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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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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Baked Feta (Psiti)

Baked Feta (Psiti) is a traditional Greek dish. It is very easy to prepare at home and will become one of your favorite appetizers.

Baked Feta (Feta Psiti)

Natalija
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 13 mins
Servings 6 servngs

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g feta cheese (in one block)
  • 2 pinches oregano
  • Some chili pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Place the feta in an oven-proof dish. Add the oregano and chili pepper flakes followed by the olive oil.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with fresh bread or pita.
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Flourless chocolate cake

The flourless chocolate cake is a delicate gluten free dessert that melts in your mouth. The recipe is absolutely simple without any flour! All you need is chocolate, butter, sugar and eggs.

My Cafe Gourmand

Flourless chocolate cake

Natalija
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g chocolate chips (60%)
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1/4 tbsp powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Melt the chocolate and butter on a water bath or in a microwave. Mix well.
  • Add sugar and mix well.
  • Separate yolks from egg whites.
  • Add yolks into the melted chocolate and mix.
  • Add salt to the egg whites, and beat into a thick foam.
  • Using a spatula carefully fold in whipped egg whites into chocolate mass.
  • Preheat oven to 380 degrees F. Generously butter a baking pan and pour the batter into the cake pan.
  • Bake in in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes. The exact time of baking depends on the oven, size and quality of the baking pan. Once the the cake is moist and not liquid inside (it’s not a lava cake) – it’s ready. Please, don’t overcook!
  • Let the cake cool then carefully remove it from the pan. Dust it with powdered sugar and serve.
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Puff Pastry-Wrapped Shrimps

The reason I love making Puff Pastry-Wrapped Shrimp so much is the simple ingredients. And because I almost always have frozen shrimp and puff pastry left in my freezer!

Puff Pastry-Wrapped Shrimps

Natalija
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 32 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 20 medium peeled shrimps
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 sheet all butter puff pastry
  • 1 egg

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 380 degrees F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Season shrimp with salt, pepper and seasoning.
  • Roll out the pastry dough and cut into 1 cm wide strips.
  • Starting at the top, wind one pastry strip around one shrimp, slightly overlapping the pastry and ending just before the tail. Repeat with each shrimp.
  • Place shrimp onto the baking sheet. Beat the egg in a small bowl with a fork, to make egg wash. Brush the shrimp pastry with egg wash.
  • Bake for about 12 min, or until golden brown. Do not overcook.
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Vegetable Tian

This is not a ratatouille, it is a “tian!” I often have to correct my guests when they ask me if this is a ratatouille. 😉

Tian is a french recipe of baked vegetables made with alternating rows of sliced eggplant, tomato, onion and zucchini. A tian itself is an earthenware dish that goes from the oven to table. Everything baked in this dish is called tian.

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Vegetable Tian

To make the tian look more appealing, use vegetables with similar widths.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Natalija

Ingredients

  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 7 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1-2 zucchini
  • 1-2 summer squash
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp herbs de provence

Instructions

  • Peel and cut the onion into half moons. Peel and cut the garlic into 2-4 pieces.
  • In a medium skillet heat 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil until hot, add onion and sauté until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
  • Preheat the oven to 400℉. Spread the cooked onion on the bottom of a baking dish.
  • Cut zucchini and summer squash into 1/4 inch slices.
  • Cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices.
  • Core and cut tomatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  • Arrange the zucchini, eggplant, squash and tomatoes in alternating rows. Continue until the baking dish is filled.
  • Sprinkle the vegetables with salt, pepper, Herbs de Provence and drizzle with the remaining olive oil.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and golden. If the vegetables are not ready, but the top is starting to burn, cover the tian with aluminum foil.

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.

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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Tuna Quiche

This French open-faced pie with canned tuna, egg & cream filling seems completely simple, but it is so delicious. Don’t forget to add mustard to this Tuna Quiche, it will give a charm to it.

Tuna Quiche

Natalija
I usually serve it with green salad. Aragula works the best.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 sheet all butter puff pastry
  • 200 g tuna in water (drained)
  • 1-2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 ml sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tomato
  • 30 g cheddar cheese shredded

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lay the puff pastry out on a baking sheet. Prick all over with a fork.
  • 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.
  • Meanwhile mix tuna and mayonnaise with fork. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Spread the mustard across centre. (I use mustard “a l’ancienne).
  • Spoon the tuna mix on top.
  • Combine eggs with sour cream and mix together. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour over tuna.
  • Slice tomato and arrange them on top of your quiche. Sprinkle with cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until quiche is golden brown.
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