before removing it from the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
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Vanilla Creme Brulee

Absolutely amazing what a little cream, a little sugar and couple of eggs can turn into….  Perfect restaurant quality dessert. A rich custard topped with a hard layer of caramel.  This Vanilla creme brulee is very easy to make if you follow all the steps correctly.

It will perfectly complete your  cafe gourmand if the crème brûlée is served in small ramekins.

Look at this short video ! 🙂

Vanilla Crème brûlée

Natalija
Use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean, if you don’t have vanilla bean. You could add 2 Tbsp. of rum into the cream if desired. If you don’t own a blow torch, you can always use your broiler as well. You will need to move the top rack in your oven up as high as it will go.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 min
Total Time 6 hrs 11 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 120 g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 640 ml whipping cream
  • 6 tsp granulated sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into the cream. In a medium bowl, combine together sugar, eggs yolks, vanilla and whisk.
  • Add the cream a little at a time and stir. Remove the scum with a tea spoon.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and pour it into the ramekins. Divide cream mixture among ramekins (about 6 ramekins).
  • Arrange the ramekins in a baking pan with deep sides. And carefully pour water around ramekins so that the water level must reach about 2/3 of the ramekins.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. You will know its ready when the custard is wobbly and jiggle from side to side when nudged (it looks like jello).
  • Remove the custard from the water bath and let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours (overnight).
  • Before serving, cover each cold creme brulee evenly with sugar (1 tsp). Caramelize using a propane torch. If you don’t have one propane torch, use the broiler: put the oven rack about 6 inches away from the broiler. Place the custards on the baking sheet and broil for about 3-5 minutes, or until sugar bubbles and turns golden brown. (Keep a close eye on them, they can burn quickly)

Notes

With remaining eggs white, you could make some Coconut cookies.

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Gluten Free Banana Muffins

These Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins are moist and absolutely delicious. This is an excellent way to use your ripe bananas and make an excellent dessert that everyone will love.

I substitute all purpose flour by almond flour so they are gluten free! Brown sugar gives a beautiful amber color. A must-try dessert…

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins

Natalija
I like to use brown sugar, it gives a beautiful color and a caramelized taste but this recipe can by made with white sugar too.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 10 muffins

Ingredients
  

  • 3 eggs
  • 200 g brown sugar
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 50 g unsalted butter melted
  • 280 g almond flour
  • 120 g chocolate chips (60%)
  • 120 g chopped walnuts (or other nuts)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 370 degrees F. Grease muffin cups with butter or line with paper muffin liners.
  • Stir eggs, brown sugar and salt.
  • Mash bananas with a fork and mix them with egg mixture.
  • Stir almond flour and mix until smooth.
  • Add melted butter.
  • Then chopped nuts and chocolate chips. Mix well.
  • Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until golden, 25-30 minutes.
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French Pear pie (Tarte Bourdaloue)

The tarte Bourdaloue is a pie with pears and almonds; created by a Parisian pastry chef in the nineteenth century. This dessert is a variation of the amandine (almond tart).

French Pear pie (Tarte Bourdaloue)

Natalija
Almond cream, pears and some almonds: a dessert for real gourmets.
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Resting time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings 1 tart

Ingredients
  

Almond sweet short pastry

  • 120 g softened butter
  • 75 g confectioners sugar
  • 30 g almond powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 egg (beat a little with a fork)
  • 1 teaspoon liquid vanilla (1 packet of vanilla sugar or 1 vanilla bean)
  • 200 g sifted flour

Almond cream

  • 100 g softened butter
  • 100 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g almond powder
  • 2 teaspoons sour cream
  • 3 pears

More

  • 15 g butter (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon sledding almonds

Instructions
 

Almond sweet short pastry

  • Sift flour and powdered sugar into a bowl or on the kitchen table. Add almond powder and the softened butter. Mix with your hands until you get a crumbly mixture.
  • Add egg and liquid vanilla.
  • Mix everything very quickly to form a ball. The dough is now ready.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour, or freeze if you won't bake it in the next few days.

Almond cream

  • Beat butter and sugar with a mixer. Add eggs, cream and almond powder.

Preparing the pie

  • Preheat the oven to 370F. Roll out the dough between 2 layers of parchment paper.
  • Transfer the dough to a pan, press it down and on the sides of the pan. Cut the excess dough. Poke holes on the entire surface with a fork.
  • Spread the almond cream evenly over the dough.
  • Peel the pears and cut them in half. Remove the seeds. Cut into regular thin slices.
  • Arrange the pear slices nicely. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with almonds.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes until golden brown. Remove pie from oven and cool. You can sprinkle lightly with icing sugar before serving.
Keyword Almond cream, almonds, mycafegourmand, pear pie, pear tart, shortcrust pastry, tarte Bourdaloue
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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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French Chocolate Mousse

Only 2 ingredients are needed to prepare this delicious French chocolate mousse. No dairy products and no sugar added; all you need is dark chocolate and eggs. So simple and so tasty! The only downside is that you should allocate about 4 hours to chill the mousse before serving.

In small individual glasses, the chocolate mousse will be perfect for a cafe gourmand!

French Chocolate Mousse

Natalija
Use very fresh eggs and do not refrigerate the mousse for more than 24 hours. I recommend keeping the mousse in the freezer if it needs to be stored for an extended period of time.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 17 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g dark chocolate chips (60-70% cocoa) or break dark chocolate into small pieces
  • 6 fresh eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions
 

  • Melt chocolate in a microwave (or use a double boiler) until the chocolate is completely melted. If you use a microwave: put the chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave for 25 seconds, then stir. Microwave for 25 more seconds and stir again. Continue microwaving and stirring until the chocolate is liquid, smooth, and shiny.
  • Separate egg yolks from the egg whites. Add egg yolks in melted chocolate and mix well.
  • Whisk egg whites with salt until stiff.
  • Carefully fold the egg whites into chocolate using a spatula.
  • You should have a smooth and fluffy mousse.
  • Divide the mousse among individual glasses. Refrigerate your dessert for 4-6 hours.
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