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Monthly Archive for January, 2006


Bettina  sends another contribution from across the pond… 
a sampling of goodies from
(a little but beautiful island in the Northern sea)

A Tribute to Mom and Dad (continued)

Buche de Noel w/ Expresso Buttercream Icing   





For cake:

6 eggs

1 ¼ cups sugar

¾ cup flour

¾ cup cornstarch


For icing:

2 ¼ cups sugar

1 ½ cups expresso

4 egg yolks

3 ½ sticks butter


Icing is made by beating egg yolks until light yellow in
color. Next, cook sugar and coffee
together over medium high heat to a temperature of 234 degrees. Then very
slowly add sugar/coffee mixture to the yolks while beating at low speed until
mixture is cold (if you go too fast, the yolks will curdle). Butter is softened
at room temperature before it is cut into pieces and beaten into the cold
egg/syrup mixture. Continue beating at low speed until mixture is very firm.
Set aside in a cool spot.


Cake batter is made by adding sugar to beaten whole eggs
then continue beating mixture over very low heat until it doubles in size
(approx. 15 minutes). The flour and cornstarch are sifted together and gently
folded into the mixture. The mixture is then poured into a well buttered half
sheet pan and baked at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan while
still warm and roll it up in a kitchen towel that has been sprinkled w/ sugar.
Set aside to cool (a warm cake will melt the icing).


When cool, unroll the cake and spread ¼ inch layer of icing
on the inside. Reroll the cake then cut off ends diagonally, each piece being
about 1 by 3 inches. Place the cake roll on a cutting board wrapped in foil
(the foiled cutting board was my serving platter, but feel free to use the
platter of your choice) then spread a ¼ inch layer of icing on the exterior of
the cake roll. The diagonal pieces are then placed on the top of the roll and
spread w/ icing to resemble stubs of cut-off branches. Tines of a fork are
drawn through the icing to simulate the texture of bark; the ends are marked w/
circles to resemble tree growth rings. Place the cake in a cool spot or
refrigerate until it’s time to serve. One hour prior to service, remove cake
from fridge and decorate cutting board w/ holly branches.


Chef’s notes:


The recipe from the magazine article was not very
specific regarding certain aspects of the preparation so I’m adding some info
for your benefit. For example, when making the icing, it is important to beat
the mixture until very firm, otherwise it will not be properly
emulsified and will “break”. Also, when beating the cake
batter over heat I used a double boiler to prevent sticking and burning.

When removing the cake from the sheet pan be particularly
careful to unstick it from the pan so it doesn’t get broken. (I cracked the
cake at this stage and it made the remaining steps much more challenging!!).
Make sure your kitchen towel is generously sprinkled w/ sugar and gently roll
up the warm cake. I applied a little too much pressure while rolling which
caused the cake to stick to the towel and crack even more when unrolled!
Believe me, you don’t want your cake cracked because icing it, then rerolling
will be a pain in the a_ _!! Fortunately, through the miracles of icing, I was
able to cover up all my mistakes!

For a first effort, I think the final product turned out
fairly nice. I wish my mom and dad were around to sample it. I did have a group
of friends over for cake and champagne, and by the looks of it, they seemed
pretty satisfied!

A Tribute to Mom and Dad for the Holidays

Bruno wanted this posted during
the holidays but scheduling
prevented  it.


My mom died 2 years ago December 13th and my dad on April 25th, 1998. I miss them both very much, especially during the holidays. In their honor, here is a special blog entry.

My mom was like a Swiss Julia Child/Martha Stewart combo! She was a great chef(she trained in her home country of Switzerland and in Paris, France) and would decorate the house so nicely for the holidays w/ beautiful touches that made it festive. I know my dad loved this about her in addition to her excellent cooking skills. Two desserts that stand out in my mind around Christmas are leckerli and Buche de Noel. The leckerli were sent by my Swiss relatives. They are a popular Swiss cookie and there are 2 versions - one is made w/ honey, the other w/ ground almonds. Both are chewy and delicious.


My mom would make a Buche de Noel to celebrate Christmas. In her honor I will attempt to recreate the dessert from her recipe and eat it in my dad's honor. The chef notes and recipe will be in an upcoming entry, but in the mean time here are some photos of my mom's creation (the photos from a Dec. 24th, 1961 article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch of my mom preparing the Buche de Noel).

Happy Holidays,

Bruno "The Mayor"

Comfort foods that Zing…

A laid back dinner with friends doesn’t have to be a bland affair,
when my friends get together.We decide that simple was the
word for the day: with that being said you know simple
will not mean boring.
The menu was to be a beef stew, lasagna and a salad.
Bruno aka “The Mayor” was in charge of the stew and with
all the flair that you would expect from the Flying Chef
he created the Heavenly Stew…
Comfort_foods_001sirloin tip, butternut squash, garlic, mulato chiles, morel and crimini mushrooms, corn, cipollini onions, carrots, celery, tomato, Swiss chard, leek, bouquet garni for veggie stock and “red roux”.Comfort_foods_002Byron made his world famous 10 layer Lasagna. Would it betoo much to call it bliss in a pan?Zinful_photographs_011Hand made pasta so thin that you would think it’s parchment, the finest cheeses and his ownspecial meat sauce.Comfort_foods_003The D.E.W. created a Salad withan artistic flairComfort_foods_004spinach,mixed field greens,artichoke hearts,black olives,portabello mushroom,eggs androma tomatoesComfort_foods_011Wine & Sprits of the NightWines-Schug 2004 Pinot Noir-St. Supery 2000 Cabernet Sauvigon-Terra Romana 2002 Cuvee Charlotte-Bearitage-Lot#12 California Claret-Silver Oak 2000 Napa Valley Cabernet SauvigonSpirits*The Macallan 15/yo Fine OakHighland Single Malt*Aberlour 15/yo Sherry Wood FinishHighland-Speyside Single Malt* Glen Garioch 15/yoHighland Single Malt*Montelle FramboiseRasberry Port*DOM B&B

Review & Photos by "D"