Bûche de Noël (Yule Log Cake)
By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
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This month for #BakingBloggers the theme is on filled cakes. For my recipe I wanted to do a buche de noel, or yule log cake, since I have been wanting to make one for awhile. I know the recipe may appear convoluted and difficult, but if done in steps it is really not that hard- just time consuming.
Yes you have to roll the cake, but when done while warm on the silpat it is fine. The two towels trick keeps it from coming undone while it cools- and once cooled that way, when you open it to spread the buttercream and reroll, the cake won’t break. If you do get an occasional crack don’t worry too much since it will be frosted anyway.
The chilling of the cake is to firm it up so it doesn’t try to flatten and lose that nice round shape.
I did use the Pillsbury frosting on this as the box is the perfect size and I had some leftover product to use up from a previous post. If you prefer, you can use a homemade recipe. I have one on the blog that uses Splenda but most will want a different one.
The meringue mushrooms are really easy to bake off. They make quite a few, but everyone will enjoy eating them as they are light as air and have a flavor between vanilla wafer cookies and marshmallows. Just try to save a few for the cake, ok?
I think maybe I over-decorated after looking at the photos- but it looked okay in the kitchen. And I guess if I were ten years old I would have no problem whatsoever with all those candy embellishments.
Buche de Noel - Yule Log Cake
Allow extra time to cool cake and meringues (2-3 hours)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup baking cocoa
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Sweetened Chestnut Puree (Yield about 1-3/4 cups)
- 8 ounces peeled chestnuts
- 2 cups corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons brandy or brandy flavoring
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- Sweetened Chestnut Puree (from above)
- 8 ounces soft butter
- 10 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon brandy or brandy flavoring
Meringue Mushroom Ingredients:
- 3/4 cup egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla powder
- 1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
Frosting and Decorations:
- 1 (16 ounce box) Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Frosting Filled Pastry Bag
- Meringue Mushrooms (above)
- Meiji – Kinoko No Yama Japanese Mushroom shaped cookies (optional)
- Edible Snowflake Cake decorations (optional)
- Assorted Christmas Candies (optional)
- Peel chestnuts if necessary and place in a saucepan with corn syrup. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until soft.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove chestnuts from syrup and place them in a food processor with the brandy, vanilla, powdered sugar and enough of the syrup to make a sweetened puree about as thick as peanut butter, adding sugar and more syrup as needed until it is sweet to your own taste. Refrigerate until needed. Reserve extra syrup for another use.
- To make buttercream, place the sweetened puree in the food processor with the butter, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and brandy and run until smooth; set aside until needed.
- Prepare meringue mushrooms: Preheat oven to 250°F. Place the egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla powder in an electric mixer fitted with a wire whip; run until soft peaks form. Add sifted confectioners sugar gradually while running on high until whites are stiff.
- Place meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe meringue into two types on a parchment lined baking sheet- short wide mounds for mushroom caps and narrower and taller mounds for stems. Use your finger to smooth off the tips if needed.
- Sprinkle tops of meringue with a bit of cocoa powder using a shaker or sieve (adds color and a rustic look); then bake meringues for 45 minutes and then turn oven off and allow to cool for about an hour.
- To prepare cake, preheat oven to 375°F.
- Place eggs, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer fitted with a wire whip, mixing until smooth.
- Add baking cocoa and flour and mix until a smooth batter forms.
- Place a silpat on a jelly roll pan and spread batter over silpat; bake for 15 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched.
- Remove from oven and pull cake out of pan remaining on the silpat onto a wire rack.
- Let cool a couple minutes then roll up the silpat like a jelly roll with the cake on it, and let stay on the wire rack to cool completely with a towel on either side to keep the silpat from trying to unroll.
- Unroll silpat and spread cake with chestnut buttercream, then roll cake up again, removing the silpat as you roll it. Then wrap the cake roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour to firm it up.
- Unwrap cake and place on platter. Cut off an angled section of cake and place it against the side to be a log bump.
- Open the frosting and pipe all over the cake. Use a fork to touch up any exposed areas and primp the “bark”.
- Keep a little bit of the frosting aside. Lift the mushroom cap and gouge a small hole underneath with something like a toothpick. Dip the tip of the mushroom “stem” into the frosting and then poke it into the hole on the cap- the two pieces make one whole mushroom.
- Place mushrooms and various decorations around cake as desired.
From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com