The french Christmas Logs ” la Buche de Noël”

Recipe Story
The Bûche de Noël, also known as the Yule Log, is a traditional French dessert served during the Christmas holidays. Made from sponge cake; this rolled cake can be filled and frosted with everything from butter cream to rich chocolate ganache. The cake is decorated to resemble a log by creating a bark-like texture with the outer frosting, sprinkling powdered sugar to resemble “snow”, and crafting “mushrooms” out of meringue or marzipan as a final garnish. It’s no wonder this beautiful (and delicious!) cake has been around since Napoleon I!!! Enjoy and Merry Christmas everyone from Bertrand Munier

Ingredients
What You Will Need
1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt

nstructions
Preparing the Plain or White Génoise

1. Cover the cooled layer with a clean piece of parchment paper, and then
cover the paper with a clean sheet pan
2. Whisk the eggs, yolks and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add
sugar in a stream while whisking
3. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water and gently whisk until the
egg mixture is lukewarm. Whip by machine on high speed until the egg
mixture is cold, light yellow in color and increased in volume. Remove
the bowl from the mixer and sift the cake flour mixture over the egg
mixture, in a few additions, and fold in with a rubber spatula
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top evenly with
a spatula
5. Bake the layer for 10-12 minutes. Be careful NOT TO OVER BAKE!!
6. Loosen the cake with a sharp knife from the sides of the pan and invert
to a rack; immediately invert again so that the cake layer cools on clean
paper right-side up

For Chocolate Génoise
Substitute 1/3 cup cake flour, 1/3 cup cornstarch, 1/4 cup unsweetened
cocoa powder, and a pinch of baking soda for the dry ingredients used in
the plain génoise. Continue to use 1/4 granulated sugar, 3 large eggs
and 3 large egg yolks, and a pinch of salt.

Preparing the Cake
1. Cover the cooled layer with a clean piece of parchment paper, and then
cover the paper with a clean sheet pan
2. Invert the cake between the pans
3. Lift off the top pan, and peel off the paper stuck to the bottom of the
cake layer
4. Replace the just removed parchment with a clean piece of paper
covering the cake, and place a sheet pan on top of it
5. Invert the pans again; remove the top pan, and parchment paper. The
cake layer now rests on a clean piece of parchment
Assembling the Bûche
1. Spread the filling of your choice (flavored whipped cream, butter
cream, ganache) on the layer with a metal spatula
2. With the long edge of the layer closest to you, roll the layer by picking
up the edge of the paper and easing the layer into a curve
3. Continue to use the paper to roll the layer into a tight cylinder
4. Wrap the paper tightly around the roll, and twist the ends like a piece
of wrapped candy
5. Refrigerate for 2 hours (1 hour in the freezer) so cake can “set”
6. Remove the rolled cake from the refrigerator and unwrap
7. Trim the edges diagonally, cutting one piece to be 2 inches in length
from the end of the log
8. Place the roll on a platter, and position the uncut end of the 2 inch
piece about two thirds along the top side of the roll, making a short
“branch” or “knot”
9. Cover the bûche with butter cream, ganache, or whipped cream
(whipped cream is not the usual choice for the outer covering), making
sure to cover the curve up the protruding branch on top of the log
10. Leave the branch ends unfrosted, or frost one of the two ends. Always
leave the protruding branch end unfrosted

11. “Streak” the butter cream with a fork or decorating comb
12. Dust plate sparingly with confectioners’ sugar to have “snow”
13. Cut diagonal slices to serve
14. ENJOY!
Bertrand Munier

The Best British Classic, The Christmas Pudding

History and Tradition of Christmas Pudding

Does your Christmas dinner include a Christmas Pudding? If you lived in England, the absence of this delectable dessert from the holiday table would raise a few eyebrows. The pudding is the most special part of the meal, although families alter the way it’s cooked and presented to create their own unique traditions. Originally the Christmas Pudding was referred to as hakin because of its multitude of ingredients.

In 1714, King George I re-established pudding as part of the Christmas feast even though the Quakers strongly objected. Meat was eliminated from the recipe in the 17th century in favor of more sweets, and people began sprinkling it with brandy and setting it aflame when serving it to their guests. The Christmas pudding was not a tradition in England until it was introduced to the Victorians by Prince Albert. By this time the pudding looked and tasted as it does today. The traditional cooking time takes about eight hours, with preparation taking even longer due to extensive marinating. The longer the fruit is marinated in brandy, cider, or both, the better it tastes and this could take weeks!

Ingredients

225g/8oz golden caster sugar
225g/8oz vegetarian suet
340g/12oz sultanas
340g/12oz raisins
225g/8oz currants
110g/4oz candied peel, chopped
110g/4oz plain flour
110g/4oz fresh white breadcrumbs
55g/2oz flaked almonds
1 lemon, zest only
5 eggs, beaten
1 evel tsp ground cinnamon
1 level tsp mixed spice
5g/1 level tsp freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
150ml/5fl oz brandy or rum
Method

1. Lightly grease 4x600ml/1 pint or 2×1.2 litre/2 pint pudding basins.
2. Mix together all the dry ingredients.
3. Stir in the eggs and brandy and mix well.
4. Spoon the mix into basins. Put a circle of baking parchment and foil over the top of each basin and tie securely with string. Make a string handle from one side of the basin to the other so it is easier to pick the basin out of the pan after cooking.
5. Put the basins in a large steamer of boiling water and cover with a lid. Boil for 5-6 hours, topping the boiling water up from time to time, if necessary. If you do not have a steamer, put the basins in a large pan on inverted saucers on the base. Pour in boiling water to come a third of the way up the sides of the pudding bowls. Cover and steam as before.
6. Cool. Change the baking parchment and foil covers for fresh ones and tie up as before. Store in a cool cupboard until Christmas Day.
7. To serve: steam for 2 hours and serve with brandy butter, rum sauce, cream or homemade custard.
Bon appetit
Bertrand Munier

how to make a french terrine of foie gras

How to devein a lobe foie gras (duck)

Video shows you step by step how to separate the two lobes, remove the veins and clean the foie gras, the process of devening foie gras is really very easy

How to cook a terrine of foie gras

In Gascony, foie gras is often cooked in a porcelain terrine in a water bath, then served in its terrine along with a serving spoon and a small bowl of hot water. Each person dips his spoon in the water to heat it so it will cut neatly through the liver. He then scoops out a portion and smears it on a slab of grilled coarse French bread.

A more elegant presentation is to slice the foie gras, then arrange the slices on a porcelain plate surrounded with chopped aspic and lightly toasted brioche. The foie gras can also be served with a variety of greens, flavored with a vinaigrette made with verjus and walnut oil.

The preparation and resting times for this terrine are 5 to 7 days, so plan accordingly. Begin about 1 week before serving.

Ingredients

  • 2 fresh Artisan duck foie gras, about 1½ pounds each
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 1½ teaspoons finely ground white pepper

Devein the foie gras see video

Put lobes in an earthenware dish and season with salt and pepper, spices and sugar, then gently rub into lobes.
then cover and chill for at least 12 hours, turning from time to time. 

Arrange in a terrine dish lined with clingfilm (let a little hang over each edge), of roughly 16cm x 11cm x 7cm, with the largest lobe at the bottom.
Cook the terrine in a bain-marie (a bowl over 2cm of boiling water), or in an oven at 180°C (350°F) for 40 minutes.
Once cooked, remove from oven and leave to rest at room temperature for a couple of hours, then keep in fridge.
Serve chilled, with a glass of chilled Monbazillac, Sauternes or Champagne.

Advice :

This is a relatively simple recipe, which depends mainly on the quality of the foie gras that you use, so try to find Grade A wherever possible.