Bûche De Noël Recipe
Yule Logs are a classic Christmas treat — a gorgeous, spongy cake rolled in sweet and fluffy cream, and topped with a textured, bark-like frosting and sugared fruit. Delicious!
The first recipe for Bûche de Noël, appeared in the 1870s in France. The elegant cake’s history is connected to the burning of the Yule Log, a Nordic tradition that dates back to medieval times.
This recipe takes a bit of effort, but the payoff is worth it. Your guests will marvel at this splendid holiday dessert, adorned with sugared cranberries and rosemary: an exquisite and tasty masterpiece!
If baking isn’t your thing, you can always stock up on elegant pre-made desserts like Christmas pudding, sticky toffee pudding and delightful tiramisu. And if baking is your thing, it's time to gather your ingredients.
Bûche De Noël
Makes 6 servings
Sugared Cranberries & Rosemary
1 cup fresh cranberries
4–5 rosemary sprigs (optional)
2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 cup water
4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz dark or bittersweet chocolate chips, 3/4 cup
1.5 tbsp softened unsalted butter
1 tsp instant coffee granules
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tbsp Kahlua
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Make the sugared cranberries and rosemary the night before — they need to sit for several hours. Place cranberries and rosemary in a large bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of sugar and the water to a boil and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pour sugar syrup over the cranberries and rosemary and stir to combine. Let the cranberries and rosemary sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator (lightly covered) for 6 hours or overnight. The sugar syrup will thicken. Drain the cranberries and rosemary from the syrup and pour 1 cup of sugar on top. Toss to coat. Pour the sugared cranberries and rosemary on a parchment paper or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet and let them dry for at least 2 hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
2. Make the cake. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a half sheet baking pan with parchment paper. Cut a slit in the parchment paper in each of the four corners of the pan so that the parchment paper lies completely flat against the edges of the pan. Use binder clips to clip the parchment paper to the edges of the pan. Set aside.
2. Put the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk on high speed for about 2 to 3 minutes until wet, soft peaks form. The whites should hang from the whisk when held upside down, but shouldn't be as stiff and dry as a merengue (aim for softly curled tips). Set the whites aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale yellow. In a separate, smaller bowl sift the cocoa powder, cake flour, coffee granules, baking powder and salt together. Add these dry ingredients to the bowl containing the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk to combine. Batter will be very thick and hard to mix; this is normal.
4. Add in half of the egg whites and use a rubber spatula to gently fold the whites into the batter. Now add the remaining half of egg whites very gently with your spatula; make light, long folds.
5. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and use a spatula to gently smooth out the batter. Be gentle, taking care not to deflate the air bubbles created with the whipped egg whites.
6. Bake the cake for 6 to 7 minutes, or until the cake springs back when gently pressed. Let the cake slightly cool in the pan for 2 minutes maximum.
7. Meanwhile, sprinkle powdered sugar over a light kitchen or tea towel. Flip the (still-warm) cake out onto the towel and very gently peel the parchment paper off, bit by bit. Take one of the short sides of the cake and roll it towards the other short side, rolling the towel with it as you go. Let the cake remain in this rolled shape until it's completely cool. (Note: When the cake is warm it is still flexible and less prone to cracking or tearing as it’s rolled.
8. Make the frosting. In a medium bowl, add chocolate chips, coffee granules, kahlua, unsalted butter and vanilla extract. Heat the heavy cream over medium-low heat until it’s hot but not boiling (the edges should begin to simmer and steam should rise from the cream). Pour this hot cream over the chocolate and contents in the bowl, then use a spoon to stir the mixture together until it’s completely smooth. Cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes maximum.
9. While the frosting chills, whip the heavy cream in a stand mixer on high speed for one minute, or until the folds of the whisk start appearing in the cream. Add in the vanilla extract and the powdered sugar and continue to whisk on high until the cream is thick like frosting.
10. Once the cake is cool, unroll it and use an offset spatula to spread the whipped cream over the surface, leaving a very small border around the edges of the cake unfrosted. Gently roll the cake back up as before (minus the towel), with the seam side facing down.
11. Using a sharp knife cut off a 2 inch slice from one end of the cake, cutting at an angle so that one end of the slice is 2 inches and the other end is closer to 1 inch. Take this slice (branch) and place the side of it that isn’t cut/exposed and attach it to the main cake log somewhere near the middle of the log.
12. Use a hand mixer to whisk the chilled frosting for 15 to 25 seconds, or until you can see the whisk leaving indentations in the frosting. Use a rubber spatula to smooth the frosting all over the cake log and its side stump.
13. Run a fork down the length of the cake log several times. Decorate with sugared cranberries and rosemary.
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