Baking

Ham, Broccoli and the Cheesiest Quiche


Last night I was watching the last season of The Great British Baking show and the task was to make 2 different flavor profile quiche. I know this might come as a shock but I have never made quiche before; I know what is my damage. Honestly I haven’t really had any that blew my skirt up; if you get my drift. They have been just just meh so I didn’t feel compelled to even try. Then of course I have always felt that frittatas were so much easier and faster to make.

I only ended up using the shredded cheese in the bowl, the chunk ended up back in the fridge.

I love cooking and baking but I the thought of making a pie crust for breakfast just doesn’t appeal to me. However after watching last night I was determined to make a quiche this morning for breakfast. I didn’t have a frozen pie crust in the freezer so I was going to have to make my own;  if you do have one by all means use it. OR you can do as I did this morning and made what I think is the easiest crust ever and the very first one I ever made; it was such a long time ago I can’t even remember. I know I used to make it when I was a kid so this might be a great Mother’s Day breakfast for the kiddo’s to make their Mom next weekend.

I should have rolled out the dough before placing it in the pan. I did not, I pressed it into place, I also should have pressed it up higher into the sides. live and learn!

Ok so I have a dough plan and now the filling. I would call this; my first quiche; a clean out the fridge kind of quiche. I used up the last of the broccoli, ham, shredded cheese and half and half. Then I made my grocery shopping list; see how that works! It definitely had more cheese than anything else. My daughter described it as broccoli cheddar soup if it was turned into a pie. I’ll take it! My husband said it was great but was concerned how the crust would be after cooling down and being re-heated. We kind of laughed because it is still on the counter and we all keep taking another sliver from it, it will not make it to the fridge nor need to be reheated. Update we brought that last two pieces over to my In-Laws.

Ham Broccoli and the Cheesiest Quiche

dclarkabal
an easy and flavorful quiche on the table in about 45 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch, dinner

Equipment

  • Tart pan 9 inch

Ingredients
  

Dough

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or use canola oil
  • 1/4 cup cold water iced or from the fridge
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 1 cup cubed ham
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 cup cheese shredded. I used extra sharp cheddar and an Italian mixture.
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup chives

Instructions
 

Pre-heat oven to 375'F

    dough

    • in small bowl add the flour, salt, oil and cold water. mix with a fork until combined. Set it aside while you prepare the filling.

    filling

    • sauté the onion in a little olive oil until soft remove, do the same with the ham and broccoli. You are not cooking them just heating them up. this isn't a necessary step but I won't put raw onions into anything I make, I only like them sautéed.
    • Lightly spray your tart pan, add the rolled out crust, pressing up the sides of the pan.
    • Sprinkle the ham, onions and broccoli all over the crust. then cover it with cheese. In a small bowl beat the eggs and add the half and half plus the milk and the chives. Pour this all over the cheese in the tart pan. Place your tart pan onto a sheet pan and into the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
    • remove sheet pan and tart from the oven, Place a coffee cup or small bowl under to remove the pan from the tart, using a spatula remove the bottom piece of the tart pan; slice and enjoy!

     

    Oatmeal white chip craisin and pistachio cookies


    There’s nothing like a Spring snow storm to cover up all the mud and brown grass. It is a good thing that daffodils and crocuses can handle the crazy weather we have here in New England.
    I does amaze me that some people forget how to drive in snow, seriously it wasn’t that long ago how quickly they forget that it’s slippery out there and you probably should drive just a bit slower. When my kids were in school I drove them to school every morning. There is a stop sign at the end of the road which ends in a curve of sorts. We would take bets on if the sign was knocked over or not pretty much every storm; it was knocked down more than it was standing.

    I have mentioned numerous times that I google my blog to find a recipe to make. I would have sworn I shared this cookie recipe but I couldn’t find it so that is why I am sharing now or again. It has been quite a while since I have made them so much so that my husband didn’t think they had pistachios in them. So I second guessed myself and split the dough to add some nuts to one and nothing in the other. I made a few of each and all three of us agreed the ones with nuts in them were better.  The saltiness of the pistachios helped with the sweetness of the cookie.

    oatmeal white chip craisin and pistachio cookies

    dclarkabal
    a sweet and salty cookie
    Course Snack

    Ingredients
      

    • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3 cups oatmeal
    • 1 bag white chocolate chips
    • 1 10 ounce bag craisins
    • 1 cup or more pistachios

    Instructions
     

    • Cream together the butter and sugars, add the eggs and vanilla, combine the flour, powder and salt. Stir in the oatmeal, chips, craisins and pistachios
    • pre-heat oven to 350'F. either spray a sheet pan or use a silpat - drop by spoonful's onto the pan and bake for 10-12 minutes. do not over bake. let them sit on the sheet pan for a minute or two.

    homemade cinnamon rolls warm from the oven in under an hour

    Sitting here enjoying a cup of tea with the Tree lit trying to figure out what I want to share with you. Firstly have a wonderful holiday however you choose or have to celebrate it. Hopefully next year will be how you want to celebrate it!

    The timing for this post I would normally share how I make my prime rib roast for Christmas but I have shared that a few times now so I here is a link to how I do mine Christmas Garlic Herb Ribeye Roast I thought I would look through some of my older posts and share some of the rolls I have made over the years but I seem to have not posted any of them. I know I think that’s odd too. I don’t always make fresh rolls for holidays but I make them more then I buy them so I wonder why I haven’t posted about any of them. The only thing I can come up with is it would be hard to take pictures while my hands have flour water and yeast all over them. So if I make any this week I will be sure to have my daughter take the photos so I can share. 


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    In our house Christmas breakfast is just as important as Christmas dinner. It might even be more important to some of us. I always make some egg dish, usually a strata since I assemble it the night before and just throw it in the oven and it cooks while we open presents. There is always something sweet like these cinnamon rolls or monkey bread. And the last several years fresh out of the oven croissants. I totally take the easy route on those and order them from Williams Sonoma. They sit out all night thawing and rising on the counter and in the morning we pop them into the hot oven and are never disappointed. 


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    This recipe is so easy and quick; if you are a cinnamon roll lover there is no reason not to try making them. I can tell you honestly I will be making them as soon as I finish writing this blog.
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    homemade cinnamon rolls warm from the oven in under an hour

    dclarkabal
    Easy Fast Homemade cinnamon rolls
    Course Breakfast

    Ingredients
      

    • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast or 1 packet
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    filing

    • 1/2 stick unsalted butter softened/room temperature
    • 2 tablespoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar

    Glaze

    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2-3 tablespoons milk

    Instructions
     

    Dough

    • Pre-heat your oven to 200’ and just before you place the rolls in the oven; turn it off.
    • in a large bowl add the flour, sugar, salt and yeast; mix well. In a microwave safe bowl heat the milk, water and butter till the butter melts 30-40 seconds. Once melted stir into the flour mixture and the egg and knead until the the dough is no longer sticky roughly 3-4 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl to rest for 5 or 6 minutes.

    Filling

    • Mix together the cinnamon and sugar for the filing. Roll out the dough after it is done resting; into a 15"x 9" rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top and then sprinkle the sugar cinnamon mixture over the butter. Roll the dough on the 15” side tightly and cut into 9 large even pieces
    • Place them in a 9"x 9" slightly greased pan. (I place parchment in the pan so I can remove them easier) Cover with plastic wrap and place in the; turned off oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the plastic wrap and turn the oven up to 375’F. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are lightly browned.

    Glaze

    • Make the glaze while the rolls are in the oven. Mix the powdered sugar, vanilla and use enough milk to make the glaze light enough for you to drizzle over the hot rolls when they come out of the oven.
    • Best served right out of the oven. They are OK re-heated but they do lose a little of their deliciousness. But I have never had any re-heated cinnamon roll that I truly loved

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    recipe adapted from: the recipe critic

    Pork Chops baked beets and apples

    Crazy is the best way to describe 2020 period! I haven’t stepped foot into the office since Mid March. I used to go out to do errands and shop a few times a week, I barely do that now. We haven’t made any vacation plans; which is the only way I make my husband take time off; he is actually working at the moment on a Sunday. And it goes without saying that Covid and the election is just plain insanity for the whole world.
    Lets hope the world will right it self sooner rather than later.

    The recipe I am going to share with you was another one my daughter made with some of our favorite things, yes we love beets; I know a lot of people won’t say that; I often wonder why? While I love beets my least favorite way to eat them is pickled. I’m just not a fan even thought I love pickles, I don’t mind pickled radishes, carrots and cabbage just not beets.

    The recipe is from one her cookbooks she has many tabs in. From the oven to the table. I like how my daughter picked up golden beets; while we eat more purple beets they tend to share their purple color with whatever you pair them with.

    Pork chops baked beets and apples

    Equipment

    • mortar and pestle or small grinder

    Ingredients
      

    Pork

    • 4 cloves garlic finely grated
    • 4 teaspoon caraway seeds
    • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 thick bone-in pork chops
    • kosher salt

    Vegetables

    • 1 pound cooked beets peeled and quartered
    • 2 medium apples halved, cored each cut into 12 wedges
    • 2 onions halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick
    • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1 1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    • Kosher salt and black pepper

    Instructions
     

    • put the garlic into a mortar and pestle with the salt and caraway seeds and pound with the pestle. Add the olive oil, working it in until you have a rough paste. Put the pork chops in a bowl and add the mixture from the mortar, turning the chops over in it. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
    • preheat oven to 375'F
    • In a shallow baking dish big enough for everything to lay flat and add everything for the vegetables to your dish, using your hands toss everything together and then spread out in a single layer. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes.
    • Heat a fry or grill pan over high heat until very hot. Add the chops and brown on all sides including the fat. Season with a little salt and pepper.
    • Place the chops on top of the vegetables and pour over the cooking juices from the fry pan. Bake for another 20 minutes till the chops are still tender but cooked through.
    • serve and enjoy!
      add some sour cream with chopped dill on top if desired

     

    blueberry zucchini lemon bread

    Sitting on the porch just finished having a couple of buttermilk biscuits for breakfast with my husband and daughter. When I first came outside the sun was hitting one lonely little sunflower which I don’t usually see or maybe it’s more like notice. It is slowly following the sun around and by the afternoon will have done a 180′ turn which is pretty cool if you think about it.
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    The porch has become THE place this summer. We have been spending a lot of time out here either alone and with friends and family. I wonder when the pergola; affectionately called the Parthenon (it’s huge, white columns in all) my husband has been building all summer will take over as THE place to be once it’s done.
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    I have made this bread a couple of times and tweaked it a bit to not only have a lemon glaze on top but to add some lemon to the dough. I mean blueberry and lemon are fantastic together. I am not entirely sure what zucchini is bringing to the party except maybe some extra moisture but I am happy to have somewhere for all of our garden zucchini to go.  This year since I am working from home and can’t really share with my co-workers I have a little table I have been placing at the end of our driveway and filling it with whatever we cannot use up or give way to family and friends. I think the people who pass by are happy since the harvest is gone a short time later.
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    Blueberry Zucchini Lemon Bread

    quick and tasty bread, this make 2 large loaves or several small ones
    Course bread

    Ingredients
      

    • 3 extra large eggs large are fine
    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 tablespoon good vanilla extract
    • 21/4 cups sugar
    • 2 cups shredded zucchini squeeze excess liquid out
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 pint fresh blueberries
    • 1 small lemon zested add a little or a lot - your choice

    Lemon Glaze

    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 small lemon juiced use the lemon you zested
    • 1 tablespoon milk optional

    Instructions
     

    quick bread

    • Pre-heat oven to 350'F. lightly greased 2 large loaf pans or several mini pans. whatever you have on hand. You might want to cut parchment paper to fit your pans to lift out the bread intact. I did not and will next time. the bread is a wet dough and doesn't like to come out of the pans nicely.
    • in a large mixing bowl add the eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar. beat on low till combined. Fold in the zucchini. add the flour, salt, baking powder and soda beat till combined. gently fold in the blueberries. Pour into the prepared loaf pans.
    • Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. adjust timing for the size loaf pans you are using; smaller pans less time. Cool for 20 minutes, remove from loaf pans carefully to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Lemon Glaze

    • whisk together the lemon juice, powdered sugar if you are opting not to add milk then I would drizzle this on top of the warm bread.
    • If you decide to add milk to the glaze then I would wait for the bread to cool completely before your drizzle.
    Keyword blueberry zucchini lemon bread

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    Baked Cod and Mango Salsa

    We should eat more fish – I think this a lot but yet we really don’t eat it very often and that makes me sad.  We live in New England and although our coastline is pretty small; not that that matters; we still have one and we all love eating most kinds of fish; my daughter is the only one in the family that likes salmon weird huh! None of us actually want to go out and catch it but we all enjoy eating it. I love buying fresh fish but I am not opposed to grabbing the flash frozen variety in my local grocery store. It has never done me wrong so if you see it grab some and enjoy! 

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    If you have never had or made a mango salsa I would like you to check it out. I haven’t had a bad one yet and it goes great with fish cooked any way. I also make a little different one for the fish tacos we love (see link here) Taco Tuesday (Fish Tacos)

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    A simple salt and pepper on the fish and place it in the oven, while it is cooking I made my salsa to spoon over the top using some fresh cilantro. I also made some sweet potato wedges using some of my fresh rosemary. I really love having fresh herbs on hand, they grow quite nicely out on my back deck in my over the railing window boxes. I wish I could have them year round but that’s not happening here in New Hampshire. At least not outside!

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    baked cod and mango salsa

    a simple quick any night meal
    Course Main Course
    Servings 4 people

    Ingredients
      

    Fish

    • 1 1/2 pound cod fillet cut into 3-4 sized portions
    • Kosher salt and black pepper season both sides
    • paprika if you want to add a little more seasoning

    Mango Salsa

    • 2 ripe mango's peeled and diced
    • 1/2 red pepper diced
    • 1 fresh lime squeezed
    • 1-2 fresh scallions diced
    • 1 teaspoon cilantro fresh and chopped

    Instructions
     

    fish

    • preheat oven to 400'F bake for 20-30 minutes just until the fish is cooked through and flaky

    mango salsa

    • while the fish is in the oven, add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine.

    sweet potato fries

    • peel and slice up one or two sweet potatoes into wedges or fries. Add a little olive oil, salt and pepper plus some fresh chopped rosemary. place on a baking sheet and add to the oven with the fish. takes about 20 minutes or longer if you want them a little browned.
    Keyword baked cod, mango salsa

     

    Zucchini chocolate chip muffins

    I am sitting on the porch again writing today’s blog. So far no turkey or hawk sightings but the hummingbirds are always around and always hungry. Last weeks post I mentioned there were around 6 baby turkey’s. Later that day they all showed up in my back yard and there was actually 12 of them running around. I tried to get a picture but they would not cooperate at all.
    IMG_3121Guess what my garden has been over producing? Yup you are correct here we go again with the zucchini recipes.  I haven’t made anything other then grilling them with olive oil, salt and pepper but the baking is about to begin; I shared this recipe a couple of years ago. I have been seeing a blueberry zucchini bread floating around on Facebook and I may just have to check it out or some resemblance of it. If I like it stay tuned as I am sure I will share it.
    IMG_3112I am not sure if I mentioned how much it has turned into animal kingdom around here since my dog passed away. I have since apologized to him; in my own way. He pretty much was an indoor / outdoor dog meaning he asked to go outside ALL the time and at night we would just run around and bark. We figured he was just crazy but I now believe there were actually things out there he was barking at. We have had several bears, tons of deer and this is the first year I have seen a bobcat around here. I am hoping to see a Moose before the end of the summer but it’s been awhile since we have had one of those in yard. I can only hope my brother-in-law Michael will be here for that. It’s on his bucket list to see a moose. Whenever he is here he is always on the lookout for one.  
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    Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

    Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

    great way to use up some of your harvest

    Ingredients
      

    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 egg lightly beaten
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or substitute 1/2 C applesauce
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup zucchini shredded/drained
    • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped (optional)

    Instructions
     

    • Combine in a large bowl the flour, sugar, soda, cinnamon and salt.
    • In another bowl mix egg, oil, milk, lemon and vanilla.
    • Stir wet ingredients into the dry till combined. Fold in zucchini, chips and walnuts.  
    • Fill cups about ⅔ full
    • Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

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    cookie dough – chocolate chip and oatmeal

    Things are starting to open up around here, though I am not in any hurry to get out there and see what’s going on. I am still a little nervous about getting covid though I am slightly thinking it is inevitable. There are too many opposing views for me to be totally on board with any of them. I am just taking it one day at a time.
    you have all the ingredients out – make it worth your effort make a couple of different kinds

    There are things that I really miss which is time spent with my friends, family and going out to my favorite restaurants. Even though we do order dinner out at least once a week, my daughter and I also order lunch out on Fridays; it is not the same. I am excited for the weather to be nicer so we can be outside more and be able to have friends over – it’s so much easier to social distance outside.
    I have been making this recipe so long, see that green recipe card, it has to be close to 30 years old

    I have been making batches of cookie dough for the freezer. It is really nice to bake a fresh cookie or two when you want one. The last two batches were SO good that my daughter wanted me to blog about them. I know I have said this before but when I make something that good I always say I really think I could sell these or my other saying is people need to have this. I hope you will make one or both of these cookies and freeze them individually so you too can enjoy a fresh baked cookie or two.

    I do tend to flatten them out a bit before freezing, I take them out while the oven is preheating so they are still frozen and it helps them take shape while in the oven. You can also help them by tapping the tray when you take them out or just lightly press on them when you take them out.

    Oatmeal about 50 cookies
    bake at 350’f for 12 minutes – let sit on the tray for 2-3 minutes before placing on a cooling rack

    Ingredients
    2 cups unsalted butter room temperature (important)
    1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoon vanilla
    3 cups flour
    2 teaspoon baking soda
    2 teaspoon cinnamon
    6 cups oats

    Directions
    Cream together in a mixer the butter and sugars. Whip for a minute or two. Add the eggs and mix till combined. Add the vanilla.
    In a separate bowl whisk the flour, soda and cinnamon. Gradually add this to the butter mixture.
    Add the oats. If you are making the full batch, your bowl should be a little full so take your time adding so you don’t wear everything. Mix to combine and using an ice cream scoop or whatever you have on hand for the size cookie you want. place on a cookie sheet for the freezer or make some for eating now

    Chocolate Chip about 40 cookies
    Bake at 325’f for 12 minutes – let sit on the tray for 2-3 minutes before placing on a cooling rack

    Ingredients
    4 1/4 cups
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 sticks of butter room temperature (important)
    2 cups packed brown sugar
    1 cup sugar
    2 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
    4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1-2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Directions
    In a separate bowl whisk the flour, soda and salt and set aside.
    combine the butter and sugars and beat for a minute or two. Beat in the eggs, yolks and sugars until combined.
    Add the dry ingredients and beat on low just till combined. Add the chocolate chips and Mix to combine and using an ice cream scoop or whatever you have on hand for the size cookie you want. place on a cookie sheet for the freezer or make some for eating now.

    After they are frozen individually package them up all together and place back into the freezer for when you want them.

    Take care and stay safe!

    Valentine Dinner Fare

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    Whether you are a fan of Valentines Day or not it’s all on you! But I do hope you are on the same page as your partner. It kinda sucks if one of you is looking forward to something on this day and the other treats it like; say a Tuesday. Yes I know it’s now known as a Hallmark kind of holiday but according to Wikipedia (see below) it’s been around a lot longer than Hallmark that started back in 1910 in Kansas City, MO.

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    There are numerous martyrdom stories associated with various Valentines connected to February 14, including a written account of Saint Valentine of Rome’s imprisonment for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his judge, and he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell before his execution. The Feast of Saint Valentine was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14 in honour of the Christian martyr, Saint Valentine of Rome, who died on that date in AD 269.

    The day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it grew into an occasion in which couples expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. In Europe, Saint Valentine’s Keys are given to lovers “as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart”, as well as to children to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine’s Malady).

    Date Night Dine In
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    Regardless of what you plan on doing it is damn near impossible to go out to dinner in our little town unless you have already made a reservation somewhere plus the crowds are crazy so we generally stay home and I make something a little more special than our typical meal. I think this year we will be having seared scallops over creamy risotto.

    Pan Seared Scallops
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    Over the years I have shared a few meals that I think would fit the bill for the night that you could make for your sweetheart!

    Chocolate Martini

    Individual Chocolate Lava Cake

     

    Mocha Yule Log aka Buche de Noel

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    After I made this I placed it in the fridge and didn’t tell anyone I made it. When each one went to get something out of the fridge; they each smiled and said “you made a yule log”

    IMG_4891There are a few things I have wanted or at least thought about making and figured  they were beyond my reach. Not that I couldn’t make them more of I thought they were harder than I wanted to work for them; if that makes any sense.
    IMG_4893IMG_4896Some recipes have a lot of ingredients listed which can look like it will take FOREVER to make the recipe; compare it to receiving a long email. You tend to zone out after the first paragraph or so and put it aside to “read” when you have time a little more time wink wink.
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    While this recipe at first glance might look like it has a lot of ingredients it really is mostly hands off and didn’t take me very long at all, plus how forgiving is it since it is supposed to look like a log. I’ve tried to decorate cakes to perfection only to never get them quite right. This one turned out perfectly log like 🙂
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    I know it tastes great since I got to eat the ends that I cut off to clean it up!

    Mocha Yule Log aka Buche e Noel

    Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers

    Ingredients
      

    • 5 large eggs separated
    • 1/2 cup cake flour
    • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup sugar divided
    • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
    • Filling
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
    • Frosting
    • 1/3 cup butter softened
    • 2 cups confectioners sugar
    • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
    • 1 tablespoon brewed coffee cooled
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2-3 tablespoon milk

    Instructions
     

    • place egg whites in a small bowl and yolks in a large mixing bowl. Let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes.
    • Preheat oven to 350'F. Line bottom of a greased 15"x10"x1" pan with parchment; grease parchment. sift flour, cocoa and salt together twice. Beat the egg yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating on high speed until thick and lemon-colored about 3-4 minutes. Fold in the flour mixture.
    • Add cream of tarter to the egg whites and with clean beaters, beat on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Beating on high after each addition until the sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until soft glossy peaks form. Fold a fourth on the whites into the batter then fold in remaining whites. transfer to prepared pan, spreading evenly.
    • Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched, about 12-15 minutes. be careful to not overbake. Cool for 5 minutes. invert onto a clean tea towel dusted with cocoa. Gently peel off the parchment paper. Roll up the cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with the short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
    • Filling; in a bowl, dissolve coffee granules in the cream. beat until it begins to thicken. Add sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Unroll cake and spread the filling over the cake to within 1/2 inch of all the edges. Roll up again, without the towel, trim the ends. Transfer to a platter, seam side down, refrigerate, covered until cold.
    • Frosting: beat all the ingredients until smooth. spread over the cake. Using a fork, make lines in the frosting to resemble tree bark. Refrigerate until serving.

    Notes

    Adapted from Taste of Home test kitchen
    This blog won’t feel complete unless I share what I found about the history of the Buche de Noel. The tradition dates back to medieval times, one of many pagan rites competing with Christmas traditions. A log of wood—often from a fruit tree to ensure a successful harvest in the year to come—would be brought home and placed in the hearth, which at the time functioned as the epicenter of every family’s activity. Depending on the region and its various beliefs, salt, wine, or holy water—among other ingredients—were sprinkled atop the log before lighting it on fire. Sprinkling wine, for example, was yet another way to guarantee the following year’s grape harvest would be bountiful.

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    Slicing it at an angle and placing the flat part against the roll makes it look like a branch

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    using a fork you can make lines through the frosting to make it look rustic and more like a log

     

    Once lit on Christmas Eve, the log had to burn for at least three days for good luck—ideally until the New Year. That was just the start: ash from the log provided protection against lightning strikes, and coals were used throughout the year in various medicinal potions. It is believed that it turned into a cake looking like a log around the 20th century.
    IMG_4916IMG_4917IMG_4919IMG_4922There are so many variations out there, this recipe had me at mocha – I LOVE mocha!

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