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Archive for October 2013

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Why not start a new tradition by baking our Bûche de Noël and sharing a slice.

Resembling the Yule log that was burned on the hearth as a part of traditional Christmas or winter solstice celebrations in medieval Europe, the Yule log cake, or Bûche de Noël, is an impressive dessert to serve at any time during the holiday season, but especially on Christmas Eve.

This particular rendition of a traditional Bûche de Noël features a vanilla flavored sponge cake wrapped around a peppermint filling, covered with a chocolate icing scored with a fork to resemble tree bark, and dusted with confectioner’s sugar to make the log appear like it has just been dragged in from the snow. It is your choice whether to ice over the ends of the log or leave them unadorned so that the “tree rings” can be seen.

So, why not start a new tradition by baking our Bûche de Noël and sharing a slice, along with any of the Amoretti holiday beverages, with family and friends during the holiday season?


Extremely concentrated essential oils that are perfect for baking and flavoring your favorite goodies.

Extremely concentrated essential oils that are perfect for baking and flavoring your favorite goodies.

Bûche de Noël

Cake:

Filling:

  • 4oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbs butter, softened
  • ¾ tsp Amoretti Peppermint Oil Extract
  • 1½ cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 dropgreen food coloring (optional)

Icing:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 15- x 10- x 1-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to blend. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat eggs until thick and lemon colored. Gradually add in the granulated sugar, then slowly add the water and peppermint extract on low speed. Add the flour mixture as you continue beating at medium speed until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the jelly roll pan and spread the batter to the corners.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Immediately loosen the cake from the edges of pan and invert the jelly roll pan onto a towel generously sprinkled with powdered sugar. Carefully peel off the parchment paper. Trim off any stiff edges from the cake if necessary. While still warm, carefully roll cake and towel from the narrow end. Cool completely on a cooling rack.

With winter coming closer, peppermint is a must have flavor for your baking arsenal.

With winter coming closer, peppermint is a must have flavor for your baking arsenal.

While the cake is cooling, make the filling by combining the cream cheese, butter, and peppermint extract in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Gradually add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until smooth. If desired, add green food coloring a drop at a time until desired color is achieved.

Unroll the cake and remove the towel. Spread the filling evenly over the cake, leaving approximately ½-inch on all sides. Roll up the cake and place it on a serving platter. Cut off a 2-inch diagonal slice from one end of the cake to create the stump.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cocoa and butter until thoroughly mixed. Add the powdered sugar, the Crème de Cacao Extract, and enough of the hot water to make the frosting smooth and spreadable. Place parchment paper around the log to keep the serving plate clean.

Attach the stump to the main log with 1 Tbs icing, frost the entire log with the remaining icing, and make wavy strokes in the icing with a fork to make the icing look like tree bark. Lightly dust the log with confectioner’s sugar to simulate snow. Remove the protective parchment paper and the Bûche de Noël is ready to serve.

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This recipe is quite versatile, and any berry, or a mixture of berries can be used.

I always look forward to the week-ends because that is when I have the time to prepare, share and enjoy my favorite meal of the entire week; a great buffet brunch. A really good brunch will include plenty of sweet and savory foods with different aromas, tastes and textures, and both hot and cold beverages.

Bold, robust, and unlike any vanilla you’ve had before.

Bold, robust, and unlike any vanilla you’ve had before.

We are going to spend the next few weeks providing you with recipes, using Amoretti products of course, that you can prepare and serve for a week-end brunch. You can pick and choose from the collection to create a one of a kind brunch everyone will enjoy. You can make everything yourself, or ask your guests to bring a brunch dish of their choosing, sort of like a pot luck brunch. This could even morph into a Progressive brunch, where each participant prepares one dish and everyone moves from house to house to sample the different offerings.

Experience our delicious, ready-to-use, blue agave nectar for coffees, teas and other cold beverages, including juices and ice teas.

Experience our delicious, ready-to-use, blue agave nectar for coffees, teas and other cold beverages, including juices and ice teas.

Some type of egg dish is always necessary, as well as a mandatory breakfast bread, which can be as simple as plain toasted bread, toasted bread with a topping in the form of crostini or bruschetta, or buttermilk biscuits, which are a natural for brunch. Maybe you’d like to try something a little more advanced, like pancakes, waffles, or French toast, or you can go all out and prepare cinnamon buns, fruit filled muffins, monkey bread, or blintzes.

Meat should also be included, whether it’s bacon, Canadian or peameal bacon, pancetta, sausages of all shapes, sizes and flavors, different types of ham, or even steak.

A breakfast potato dish of some kind should also be available; hash browns, home fries or a potato and vegetable ratatouille are all good choices. A bread pudding or Strata could be prepared and served in place of the potato dish.

Of course this selection of brunch foods needs to be accompanied by some kind of cocktail and assorted coffee and tea beverages. Sparkling wines, or beverages made with sparkling wines like Bellinis and mimosas, are always popular as accompaniments to brunch. You also need your caffeine fix, so coffee and tea drinks, hot or cold or both, are necessary.

Below is the first recipe in this series that you can prepare for the first of many home made week-end brunches. Our Chocolate Flavored Strawberry Cream Cheese Blintzes feature two Amoretti® products, Chocolate Crème de Cacao Extract and Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract, which bring a wonderful flavor enhancement  to the first of your week-end brunch menus. This recipe is quite versatile, and any berry, or a mixture of berries can be used. You could also replace the cream cheese with mascarpone, or replace the ricotta cheese with cottage cheese, if desired


Chocolate Flavored Strawberry Cream Cheese Blintzes

Ingredients:

Crepes:

Amoretti Premium Crema di Dark Chocolate Syrup

Drizzle on ice cream for a dessert that is out of this world easy and amazing!

Filling:

Topping:

Instructions:

Create the filling by placing cream cheese, ricotta cheese, egg, agave nectar, sour cream and vanilla extract in a bowl and beat with a whisk or hand mixer until combined. Gently fold in diced strawberries by hand. Place filling in refrigerator until needed.

Make the crepe batter by whisking all the ingredients together vigorously until the crepe batter is completely smooth; allow it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before making crepes.

Melt a little butter in a crepe pan or 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 3 Tbs of batter to the pan and swirl until the bottom of the pan is coated with batter. Cook the crepe for 1 minute, or until the crepe is slightly moist on top and golden underneath. Do not cook the second side. Transfer each cooked crepe to a plate and keep warm, placing waxed or parchment paper between the crepes to keep them from sticking. Repeat until you use up all the batter.

Place a crepe, browned side up, on your work surface, place 3 Tbs of filling on the lower part of the crepe about an inch from the bottom edge and fold the lower edge up over the filling. Fold the sides of the crepe inward, about one inch on each side and roll the crepe up and over the filling to create the blintz, tucking the edges in as you roll.

When all the blintzes have been rolled, pour about a ¼ cup of canola oil in a 10-inch skillet and heat over medium heat until shimmering, but not smoking. Carefully place 3 or 4 blintzes, flap-side down, in the hot oil and cook them on each side for about 2 minutes, until they’re brown and crispy. Cook the blintzes in batches of 3 or 4, leaving enough space to turn them easily with a spatula or tongs.

Place blintzes on a plate in a single layer, top with sliced strawberries and drizzle with Amoretti Premium Crema di Dark Chocolate Syrup and Amoretti Premium Crema di Wild Strawberry Syrup in a cross hatch pattern.