Monday, 29 December 2008


Actually , This is my first challenge of"daring bakers".

IT was a great adventure, my luck was not so good, this recipe was six recipes in one !!

It was really a challenge for me , I took my decision and started the hard work!!

Three days of work in the kitchen with six sink full of dishes! Do you believe it?
I am a hard worker but this one was really hard.
But every thing was o.k and I did not face any problems.

This month's challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux.They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand.
And the Challenge this month was " A French Yule Log!!!
Talking about our challenge , I was really surprised of how much complex it is.
But I started , it is actually 6 amazing recipes in one but the french"gavottes" did not work good with me , so I did not try it again and I worked with the rice crispies, I also used a spring form mould heart shaped. The result was amazing , the taste was awsome, I decorated it with transfer chocolate sheets , I made some crafts with chocolate using battonets moulds and transfer sheets and some green leaves to make chocolate leaves, I used a yellow flower after coating it with egg white and dust it with "sucre glace".

Here you are my first french yule log.....

The recipe's document was 18 pages long, but the actual recipe is not 12 pages long, it’s more on the order of 3-4 pages once we choose our preferable flavors.

THE CHALLENGE RULE is that we MUST MAKE ALL 6 of these elements for the log:

1) Dacquoise Biscuit
2) Mousse
3) Ganache Insert
4) Praline (Crisp) Insert
5) Creme Brulee Insert
6) Icing
The assembly will essentially be a Dacquoise Biscuit at the bottom, and the inserts inter-layered with mousse, with an icing finish.

My taste choice was:-

1-Element #1 Dacquoise Biscuit (Almond Cake).

Preparation time: 10 mn + 15 mn for baking

Equipment: 2 mixing bowls, hand or stand mixer with whisk attachment, spatula, baking pan such as a 10”x15” jelly-roll pan, parchment paper
Note: You can use the Dacquoise for the bottom of your Yule Log only, or as bottom and top layers, or if using a Yule log mold (half-pipe) to line your entire mold with the biscuit.
Take care to spread the Dacquoise accordingly.
Try to bake the Dacquoise the same day you assemble the log to keep it as moist as possible.

Ingredients:2.8 oz (3/4cup + 1Tbsp / 80g) almond meal
1.75 oz (1/2 cup / 50g) confectioner’s sugar
2Tbsp (15g) all-purpose flour
3.5oz (100g / ~100ml) about 3 medium egg whites
1.75 oz (4 Tbsp / 50g) granulated sugar
1. Finely mix the almond meal and the confectioner's sugar. (If you have a mixer, you can use it by pulsing the ingredients together for no longer than 30 seconds).
2. Sift the flour into the mix.
3. Beat the eggs whites, gradually adding the granulated sugar until stiff.
4. Pour the almond meal mixture into the egg whites and blend delicately with a spatula.
5. Grease a piece of parchment paper and line your baking pan with it.
6. Spread the batter on a piece of parchment paper to an area slightly larger than your desired shape (circle, long strip etc...) and to a height of 1/3 inches (8mm).
7. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for approximately 15 minutes (depends on your oven), until golden. 8. Let cool and cut to the desired shape.

Element #2 Dark Chocolate Mousse

Preparation time: 20mn

Equipment: stand or hand mixer with whisk attachment, thermometer, double boiler or equivalent, spatula

Note: You will see that a Pate a Bombe is mentioned in this recipe. A Pate a Bombe is a term used for egg yolks beaten with a sugar syrup, then aerated. It is the base used for many mousse and buttercream recipes. It makes mousses and buttercreams more stable, particularly if they are to be frozen, so that they do not melt as quickly or collapse under the weight of heavier items such as the crème brulee insert.The Whipped Cream option contains no gelatin, so beware of how fast it may melt.Gelatin is the gelifying agent thisthe following recipe .

2.5 sheets gelatin or 5g / 1 + 1/4 tsp powdered gelatin
1.5 oz (3 Tbsp / 40g) granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp (10g) glucose or thick corn syrup
0.5 oz (15g) water
50g egg yolks (about 3 medium)
6.2 oz (175g) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1.5 cups (350g) heavy cream (35% fat content)

1. Soften the gelatin in cold water. (If using powdered gelatin, follow the directions on the package.)
2. Make a Pate a Bombe: Beat the egg yolks until very light in colour (approximately 5 minutes until almost white).
2a. Cook the sugar, glucose syrup and water on medium heat for approximately 3 minutes (if you have a candy thermometer, the mixture should reach 244°F (118°C).
If you do not have a candy thermometer, test the sugar temperature by dipping the tip of a knife into the syrup then into a bowl of ice water, if it forms a soft ball in the water then you have reached the correct temperature.
2b. Add the sugar syrup to the beaten yolks carefully by pouring it into the mixture in a thin stream while continuing to beat the yolks. You can do this by hand but it’s easier to do this with an electric mixer.
2c. Continue beating until cool (approximately 5 minutes). The batter should
become thick and foamy.
3. In a double boiler or equivalent, heat 2 tablespoons (30g) of cream to boiling. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.
4. Whip the remainder of the cream until stiff.
5. Pour the melted chocolate over the softened gelatin, mixing well. Let the gelatin and chocolate cool slightly and then stir in ½ cup (100g) of WHIPPED cream to temper. Add the Pate a Bombe.
6. Add in the rest of the WHIPPED cream (220g) mixing gently with a spatula.

Element #3 Dark Chocolate Ganache Insert

Preparation time: 10mn

Equipment: pan, whisk. If you have plunging mixer (a vertical hand mixer used to make soups and other liquids), it comes in handy.

Note: Because the ganache hardens as it cools, you should make it right before you intend to use it to facilitate piping it onto the log during assembly.

Please be careful when caramelizing the sugar and then adding the cream. It may splatter and boil.

Ingredients:1.75 oz (4 Tbsp / 50g) granulated sugar
4.5oz (2/3 cup – 1 Tbsp/ 135g) heavy cream (35% fat content)
5 oz (135g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
3Tbsp + 1/2tsp (45g) unsalted butter softened

1. Make a caramel: Using the dry method, melt the sugar by spreading it in an even layer in a small saucepan with high sides.
Heat over medium-high heat, watching it carefully as the sugar begins to melt.
Never stir the mixture.
As the sugar starts to melt, swirl the pan occasionally to allow the sugar to melt evenly.
Cook to dark amber color (for most of you that means darker than last month’s challenge).
2. While the sugar is melting, heat the cream until boiling. Pour cream into the caramel and stir thoroughly. Be very careful as it may splatter and boil.
3. Pour the hot caramel-milk mixture over the dark chocolate. Wait 30 seconds and stir until smooth.
4. Add the softened butter and whip hard and fast (if you have a plunging mixer use it).
The chocolate should be smooth and shiny.

Element #4 Praline Feuillete (Crisp) InsertPreparation

time: 10 mn (+ optional 15mn if you make lace crepes)
Equipment: Small saucepan, baking sheet (if you make lace crepes).
Double boiler (or one small saucepan in another), wax paper, rolling pin

Note: Feuillete means layered (as in with leaves) so a Praline Feuillete is a Praline version of a delicate crisp. There are non-praline variations below. The crunch in this crisp comes from an ingredient which is called gavottes in French. Gavottes are lace-thin crepes. they are not available outside of France, so you have the option of making your own using the recipe below or you can simply substitute rice krispies or corn flakes or Special K for them.

I used rice krispies after failure in gavottes, I did not want to retry it to save my time!!

Ingredients for the Praline Feuillete:
3.5 oz (100g) milk chocolate
1 2/3 Tbsp (25g) butter
2 Tbsp (1 oz / 30g) praline2.
1oz (60g) lace crepes(gavottes) or rice krispies or corn flakes or Special K

1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler.
2. Add the praline and the coarsely crushed lace crepes. Mix quickly to thoroughly coat with the chocolate.
3. Spread between two sheets of wax paper to a size slightly larger than your desired shape. Refrigerate until hard.

Element #5 Vanilla Crème Brulée Insert

Preparation time: 15mn + 1h infusing + 1h

bakingEquipment: Small saucepan, mixing bowl, baking mold, wax paper

Note: The vanilla crème brulée can be flavored differently by simply replacing the vanilla with something else e.g. cardamom, lavender, etc..

Ingredients:1/2 cup (115g) heavy cream (35% fat content)
½ cup (115g) whole milk
4 medium-sized (72g) egg yolks0.
75 oz (2 Tbsp / 25g) granulated sugar 1 vanilla bean

1. Heat the milk, cream, and scraped vanilla bean to just boiling. Remove from the stove and let the vanilla infuse for about 1 hour.
2. Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks (but do not beat until white).
3. Pour the vanilla-infused milk over the sugar/yolk mixture. Mix well.
4. Wipe with a very wet cloth and then cover your baking mold (whatever shape is going to fit on the inside of your Yule log/cake) with parchment paper.
Pour the cream into the mold and bake at 210°F (100°C) for about 1 hour or until firm on the edges and slightly wobbly in the center.
5. Let cool and put in the freezer for at least 1 hour to firm up and facilitate the final assembly.

Element #6 Dark Chocolate IcingPreparation

time: 25 minutes (10mn if you don’t count softening the gelatin)
Equipment: Small bowl, small saucepan
Note: Because the icing gelifies quickly, you should make it at the last minute.

Ingredients:4g / ½ Tbsp powdered gelatin or 2 sheets gelatin
¼ cup (60g) heavy cream (35 % fat content)
2.1 oz (5 Tbsp / 60g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (50g) water
1/3 cup (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Soften the gelatin in cold water for 15 minutes.
2. Boil the rest of the ingredients and cook an additional 3 minutes after boiling.
3. Add gelatin to the chocolate mixture. Mix well.
4. Let cool while checking the texture regularly.

As soon as the mixture is smooth and coats a spoon well (it is starting to gelify), use immediately.
Finally prepared , finally posted , I wish to you all a very happy holidays, And pleaaaase enjoy a slice of this catastrophic dessert as much as My hubby and I did.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Our dinner meals pics!!!

Every day, before having dinner , I insist to take photos for our dinner dishes, I do not know why??? If there is some body else who has the same habit please contact me we can discover together why we do so??
May be I want to record the effort I did in these dishes, may be , I am too proud of my cooking stuff, may be.. Anyway I will share with you some of our meals pics...

cookies, cookies, cookies!!

At this cold winter, we really need buttery cookies to bring us some warm.

I use to make this kind of cookies in winter, and really enjoy it with a very hot cup of tea.. I will write here the main recipe which is a chocolate one but I created another kind using the same recipe but adding very fine grinded peanuts instead of cocoa powder.. Here you are the main recipe:-

Chocolate fork biscuits:

125 g. butter softened.

60 g. caster sugar.

125 self raising flour.

30 g.cocoa powder.

pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 190. Beat butter, adding sugar gradually, untill light and fluffy. sift flour with cocoa powder and salt and stir into mixture.

Shape into walnut- sized balls and place on greased baking trays.

Flatten each to 5 with a fork dipped in cold water , stroking in one direction only. Bake for 7-8 mn. or untill firmed.

As a change in flavor , I swap the cocoa powder with fine grinded peanut.

Try it , you will never stop making it, it is sooo easy and yummy!!!!

I am a lazy girl!!!!!!

I admit that I am a bad blogger, i promised that I will tell you about my cinnamon recipe , and I did not !!This month , I started my first daring bakers challenge, also I have always a recipe for Mr. Peter Reinhart to test, a lot of work!!!!

Any way , here you are the recipe, forgive me my friends...

The ingredients:-

4 1/2 cup of flour.

1 cup luke warm milk.

3 eggs.

1/3 cup softened butter.

1 tspn salt.

1/2 cup sugar.

Yeast"fresh or instant"I use fresh one.

For filling:-

1 cup brown sugar, 2 1/2 tbsp cinnamon, 1/3 cup softened butter.

Enjoy it , for me it is the best cinnamon rolls I ever taste.

I am a lazy girl!!!!!!

I admit that I am really a lazy girl!!

I promised you that I will share the cinnamon rolls recipe, but I did not , I was ill and very busy, I had the daring bakers challenge,also Mr.Peter Reinhart recipes testing.So I am usually do not have time for blogging!!

Anyway , here you are my recipe , try it and tell me about the result.....

The ingredients:-

41/2 cups flour.

1 cup warm milk.

2 eggs.

1/3 cup softened butter.

1 tspnsalt.

1/2 cup sugar.

yeast "instant or fresh" I use the fresh one.

For filling:-

1 cup brown sugar-1/3 cup softened butter-21/2 tspn cinnamon.

And enjoy the best cinnamon!!!

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