Monday, December 14, 2009

11 Days 'Til Christmas! (Day 14)

What a fantastic day so far! The fates/cosmos have apparently decided to give me a break from the exam blitz. My second exam today was much easier (I think anyway....) than I was expecting. The fire alarm even went off about 30 mins and we had to leave the room, breaking my concentration. On the way home I stopped into Shopper's to get a VHS tape (forgot :s) BUT I did get butter for $2.99 - what a deal! And yogurt was on sale too.
THEN I remembered that my building is giving out free pizza tonight from 6-7 pm! Delicious. I even snagged a slice for John though he's out. I won't eat it, I won't eat it, I won't eat it...ya right. I'll let you know how that goes.
Plus the Grinch and Frosty are on tonight - why I was going to buy a VHS tape. I'll have to figure something out.
I found the picture of my "fireplace" from last year. Behold:

Today I am going to give you a recipe for something I've always wanted to make...and might just try it this year. But probably not as it looks quite if you've got a good chunk of free time and are up for a challenge why not try to make a -
Bouche de Noel

Step 1 is to make The Chocolate Genois:
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10 1/2-by-15 1/2-by-1-inch jelly-roll pan. Line with parchment; butter and flour paper, tapping out the excess flour.
  • Sift together 2/3 cup (cake) flour, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, and a pinch of baking soda together twice into a medium bowl. Set aside. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt 5 tbsp of butter. Skim off white foam, and pour clear yellow butter into a bowl, discarding white liquid at the bottom. Set aside in a warm place
  • In a heat-proof bowl, whisk together 6 eggs and 3/4 cup of sugar. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water; stir until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, and beat on high speed until mixture is thick and pale and has tripled in bulk. Reduce speed to medium, add 2 tsp of vanilla, and beat 2 to 3 minutes more
  • Sift flour mix over egg mix in 3 batches folding gently with a spatula. On the 3rd addition, pour the melted butter over the batter and fold it in.
  • Spread batter evenly in pan. Tap pan on counter to remove air bubbles and then bake until the cake springs back when touched in center, 15 to 20 minutes. Don't overbake or cake will crack. Let cool.
  • Dust surface with cocoa powder. To make rolling easier, trim edges of cake, and cover with a sheet of waxed paper and a damp dish towel. Invert onto a work surface, and peel off parchment; dust with cocoa. Starting from one long end, carefully roll up cake in towel. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate until ready to use.
Step 2 is to make the Chocolate Mousse:
  • In a double boiler, melt together 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate and 4 tbsp butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat, and transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in 4 egg yolks, stirring well. Let cool to room temperature
  • In a large bowl, beat 4 egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar until stiff. Whisk a third of the whites into chocolate mixture; gently fold in remainder of the egg whites.
  • Whip 1/2 cup of heavy cream until it holds soft peaks, and fold into chocolate mixture. Chill until set, about 1 hour.
Step 3 is to make the Chocolate Ganache Icing:
  • Chop 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate into small pieces, and place in a medium bowl. Heat 1 cup heavy cream until bubbles begin to appear around the edges (scalding); pour over chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Refrigerate until cold but not solid, stirring occasionally

To put together the Bouche:

  1. Place cake, seam side down, on a serving platter; tuck parchment around it to keep platter clean while decorating

  2. Whip ganache at medium speed until it has the consistency of soft butter. Cut two wedges off ends of cake at a 45 degrees.angle; set aside. Ice log with a thin layer of ganache. Attach wedges on diagonally opposite sides of log. Spread ganache all over log, using a small spatula to form barklike ridges. Chill until ganache is firm, about 30 minutes.

  3. In the top of a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl set over simmering water, melt chocolate until smooth. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Spread melted chocolate 1/8 inch thick over parchment. Refrigerate until cold, 10 to 15 minutes. Roll paper back and forth until chocolate splinters; sprinkle over cake. Chill cake until ready to serve.
  4. When ready to serve, arrange meringue mushrooms*** around and on cake, and dust lightly with confectioners' sugar

***Meringue Mushrooms - if you want them. I'm too tired to copy and paste slash rewrite the recipe out.

It's a very pretty desert so certainly try it out if you want to impress the pants off your friends and family.

I must go study for my exam tomorrow.

Back tomorrow!

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