Makes:1 cake, 6-8 servings.

Buche de Noel (Yule Log)

Makes:1 cake, 6-8 servings.

Ingredients for cake:
1/3 cup cake flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
Chestnut Cream
30 chestnuts
2 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dark Chocolate Buttercream
12 oz dark chocolate (at least 60 percent cacao)
2 1/2 cups (5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Meringue Mushrooms
2 egg whites
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Other Toppings
4 cups dark chocolate buttercream
2 cups fondant
12 whole chestnuts
1 1/2 cups fresh red currants
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 10- by 15-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper, and butter the paper. Prepare a double boiler with water.
Mix together the flour, cornstarch, and cocoa in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, use a mixer to beat together the sugar, whole eggs, egg yolks, and salt. Transfer the egg mixture to the top of a double boiler and heat, stirring gently, until the mixture is warm to the touch. Remove from the heat, and beat the egg mixture with a mixer until it has cooled and nearly tripled in volume. Gradually and gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture, taking care not to deflate the egg mixture’s volume.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just firm to the touch. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer the cake on its paper to a rack to cool further. Remove the paper when the cake is cool.
Directions for the chestnut cream:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare each chestnut for roasting by cutting an X into its side and pricking it a few times with a fork. Arrange the chestnuts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender and easy to peel. Remove from the oven, let cool, then peel. Grind the chestnuts, then mix with 1/3 cup of the confectioners’ sugar, the melted butter, and 1/4 cup of the heavy cream. Set aside.
Cream the superfine sugar with 4 tablespoons butter until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat together the remaining 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, the egg yolk, the remaining 2 tablespoons cream, the vanilla, and the salt for 8 to 10 minutes, until thick. Gradually stir the egg yolk mixture into the butter mixture. Stir in the chestnut mixture. Add more heavy cream if necessary to reach the desired consistency for spreading.
Directions for the buttercream:
Melt the chocolate in a microwave or double boiler; let it cool but not harden. Beat the butter until creamy. Add the confectioners' sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and melted chocolate. Mix until smooth.
Assembling the cake:
Invert the cake onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Spread the chestnut cream over the cake, leaving a 1-inch border. Roll the cake tightly into a log, leaving the plastic on the work surface. Cut a 2- to 4-inch section off one end at a 45-degree angle. Lift the cake, using the plastic wrap as a stretcher, and transfer it to a platter, with the seam side down.
Arrange the cut-off piece to resemble a stump on the branch. Spread the dark chocolate buttercream over the cake with an icing spatula, giving it ridges like bark. Garnish the cake with meringue mushrooms, chestnuts, holly leaves, and bunches of currants.

From the Cookbook

A World of Cake

A World of Cake

Photos By: Emily Brooke Sandor
Photo By: Emily Brooke Sandor

See more:

Christmas, Holiday, French

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