Every year between the week of Christmas and New Years Sydney and I prepare a Bûche de Nöel; this year it was part of our Christmas dinner, the main dessert. I remember the first year I chose to bake a Bûche de Nöel, I felt nervous and a tad overwhelmed; until I deconstructed the cake. The Bûche de Nöel, or Yule log, is a any type of roulade sponge cake filled with any type of filling you favor, glazed with chocolate or a butter cream, and decorated with meringue mushrooms. I have seen Bûche de Nöels that were so beautiful it could be in an art museum and I have seen the cake decorated with only the chocolate. Your imagination is the limit!
Bûche de Noël Yule Log:
- ◆ 52 grams/ ½ –cup cake flour
- 192 grams/ 6-egg whites
- 120 grams/ 6- egg yolks
- 175 grams/1 ¾ -cup, plus 1 Tablesppon super fine sugar, divided
- ½ – teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ -teaspoon almond extract
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ -teaspoon cream of tartar (if not using a copper bowl)
- Powder sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
Prepare your mise en place.
Line a half sheet jellyroll pan with silpat or parchment paper coated with baking spray.
In a small bowl sift flour and set aside.
Place the yolks and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until thick, fluffy, and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and beat in vanilla and almond extracts.
Put the egg whites in another bowl and set aside. Whisk on medium speed till foam forms and add a pinch of salt; gradually add the sugar and continue to whisk till stiff peaks form.
Remove the bowl from the standing mixer. In thirds add the meringue to the yolk mixture. Fold with a rubber spatula till all the meringue has almagated with the yolk mixture. Be careful not to deflate.
Sift the flour over the batter in two batches, fold gently until the flour disappears. Pour the batter into prepared jellyroll pan and smooth surface with off set spatula.
Bake the cake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown and the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center.
Unmold and cool the cake, if necessary loosen the sides of the cake with the tip of a sharp knife. Grasp the long edge of the liner and gently slide the cake from the pan onto a flat work surface. Dust the surface of the cake lightly with powder sugar. While it is still hot, roll up the cake from the short end. Be sure to include the nonstick liner. (If using parchment paper, first flip the cake onto a clean dish towel and carefully remove the parchment paper. Then roll up the cake tightly, towel and all).
Set the roll on a wire rack to cool until it is no longer warm to the touch about 40 minutes.
Prepare your filling, we used a pastry cream but you may use any filling your want. Unroll cake and spread filling on the top, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Carefully reroll cake (without towel). Arrange, seam-side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a serrated knife, trim end of the log.
Chocolate Icing Glaze:
- 340 bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 146 grams/ 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 15 grams glucose
- 113 grams/ 1/2-cup crème frâiche
- 15 gram Contreau
In a food processor fitted with the stainless steel blade add chopped bittersweet chocolate and pulse till almost a powder texture.
In a small sauce pan add the heavy cream, crème frâche, and glucose bring to a kiss of a boil.
Pour the hot crème/cream mixture through the feeding tube as you pulse to achieve a glossy chocolate icing. Pour into a medium bowl, stir in Contreau till shiny, and allow the icing to sit at room tempature for 2 hours prior to using.
Frost the roulade with the chocolate icing glaze, keeping in mind the roulade needs to look like a tree trunk, use an offset spatula or knife to create the ridges. Decorate with meringue mushrooms, leaves, and cherry ball.
The Meringue Mushroom recipe with be described in a later post.
This cake should be stored in the refrigerator.
Bring the Bûche de Nöel out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to serving. Enjoy!