A Yule Log or Bûche de Noël (BOOSH duh noh-EHL) is a special dessert for a special occasion - Christmas. This dessert was invented by a French pastry chef in the late 1800s. While there are many recipes for this traditional Christmas dessert, my version uses a deliciously light and moist chocolate sponge cake, that is filled with whipped cream, rolled into a cylinder, and then frosted with chocolate ganache. You can dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar (to simulate snow). I also like to pile lots of sweet homemade meringue mushrooms on top and around the Yule Log for everyone to nibble on.
- For the cake:
- 3/4 c flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 eggs, seperated
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup sifted confectioners sugar
- For the filling:
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla etract
- 3 tablespoons confetioners sugar
- For the frosting:
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 oz. good quality unsweetened chocolate (melted)
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a jelly-roll pan (15 1/2 by 10 1/2 inches), then line it with parchment paper and butter it again. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, beat the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar until creamy. Add the vanilla and water and mix well.
In a seperate bowl (make sure the beaters are clean), beat the egg white until fluffy. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat unti stiff and glossy.
Add the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture, a little at a time, until blended. Carefully fold in the egg white.
Pour the batter onto the pan and spread evenly to the edges. Bake until the cake is done about 13-15 minutes, be careful not to overbake.
While the cake is baking, lay a clean thin dish towel on a flat surface and dust it with 1/4 sifted confectioners sugar. When the cake is done, loosen the edges and quickly turn it over onto the towel. Remove the parchment paper. To keep the cake from setting into a flat shape, roll it again with the towel starting from one of the short ends. Place on cooling rack until completely cooled.
For the filling:
Beat together the heavy cream, vanilla and confectioners sugar, until you see soft peaks. When the cake is cooled, unroll it carefully and spead the cream filling from edge to egdge. Roll up the cake again, forming a log. Without the towel of course!
You can cut 2 inches from one end to creat a stump or knot for the top of the log.
For the frosting:
Beat together the butter, heavy cream, confectioners sugar and melted chocolate until blended. If it’s too dry add more cream. To thicken add more sugar.
Frost the rolled cake, the use the prongs of a fork to make shallow “bark” grooves in the frosting. Carefuly sift confectioners sugar on the top of the roll to look like snow. Decorate with meringue mushrooms, holly or a vintage bird or two.
Link for making meringue mushrooms. http://www.joyofbaking.com/MeringueMushrooms.html