Buche De Noel Cake – Yule Log

In this article you will learn how to prepare delicious and good looking Buche De Noel, In America this cake is also called Yule Log because it’s a replica of a tree log that has fallen on the forest floor and is decorated in that spirit. The author of the image is Caitlin Childs.

Buche De Noel Part 1: Ingredients for the cake:

  • 4 large eggs, separated, plus 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon eau-de-vie de framboise (raspberry brandy)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder plus additional sifted cocoa powder for dusting the cake

Cooking instructions to make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Butter the jelly roll pan and line it with wax paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on each of the short ends.  Butter the paper and dust it with flour, shaking out the excess.
  2. In a large bowl of the upright mixer beat the egg yolks until smooth.  Add 6 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, a little at a time, and beat the batter at medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until creamy and light.  Beat in the framboise.  In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the cream of tartar, 1/8 teaspoon of the salt, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, a little at a time, and beat the whits until they hold stiff peaks.  Fold the whites into the batter gently but thoroughly.  Sift the flour, the ¼ cup cocoa powder, and the remaining   teaspoon salt over the batter, one third at a time, and fold in each addition until the batter is smooth.
  3. Pour the batter into the jelly-roll pan, spread it evenly with a spatula and bake the cake in the middle of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it pulls away from the sides of the pan and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Dust the cake lightly with cocoa powder, cover it with wax paper, and let it cool to warm.  Pull the edges of the wax paper away from the pan, invert the cake onto a baking sheet, and carefully peel off the paper.  Dust the cake lightly with the remaining cocoa powder, cover it with wax paper, and roll it up.  Let the cake cool completely.

Buche De Noel Part 2: Ingredients for the chocolate butter cream:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 sticks (1 ½ cups) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon eau-de-vie de framboise

Cooking instructions to make the chocolate butter cream:

  1. In the bowl of the upright mixer beat the egg yolks until light and creamy.  In a small heavy saucepan combine the sugar with the water.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook it over moderate heat, stirring and washing down any sugar crystals clinging to the sides of the pan with the brush dipped in cold water until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, or the candy thermometer registers 238  F.   With the mixer running, add the hot syrup to the yolks in a stream, beating, and beat the mixture until completely cool.
  3. Beat in the butter and the chocolate, a little at a time.  Pour 2 cups of the butter cream into a bowl, beat in the framboise, and chill the butter cream, covered, until the cake is ready to be frosted.  Transfer the remaining butter cream to a bowl and reserve it.

Buche De Noel Part 3: Ingredients for the meringue:

  • 2 egg whites at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon eau-de-vie de framboise

Cooking instructions to make the meringue:

  1. Make the meringue: In a bowl with the hand-held mixer beat the whites until they hold soft peaks.  Add the granulated sugar and the confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time, and beat the whites until they hold stiff peaks.  Fold the meringue into the reserved butter cream, stir in the framboise, and blend the mixture until smooth.
  2. To assemble the cake: Have ready the meringue mushrooms, chocolate leaves, moss green-colored almond paste, candied violets, chocolate truffles and whatever else you want to use to decorate the cake.  Unroll the cake, spoon the ½ cup raspberry sauce over it, letting the cake absorb the sauce, and spread the butter cream-meringue filling evenly over the cake, leaving a 1-inch border on each of the long sides.  Halve the chocolate truffles, if using, and sprinkle them over the filling, if desired, and roll up the cake lengthwise.
  3. Cut a 2-inch piece diagonally from each end of the cake and set the pieces aside.  Transfer the cake to a serving tray and arrange the reserved end pieces on top of the cake to simulate sawed-off branches.  Beat the chilled buttercream until smooth and with a spatula spread it over the cake.  Gently pull the tines of a fork lengthwise over the buttercream to simulate bark and garnish the log with the meringue mushrooms, chocolate leaves and candied violates.  Force the green almond paste through a medium sieve and with the tip of a small knife attach it to the log around the mushrooms to simulate moss.  Gently dust the log with sifted confectioners’ sugar, simulating snow, if desired.  Let the cake come to room temperature before serving.  Cut the cake with a sharp serrated knife.

Buche De Noel Part 4: Ingredients for the Meringue Mushrooms:

  • 1 cup plus
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup water
  • teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 recipe chocolate cream, at room temperature (recipe follows)

Cooking instructions to make the Meringue Mushrooms:

1.  In a heavy saucepan combine the 1 cup sugar with the water and bring the mixture to a boil over low heat, washing down any sugar crystals clinging to the sides of the pan with the brush dipped in cold water until the sugar is dissolved.  Boil the syrup until it reaches the soft-ball stage, or until the candy thermometer registers 240 F.

2.  While the syrup is cooking, in a bowl with the mixer beat the egg whites with the salt until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and beat the whites for 30 seconds.  Sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and beat the whites until they hold stiff peaks.  Add the syrup in a stream, beating, and beat the meringue for 10 minutes, or until cool.

3.  Preheat the oven to 200 F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

4.  Fill the pastry bag fitted with the plain tip with the meringue and pipe out 66 mounds, each about 1 inch in diameter, 1 inch apart onto the baking sheets.  Holding the pastry bag straight up, pipe out 66 medium-wide lengths onto the baking sheets, to resemble mushroom stems.

5.  Bake the meringues in the middle of the oven for 2 hours.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven and with your fingertip push in the underside of each mushroom cap.  Return the meringues to the oven and bake them for 30 minutes more.  Turn off the oven and let the meringues stand in the oven overnight.

6.  Fill the pastry bag, fitted with a star tip if desired,  with the chocolate cream and pipe it into the undersides of the caps to simulate gills.  Push a stem into each cap and chill until the filling is firm.

Buche De Noel Part 5: Ingredients for the Chocolate Cream:

8 ounces semisweet chocolate chopped coarsely
¼ cup orange-flavored liqueur
1 cup heavy cream

Cooking instructions to make the Chocolate Cream:

1.  In the top of a double boiler set over hot water melt the chocolate with the heavy cream and the liqueur, stirring until smooth.  (This can also be done in the microwave.)  Transfer the mixture to a metal bowl, let it cool, and chill it, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.  With a mixer, beat the chocolate until it just holds soft peaks.  Be sure to lick beaters!

Buche De Noel Part 6: Ingredients for the Chocolate leaves:

  • 3 ounces imported bittersweet chocolate, cut into bits
  • 24 2 inch lemon leaves or other decorative non-poisonous leaves (available at florists)

Cooking instructions to make the Chocolate leaves:

  1. Line a jelly roll pan with wax paper.  In the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth.  With a spoon coat the back (non-shiny) side of each leaf with the chocolate, being careful not to let the chocolate dip onto the shiny side.  Put the leaves, chocolate side up, on the jelly-roll pan.
  2. Prop the edges of the leaves with pieces of foil or paper towel to allow the edges to curl.  Chill the leaves for 20 minutes, or until chocolate has hardened, and, working quickly, peel off the lemon leaves.  (If the chocolate gets too soft, chill the leaves for 5 minutes more, or until the chocolate has hardened.)  Keep the chocolate leaves chilled until just before serving.

Buche De Noel Part 7: Ingredients for the Chocolate Truffles:

  • 12 ounces dark sweet chocolate chopped coarsely
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten lightly
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick unsalted butter cut into bits and softened
  • 3 tablespoons eau-de-vie de framboise (raspberry brandy) cup unsweetened cocoa powder, for rolling

Cooking instructions to make the Chocolate Truffles:

  1. In the top of a double boiler set over hot water melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth, and remove the pan from the heat.  In a heavy saucepan combine the egg yolks and the cream and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, but do not let it boil.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring.  Beat in the butter, piece by piece, and beat the mixture until thick and smooth.  In a bowl combine the chocolate mixture with the eau-de-vie de framboise and chill the mixture, covered, for 4 hours, or until firm.
  2. Line a jelly-roll pan with wax paper.  Scoop out a heaping teaspoon of the chocolate mixture, roll it into a ball, and roll the ball in the cocoa, coating it completely.  Transfer the truffle to the jelly-roll pan.  Make truffles with the remaining chocolate mixture and cocoa in the same manner.  Chill the truffles in one layer for 2 hours, or until firm.  Transfer the truffles to an airtight container and chill them until ready to serve.

We hope you enjoy and succeed in making this awesome looking buche de noel cake.