Monday, December 19, 2011

Buche de Noel

I am addicted to the new show, The Chew. Michael Simon is one of my favorite chefs, so I have DVR'd it since it started. Last week, Linda Evans was on there and made her favorite Christmas dish, Buche de Noel. I was intrigued because it has no flour & is a beautiful dish. Buche de Noel is French for Christmas Log. My friend, Teri's birthday is a week before Christmas & she is my guinea pig for new dishes. Teri loves chocolate and maraschino cherries so every year I make her something with that in it. I found a recipe on All that looked good & had rave reviews so that is what I used. Here is the recipe from the website with my alterations/additions.


Filling:  2 cups heavy cream
              1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
              1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
              1 tsp vanilla
              (I added 12 chopped maraschino cherries)

Cake:    6 egg yolks
              1/2 cup white sugar
              1/3 cup cocoa powder
              1 1/2 tsps vanilla
              1/8 tsp salt
              6 egg whites
              1/4 cup sugar
              (I added about 2 tsps cream of tarter to egg white mixture)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a 10 x 15 inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper & spray liberally with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whip cream, 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa and 1 teaspoon vanilla until thick and stiff.  If you want to cherries, fold in to whipped cream. Refrigerate.

In a large bowl, use electric mixer to beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until thick and pale. Blend in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1 1/2 tsps vanilla and salt.  In a large glass bowl, using clean beaters, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar & beat until stiff peaks form. Fold chocolate egg yolks mixture into egg whites. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.

Dust a clean dishtowel with confectioner's sugar and turn the warm cake onto the towel.  Remove parchment paper. Starting at short edge of the cake, roll the cake up with the towel. Cool for 30 minutes.

Unroll the cake and spread the filling to within 1 inch of the edge.  Roll the cake up with the filling inside. Place seam side down on a serving plate. Dust with confectioner's sugar. Decorate with mint leaves and maraschino cherries to look like holly. It is supposed to look like snow on a log. Our Farmer's Market didn't have mint leaves, but they had parsley, so that is what I used.  

TIP - Beat the eggs (yolks and whites) very good. Since the cake has no flour, the texture of the cake is totally dependent on how well you beat the eggs. That is why I added cream of tartar to egg whites. It helps to stabilize egg whites & meringue.

Don't be intimidated by this cake. It is really not difficult. And the presentation is beautiful! Very light, but decadent cake. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fast & easy desserts using pumpkin

I don't eat cake mixes anymore unless they are organic, but I do have to whip up quick & easy desserts to take various places a LOT. Have you heard of Hungry Girl? You can sign up to receive daily emails, Like her on Facebook or Follow her on Twitter. She focuses on reducing calories & fat in recipes. I like a lot of her tips, but she uses too many artificial sweeteners & ingredients for me most of the time. However, in my opinion, her best tip ever is the many uses for a can of pumpkin. Pumpkin is loaded with antioxidants, fiber, beta carotene, etc. Just make sure you get REAL pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie filling.

1 Devil's Food cake mix
1 - 15 oz can of REAL pumpkin

Mix together and pour into cake pan or muffin tins. Bake as directed on cake box.

1 Spice cake mix
1 - 15 oz can of REAL pumpkin

Mix together and pour into cake pan or muffin tins.  Bake as directed on cake box.

Both of these recipes have about 183 calories; 3.5 g fat; 1.5 g fiber; 2 g protein.

I have only tried it with the Spice cake mix and the Devil's food cake mix. I'm not sure how it would work with others. But, these are moist and delicious.

Life is so busy for everyone these days. I try to eat the best I can 90% of the time, but there are times that life just gets in the way.

Enjoy! And many blessings to you and yours.