Saturday, December 19, 2009

Buche de Noel

Robert was asked to go into YW tomorrow and talk about Christmas in France/Belgium, as when he was on his mission. Somehow 'someone' said I could make something French and Christmasy as well. The only idea that FAST came into my mind was a Buche de Noel, or Yule Log....definitely French. I have just finished the product. Love the dirt covered mushrooms was not successful making any pinecones mainly because I am not a very good marzipan developer. But the Buche tastes really, really good.

Here's the recipe as found on the FoodNetwork. The point I want to impress upon you if you try is: if you have a KitchenAid you will be fine. You cannot whip egg whites in plastic bowl of the Bosche. So I used a hand mixer. It takes longer so grab a chair and watch TV while your whip for 15+ minutes. But the butter cream is so well worth it. I changed it since I don't use brandy nor espresso.


Chocolate Genoise Sheet:

* 3 large eggs
* 3 large egg yolks
* Pinch salt
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1/3 cup cake flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
* 1/3 cup cornstarch
* 1/4 cup alkalized (Dutch process) cocoa
* Special equipment: 10 by 15-inch jelly-roll pan, buttered and lined with buttered parchment

Set rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

Half-fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat so the water is simmering.

Whisk the eggs, yolks, salt, and sugar together in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Place over the pan of simmering water and whisk gently until the mixture is just lukewarm, about 100 degrees (test with your finger). Attach the bowl to the mixer and with the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until the egg mixture is cooled (touch the outside of the bowl to tell) and tripled in volume (takes longer with a hand mixer).

While the eggs are whipping, stir together the flour, cornstarch, and cocoa.

Sift 1/3 of the flour mixture over the beaten eggs. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture, making sure to scrape all the way to the bottom of the bowl on every pass through the batter to prevent the flour mixture from accumulating there and making lumps. Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour mixture and finally with the remainder.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the genoise for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until well risen, deep and firm to the touch. (Make sure the cake doesn't overbake and become too dry, or it will be hard to roll.)

Use a small paring knife to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Invert the cake onto a rack and let the cake cool right side up on the paper. Remove the paper when the cake is cool.

Storage: Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several days, or double-wrap and freeze for up to a month.

Yield: 1 (10 by 15-inch) sheet cake


* 4 large egg whites
* 1 cup sugar
* 24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
* 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
* 2 tablespoons pineapple juice, or apple juice; you can use vanilla or almond flavoring but use to taste
* 1 Chocolate Genoise Sheet from above


* 8 ounces almond paste
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 3 to 5 tablespoons light corn syrup

For Finishing:

* Cocoa powder
* Red and green liquid food coloring
* Confectioners' sugar


To make the buttercream: Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Set the bowl over simmering water and whisk gently until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are hot. Attach the bowl to the mixer and whip with the whisk on medium speed until cooled (THIS IS WHAT WILL TAKE AT LEAST 15 MINUTES). Switch to the paddle (NOT NECESSARY WITH A HAND MIXER) and beat in the softened butter and continue beating until the buttercream is smooth. Dissolve the cocoa in the flavoring and beat into the buttercream.

Turn the genoise layer over and peel away the paper. Invert onto a fresh piece of paper. Spread the layer with half the buttercream. Use the paper to help you roll the cake into a tight cylinder Transfer to baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until set. Reserve the remaining buttercream for the outside of the buche.

To make the marzipan: Combine the almond paste and 1 cup of the sugar in the bowl of the electric mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on low speed until the sugar is almost absorbed. Add the remaining 1 cup sugar and mix until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add half the corn syrup, then continue mixing until a bit of the marzipan holds together when squeezed, adding additional corn syrup a little at a time, as necessary; the marzipan in the bowl will still appear crumbly. Transfer the marzipan to a work surface and knead until smooth.

To make marzipan mushrooms: Roll 1/3 of the marzipan into a 6-inch long cylinder and cut into 1-inch lengths. Roll half the lengths into balls. Press the remaining cylindrical lengths (stems) into the balls (caps) to make mushrooms. Smudge with cocoa powder. To make holly leaves: Knead green color into 1/2 the remaining marzipan and roll it into a long cylinder. Flatten with the back of a spoon, then loosen it from the surface with a spatula. Cut into diamonds to make leaves, or use a cutter.

To make holly berries: Knead red color into a tiny piece of marzipan. Roll into tiny balls.

To make pine cones, knead cocoa powder into the remaining marzipan. Divide in half and form into 2 cone shapes. Slash the sides of cones with the points of a pair of scissors.

Unwrap the cake. Trim the ends on the diagonal, starting the cuts about 2 inches away from each end. Position the larger cut piece on the buche about 2/3 across the top. Cover the buche with the reserved buttercream, making sure to curve around the protruding stump. Streak the buttercream with a fork or decorating comb to resemble bark. Transfer the buche to a platter and decorate with the marzipan. Sprinkle the platter and buche sparingly with confectioners' sugar "snow."

Storage: Keep at cool room temperature. Cover leftovers loosely and keep at room temperature.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Butterfly Cookies

The ladies at the cookie exchange last night told me that this is a French cookie, but that mine tasted much better than the European version. Maybe Dad can weigh on that one...

I got this recipe from Mom, who got it from Gwen Howell.


3 cups flour
1 pound margarine
1 cup cold water

Work 3 cups flour with 1/2 pound of margarine.
Add 1 cup of cold water.
Work together using a fork. It will be sticky.

Roll out dough on floured board to about 24 in. by 24 in.

Spread 1 stick of margarine onto dough.

Fold into thirds and jellyroll. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Repeat rolling out and spread with last stick of margarine.
Fold into thirds and jellyroll. Refrigerate overnight.

Cut into three pieces. Roll out thinly on a very generously sugared board.
Fold into quarters and cut into 1/2" strips.
Bake on foil lined pans for 10 minutes on 400.

Turn over and bake for about 1 minute more.
Then cool on waxed paper.

A few tips:

When baking, only put 12 on a cookie sheet.

Keep it to 1/2 inch in width...any wider and it isn't as crispy and takes longer to cook.

Make sure to touch the edges of your cookie in sugar after you cut it and before you form it and place on the cookie sheet.

Watch carefully, and be sure not to burn the butter by overcooking it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Apple and Cheese Sandwiches…MMM NOM NOM

So this is a really simple sandwich, based on one of my favorite, if not my most favorite, meal:

A honey crisp apple, sliced swiss cheese and a fresh baguette.

With that said, most red and yellow apples work great for this, gala and macintosh apples fit nicely with cheddar, havarti, muenster and any crunchy and crsipy bread like hard italian rolls, ciabatta, and on a good day, a cuban roll. The sandwich above is on the baguette that I made earlier today, with a gala apple slice and a slice of havarti cheese.

So it goes like this:

~1/4" slice apple
~1/4" slice cheese

I've put onion in the sandwich as well but nine out of ten times I prefer the three ingredients.

This sandwich is heaven on earth.


So I made some baguettes today. It was my second try, first try back in '06 ended poorly to say the least. I guess I did something right today and maybe my year and a half journey to better pizza is paying off cause I'm quite proud of myself on this attempt.

Word on the street is that when the crumb—the soft interior of the bread—has a variety of hole shapes and sizes, it's a good thing.

I used the KAF recipe from The Bakers Companion but made a couple adjustments, I let my oven preheat for an hour @ 500º, other then that I stuck to the recipe pretty well.

I'm not going to copy the recipe verbatim cause if you are like me, you may fall asleep during the second paragraph.

1 1/4 C AP flour
2/3 C cool water (60ºf)
1/4 tsp instant yeast

2 1/2 C AP flour
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp salt
2/3 C cool water

Step 1
Mix the poolish ingredients together until blended. Cover, set aside overnight.

Step 2
Take the dough ingredients, all except for the water and put them in the bowl of you mixer or whatever else you are using. then add the poolish and water then mix until it, "…just becomes cohesive, about 30 seconds." Let rest for 20 min.

Step 3
Knead the dough until it's cohesive and elastic but still a little rough. Don't go for a smooth dough at this point. Transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl and let rise for 2 hours. At hour 1 take remove the dough, deflate it, fold it in half, put it back in the bowl. Do this more often if the dough is wet or too slack. (I had to do it 3 times)

Step 4
Preheat your oven and stone if you have one @500º. Take the dough out of the bowl and form it into 3 rough logs. Let rest for 20min. Shape the rough logs into thinner 14" logs. let them rise in a couche for 30-40 min. They are supposed to be "noticeably puffy". I made a makeshift couche out of canvas, any fabric should do just fine, I'm pretty sure. The dough sits in the folds like the image on the right.

Step 5
Lower the oven temp to 475º make some slits in your baguettes, 4 of them about 1/4 inch deep, spray them "heavily" warm water and in the oven they go for about 20 min. and when they are deep golden brown, take them out and let them cool on a wire rack.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Key Lime Cake & Limonada

This cake is refreshing and delightful.

It's perfect for Christmas entertaining.

In fact, if you were to come visit me over the holidays I would most likely make it for you.

I made the cake above to take to my ward's Christmas party tonight.

If you are interested in making Steve's "Limonada" pictured in the background, go here.

The key lime cake recipe is from The Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen.

--Key Lime Cake--


  • 3 sticks Margarine
  • 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 6 whole Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • _____
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ½ cups Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ cups Fresh Lime Juice
  • _____
  • 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • 1 stick Margarine
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • ⅓ cups Fresh Lime Zest

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven at 325 degrees.

Begin by preparing the cake. Beat 8 oz. (1 package) of cream cheese with 3 sticks of margarine until creamy. Add 3 cups sugar. Add eggs one at a time and mix until combined. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla, then 3 cups of flour and mix until combined. Bake in a greased and floured bundt pan for 75 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

While cake is baking, prepare the lemon/lime sugar bath. Bring 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup lime juice to a boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Now make the tart cream cheese frosting by beating the remaining cream cheese (8 oz.) with 1 stick margarine. Slowly add in 4 cups powdered sugar, mixing until creamy. Add the teaspoons of lemon, lime juice, and vanilla, then mix until incorporated. Stir in lime zest. Set aside.

Once cake is done, pour half of the lemon/lime sugar mix into the pan with the hot cake. Wait for 5 minutes, then flip the cake and paint the remaining lemon/lime sugar mix onto the top of cake. Once cool, drizzle tart cream cheese frosting all over cake. Serve and enjoy!

Monday, December 7, 2009

chocolate cake and Linda Bruderer's mom's frosting

Above are 3 pictures. The top two are Guy and Scarlett frosting and decorating the Beverly Nye chocolate cake with Linda Bruderer's mom frosting recipe. I used to always make this.

The bottom picture is one that Jocelyn's friend sent her and it reminded Jocelyn of the cake I used to make, which was first made for me by Linda Bruderer herself. Thought it was time to include these 2 recipes.

Beverly Nye's Delicious Chocolate Cake
Beat together:
1 cup salad oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 egg yolks
1 t. vanilla

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 T. baking soda
1/4 t. salt

1 cup boiling water

Bake in 9x13 pan or 3 round pans at 325 degrees for one hour.

Linda Bruderer's mom's frosting (Mrs. O'Connor)

Bring to boil and stir constantly til thick (about 10 minutes):
3 T. flour
1 cup milk

Then cool to room temperature.

1/4 pound oleo - softened
1/2 cup crisco
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 t. vanilla

Add the cooled milk mixture and mix again for about 10 minutes til smooth and light.

Frost cakes and add decorations (Hershey kisses, what else?)

Chicken and Fruit Salad

I got this recipe from mom a few years ago and have served it for luncheons at my house.  Last week, I thought it would be fun to invite the sisters that I visit teach to my house for a luncheon. My partner was right on board with it too.  We served this salad.  (Which at first I couldn't find it...but then I remembered where I had written down some salad/side dish recipes...and not only that, I found Ken's cranberry salad written down. haha.  Well, thank goodness I'm posting it all here!)  Melanie made a cesear salad with homemade dressing. (I'll see if I can get the recipe and add it to the blog.)  The kids had chicken nuggets, rolls, grapes.

I thought I'd do up the table all special and Gunner-like...voila:

Chicken and Fruit Salad
Comine in large bowl:
6 cups cooked, chopped chicken OR 2 cands of canned chicken breast
16 oz. cooked bowtie pasta
1/4 c. green onions

In separate bowl, mix: 
2 c. mayo (not miracle whip)
16 pz coleslaw dressing
Juice from pineapple (see below)

Mix and Chill.  Add:
1 can pineapple idbits
1 c. diced celery
2 c. green and red grapes
2 small Fuji apples, chopped and diced
1 bag (small) slivered almonds

Best if pasta and dressing are mixed athe night before.  Add the rest before serving.  This makes a TON.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lily loves Pulled Pork

If you missed Lily's baby blessing, then you missed some delicious food by  Hank and Jordan.  Hank will have to post some of his own how-tos.  But I got the how-to from Hillary.  Here is what she said:

We rubbed: pepper, cumin, chili powder and paprika (about a teaspoon each) onto the meat and then Jordan grilled it to tough up the outside meat. Then we put it in 1 cup of chicken broth in the crock pot on high for 4-5 hours. At the end, we added some Sweet Baby Ray’s chipotle BBQ sauce. Yum!

Sorry there is no pictures...the pot was scraped clean!