Thursday, December 27, 2012

Buche de Noel

I had never made a Buche de Noel, nor eaten one, before this little adventure.  Several factors went into my need to make this delicious dessert, and I am going to share them with you.  First, I have a jelly roll cake pan, yet I had never made a rolled cake.  I really wanted to give it a try.  Second, a local gourmet grocery store was advertising and selling a Buche de Noel for $22.99 (on sale).  Surely I could make one that was just as tasty for less than that.  And finally, I was bringing dessert for our family Christmas dinner and I wanted something that was both festive and a show stopper.  This cake turned out to be fantastic and both kids and adults enjoyed it.  I don't know if there is a traditional flavor combination, but I went with a chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and chocolate frosting.  It was a labor-intensive process, but it was definitely worth the effort.
The long process started by separating the eggs.
Whip the egg whites and add sugar.
Beat until stiff peaks form.
Set aside and whip the egg yolks, vanilla, and additional sugar.
Stir together the dry ingredients.
Add to the yolk mixture with the water.
Add the chocolate mixture to the egg whites.
Fold until completely incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake.
Make sure your towel is ready.
Turn the warm cake out onto the towel.
Roll it up.
When the cake is completely cool, unroll it.
Spread with mousse, roll it back up, and refrigerate.
After a few hours in the refrigerator, cut off a small piece on the diagonal to make a branch.
Frost the cake.
Use a fork to make a pretty tree bark-like pattern.
Decorate the cake as desired.
Admire the beauty.
Adapted from Hershey's Kitchens

1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar
4  eggs, separated
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar , divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
Additional powdered sugar

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk

1.  For the mousse - Stir together sugar and gelatin in small saucepan; stir in milk. Let stand 2 minutes to soften gelatin. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture just begins to boil. Remove from heat. Immediately add chocolate chips; stir until melted. Stir in vanilla; cool to room temperature. Beat whipping cream in small bowl until stiff. Gradually add chocolate mixture, folding gently just until blended. Cover; refrigerate for 6-8 hours or overnight.

2. For the cake - Heat oven to 375°F. Line 15-1/2x10-1/2x1-inch jelly-roll pan with foil; generously grease foil. (I used Reynolds pan-lining paper). Sprinkle linen or thin cotton towel with 1/4 cup powdered sugar.

3. Beat egg whites in large bowl until soft peaks form; gradually add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Beat egg yolks and vanilla in medium bowl on medium speed of mixer 3 minutes. Gradually add remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar; continue beating 2 additional minutes.

4. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to egg yolk mixture alternately with water, beating on low speed just until batter is smooth. Gradually fold chocolate mixture into beaten egg whites until well blended. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

5. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center. Immediately loosen cake from edges of pan; invert onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off foil. Immediately roll cake and towel together starting from narrow end; place on wire rack to cool completely.

6. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Gently stir filling until of spreading consistency. Spread cake with filling; reroll cake. Refrigerate several hours.

7. For the frosting - Combine powdered sugar and cocoa. Beat butter, 1/2 cup cocoa mixture, corn syrup and vanilla in medium bowl until smooth. Add remaining cocoa mixture alternately with milk, beating until smooth and of spreading consistency.

8. Remove cake from refrigerator and cut a small piece of the roll on the diagonal to use as a branch. Place the small piece of cake about 1/3 of the way down the cake roll and use frosting to help it stick to the cake. Cover the entire cake roll and ends with frosting. Use a fork to make decorative lines in the cake to mimic the pattern of a log. Decorate as desired.

This post is linked to Sweets for a Saturday.


  1. I've never seen Buche-de-Noel
    It looks sooooooooooooooo rich and delicious
    Really beautiful