Sing We All Noel Cake

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

One of my favorite Christmas desserts is Buche de Noel. I could hand you a cuppa nog and recline by the fire, as we regale the history and origins of this delight, but I'd rather just get straight to cooking! Thus, I will refer you to here:
History of the Yule Log
and here:
Origins of Buche de Noel
and allow you come to your own conclusions

What you'll need:


6 eggs, separated
1/2c stevia
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3c cocoa powder
1/2c tapioca flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
pinch sea salt


1/2c unsalted butter
1/2c palm shortening
1c egg nog (1/4c for the recipe, the rest for you, hahaha)
extra stevia to taste
optional: pumpkin spice

alternatively you could do a 16 oz package of cream cheese & 1/2c coconut oil with the egg nog & spice, and sweeten to taste

(all optional, but nice)
mint leaves

parchment paper
baking sheet
wax paper
butter/coconut oil
piping bag (optional, but helpful)

Preheat oven 350F

Now, some people will tell you to combine your wet ingredients separately from your dry ingredients, but honestly... I never do. Go ahead and separate your eggs, placing the yolks into the bowl with everything except the cream or tartar.

Whip up your egg whites with the cream of tartar into a fluffy consistency.

Fold your egg whites together with your chocolate cake batter, retaining as much fluff as possible.

Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and grease it with butter. Pour the batter in, and spread it out evenly over the entirety of the pan.

Bake for 7-10 mins, until cake shrinks away from sides a bit. I only cooked mine for 5.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine your butter, palm shortening, egg nog, and pumpkin spice (if desired). Give it a taste, then carefully sweeten with stevia if necessary.

Remove your cake from the oven and turn out on to a chilled pan lined with wax paper (easiest way is to chill your pan while cake is cooking, and once it comes out of oven, place wax paper on to cake, the chilled pan on top, then flip like a ninja). Allow to cool completely.
(trying to illustrate my ninja trick here)

Once cooled, spread your egg nog butter cream all over the cake until generously coated.

Depending on what kind of log you're going for, you can roll long and skinny, or short and fat. I'm preparing this for a party, so I will roll the long edge toward the other long edge for a handsome, thin log.

If you're slightly crazy, like me, your brain will recognize that this short and thin log would be a young yule log, so decorate it accordingly. If you roll the short edge toward the other short edge for a fat, stumpy log, make it look older. Does that make sense? Think of how saplings look and how very old, fat trees look.
Don't worry if the cake cracks a little, you're going to smother it with frosting anyway! Just go slow, treat it nicely, and gently pull the wax paper away from the cake as you roll it.
Once rolled, make a 90 degree angle cut, to suggest where the yule log may have been chopped down. Save the triangular piece you cut away, and set it aside.

Fill your piping bag with frosting and begin to lay down the "bark". If you have opted not to use a piping bag, thickly spread frosting on to cake. We will take care of bark look momentarily. When your cake is covered, place your triangular leftover strategically beside it to make it look like a cut branch. Frost this as well.

If NOT using a piping bag: Using the tines of a fork, or a clean toothbrush, gently drag through the frosting to make it look like bark (ah, the things you learn in college theatre tech classes!). Give it some waves, and what not. Make the stumpy ends of the cake circular.
If using piping bag: Lay down long strips of frosting side by side until cake is covered. use a circular motion to frost stumps. When coated, gently smooth over with butter knife (bumpy side), and give it waves and personality

Garnish with cranberry, mint leaves, and truffles if desired.
Okay, so I used bay leaf & goji... I didn't realize I was going to be making this out of the blue.

Improvise, but follow the recipe! ~Ratatouille

PJF Mudd

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One day, while out and about on errands, I ran across a tin of Theo Drinking Chocolate. I am constantly on a quest to fulfill my darkest desire for mud-like cocoa, so I looked at the ingredient list. I was impressed. Thus, I decided to use my inspiration and concoct a mug of "Mudd" (as I call it).

what you'll need:

1c raw milk (or raw cream if you have access to it)
1 oz raw cacao butter
2T raw cacao powder
raw honey or agave (not pictured, but encouraged)
OPTIONAL: Kahlua, Peppermint or Cinnamon Schnapps, Irish Cream, or Amaretto
(I don't condone alcohol, but thought I'd throw out the suggestions in case you do), oh and don't forget marshmallows!

You will want to have a cooking thermometer on hand.

Over low heat, slowly warm raw milk and cacao butter, being careful not to exceed 108F. I know that may not seem very warm, but trust me-- it is.

Pour into mug and stir in cacao powder and sweetener.


Sparkling Cider Jelly

Monday, December 19, 2011

I will willingly confess that my holidays are not complete without a big glass of Egg Nog. However, I don't drink booze. In fact, the wildest liquid that passes through my liver this time of year is this stuff:

Yeah, sorry to be a downer, but at least we know who your loyal designated driver is!

Now before you think I'm a total bore, I do want to reassure you that I have big plans this holiday season for my bottle of sparkling cider! I think you'll really like this idea, because it's going to make a great little stocking stuffer for all of your friends.

What you'll need:

1 (1 3/4 ounce) package no sugar needed dry pectin
3/4 cup water
3 cups sparkling cider (there are several brands with several different flavors. Pick one that you think will be super fun!)
1 cup stevia

--Canning Supplies--
several sterilized half-pint mason jars with lids
some cute festive fabric and cotton batting

Thoroughly mix pectin and water in large saucepan.

Bring to boil over high heat and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to medium and immediately add cider and sugar.

Keep mixture just below boiling and stir until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Skim off foam with metal spoon if necessary.

Pour quickly into hot sterilized half-pint jars.

Seal immediately with 1/8-inch hot paraffin or canning lids. Place in fridge until set.

When set, take a small round of cotton batting and place it on top of the lid. Fold some fabric over it, and screw on your lid. Garnish with ribbon and gift to your favorite friends!

Peppermint Swirl Fudge

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A friend of mine mentioned that there's nothing better than mint and chocolate together. I disagree (bacon + chocolate + baked good = happy), but I wanted to make something special for her anyway.

What you'll need:

1 bag Andes peppermint baking bits
1c Coconut Cream Concentrate
1T Vanilla Extract
Pinch Sea Salt
1/2c Cocoa powder
1/4c Powdered Stevia

Melt coconut cream concentrate in large bowl

Add vanilla, sea salt, cocoa powder, and stevia, mix into paste

Spread into pan

Melt Andes peppermint baking bits carefully, so as not to burn (cuz, face it, burnt chocolate sucks)
Spread evenly over fudge paste.

Run a knife through the fudge to help Andes get in a bit. Using the back of a spoon, work your way around the fudge in a circular motion-- voila, swirls!

Chill until ready to serve. Cut into bite size squares and enjoy!

The Truffle Shuffle

Friday, December 9, 2011

If you had to name one bite-size dessert that seemed fancy what would it be?
Think chocolate. Think covered in deliciousness. Think truffles.
I'd like to think that the birth of my creativity in the kitchen stems from a brief stint as a chocolatier for Dove. I loved being in charge of CREATING food, especially chocolate. I invented a bunch of chocolate drinks, and the truffle possibilities flowed freely from my mad woman brain. A lot of people out there don't know how to make truffles, or even think they're hard. They're not. They're SO SIMPLE and only take an hour to throw together.

So, my little kitchen friend, let's do the truffle shuffle!

What you'll need:
12 oz dark chocolate chips
2/3c heavy cream
~alternatively you could use 18 oz of dark chocolate chips and 2/3c flavored coffee cream-- using coffee creamer opens up a WORLD of flavor possibilities!

Pour your chocolate into a bowl

Warm your dairy until it begins to simmer

Pour evenly over chocolate. Allow to sit for 5 mins.

Stir until you have this pretty, glossy, pudding-y texture

Place in fridge for 1 hour. Congrats. You just made ganache!

Let's talk topping choices. Toppings are a lot of fun, cuz you can really unleash your imagination.

Let's start with the obvious ones. You're probably thinking "what goes with chocolate? I know. Nuts!"
Sliced almonds, and pulverized pecans to be exact

Then you have your healthy options: shredded coconut, and roasted ground cacao nibs (with the bitter comes the sweet)

The not so healthy pulverized chocolate candy & mint

And raspberry truffle dusting dust

Last, but certainly not least, the UNEXPECTED! Sesame seeds and pulverized chocolate macadamias with real bits of bacon

For the process:
Remove your set ganache and roll into a ball.

Roll into your topping of choice. Set aside.

Repeat for all the ganache until you are either out of toppings (Impossible! Especially if you have a brain like mine) or out of ganache.

Chill until ready to serve. Enjoy with gusto!