Bûche de Noël  

Bûche de Noël or Yule Log is a chocolate roulade that is traditionally served at Christmastime. As the name indicates, the cake is prepared, presented and garnished so as to look like a log ready for the fire. The traditional bûche is made from a genoise or other sponge cake, baked in a Swiss roll pan, frosted, rolled to form a cylinder and then frosted again on the outside. This recipe is from my French III class from high school. It’s a good one!    

For the filling:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup chopped pecans

For the cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup cocoa

3 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Powdered sugar

For the thin chocolate icing:

1 (1-ounce) square unsweetened chocolate , roughly chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

2 tablespoons boiling water

Chill a deep bowl. Place whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla in bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until stiff. Fold in nuts. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a jelly roll pan (15-1/2″ x 10-1/2″ x 1″) and line bottom with greased aluminum foil. Blend flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa, set aside.  Beat eggs in small mixing bowl until very thick and lemon colored. Pour beaten eggs into large bowl. Gradually beat in sugar.  Blend in water and vanilla on low speed. Slowly mix in dry ingredients just until batter is smooth.  Pour into pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.  Loosen edges and immediately turn upside down on a tea towel sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Remove foil. While hot, roll cake and towel from narrow end. Cool on wire rack. Gently unroll cake and remove towel. Spread with whipped cream filling. Roll again and place on a serving platter, seam side down. Make icing by melting the chocolate and butter together over hot water in a double boiler. Remove from heat. Beat in sugar; beat until smooth. Frost cake with chocolate icing. Chill thoroughly before serving. Serves 8.