One of the things I look forward to every Christmas is making a bûche de Noël (also known as Yule log cake). It has sort of become a tradition the past few years to make the chocolate sponge cake filled with chocolate cream and decorated like a tree log. This year I even made the meringue mushrooms (ohhh do I have a story about these mushrooms!). I won’t lie to you, it takes about a half day to make…Patience is a virtue. It is worth it in the end when you get popped eyes from your friends and family. Your buche de Noel will be the show-stopping centerpiece of your table.
So back to the mushrooms…this was the first time I made them, and it took me 3 attempts. The first time, I didn’t whip the egg whites long enough and couldn’t get the mushroom “stems” pointy enough (they all collaped and went flat). The second time I burned all of the meringue. Third time was a charm, and they came out perfect! I suggest googling a good recipe and following it exactly, then pipe out quarter sized circles and for the stems pull upwards and create a point (they should be standing 1 inch tall and pointy!). Good luck on those, they are finicky!
The sponge cake is very easy – I make it in my Thermomix®, as well as the whipped cream and ganache frosting. This year I made a Black Forest theme, and added kirschwasser (like a cherry schnapps) and cherries. Sprinkle the top with sieved powdered sugar and/or cocoa powder.
Buche de Noel
- Chocolate Sponge Cake
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
- Chocolate Cream Filling
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
- Ganache Frosting
2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Prepare the ganache frosting 3 to 4 hours in advance to allow to set – melt chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream in a Thermomix® or double boiler method and stir. Set aside for 3 to 4 hours or overnight until set (should be firm, not pourable).
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Whip the eggs in a Thermomix® or stand mixer for 4 minutes, then mix in the remaining spongecake ingredients.
- Spread onto a 9×13-inch baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes.
- Flip the cake over onto another piece of parchment paper sprinkled with sugar and place a damp towel on top for 1 minutes.
- Peel the top parchment paper off and roll up tight. Let cool 1 hour.
- In the meantime, whip the heavy cream and sugar and cocoa powder in a Thermomix® with butterfly whisk attachment or stand mixer with whisk attachment for 3 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
- Unroll the cake and peel the remaining parchment paper off.
- Pour kirschwasser on top of the cake if using.
- Spread the cocoa cream filling onto the cake leaving a 1 cm border, then place cherries cut in half on top.
- Roll the cake back up and place seam-side down onto a serving plate.
- Cut two 2-inch slices from the ends for the branches and set aside.
- If the ganache is not spreadable, whip in a Thermomix® or stand mixer on high and add a bit more cream until frosting texture.
- Spread over the cake, then place the branches and spread more ganache on top.
- Using a fork, make streaks to make it look like a log.
- Sprinkle with sieved powdered sugar or cocoa powder if desired.
- Place the meringue mushrooms and sprinkle them with cocoa powder.