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Bûche de Noël (Yule Log)

By , from the Joan Menefee collection

Introduction

This recipe was adapted from recipes I found on go-at-home.com (which itself was adapted from The Complete Christmas Book by the editors of Canadian Living Magazine) and straight.com.

Ingredients

Cake

5 large eggs
1⅓ cups sugar
½ cup cold black espresso or 1 Tbsp. instant espresso granules dissolved in ½ cup hot water
tsp. vanilla
cups flour
½ cup finely chopped roasted hazelnuts
tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 to 3 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Buttercream

1 cup butter, softened
cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted

Bark

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Mushrooms (optional)

2 egg whites
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
2 cups sugar

Steps

  1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 15-inch-by-11-inch-by-1-inch jelly-roll pan with greased parchment paper.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs 3 to 4 minutes, until light in color. Slowly add the sugar and continue to beat 1 or 2 more minutes. Add the coffee and vanilla and mix gently. Stop the mixer and remove the mixing blade. Add the flour, hazelnuts, baking powder, and salt to the egg mixture, and gently fold ingredients together until all the flour is incorporated.
  3. Scrape onto the prepared jelly-roll pan, spreading evenly to the corners. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and springy to the touch.
  4. Lay a clean tea towel on the counter. Sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar and turn the hot cake onto the tea towel. Carefully remove the parchment paper. Fold the flap of the tea towel over the cake and gently roll up the cake. Cool completely on a rack.
  5. Make the buttercream: In a bowl with a electric mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Gradually beat in the whipping cream and then the vanilla. Beat in the sugar, 1 cup at a time. Beat in the chocolate until fluffy and smooth.
  6. When the cake is completely cool, carefully unroll it. Spread the buttercream filling over the inside of the cake. Carefully roll it back up. Freeze the cake now if you’re making the cake ahead of time for a party.
  7. Make the bark: Put the bittersweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and melt it in 30-second increments in the microwave for about 2 minutes total, until the lumps are gone. Spread the chocolate on parchment paper on a baking sheet and refrigerate it until firm. Using a peeler, peel rough strips from the chocolate.
  8. Spread the icing over the log and affix the bark. Unless you are also making meringue mushrooms for decor, you can now serve cross-sections of the log (i.e., slices of cake) to guests.
  9. Make the mushrooms: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a cool metal bowl, beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar until the mixture starts to stiffen, then gradually add the sugar to sweeten. Beat until stiff.
  10. Cut the corner off of a sandwich bag to improvise a piping tube and scoop the meringue mixture into the bag, piping mushroom bases and caps onto a baking sheet. Let the meringues sit in the 200-degree oven until firm and brown (you may need a few hours for this). When dry, firm, and browned, solder together the bases and caps with leftover buttercream, meringue mixture, or anything else sticky and edible you have lying around the house.

Related post: Behold: the Yule log

This content is from the Joan Menefee collection.

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