#NoelByHJ – Dessert – Twin Hazelnut & Coffee buches

To finish this menu of, we will spoil ourselves with chocolate, coffee and hazelnut all in the shape of two version of the traditional French Christmas cake called bûche. The bûche can be like a Swiss roll or much more imaginative yumminess created in a shape of a log. Caution! These cakes are very very satisfying and RICH enough to make you feel very guilty after each spoon full. Just saying.

Twin Hazelnut & Coffee “bûches”

  • HJ's buche de Noel

    HJ’s buche de Noel

    HJ's buche de Noel

    HJ’s buche de Noel

Ingredients for 2 x 150g cakes:

  • 300ml double cream – 60p
  • 100g hazelnut – 95p
  • 50g Madeira cake – 70p
  • 3 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 20g sugar
  • 2 x (15cm x 7cm) mini loaf baking tins
  • 100g butter
  • 100g icing sugar
  • salt
  • 20ml vegetable oil

Total spend: £3.45

If these cakes were shop bough, they would cost at least £5.00 each… great as a treat.

Method:

Ground hazelnut is not always readily available in supermarkets or if they are, they

Sieving Hazelnut

Sieving Hazelnut

cost quiet a lot of money, It is much much cheaper to buy them with skin, roast, grind and sieve at home as I did. If you don’t fancy doing that, use ground almond instead.  I prefer hazelnut because of its strong flavour. Against the coffee it was fantastic!

Once the ground hazelnut is ready, set aside.

Next remove the “crust” from the Madeira and cut out two mini logs of 3cm x 3cm x 12cm to fit into the baking tin. The idea here is to cut the Madeira so it will fit fully in the inside of the cake. So, it should be smaller than the size of the cake tin. Once the Madeira is ready and set aside.

Break 2 and half chocolate tablets (250g) and melt them in a Bain Marie. Set the liquid chocolate aside to cool down a bit.

While all this is going on, the double cream should remain in the fridge until it is needed.

Dissolve 1,5 teaspoon of coffee in 100ml water, set aside.

Now, prepare the cream. Pour the 300ml of cream in a large bowl with the sugar and whisk until it starts forming picks.

Add to the cream, the melted chocolate and gently fold until the mix become one single and regular colour.

Now divide the mix in two. In one half, mix in the ground hazelnut, leave the other half plain. See blow the mix progression.

Mixing cream and chocolate

Mixing cream and chocolate

Plain chocolate-cream mix

Plain chocolate-cream mix

Hazelnut-chocolate-cream mix

Hazelnut-chocolate-cream mix

 

 

 

 

 

 

On to the moulds. Wet the inside of the cake tins with water and line with cling film allowing about 5cm of film to hang on the outside of the mould. Make sure that the film inside the mould is as flat as possible with no folds or pleats.

Once the moulds are lined up with the film, spoon in the first layer of the plain chocolate and cream mix. 2 tablespoons of the mix per mould should do. Now make sure to spread the mix evenly in both moulds. Spread on the bottom as well as on the sides. This will help with to shape of the dessert.

lined tins

lined tins

first layer

first layer

dipped Madeira cake

dipped Madeira cake

 

 

 

 

 

Once the first layer is spread, dip the Madeira cakes in the coffee and place them on the middle of the cake tins now lined with chocolate mix.

Cover the Madeira cake with the chocolate-cream-hazelnut mix, then tap the tins to allow the mix will fill all wholes. If you still have Madeira cake left, dip it in coffee, place in the tin and recover with the left over chocolate mix until the tin is full.

Now bring in the cling film ends hanging on the outside of the tin and fold them over the dessert tightly, then place the both tins in the fridge for 1 hour.

all layered buche

all layered buche

Ready for a nap in the fridge

Ready for a nap 

Out of the moulds

Out of the moulds

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile prepare the presentation plate for both dessert. The bûche can be very fragile and it is not advisable to more it around event two minutes. If you are decorating it, it is best to do so as cleanly as possible while the cake is on a presentation plate.

Prepare the covering for both cakes.

For one, simply melt 50g of chocolate with 20ml vegetable oil or Hazelnut oil if any available. Adding oil to the melted chocolate will prevent it from being too hard to cut with a knife and also give the chocolate a shine.

For the second covering, soften 100g butter at room temperature and when it becomes gel like, whisk it to soften it even further with a pinch of salt then sieve in 100g icing sugar as well as 1 teaspoon of coffee granules. Mix well until obtaining a milky coffee colour. Spoon this mix in a piping bags ready to be piped on the cake.

Once the desserts have been in the fridge for an hour, take them out and carefully unmould them and remove the cling film.

HJ's Buche 1

HJ’s Buche 1

HJ's Buche 1

HJ’s Buche 1

HJ's Buche 1

HJ’s Buche 1

 

 

 

 

 

For the first version of the dessert, simply pour the melts chocolate over it, leave to rest for 5 minutes then, pour another layer of the liquid chocolate over it. Leave to rest for 10 minutes then move into a serving plate before topping with broken roasted hazelnut. Return the bûche in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.

HJ's Buche 2

HJ’s Buche 2

HJ's Buche 2

HJ’s Buche 2

HJ's Buche 2

HJ’s Buche 2

 

 

 

 

 

For the other bûche, simply pipe the coffee icing in a pattern of your choice and have fun. As for me, I simply created straight lines to imitate a log. Afterwards, I sprinkled chocolate shaving and topped with whole roasted hazelnuts.

Et voila! It is all done. J

HJ's twin Hazelnut & coffee buches

HJ’s twin Hazelnut & coffee buches

HJ's buche - inside

HJ’s buche – inside

HJ's buche - inside

HJ’s buche – inside

I hope you have enjoyed this menu. To see my whole Christmas menu for 2, type #NoelByHJ in the search box.

I have also create 9 recipes for the Christmas leftovers if you had turkey with the usual trimmings. Just search #XmasScraps or #ChristmasScraps.

Thank you for following.

Happy Christmas to you and yours. See you in 2016… don’t forget to visit Croydon Radio to listen to the show dated 5th December on the podcast with Tom C.

Ciao!

Caramel Chicken

The perfect tan in a pan

The perfect tan in a pan

Serves 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 4 x 200g chicken on the bone (2 tights and 2 wings) (£2.40)
  • Thyme
  • Herbes de Provence
  • Garlic granules
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 fresh tomatoes (22p)

Total spend: Bought a whole chicken of 1.350kg for £3.50 for the full menu. It works at 30p per 100g of chicken. The breasts from this same chicken were used for the broccoli salad.

The tomato was bought in the supermarket at 69p per pack of 6. So, total spent for this recipe £2.62 or 0.66p person.

For the mains (poelee & Chicken) served in this whole menu cost £5.71 or 1.43 per person

Method:

Cut out the chicken wings and thighs from the main body, rinse the chicken and make some deep scoring on all the pieces.

Scored chicken

Scored chicken

Place them in a plastic bowl with lid and season with Thyme, garlic granules, herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. Rub all the seasoning well on each chicken piece then, cover and place in the fridge for at 30 minutes to 1 hour before frying.

Dice the tomatoes and set aside.

Once the chicken has absorbed the seasoning for 30 minutes + it is time to cooking it.

In a deep pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add 1 teaspoon of plain regular sugar granules.

Caramel drops made in oil

Caramel drops made in oil

Stir continuously with a wooden spatula until the sugar turns golden.

As shown the picture right. Once the right colour is obtained, Immediate and carefully lay the chicken pieces at the bottom of the pan and allow 1 minute on each side for the skin to catch a colour and crisp a little a bit.

Once all the sides have been browned and coated with caramel, add about 100ml water to the chicken with the chopped tomatoes. Stir, season, and then cover to allow the chicken to cook through for about 20 – 25 minutes.

Coating the chicken with caramel

Coating the chicken with caramel

A big part of the water will have evaporated and there will only be a bit of juice left. Switch off the heat and leave to stand for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

The meat will be moist and firm with a perfect tan without being burnt and… Despite the sugar, it will not be sweet.

There is no real need for sauce with this as the poelee is already very moist.

Serve as suggested with a poelee of vegetables or, simply steamed vegetable or just French fries.

 

Poelee of vegetables with Caramel coated chicken

Poelee of vegetables with Caramel coated chicken

Enjoy.

I hope you liked the menu. Feel free to make some suggestions and post comments. See the starters for this menu here and the dessert here.

Thank you for checking in!

 

Until next time…. somebody is bringing a Cuban dessert… on 8th August!

It is a French menu next!

229430528My goodness! How time flies! It has already been a month since my last visit to Croydon Radio.

I will be back Saturday 18th with Tom at 4pm.

This month we are eating like the French; full fat, cream, sugar and MAYONNAISE of course will be joining us for this little rendez-vous.

So, make a note for your diary and tune in to hear how you can try my easy menu at home…

Remember having a healthy diet does include fat and sugar. Just spread the fat consumption and switch heavy and light meals throughout the day/week. And for heaven’s sake’s watch how you eat and take responsibility for your own weight!

See you on Saturday at 4pm on Croydon Radio.

PS: I am not disclosing the menu as Tom will be guessing what he is eating and… you dear listeners will have to tune in to hear what is on the menu!

A samedi et bonne semaine!

———————————-

So, the menu was:

Starter: Broccoli & Chicken Salad – Tom was not a fan of broccoli and only guess it afterwards.

HJ's Broccoli salad

HJ’s Broccoli salad

Main: Poelee of vegetables with chicken coated in caramel. The vegetable poelee included mushrooms and aubergine which, Tom the official taster could not detect.

Chicken coated in caramel

Chicken coated in caramel

Dessert: Toasted madeira with whisked cream soaked in a Jack Daniels syrup and cooked fruits including pineapple which Tom could not detect…

Yum. Full cream, alcohol... FRENCH!

Yum. Full cream, alcohol… FRENCH!

the mission here was to make our Croydon Radio presenter Tom eat things he thought he did not liked…

He ate everything! Mission accomplished!

Read all the recipes in the next few post. Thank you for checking in!

Starter, main, dessert £3.50 per person

Starter, main, dessert £3.50 per person