Monday, December 30, 2013

Yule Log Cake - Buche de Noel




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So what if Christmas is over... It is the spirit of Christmas that matters and should stay with us... That said it is never too late to bake this Yule log cake for New Years day perhaps :)

Recipe Adapted from: Joy of Baking

For the cake: 

Ingredients: 

1. Eggs - 6 large, separated
2. Semi sweet chocolate chips - 4oz
3. Granulated white sugar - 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
4. Pure vanilla extract - 1 tsp
5. Cream of Tartar - 3/4 tsp
6. Butter - for greasing the pan
7. Cocoa - for dusting the pan

Preparation: 

1. Bring all the ingredients to room temperature. This is very important as it helps the batter to rise to a good volume.
2. Line a 17X12 inch jelly roll cake pan with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper and dust with cocoa.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
4. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave or double boiler and keep aside.
5. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and the sugar until it becomes creamy and pale yellow in color. The mixture should be light and fluffy and should fall back as thick ribbons when you raise the beaters. This should take about 5 mins.
6. Add the vanilla extract and melted chocolate and beat to just combine.
7. In another clean mixing bowl with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and the 2 tbsp of sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.
8. Fold in the egg whites in small amounts into the egg yolk mixture in quick wide strokes until fully incorporated. Try not to deflate the batter.
9. Spread the batter evenly in the baking sheet and bake for 15-17 mins. The cake should spring back when gently pressed.
10. Cover the cake with a clean slightly damp towel to prevent drying out while cooling.

Filling - Chocolate Whipped Cream 

Ingredients:

1. Heavy whipping cream - 1 cup
2. Cocoa - 2 tbsp
3. Confectioner's sugar - 3 tbsp
4. Vanilla - 1/2 tsp

Preparation: 

1. Chill the whisk attachment and the mixing bowl (preferably stainless steel as it retains the temperature for longer) with all the ingredients listed above in the refrigerator for at least an hour prior to using.
2. Beat the cream mixture until stiff peaks form.

Assembling the cake: 

1. Once the cake has cooled, spread the whipped cream evenly. Gently start rolling the cake from one end, from the longer or the shorter end depending on how long you would want the cake to be. If you are planning to use stumps as well on the log, it would be better to roll from the longer side.
2. Peel away the parchment paper as you roll the cake. Try to roll the cake as tightly as you can. Use the parchment paper to pull in the cake and make the roll tighter.
3. The cake might crack as you roll. This is totally alright as this would give a more natural log like appearance and you would be covering this in frosting anyway.
4. You could cut about 3 inches from the 2 ends for the stumps, depending on how many stumps you need.
5. At this point, you could cover the cake in the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the frosting.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting to cover the log

Ingredients: 

1. Heavy cream - 1 cup
2. Semi sweet chocolate - 4-5 oz
3. Sugar - 1 tbsp

1. Mix all the 3 ingredients in a heavy bottom saucepan and heat at medium low temperature mixing with a whisk until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth.
2. Refrigerate, stirring every 5 mins, until the frosting cools down and reaches the right consistency (like Nutella) to ice the cake. This would take about an hour.

Frosting the cake: 

1. Attach the stumps on the log using a little bit of icing and cover the log in the frosting using a small metal spatula. At this point you could transfer the log to a cake stand or serving platter by lifting the cake carefully using a long knife or a serrated bread knife.
2. Upon covering, run the tip of a fork over the log to give it a log like texture.
3. You could give it more life by adding some greens, cherries, cranberries or meringue mushrooms.
4. Dust with confectioners sugar to complete.
5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hrs before using.

Enjoy! :D










Thursday, December 19, 2013

Buckwheat Banana Pancakes

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These healthy, gluten-free pancakes made with buckwheat flour, have a wonderfully warm and earthy flavor, perfect for winter mornings.

Yield : 6-8 pancakes


Ingredients: 

1. Bananas - 3, mashed to a pulp

2. Egg - 1
3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 2 tbsp (You could substitute with butter for more flavor.)
4. Milk - 1 cup
5. Pure Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
6. Sugar - 3 tbsp
7. Sea Salt - 1/4 tsp
8. Buckwheat flour - 1 cup
9. Baking powder - 1 tsp
10. Cinnamon - 1/8 tsp
11. Blueberries - 1 cup  (If using frozen blueberries, do not thaw them)
12. Honey or Maple Syrup

Preparation: 

1. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas into a pulp form. Add the ingredients 2-7 one at a time mixing in between.

2. Add the baking powder and 1/4 cup of buckwheat flour at a time. Mix throughly until fully incorporated.
3. Add the cinnamon and blueberries and give it another mix.
4. Season the griddle with butter or cooking spray on a low - medium flame. If you are using butter, make sure that the butter does not get burnt.  
5. Pour a ladle full of batter onto the pan. Cook for about a minute or until small bubbles form on the top. 
6. Turn the pancake and cook for another 1 min until brown and cooked through. 
7. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter. 

8. Serve with honey or maple syrup. 

Enjoy! :D 


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shrimp Green Beans and Mushrooms over Israeli Couscous

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A quick and easy weeknight meal. Hope you all will love this one!

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients: 

Israeli couscous or Pearl couscous- 2 cups
Chicken broth - 2.5 cups
Onion - 1, chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
Shrimp - 1 lb (peeled and de-veined)
Green beans - 2 cups, Chopped to 2 inch pieces
Cremini Mushrooms - 2 cups, chopped
Tabasco Sauce - 4 tbsp + 1 tsp
Dry white wine - 1/2 cup
Olive oil - 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Freshly ground Black pepper - As desired
Salt - To taste

Preparation: 

1. Marinate the shrimp in Tabasco sauce and keep aside.
2. Bring the broth to a boil in a pan. Add the couscous, simmer for 5 mins, remove from heat and keep closed for 10 mins. Fluff with a fork and keep aside.
3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Add the marinated shrimp and fry on each side for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper. Transfer to another bowl and keep aside.
4. In the same pan, add a tbsp of oil. When the oil heats up, add the garlic and onions, saute for a few seconds. When the onion sweats, add the chopped mushrooms and green beans. Mix well, cover and cook for about 5 mins stirring occasionally.
5. Remove the pan from heat, add the shrimp, tabasco sauce and white wine followed by some freshly ground pepper and salt.
6. Put it back on the heat, mix well for about a minute or until the wine gets reduced.
7. Remove from heat and serve over the top of the couscous.

Enjoy! :D


 
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