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dessert.

If you're worried about cholesterol, don't even bother.

currently serving:
ice cream
brownies
butterscotch brownies
clafoutis
lemon chiffon pie
bûche de Noël

Bûche de Noël

This recipe started with a can of chestnut purée from France. I couldn't find a recipe that was exactly what I needed. Then, I found a recipe for Bûche de Noël on Epicurious which sounded interesting in theory, but the reviews were all pretty awful - the cake was too dry, and looked pretty bland. So I decided to make up my own recipe, and it worked out wonderfully well! The chestnut purée adds richness to the cake along with a subtle nutty flavour. You will need a one-pound can for this recipe.

cake:
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
½ cup unsalted butter cut into bits
4 eggs, separated
¾ cup unsweetened chestnut purée
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cake & pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder

Prepare a jelly roll tin by lining with parchment paper greased with butter and dusted with powdered sugar.

Combine chocolates and butter in a glass bowl over simmering water. Stir until melted. Allow to cool.

Blend egg yolks with chestnut purée, vanilla, and sugar. Mix in flour and baking powder. Add melted chocolate, stir just until smooth.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir one third of the beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten, then fold chocolate quickly but gently into the whites with a spatula.

Spread in the prepared jelly roll tin. Bake for 25 minutes at 375f.

As soon as the cake is out of the oven, top with another sheet of parchment paper, and rollup lengthwise. Allow to cool.

icing:
¼ cup unsalted butter, soft
1 cup chestnut purée (the remainder of the can)
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups icing sugar
¼ cup cocoa

Cream together the butter and chestnut purée until smooth. Beat in vanilla.

Add the icing sugar gradually, creaming well after each addition.

Unroll the cake, use half of the icing to fill it, and then roll it back up. Wrap tightly with parchment paper and place in the freezer to set.

Add the ¼ cup cocoa to the remaining icing, blend well.

When cake feels firm, remove it from the freezer. trim a small amount off the ends so that they are flat. Then, cut a short angled piece off of each end to make "branches." use icing to attach a branch to each side of the main log, then ice all over. Use a fork to make the icing look like "bark."

You can go crazy turning this cake into a woodland diorama. I affixed a few leaves made out of pastry brushed with milk and sprinkled with green sugar before baking. The classic accompaniment is mushrooms made out of meringue and dusted with cinnamon.

I scream, you scream...

1 cup sugar
½ cup water
2 cups cream (35%)
4 egg yolks
½ tsp salt
3 cups fruit/juice (I did a half batch with grape juice - yes, the same grapes I used in the jam - and a half batch with watermelon pulp)

Bring water and sugar to slow boil over medium heat. Cook five minutes.

Scald the cream.

Beat together yolks and salt. Add a bit of the hot cream gradually, stirring like a maniac (so as not to scramble the eggs), then put the eggy stuff back in the saucepan with the rest of the cream. Stir (with a spoon! not a whisk!) over med/low heat until thickened like custard.

Combine sugar syrup with fruit.

Pour custard over sweetened fruit. Stir well and allow to cool.

Stick in the freezer at super-cold. Give it a stir after half and hour, and then every fifteen minutes until it is just too damn difficult.

Or you could just use an ice cream maker :)

makes 2 quarts

note: Ziploc makes disposable tupperware thingies in a 1 quart size. They rock.

traditional brownies

1 cup flour
¼ cup cocoa
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla

Combine first five ingredients. Force through a seive.

Add remaining ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Spread in a buttered and well-floured 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes at 350F.

There, wasn't that easy? If you want to make it fancy, you can always chop up a bar of Lindt milk chocolate and sprinkle it on top for the last five or ten minutes of baking.

butterscotch brownies

1½ cups flour
1½ cups brown sugar
1 tbs baking powder
pinch salt
½ cup butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 tbs vanilla
3 Skor bars, chopped

Combine first four ingredients. Force through a seive.

Add next four ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Spread some of the batter in a buttered and floured 9x13 baking dish. Mix the skor bars into the remaining batter and spread over top. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes at 350f.

If you wanted to sprinkle chocolate on top of this one too, I'm sure no one would complain.

a version of the classic Clafoutis.

1 lb cherries
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
¼ cup almond meal
1 tsp baking powder

Rinse and pit the cherries. Arrange in a single layer in a buttered and floured quiche dish.

Beat the egg yolks with the vanilla and sugar till nice and lemony-looking and thick. this will take about ten minutes. Be patient.

Meanwhile, sift together the flour, almond meal, and baking powder. gently fold into the eggs. Finally, fold in the melted butter.

spoon this luscious batter over the cherries. Bake for about twenty-five minutes at 350f. Serve with half-whipped cream. Yummy.

Lemon Chiffon Pie

for the crust:
¼ lb butter
¼ cup sugar
1 egg
1 ½ cups flour

Cream butter and sugar. add egg, beat. Stir in flour with a fork. shape into a ball, chill 30 minutes. Roll out to fit quiche dish, bake blind 10 minutes at 350f.

for the filling:
1 lemon (juice and zest)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs (separated)

Cook lemon, sugar, and egg yolks in top of a double boiler until it resembles a thin syrup.
Beat egg whites until stiff.
Fold two mixtures together. Pour into pie shell and bake 30 minutes at 325f, or until set and lightly browned.
Serve with nectarines and sugared almonds.

2 nectarines
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs grand marnier

Slice nectarines thinly. Place in a small saucepan and sprinkle with sugar. Cook covered over low heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Add Grand Marnier and allow to steep.

½ cup almonds
1 tbs butter
¼ cup sugar

Toss almonds with melted butter. Toss with sugar. Bake at 375f for like three minutes or something. Don’t leave the room!
Makes enough that you can eat a bunch and still have some left for garnish.

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