Buche de Noel, or the Yule Log, is a traditional French dessert served during the Christmas holiday. This delicious cake is prepared to look like a real log ready for a winter solstice fire festival. There are many variations on this dessert, one of the most popular being chocolate. Try this recipe for a Yule Log with a great mocha flavor.
You will need:
• 4 egg yolks
• 4 eggs
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/3 cup cornstarch
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon baking soda
• Powdered sugar
• 15x10x1-inch baking pan
• Cooking spray
• Waxed paper
• Medium bowl
• Large bowl
• Fine-mesh sieve
• Mixing spoon
• Large rubber spatula
• Thin metal spatula
• Clean towel
• Wire rack
• Serrated knife
• Serving platter
• Table fork
For the cream cheese filling and frosting:
• 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
• 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
• ½ cup butter, softened
• 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• ½ teaspoon almond extract (if desired)
• Hand mixer
• Large bowl
• Medium bowl
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the baking pan with cooking spray and use wax paper to line the pan, generously greasing it as well. Set the pan aside.
Step 2: Sift the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and flour through the sieve and into the medium bowl. Stir in salt and baking soda.
Step 3: Beat the egg yolks, vanilla, and eggs in the large bowl, using an electric mixer set to high speed. Beat for between 4 and 5 minutes or until the mixture is lemon-colored and thick. Beat in the sugar gradually on high speed for at least 2 minutes or until the sugar is nearly dissolved.
Step 4: Sprinkle one-third of the flour mixture at a time over the egg mixture, gently folding it in with a large rubber spatula until it is just combined.
Step 5: Spread the batter evenly in the baking pan. Bake until the cake springs back from a light touch, approximately 12 minutes.
Step 6: Remove cake from oven and cool it in the pan for 3 minutes on a wire rack. Use the thin spatula to loosen the edges. Sprinkle powdered sugar onto a clean towel and gently turn out the cake onto the towel. Remove and discard the waxed paper.
Step 7: Working while the cake is still warm, roll the cake and towel into a spiral. Begin at a short side of the cake or roll from one long side for a longer and thinner log. Cool the cake on the wire rack. Unroll and remove the towel.
Step 8: To make the cream cheese filling and frosting, beat the butter, vanilla, and cream cheese in a large bowl using an electric mixer set to medium speed. Continue beating until mixture is soft and fluffy.
Step 9: Beat in the powdered sugar gradually.
Step 10: Place one-half of this mixture into a separate bowl and beat almond extract into it if desired. Set this aside.
Step 11: Beat the cocoa powder into the cream cheese mixture in the first bowl.
Step 12: Use the thin metal spatula to spread the filling on the prepared cake, working to within an inch of the cake edges.
Step 13: Without the towel, roll up the cake, beginning at a short side. Put the cake on the serving platter with its seam side down. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Step 14: Use the serrated knife to cut a 3-inch diagonal slide from one end. Place this piece against one side of the longer roll to create a branch.
Step 15: Frost the cake, using the frosting to adhere the branch to the log. Use the fork tines to create rings on the cut ends and bark on the remainder of the cake. Chill until serving.