Buche de Noel… A Glorious Yule Log cake for your New Year’s Celebration
Buche de Noel… a traditional French “Yule Log” cake for New Year’s Celebrations with a history that goes all the way back to the 1600’s when actual wooden logs were burned in the fireplaces during the winter solstice as a symbol and hope for prosperity in the coming seasons.
If you can make a swiss roll, then you can make this cake. I make mine gluten-free, but just bake your favorite chocolate sponge cake recipe in a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper just until it spring back when lightly pressed in the center.
Turn cake out onto a cocoa dusted tea towel ( will be easier if you lay the tea towel on top of the cake first before flipping it out so you can guide it with your hands. Then roll gently up starting on the long side, using the towel to help roll. Let cool while you make the buttercream filling ( use your favorite vanilla or espresso flavored recipe), then fill the sponge and roll back up. Make a slice at an angle ( see image below) and place on the side of the log.
Frost with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Make your Chocolate bark by melting dark or milk chocolate in a double boiler and then spreading the chocolate on a piece of parchment paper. After it sets slightly, roll up the parchment and freeze for a few minutes. When you unroll the parchment, the chocolate will break in long “bark” pieces that you will decorate your cake with. Chill the cake at this point.
For the meringue mushrooms, you will make a batch of meringue ( same recipe as for a pavlova or crisp meringue cookie) and pipe two different shapes. One a round smooth cap ( smooth with a spoon if you need to) and the other a tall thin stem. Bake according to meringue cookie recipe at a low temperature so they don’t turn brown. When crisp, remove from oven and cool.
To assemble the mushrooms, have some melted milk chocolate and paint on the underside of the caps, drawing a toothpick through the chocolate to make gills. Then place stem into cavity of cap and let cool and set at room temperature. Dust caps slightly with cocoa for a realistic effect.
Arrange on a platter with mushrooms around and on top. I had some deer and tree candles in a cute little gnome log planter that went with the theme!
Seems like a lot of work, but if you make the mushrooms, the bark and the buttercream a day in advance, then all you have to do is bake the cake and decorate it. This cake is so delicious and will be a great centerpiece on your New Year’s Day table.