Monthly Archives: December 2014

La Buche (Chestnut Christmas Log)

One of the nicest parts of Christmas when I was young, apart from all the presents Santa brought, was when my maternal grandmother (Nonna Ines) prepared the Christmas lunch for all the family. In those days we were a large, loud, happy family, and Nonna would prepare roast turkey, roast ham, veggies, with all the trimmings.

Dessert however, unlike the traditional Christmas fare usually found in an English household would consist of her speciality the Buche. I have no idea how long it’s been a family tradition, but I would expect it has been passed down the generations. La Buche is basically a chestnut and chocolate log which is cooked in the fridge – the longer you leave it the better, but three days is usually more than enough [and it can be frozen to have another day]. For anyone who loves chestnuts, chocolate, and cream then this dessert is for you:

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La Buche (Chestnut Christmas Log)

Ingredients: 1 tin (2 tins if preparing for 8 or more people) – Chestnut Puree

11/2 cups unsalted butter

1 jar chocolate or hazelnut spread

1 cup castor sugar (or to taste)

1 cap brandy (optional – but recommended)

Thickened Cream Strawberries or other fruit of choice

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Method:

  •  Place contents of chestnut puree in mixing bowl and cut into small pieces.

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  • Add 1 cup of unsalted butter, brandy and sugar and mix together until it forms a smooth paste

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  • Dampen calico or linen cloth in COLD water and spread out on work bench.

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  • Place chestnut mixture on cloth and using a spatula spread out to form large square about 0.5 cm thickness.

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  • Place contents of chocolate spread into mixing bowl with remaining butter and blend together until smooth.

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  • Pour chocolate on top of chestnut layer and spread out evenly.

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  • Then taking the edge of the cloth in each hand, very gently “flip” the chestnut and chocolate layers so that the whole thing forms a roll.

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  • Keep the roll wrapped in the damp cloth and carefully transfer to a flat dish or tray and place in the fridge for a minimum of TWO days prior to being used.

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  • To test if ready, gently touch it. If it is firm to the touch, it is ready to eat.

Decorate:

  •  Remove from fridge and carefully unwrap cloth.
  • Place Buche on a flat dish.

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  • Cut off ends in a diagonal angle with a sharp knife to expose the “Swiss-roll” effect.
  •  Spread whipped cream over Buche and top with strawberries or cherries.

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**NOTE** the cake is extremely rich, so it is advisable to offer a small slice. Should not be consumed if allergic to nuts.

On the subject of the Chestnut Puree you can usually find it at speciality delicatessens  – this year I found it at Caesars Café at Erina on the Central Coast. You can order it on line if it’s too far to get there: http://www.caesarscoffee.com.au/search?q=chestnut+puree

Finally, I would take this opportunity in wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Best Wishes

Louise

Tory Allyn – Author of ALTER EGO

Tory Allyn - Author

Tory Allyn currently resides in Upstate New York. Although born in Syracuse, he was raised in the quaint town of Baldwinsville with his brother and two sisters, who drove him into becoming the crazy person he is today. As a child, he made up many a tale. Some funny; others dark and brooding, but all started him on the path to writing. Today, his nephew, lovingly referred to as The Monster Child, is his partner in crime. Most days, you will see them playing ball at a nearby park, going for a dip in the backyard pool or snowboarding on a popular mountainside.

Tory has written his first novel titled, ALTER EGO, has completed a second novel titled, ALTERED STATE, and is currently working on the third which will be titled, ALTER BOUND. All three are a series entitled, THE DAVENPORT DECREES

Alter Ego - Tory Allyn

Copyright © 2014 Krys Fenner

ISBN: 978-0692287507

Published by Christine F Anderson Publishing & Media

After a partially covered body displaying unusual physical characteristics was found in the backwoods of Virginia, FBI agent Jack Stanwick is once again summoned. This was the third victim to be discovered in this condition, and with most of the brotherhood on another high-profile case, he needed some outside help. Jack knew just where to go. He hires three former police officers who work for the Davenport Detective Agency. During the initial investigation, the detectives focus their attention on the militia group, M.A.G.O.C. (Men Against Government Overtaking Control), only to find that several members and a high-ranking official in the White House are involved in a governmental conspiracy.

Digging further, the detectives come upon Prescott Chemicals, where an elixir that was discovered in the Amazon Rainforest by the Mayapo natives years before, is now being transformed into a formula with irreversible consequences. While investigating a lead, the detectives accidentally come into contact with the elixir and experience a change to their bodies and minds causing some amusing, yet permanent issues. With the assistance of a beautiful journalist and a bitter French physicist, the detectives come upon the location of the perpetrators and uncover a plot which culminates into the betrayal and a secret that affects one of detectives, changing his life.

Buy Links:

Amazon link to the print version:

http://www.amazon.com/Alter-Ego-Tory-Allyn/dp/0692287507/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413303530&sr=1-1&keywords=alter+ego+by+tory+allyn

Amazon link to the Kindle version:

http://www.amazon.com/Atler-Ego-Tory-Allyn-ebook/dp/B00NCBZ6YO/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413303578&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=alter+ego+by+tory+allyn

Barnes & Noble link:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Alter-Ego-by-Tory-Allyn?keyword=Alter+Ego+by+Tory+Allyn&store=book

Best Wishes

Louise