Tag Archives: cake

Bûche de Noël – French Yule Log

We are now days away from Christmas and I am as ready as I’ll ever be. Sure, I’ve got a menu of items to make for our big “Eve” party this weekend, but I’ve at least finalized what I’ll be serving and need to only make one more trip to the grocery store for our fresh ingredients. Anything else in my pantry, though, has dwindled down to next to nothing, including my compartment of baking ingredients. Only last week it was overflowing with chocolate morsels, flour, granulated and brown sugar and various other things needed to open my home bakery for the holidays.

I was oh-so-proud of my baking cabinet and the sweets it helped me produce: the chocolate chips I had stocked up on to coat my Oreo truffles, the loads of granulated sugar it felt like I used with my candied orange peel, and the various other Christmas treats that remind me why I love to bake. My favorite holiday dessert, which has become a tradition since I first made it years ago, is considered my “pièce de résistance,” and I like to think my family is anticipating its big reveal this Saturday. The classic French Yule log is no joke – if, like me, you soak up every single complement thrown your way regarding any of your dishes, make a Bûche de Noël. You will be the talk of your family holiday party well into 2012. Read More…

Blue Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Icing

When I asked Joe what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday, his response was less than ideal. Each year, I try to produce an over-the-top, inventive concoction to celebrate. Past cakes include double chocolate, chocolate/peanut-butter and even a chocolate/bacon pairing. I thought, for sure, he would want to keep with the chocolate theme this year. You can imagine how confused I was when he told me he wanted something healthier.

Both of us have been working hard to visit the gym, run more often and eat better. With the start of the summer season and the beautiful weather, it’s likely we’ll have to don a swimsuit and head to the beach at some point, and I personally want to make it as painless as possible for myself and everyone in my company when the moment arrives. Still, I can easily be convinced to forego a short run or gym session in favor of a cold beer or an impromptu slice or two of pizza. I’m no stranger to treating myself.

Birthdays, to me, are an even bigger reason to indulge; the one day a year to celebrate you should involve your favorite meal, lots of snacking and, at the very least, a perfectly delicious, beautifully decorated birthday cake. Even though the birthday boy had requested a healthier option in lieu of a birthday dessert, I knew I had to veto his wishes and find a spectacular recipe to commemorate his day. I needed something so delicious and immaculate that he couldn’t possibly be angry with me for going against his request.  Read More…

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