Delicious Tuna and Smoked Salmon Pate is an amazing appetizer served with fresh or toasted bread.
Pavlova is a dessert, named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in 1926. It is a meringue dessert with crisp crust and soft light inside, topped with cream and fresh berries.
You can make meringue shells ahead of time and freeze them. I usually make the cream the same day I want to serve my Mini Pavlova. And as always this dessert is a perfect mini dessert for my Cafe Gourmand.
I rarely use food coloring when baking. I like my desserts to have their original color. But if you are cooking for Valentine's Day or for a Princess party, you may add some food coloring to your dessert. This time I used one tiny drop of red coloring to make the cream pink.
1 hour 30 minutes
Using mixer, begin beating your egg whites and salt on a low speed, steadily increasing up to medium high.
While beating on a medium speed, slowly add the confectioner's sugar, about 1-2 Tbsp at a time. Once all the sugar is added, keep beating until the egg whites hold stiff peaks.
Preheat oven to 230 degrees F. Draw circles of approximately 4-8 cm diameter (you can use a pint glass as a guide) on each of the parchment lined sheets.
Spoon meringue into piping bag, fitted with 3/4 inch tip. Pipe meringue to cover circles on prepared baking sheet. Pipe two more rings of meringues on top of outer edge to form walls of Pavlovas.
Bake in center of oven until dry and crisp, about 1 1/2 hours.
Turn off the oven and let the meringues completely cool in the oven. Once cooled, you can top them with whipped cream and berries.
With mixer, beat together very cold heavy cream and mascarpone cheese, until whipped gradually adding sugar. Add food coloring. Don't overbeat the cream, or you will end up with butter.
Spoon cream into piping bag.
Right before serving, pipe frosting on the pavlovas and top with fresh berries.
If you have some leftovers cream, you can pipe it into a small glass and garnish with some fresh berries.
Pease don't waste your egg yolks, you can always make Creme brûlée.
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)
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).
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.
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.
Beat together very cold heavy cream and cold mascarpone cheese until this is whipped. Keep gradually adding sugar.
Paint the biscuit with sugar syrup.
Spread the chantilly cream evenly over the biscuit.
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.