Buche De Noel – Yule Log
Buche de Noel – Also known as a Yule Log is traditionally French but has also become a traditional Christmas Day dessert in America. Classically it is a sponge cake (Genoise) with pastry cream filling, rolled into a log shape (Roulade) and iced with buttercream. It is not just in the shape of a log, but it is meant to look like a log in a forest, right down to the meringue mushrooms.
Over the years, as happens with traditions, the recipe has been changed and has evolved. In the bakery, I chose to make a sponge cake, fill it with fresh whipped cream and finish it with a chocolate glaze. Instead of the meringue mushrooms, I opt for fondant shaped holly leaves because meringue mushrooms are easy to make but not easy to store (besides holly is prettier!).
A sponge cake is a very simple cake to make and it literally only takes minutes to bake because of its thinness. We sometimes add peppermint or chocolate pieces or cherries to the whipped cream before rolling, though this is certainly not traditional. Don’t be scared off by the steps involved. You do have to make 3 components: a cake, a filling and a glaze. You’ll find that none of the steps take too long and the assembly is really easy as well.1. THE CAKE: In a mixing bowl, whip to soft peaks: 5 Egg Whites Slowly add while beating whites: 4 Tabl. Sugar
Continue to whip egg whites to stiff peak and then transfer to another bowl and set aside.In the same mixing bowl, beat on high speed for 8-10 minutes: 5 Egg yolks 4 Tabl. Sugar
Remove the bowl from the mixer and by hand with a spatula, fold in: 1/3 cup Cake Flour, sifted 3 Tabl. Cocoa Powder, sifted
Gently fold in the egg whites to the above mixture:
Spread the batter into a parchment lined 1” sided cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until it springs back when touched. Allow the cake to cool completely.
2. THE FILLING: Whip on high speed to stiff peak (Do not overbeat): 2 cups Heavy Cream Slowly add: 3 Tabl. Sugar 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
3. THE GLAZE:
Melt slowly in a microwavable bowl: 1 cup of Chocolate Chips 3 Tabl. Butter When melted, stir in 1 Tabl. Corn Syrup. Cool at room temperature until the glaze is spreadable.
NOW HERE’S HOW TO ASSEMBLE – (Don’t panic – it’s easy 🙂
1) Remove cake from the pan by running a knife around the edges and then pulling the parchment off pan and on to the counter. Flip over the cold cake and remove the parchment.
2) Spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the cake – extending to the edges.
3) OPTIONAL: Add peppermint or cherries over the whipped cream.
4) Roll the long edge of the cake up, rolling as you go, to form a log shape.
5) Place seam side down on a piece of parchment.
6) Spread the glaze from the top working around and down the sides (not the edges).
7) Drag a fork through the chocolate to make it look like bark.
8.) Allow the glaze to set-up firm.
9) Cut the ends off on an angle.
10) Place the ends (really, any way you like) to make it seem like a cut log. See my pic for an example.
11) Touch up the glaze on the cut ends.
12) Transfer the set cake to a serving platter.
13) Hand cut some green fondant to look like holly and add red M&Ms for the berries.
Now, wasn’t that pretty painless? 🙂