Chocolate Yule Log (Bûche de Noël)

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.

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Chocolate Yule Log (Bûche de Noël)
Course Dessert
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Sugar syrup
Biscuit
Chantilly cream
Course Dessert
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Sugar syrup
Biscuit
Chantilly cream
Instructions
Sugar syrup
  1. 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
  1. Preheat oven to 380 degrees F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until the mixture becomes thick, fluffy, and triples in volume.
  3. Using a spatula, gently fold in flour and cocoa powder.
  4. 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.
  5. Turn upside down onto clean kitchen towel and carefully remove parchment paper. Let cool down.
Chocolate ganache
  1. Boil the heavy whipping cream. Pour the boiling cream over the dark chocolate. Wait for one minute.
  2. Then mix it until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Add butter and mix until this is fully dissolved.
  4. 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
  1. Beat together very cold heavy cream and cold mascarpone cheese until this is whipped. Keep gradually adding sugar.
Assemblage
  1. Paint the biscuit with sugar syrup.
  2. Spread the chantilly cream evenly over the biscuit.
  3. Roll up firmly.
  4. Tightly cover with plastic wrap, and keep in the fridge until chocolate ganache is ready.
  5. 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.
  6. Before serving, dust with cacao cocoa powder and decorate with meringues or pieces of chocolate.

Walnut Raisin Cake

This easy to make cake is perfect for a breakfast. The Walnuts and raisin go well together.

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Walnut Raisin Cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  2. Grind the walnuts in a blender.
  3. Using a mixer beat the butter with sugar.
  4. Add the eggs and mix.
  5. Add the flour and mix.
  6. Add the walnuts. Mix.
  7. Add the raisins and mix with a spatula.
  8. Pour the batter in the pan.
  9. Bake for about 40 minutes or until а toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once the cake cooled down, transfer to a plate.
  10. Dust it with powdered sugar before serving.

Smoked Salmon Puffs

These irresistible little puffs are filled with a delicate cream made of smoked salmon. Excellent as an appetizer with a glass of Champagne!

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Smoked Salmon Puffs
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
small puffs
Ingredients
Dough
Salmon filling
Course Appetizers
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
small puffs
Ingredients
Dough
Salmon filling
Instructions
Dough
  1. Preheat oven to 390 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a pot, add water, butter and salt. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
  2. Add flour and mix well, until the dough comes away from the walls and forms into a ball.
  3. Add the eggs one by one. Stir well. The dough should become smooth and shiny.
  4. Place saucepan back on the heat and keep mixing for about 30-50 seconds, to dry out the moisture. Remove from the heat.
  5. Transfer the dough to a piping bag.
  6. Pipe puffs (no bigger than a walnut). Space the puffs on the baking sheet, because the dough will rise.
  7. Lightly brush the top of puffs with egg yolk.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the puffs are puffed and golden brown in color. Do not open the oven while baking. Remove from the oven, let them cool down completely and carefully transfer to a flat surface.
Smoked salmon filling
  1. In a food processor, combine the smoked salmon with the onion, garlic, sour cream and olive oil. Process until smooth.
  2. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Mix once more.
  3. Whip heavy cream, until soft peaks form.
  4. Gently fold in salmon mix into the whipped cream. Add the minced fresh dill.
  5. Cut puffs in half. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag and fill the puffs. Replace the top.
  6. Dust puffs with paprika. Serve right away or keep in the refrigerator.

Walnut Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Once baked the walnuts get that gooey-caramel and crunchy coating.


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Walnut Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Course Dessert

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes

Servings
servings


Ingredients

Course Dessert

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes

Servings
servings


Ingredients


Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-10 inch round cake pan. Place pineapple slices on the bottom of the pan.

  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla on high speed for about 8 min. Slowly add flour. Using a spatula fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.

  3. Add chopped walnuts.

  4. Carefully spoon mixture into a pan cake.

  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

  6. Cool for at list 10 minutes, then turn the pan over onto a serving plate. Wait 30 seconds then lift the pan off.

Easy Madeleines

Very light, fluffy and tasty French cookies. Classic small sponge cakes shaped like seashell, usually made with lemon zest. I love lemon, but I decided not to add any to my madeleines. I just like them plain.

You can find molds for mini-madeleines. That’s really nice and you can savor them for a cafe gourmand.

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Madeleines
To make an authentic madeleine, you will need a madeleine pan. But you can use a muffin pan or any cake pan.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl combine eggs and sugar. Whip until light. Add milk and mix well.
  2. Carefully fold in the flour, baking powder and pinch of salt.
  3. Add melted butter and mix throughly until smooth. Let the batter rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter madeleine pan. My pan makes 12 cookies at a time. From this receipe you'll make 24 cookies.
  5. Spoon batter into the prepared molds, filling 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are golden and the tops spring back. Remove the madeleines from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes.
  6. With a knife or fork carefully loosen the madeleines from the pan and then tip the whole pan out to a prepared plate.
  7. If you want to make it in a loaf pan, it will take much longer, about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake come out clean.

Pâte brisée Pie shell

Shortbread dough is very popular when making quiche, pie, tart and tartelettes. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to make this unsweetened pie shell. It turns out light, crumbly, crunchy and deliciously buttery. After trying making this recipe you will never go back to store-bought crust again.

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Pâte brisée Pie shell
Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, then freeze. It can last up to 3 months.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl or on the clean table surface combine salt and flour together. Add chunks of softened butter.
  2. Use finger to combine until crumbly.
  3. Add egg yolks and start to knead the dough, only add as much water as dough needs. Do not over-knead.
  4. Shape into a ball.
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 380°F. Unwrap dough and roll into a thin circle between two pieces of parchment paper.
  7. Fit dough into a tart pan, press firmly on bottom and sides. Trim any extra dough. Pick all over with a fork.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until pie shell is lightly golden.

Lemon Cake

I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Whether it be a plain piece of dark chocolate or a decadent caramel cheesecake, I can’t remember the last time I turned down dessert. My mouth  waters every time I see or think of this Lemon Cake. Each time I’m at Starbucks, I know what I will be ordering. I can’t guarantee  this Lemon loaf tastes exactly like Starbucks, I personally think it’s better. You tell me. 🙂

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Lemon Cake
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Icing
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Icing
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
  2. Combine eggs and sugar.
  3. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract.
  4. Add vegetable oil and mix.
  5. Gradually add greek yogurt and mix until combined.
  6. Stir in baking powder.
  7. Slowly add flour. Blend until smooth.
  8. Pour the batter into the baking pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and quickly cover the pan with aluminum foil, and return to the oven, for the last 10 minutes, to prevent excess browning.
  9. Cool the loaf in a pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan to wire racks to cool completely.
  10. Whisk confectioners' sugar with lemon juice until smooth. Spoon evenly over the loaf and let sit for about 30 minutes.

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
Servings
people
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 380ºF. Grease and flour a cake pan.
  2. Beat eggs and sugar with mixer until slightly thickened.
  3. Add melted butter and mix well.
  4. Stir in the flour and baking powder.
  5. Add the cranberries and stir gently.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool. If desired, dust with confectioners sugar.

Ponchiki (Russian Doughnuts)

Every kid of the Soviet Union should remember the taste of golden and crunchy on the outside and fluffy and tender on the inside tvoroznye ponchiki. It’s a deep-fried piece of dough shaped into a small ball and covered with powdered sugar. They don’t just look delightful, they taste the same.

You don’t have to take a trip to Russia to get the real taste of ponchiki : I’ll be sharing my recipe with you today.

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Ponchiki (Russian Doughnuts)
If you couldn't find farmers cheese in your local grocery store, don't panic : use ricotta. This is a good substitute for farmers cheese. Very similar taste. But be sure to drain the water out of the ricotta.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, beat two eggs with sugar and salt, add baking soda and vanilla. Continue beating for 30 more seconds. Add two cups of farmers cheese and beat for 20 more seconds. Add flour and stir with a spatula. Dough will be sticky.
  2. Using a small ice cream scoop, or wet hands form dough into a small balls.
  3. In a large iron skillet, heat the oil until hot (350 degrees F). Add ponchiki, one at a time, and fry over medium heat until golden brown. Normally ponchiki roll over on their own, and you don't have to turn them over.
  4. Lift them with tongs, drain on paper towel. Toss ponchiki in powdered sugar while they are still hot. You can serve them right away.

Potato Pancakes (Draniki)

One of my husband’s favorite food is draniki. Russian style potato pancakes. Perfect for breakfast or branch. I’ve seen draniki  recipes that use mashed potato also, but I personally prefer my potato to be coarsely  grated, because then you have more crispy ends. Traditionally draniki are served with sour cream, but you can also serve them with ketchup or cottage cheese.

Print Recipe
Potato Pancakes (Draniki)
You will need some extra olive oil, draniki absorb oil very fast.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Peel and grate potatoes. Squeeze grated potatoes with hands, extracting as much liquid as possible.
  2. In a large bowl beet eggs, baking soda and buttermilk, add grated potatoes, salt, pepper and flour, mix well.
  3. In a large iron skillet heat the olive oil until hot. Place the tablespoons of batter in the pan and flatten with spoon.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the bottom is golden brown.Turn over and cook on the other side.
  5. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve them hot with sour cream.
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