I had decided not to post this recipe because of its horrendous presentation – but this cake is so good that I thought I should share it with you.
It’s a very traditional recipe and maybe you already have your favorite version for it. I liked the cake a lot and I have thought about making it again as a jelly roll – Joao (my husband) loves jelly rolls.
I’ll make a dulce de leche roll as well – I’ll keep you posted. :D
Bûche de Noël
from The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Dessert
140g all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
145g granulated sugar – I used caster sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
confectioner’s sugar for dusting
50g granulated sugar – I used caster sugar
2 or 3 tablespoons dark rum or coffee-flavored liqueur – I used vanilla extract, just a little
315g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped – I used semisweet
560ml heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Grease a 40 x 28cm rimmed baking sheet pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the paper and the pan sides.
For the cake: whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a large bowl, using a mixer on medium-high speed, beat the eggs until pale and thick. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until tripled in volume. Sprinkle the flour over the mix and, with a rubber spatula, fold gently until just blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until the cake springs back when touched, 13-15 minutes.
While the cake is baking, lay a clean kitchen towel on the counter and sift confectioner’s sugar generously onto it, covering it evenly.
When the cake is ready, remove it from the oven and immediately run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert the cake onto the prepared towel and remove the paper carefully. Beginning on a long edge, roll up the cake and towel together. Set aside to cool.
To make the syrup, combine water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in the rum and set aside to cool.
To make the frosting, combine the chocolate and cream in the top of a double boiler, set over barely simmering water and melt the chocolate, then whisk until blended – I used a regular pan and melted chocolate and cream over low heat, stirring constantly.
Refrigerate the mixture for about 2 hours; you can use an ice bath to speed the process.
When the mixture is cold, add vanilla and salt and, using a mixer on medium-high speed, beat it until firm enough to hold a soft dollop.
To assemble the bûche, unroll the cake and brush it with the syrup. Spread one-third of the ganache over the cake and gently reroll it. Place seamed side down on a plate and frost the cake with the remaining ganache, using firm and rough strokes – you need to make it look like a log. Trim ends with a serrated knife – I covered the ends with ganache as well.
Garnish with chocolate curls, confectioner’s sugar – I replaced it with cocoa powder - and meringue mushrooms.
I wouldn’t have time to prepare meringue mushrooms so I made mine with sugarpaste/rolled fondant. Just be careful because not to place sugarpaste/rolled fondant in the fridge.
* There was too much syrup left. I think half the amount is enough.