Bûche de Noël, A Traditional French Dessert For Christmas

During the holidays, the French spare no effort when it comes to their Noël festivities. A traditional French dessert, known as the Bûche de Noël is often served following an abundant Christmas feast. This delicacy is made of a light sponge cake, rolled and covered in chocolate or coffee buttercream.



If there's one French dessert that epitomizes Christmas, it's this one. The name literally translates to "Yule log" and it's meant to look like a tree trunk. There are frozen versions you can buy, as well as others made with French buttercream or praline. If you are feeling adventurous and want to make the Bûche de Noël for your Christmas celebration, below is one version of this traditional French dessert.



INGREDIENTS


FOR THE CAKE

Cooking spray

6 large eggs, separated

1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 c. granulated sugar, divided

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Powdered sugar, for sprinkling


FOR THE FILLING

1 1/4 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. powdered sugar

2 tsp. gelatin (optional)

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Pinch kosher salt


FOR THE FROSTING AND DECORATING

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar, plus more for garnish

5 tbsp. cocoa powder

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 tbsp. heavy cream

Pinch kosher salt

Chocolate curls, for garnish

Cranberries, for garnish

Small rosemary sprigs, for garnish


Directions :


Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray. In a medium bowl mix together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.


In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until thick. Slowly add ½ cup sugar and beat until pale then beat in flour mixture. In another large bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining ¼ cup sugar a little at a time and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter in two batches.


Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake until the top springs back when lightly pressed, 12 minutes.

Dust a clean kitchen towel with powdered sugar and invert warm cake onto the towel. Peel off parchment paper.


Starting at the short end, use the towel to tightly roll the cake into a log. Let cool completely.

Make filling: if using gelatin, place 2 tablespoons cold water in a shallow microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle gelatin in an even layer on top. Let bloom for 5 to 10 minutes, then microwave for 10 seconds until gelatin is runny—do not overheat!


In a large bowl, beat together heavy cream, powdered sugar, pure vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt, until medium peaks form. If using gelatin, strain and stream into whipped cream at this point while continuing to beat the cream. Refrigerate until ready to use.


When the cake is cool, unroll and spread the filling evenly over the cake. Roll cake back into a log, using the towel to help create a tight roll. Place seam side down on a baking sheet and refrigerate until well chilled, 1 hour.


Make frosting: In a large bowl beat butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder and beat until no lumps remain then beat in vanilla, heavy cream, and salt.


When ready to serve, trim ends and frost cake with chocolate buttercream. Dust lightly with powdered sugar and top with chocolate curls. Place cranberries and rosemary on a log to create mistletoe.


Bon Appétit!



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