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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Salmon Теrrine

Make a Salmon Terrine with fresh and smoked salmon, eggs, sour cream, and parsley. This elegant french recipe is a refined and delicious appetizer and it is perfect for cold buffets. Serve the terrine with mayonnaise, vegetables, or a green salad.

Salmon Terrine

Natalija
This Salmon Terrine is served cold and gets even better the next day. Very convenient to prepare in advance.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g salmon fillet with no skin or bones
  • 5 eggs
  • 250 г sour cream
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 250 g smoked salmon cut into small pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 390° F (180°C). Grease a loaf pan using cooking oil.
  • Cut the fresh salmon into pieces and mix with a food processor.
  • Add the eggs and mix well.
  • Add the sour cream and parsley.
  • Add the smoked salmon, salt and pepper. Mix with a spatula.
  • Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.
  • Allow the salmon terrine to cool before removing it from the pan. Serve the dish chilled.
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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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Tuna Rice Salad

Very nourishing and yet simple to make salad from canned tuna, rice, corn, avocado, eggs and tomatoes. No mayonnaise! This salad always comes to my mind when I have leftover rice.

Tuna Rice Salad

Natalija
You can add english cucumber to this salad.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 hard boiled eggs peeled
  • 1 can (150 g) tuna in its own juice drained
  • 100 g fully cooked rice
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 can whole kernel sweet corn drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes cut into 6-8 wedges
  • 1/4 red oinon peeled and cut in half-moon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • Green onion or fresh dill minced

Instructions
 

  • In a nice big serving plate, mash tuna using a fork. Add rice and stir to combine.
  • Cut the avocado in half, using a sharp knife, slice through the avocado lengthwise until you feel the knife hit the pit. Remove the pit and dice avocado into cubes.
  • Add avocado, corn, tomatoes, and red onion. Carefully mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Slice eggs into quarter. Arrange them on top of the salad. Garnish with green onion.
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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.

French Madeleines

Natalija
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 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 24 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 4 eggs
  • 220 g sugar
  • 120 ml milk
  • 200 g all purpose flour sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 120 g unsalted butter melted

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl combine eggs and sugar. Whip until light. Add milk and mix well.
  • Carefully fold in the flour, baking powder and pinch of salt.
  • Add melted butter and mix throughly until smooth. Let the batter rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • With a knife or fork carefully loosen the madeleines from the pan and then tip the whole pan out to a prepared plate.
  • 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.
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Three Layer Chocolate Mousse

Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate… Each layer has different taste and texture. You can use any size glasses you desire. And of course, as always, I choose mini portions. Ideal for a Cafe Gourmand.

Three layer chocolate mousse

Natalija
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 6 hrs 35 mins
Servings 6 serving

Ingredients
  

Dark chocolate ganache

  • 120 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 100 g dark chocolate

Milk chocolate mousse

  • 100 g milk chocolate
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pinch salt

White chocolate mousse

  • 150 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 100 g white chocolate

For garnishing

  • 6-8 fresh raspberries

Instructions
 

Dark chocolate ganache

  • In a small pan, boil the heavy whipping cream. Pour the boiling cream over the dark chocolate. Wait for one minute and mix it until the mixture is smooth.
  • Divide dark chocolate ganache among six glasses. Refrigerate for one hour.

Milk chocolate mousse

  • Separate egg yolks from the egg whites.
  • Melt milk chocolate in microwave until the chocolate is completely melted. Add egg yolks in melted chocolate and mix well.
  • Whisk egg whites with salt until stiff.
  • Carefully fold in the egg whites into chocolate.
  • Remove glasses from the fridge, spoon the mousse over the chocolate gonache and chill for another hour.

White chocolate mousse

  • Bring the heavy whipping cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate. Wait 1-2 minutes until white chocolate melts.
  • Whisk until smooth. Place white chocolate in the fridge for about 45 minutes. Chocolate should chill completely but at the same time still liquid.
  • Beat the chilled chocolate until soft foam.
  • Using piping bag or small spoon, spread the mousse into the glasses.
  • Refrigerate your dessert for 4-6 hours.
  • Before serving, garnish each glass with fresh berries. If the portion is mini, you can cut raspberries into 2 pieces.
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Spring Egg Salad With Green Onion

Perfect simple and plain salad, of which I think every time I see bunch of green onion. You will only need 3 ingredients to make this salad. I normally use mayonnaise as a dressing, but you can use sour cream as well, or mix of sour cream with mayonnaise (50/50).

Spring Egg Salad With Green Onion

Natalija
To avoid over salting your salad, taste the salad right after adding mayonnaise, and only then add salt and pepper. Don’t squish the salad, it has to stay light and fluffy.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 3 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 6 hard boiled eggs peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 bunch green onion finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch paprika (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Stir eggs, mayonnaise and green onion in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with some paprika if desire.
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Ham And Cheese Quiche

The Quiche is a French open faced pie. Amazing dish which can be served with tossed salad, roasted potatoes, bouillon ( broth ) or just by itself.

Ham and cheese quiche

Natalija
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 sheet all butter puff pastry
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 ml cream
  • 150 g ham
  • 70 g shredded cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • On parchment paper, roll puff pastry out to larger than the size of your baking dish circle. Transfer to a pie plate. Using a fork, prick the surface of the dough to keep it from puffing up.
  • Pop in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the crust starts to turn light gold. Remove the pastry from the oven, pressing the center down with a fork, if it puffed up a bit.
  • Cut ham into small cubes and spread on top of the dough.
  • Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, salt and pepper. Pour evenly over the cheese layer.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a tooth pick comes clean.
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Course: Main Dish

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. 🙂

Lemon Cake

Irina
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup yogurt (I use Greek yogurt)
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Icing

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
  • Combine eggs and sugar.
  • Add lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract.
  • Add vegetable oil and mix.
  • Gradually add greek yogurt and mix until combined.
  • Stir in baking powder.
  • Slowly add flour. Blend until smooth.
  • 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.
  • Cool the loaf in a pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Whisk confectioners’ sugar with lemon juice until smooth. Spoon evenly over the loaf and let sit for about 30 minutes.
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