Buche de Noel

yule log

 

 

 

 

 

At last…buche de noel. This cake took me literally all day to make, between other baking, errands, and visits. A quick internet search revealed the the yule log was a literal log, tossed on the fire around winter solstice. The literal log somehow evolved into a French treat of chocolate cake, whipped cream-like filling, and chocolate ganache frosting. I love traditional buche de noel, but since my mom is coming over for Christmas dinner tomorrow and she doesn’t eat chocolate, voila…almond buche de noel!

Part One: Almond Sponge Cake

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Grease a 10 x 15 x 1 baking pan; line with parchment and grease the parchment; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl using the whisk attachment, beat eggs on medium speed for three minutes.

Gradually add sugar and beat until mixture is thick and lemon-colored.

Stir in almond extract.

Gently fold in flour mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 15 minutes, until center of cake springs back when touched.

Remove from oven; flip onto a cooling rack, remove parchment paper, then quickly flip onto a towel coated with powdered sugar.

Roll up tightly from the short end, place on a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely before filling.

Part Two: Almond Whipped Cream Filling

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preparation

In a chilled bowl, combine whipping cream, almond extract, and powdered sugar.

Using a chilled whisk beater, beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.

Carefully un-roll cake and spread filling inside.

Re-roll cake tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a few hours before frosting.

Part Three: Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Place butter in a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment and beat for a few minutes.

Add powdered sugar, and with the mixer on low, beat until all sugar is incorporated into the butter. (Hint: I place a kitchen towel over my mixer during this stage to prevent a powdered sugar blizzard.)

Increase speed to medium; add vanilla and beat for three minutes, then taste. If you’d like a stronger vanilla flavor or to increase the sweetness, add additional extract and a few tablespoons of powdered sugar.

Remove cake from plastic wrap; cut off each end to create a flat surface, or leave intact for a more rustic appearance. Brush off excess powdered sugar, otherwise your frosting will not stick.

Frost cake to look like a log, using broad strokes with a butter knife.

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