Tag Archives: French

DIY French Label Towel

Today I am sharing a DIY French Label Towel.  I love French decor!  Do you?
French towel 1Supplies:

– 1 high quality natural fabric towel (you can buy them online here: Now Designs Floursack Towels Set of 6, White)

– Marker

– Printout of French Chocolate label – I used the ‘Cacao Payraud’ label from the Graphics Fairy.  There are also many other graphics and labels on this wonderful site to choose from.


Wash and dry the towel.

Place paper of the French graphic under the towel.
Trace the words onto the towel using the marker.
You’re done!

French towel 2I have washed mine and the printing didn’t disappear or ‘bleed’ at all.  The towels take on a lovely slight faded appearance as the towel fibers move slightly as they are washed.  I use Woolite detergent, since certain detergents containing powerful stain fighters that may cause the print to fade excessively.  I choose to wash mine in cold water but they can be washed in hot water.

French towel 3

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Orange-Cardamom Madeleines

French madeleinesThese shell-shaped cakey cookies are spiced with ground cardamom and coated with a sweet citrus icing.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Martha Stewart

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Pain au Cinnamon Raisin Recipe

Source:  frenchfood.about.com – By , About.com Guide

Pain au Raisin – Mike Fleming

One of the most popular breakfast foods of all time, cinnamon raisin rolls, can be made in your own kitchen with this pain au cinnamon raisin recipe. Sweet vanilla filling, or a vanilla crème patisserie1, plump Cognac-soaked raisins, and a dusting of fragrant cinnamon are layered into the rich dough for an amazing pastry you won’t soon forget.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Rise: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: 18 cinnamon raisin rolls


  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup Cognac
  • 4 teaspoons instant dried yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup vanilla crème patisserie2
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk


Rehydrate your raisins at least 12 to 24 hours before you plan to make your pains au raisin. Stir together the raisins, water, and Cognac. Store the mixture in the refrigerator until use.

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water for 5 minutes. Add the bread flour, milk, sugar, melted butter, and salt to the dissolved yeast and water and mix the dough on medium speed for about 2 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of extra flour at a time, until the dough is just firm enough to fold a shape.

Shape dough into a ball and loosely cover it with plastic wrap. Allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Roll the dough into a 10-inch by 15-inch rectangle, and then cover it loosely and allow it to rise for 40 minutes.

Brush the rectangle with the softened butter and then fold the dough into thirds, like a letter. Roll the long, thin rectangle back into the original 10-inch by 15 shape. Fold the dough into thirds, again, and then cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Repeat this process one more time.

Roll the dough into a 10-inch by 30-inch rectangle and spread the vanilla crème patisserie3 across the surface of the rectangle. Drain the raisins, discarding the soaking liquid, and evenly scatter them over the surface of the pastry cream. Stir 1 tablespoon sugar and the cinnamon together and sprinkle the mixture over the raisins and pastry cream.

Roll the dough into a log and cut it crosswise into 18 slices. Arrange each slice on a lightly greased baking sheet with at least 2 inches between each pastry. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and allow them to rise for 1 hour to 90 minutes, until they are nearly doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Whisk the egg and 2 tablespoons milk together to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash across the surface of each pastry. Bake the pains au raisin for 14 to 16 minutes, until they are puffed and golden brown.

This pain au raisin recipe makes 18 servings.

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Bûche de Noël Step by Step Video & Recipe

The Bûche de Noël is a traditional holiday cake dating back to late 19th century France, fashioned after the Yule logs commonly burned on Christmas Eve night. Alina Eisenhauer of Sweet walks through the steps of making a Bûche de Noël, from the ganache to the rich, flourless chocolate cake. Watch how Alina expertly fills, rolls and decorates, and — If you are feeling ambitious — watch Alina’s other videos: Meringue Mushrooms & Dessert Dirt to learn how-to embellish your Yule log for the holiday table!
Serves 8-10



  • 12 oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream, room temperature

Flourless Chocolate Cake

  • 8 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 7 egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Sweetened Whipped Cream

  • 3 cups cold heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla

Meringue Mushrooms (optional)

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • chocolate ganache or frosting (for adhesive)
  • cocoa powder or cinnamon (optional)

Dessert Dirt (optional)

  • 4 oz dark chocolate, melted (or any fatty, smooth substance)
  • 1 cup tapioca maltodextrin

Other Suggested Garnishes (optional)

  • fondant holly leaves & berries
  • powdered sugar

Special Equipment

  • food processor
  • standing mixer


Make Ganache

  1. Add butter and chocolate to a double boiler set over medium-low heat, whisking often until melted
  2. Remove chocolate and butter from heat and gradually whisk in cream. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally until icing thickens (at least 2 hours)  
 Mix & Bake Flourless Chocolate Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Butter a 16½” × 12″ heavy baking pan, then line with parchment paper, cut large enough to hang over sides of the pan by about 1″.  Butter parchment paper again on top
  3. Put chocolate in a large mixing bowl and set aside.  Heat cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a boil then pour over chocolate and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool
  4. Add egg whites to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium speed until frothy; increase speed to medium-high and gradually add sugar, beating constantly. Increase speed to high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form
  5. Mix one-third of the whites into chocolate using a rubber spatula, then gently fold in remaining whites in two batches, taking care not to deflate batter
  6. Spread in prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 10–12 minutes. Set aside to cool in the pan
 Mix Sweetened Whipped Cream (for technique, watch the Chantilly Cream video)
  1. Place cold heavy cream into cold mixing bowl
  2. Start mixer on low speed. When it starts to gain a little volume, increase to medium speed. Slowly add powdered sugar, then drizzle in vanilla
  3. Increase to medium-high speed and whip to stiff peaks
  4. Take the bowl off the mixer and use the whip attachment to mix in the contents from the bottom of the bowl (any remaining powdered sugar)
  5. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until use
Make Mushroom Meringues (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 200°
  2. In a double-boiler over medium heat, combine egg whites and sugar and whisk constantly until smooth, about 10 minutes
  3. Transfer the mixture to a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium speed until stiff peaks form, and the meringue is glossy and not dry, about 10 minutes
  4. Transfer meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a ½” round tip
  5. Pipe into mushroom stems and tops onto sheet pan lined with parchment paper
  6. Dip your finger in a bowl of water to smooth over the tips on the stems and caps. You can shape the caps to make bumpy or smooth using this same technique
  7. Bake for 1½ hours, then turn oven off but leave oven door ajar and allow mushroom parts to remain in the oven for an additional hour
  8. To assemble, stick a paring knife into the bottom of the caps and turn to create little holes to fit stems
  9. Smear a bit of ganache or frosting into holes. Attach stems and place upright to display
  10. Paint spots of ganache onto mushrooms, or dust with cinnamon or cocoa powder to finish
Make Dessert Dirt (optional)
  1. Place melted chocolate into food processor with tapioca maltodextrin
  2. Pulse until combined and dry. Continue to process until mixture takes on a dirt-like texture. Add more tapioca maltodextrin if needed
 Assemble the Bûche de Noël
  1. Lift cake/parchment paper out of pan to a clean work surface. Spread whipped cream evenly over top using a metal offset spatula. Grab the long edge of the parchment paper with two hands and gently roll cake onto itself, pulling off paper as you roll. For tree stump, diagonally cut a 2″ length from one end of cake and set aside
  2. Using two long metal spatulas, carefully transfer log to a serving platter
  3. “Glue” stump onto log with ganache. Spread remaining ganache on the log, dragging spatula along icing to simulate tree bark
  4. Decorate with meringue mushrooms and dessert dirt. Dust with powdered sugar, and decorate log with fondant holly & berries if desired. Refrigerate until eating

Source: how2heroes.com

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