YULE LOG CAKE – BUCHE DE NOEL

The Yule log cake is often referred to as Buche de Noel and is one of the most popular traditional cakes made for Christmas time. It comes from Paris, France around 1870, one of the culinary capitals of the globe. Buche de Noel translates to the term “Christmas Log”. Christmas logs or Yule logs were placed in the fireplace hearth and burned traditionally for centuries as part of the holiday tradition for Christmas.

In the past, the family would light the log using the burnt remains from last year’s Yule log. After Christmas was over and the log was burned up, the last bit of wood would be kept in the house and stashed for the following year. It was believed that the left over burned wood would protect the home against lightning. Now instead of real logs, we have delicious cake.

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Ingredients:
Cake:
2/3 cup organic flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1/4 teaspoon soda
3/4 cup sugar 3 oz chocolate 1/8 cup of water
Filling: 1/2 pint whipped cream
2 cups icing (confectioners’) sugar

Icing:
1/3 cup organic butter
2 cups icing (confectioners’) sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 tablespoons organic whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
Cake:
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 15 x 10 inch wide flat jelly roll pan, and line with greased waxed paper.
Mix soda, flour and salt in a bowl.
Beat the 4 eggs in the bowl until it is thick and light for 5 minutes.
Slowly add the sugar to the bowl, and beat again.
Melt the chocolate and water together, and add to the egg mixture.
Fold in all of the dry ingredients, and mix together carefully but profusely.
Spread ingredients into a prepped pan, and bake for about 16 minutes, until the cake springs back when pressed.
Remove from oven and immediately remove it onto a tea towel that has been sprinkled generously with icing sugar.
Remove the wax paper, and groom any crispy edges of the cake.
Begin at the narrow end, and roll up the cake and the tea towel together. Allow to cool.

Filling:
Whip the cream until thickened. Stir in vanilla and icing sugar and whip until stiff.
Unroll the cake when it is cool, spread on the top with the whip cream.
Re-roll, without the towel.
Cut a thin slice from each end of the rolled cake, and make them even.

Icing:
Make sure the butter is soft, mix all ingredients together and beat the mixture to a smooth consistency.
Use the centres of the ends you sliced off the cake to make “bumps on the log”: Use a little of the icing to affix the bump to the side of the cake – one on each side.
Cover the whole cake with the icing.
Take a small spoon and run it through the icing to resemble tree bark
Spatter with icing sugar to simulate snow and decorate with decorative holly leafs or marzipan mushrooms.
Place in refrigerator for storage.

Author : Rich Coffman is a blogger on the front range of Colorado and gets his inspiration from Indulge Bakery located down the street from his house.