This French Buche De Noel is sure to be a stunning showpiece dessert for your Christmas or holiday party this year.
Ever since I was a little kid we have always made a French Buche De Noel (or Yule Log cake) for Christmas. I loved helping decorate it with little mushrooms, trees, pine cones.
Whatever we decided to decorate it with. We always ate it for dessert on Christmas day. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but even more delicious to eat.
The original Yule log recipe emerged during the 19th century. It is traditionally made from a genoise, or flourless cake, generally baked in a large, shallow sheet pan, frosted or filled, rolled to form a cylinder, and frosted again on the outside. The most common combination is basic yellow sponge cake and chocolate buttercream, though many variations which include chocolate cake, ganache, and icings flavored with espresso or liqueurs exist.
I am a huge fan of chocolate genoise with a mocha buttercream or mousse filling and a chocolate frosting.
Buche de Noel or Yule log cakes are often served with one end cut off and set atop the cake, or protruding from its side to resemble a chopped off branch. A bark-like texture is often produced by dragging a fork through the icing, and powdered sugar sprinkled to resemble snow. Other cake decorations may include actual tree branches, fresh berries, and mushrooms made of meringue.
I have made pine cones out of marzipan for decorations before. Roll a small tear dropped shape ball of marzipan, carefully stick almond slices in the sides then dipped in chocolate. They look very realistic yet are 100% edible!
If you have been wanting to make a French Buche De Noel and have been too intimidated to do so, don’t be!!
For the Cake:
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 1/3 c cocoa powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
For the Filling:
- I box Dr. Oetker Dark Chocolate Truffle Mousse Mix
- 1 C Milk
- 1 C Heavy whipping Cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
- 1 cup ( 2 sticks) butter, softened
- 4 ounces chocolate ( semi sweet or dark) melted and cooled
- 1/4 hot strong hot hazelnut coffee
- 2 tsp espresso powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Chocorooms Mushroom cookies
- Chocolate Curls
- Powdered sugar
Make the filling and frosting before the cake.
To make the filling:
Make the mousse according to package directions in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whip the cream and whip it stabilizer until soft peaks form. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and whip until very stiff peaks form. Fold this into the mousse until all white streaks are gone and chill completely. This can be made a day ahead of time.
To make the frosting:
Cream the butter until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the cooled melted chocolate and mix again. Dissolve the espresso powder into coffee and add that into the mixture along with the salt and vanilla extract. Add in the powdered sugar one half cup at a time stopping the mixer when adding and scraping down the sides in-between additions. Once all the powdered sugar is added mix on slow to get rid of air bubbles as best you can. Transfer to an air tight container until ready to use. If not using within 24 hours keep refrigerated. Thaw completely at room temperature and mix on low before using.
To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 375 Deg. Grease an 11x17 jelly roll pan with butter, line with parchment and grease the parchment well.
In a stand mixer combine the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar and mix on high for 6 minutes, until the mixture is thick and very pale. Add in the cocoa powder on low along with the salt and vanilla. Keep mixing on low while you whip the egg whites. In a clean stainless or glass bowl whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar adding in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar halfway through mixing. Whip until stiff peaks are formed. Quickly fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture with a spatula then spread evenly over the prepared pan.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the center bounces back when pressed. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan. While the cake is cooling generously dust a clean dish towel with powdered sugar. Remove the cake from the pan and flip it over onto the prepared dish towel. Carefully remove the parchment paper and gently roll up the cake in a pretty tight roll.
Let cool completely rolled up.
Gently unroll once cooled and spread the filling in the middle leaving just a little bit of space on the edges.
Place seam side down on a platter and chill until the filling firms up a little.
When ready to assemble cut one 2-3 inch end off the cake roll at an angle and the other at an even cut. Frost the big part of the cake, leaving the front cut piece exposed to see the “rings” of the log. Use a small spatula and “glue” the cut pieces with frosting to the bigger cake roll. Continue to frost the rest of the cake. Use frosting to glue the chocorooms cookies and sprinkle the chocolate curls on top a dust with powdered sugar “snow”. Keep chilled covered in plastic wrap until ready to serve. Thaw and serve at cool room temperature.
Use whatever garnishes you like. If you have a meringue mushroom recipe - add those! You can also make chocolate shavings to look like tree bark. The possibilities really are endless with yule log cake decorations.