Bûche de Noël #HolidayFoodParty

A Yule Log or Bûche de Noël is a traditional French Christmas dessert. Filled with chocolate mousse and iced with chocolate ganache, this cake will be the star of your holiday menu!

Buche de Noel | A classic French Christmas yule log with cake, mousse and chocolate ganache!

Three Chocolate Components in this Bûche de Noël

A chocolate genoise cake was rolled around chocolate mousse and iced with a whipped chocolate ganache to form this Bûche de Noël. Who could resist?  This is a fancified jelly roll cake. You can go whole hog and cut off a few wedges and place them artfully to resemble branches extending from the log’s trunk. Obviously, I took the easy route and I think it looks just fine.

Buche de Noel | A classic French Christmas yule log with cake, mousse and chocolate ganache!

 A Chocolate Dessert is Always a Hit

I would never dissuade you from making this festive dessert, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with the mousse. It was certainly light and tasty, but highly aerated so I had to smooth out many of the resulting “holes.” Others bûches de Noël are filled with thick custards or buttercream frosting. I love the concept of this dessert and will try another version next Christmas. My family had absolutely no complaints. Bill ate slice after slice…and Katie made short work of the meringue mushrooms. Tom took a slab back to his house where I’m certain it disappeared in a matter of minutes. Nick will have some catching up to do dessert-wise when he’s home from school on his winter break. Thank goodness he’s too busy with Physics and Organic Chem to read my blog or check Facebook. He’d be very disappointed to have missed this ultra-chocolaty treat!

ChristmasParty

More festive desserts from my #HolidayFoodParty friends:

  1. Chocolate Peppermint Bark from Cravings of a Lunatic
  2. Buche de Noel from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
  3. Cranberry Moscow Mule from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
  4. Chocolate Gingerbread Crumb Cake from Hungry Couple
  5. Gingerbread Cupcakes with Chai Spiced Frosting from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
  6. Apres Ski Boozy Tea from Pineapple and Coconut
  7. Raspberry Almond Torte from Magnolia Days
  8. Fruit and Nut Bars from What Smells So Good
Bûche de Noël #HolidayFoodParty
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A traditional French Christmas dessert
Recipe type: Dessert, holiday
Cuisine: French
Serves: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • For mushrooms: ½ cup egg whites at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (whiz regular sugar in food processor for one minute)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon vegetable oil
  • For mousse:4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 eggs separated
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • For cake: 5 tablespoons butter, plus more to butter pan
  • ⅔ cup cake flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder, plus more for dusting cake
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • For ganache: 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Make meringue mushrooms up to 3 days ahead. Preheat the oven to 225º. Line baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  2. Use an electric mixer to whip egg whites till foamy. Add cream of tartar, salt and vanilla. Continue whipping till egg whites form soft peaks (if you make a peak with the meringue, the tip will not stay upright).
  3. Slowly add the sugar while continuing to whip on high…a tablespoon or so at a time…till the whites form stiff peaks (the peaks will stay upright).
  4. Place the meringue in a pastry bag fit with a large plain tip. Or do what I do and use a ziplock bag fit with a large plain tip. For stems, press out a bit of meringue onto the baking sheet and lift the tip straight up. For caps, squeeze out round mounds of meringue. I just used a teaspoon dough scoop to form my rounds. You can use a wet finger to gently pat down any major imperfections.
  5. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  6. To make mushrooms, melt semi-sweet chocolate in microwave…stopping and stirring at 30 second increments till melted. Add vegetable oil and stir. Use a tooth pick to make a hole in the bottom of the cap…just large enough to insert one of the stems. Spread a small amount of chocolate on the underside of the cap and connect stem to cap. It may take a bit of fiddling to make the holes the correct size and to get the mushrooms to stand alone. You should have plenty of caps and stems with which to practice. Dust mushrooms with cocoa powder to finish.
  7. Make mousse. Melt chocolate and butter in microwave, stopping and stirring at 30 second increments till smooth. Let cool slightly. Whisk in egg yolks. Let cool to room temperature.
  8. In large bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar till stiff peaks form. Whisk a third of the whites into the chocolate, then carefully fold in the rest of the egg whites.
  9. Whip the heavy cream till soft peaks form, and fold into the chocolate mixture. Chill till set, about an hour.
  10. Make cake: Preheat oven to 350º. Butter 10½ x 15½ x 1 inch jelly roll pan. Line with parchment paper then butter and flour paper. Tap out excess flour.
  11. Sift flour, cocoa and baking soda twice into a medium bowl. Set aside while you clarify the butter. Over low heat, melt butter. Skim off white foam and then pour butter into a bowl, leaving any white solids which remain in the pan. Set aside and don’t forget to add this to the cake batter (I nearly did).
  12. In a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs. Place over a pot of simmering water and heat and whisk till mixture is warm and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and beat on high till tripled in volume. Reduce speed to medium and add vanilla. Beat another few minutes.
  13. Sift about a third of the dry ingredients into egg mixture. Fold in with spatula. Repeat two more times, adding in the butter with the last addition.
  14. Spread batter evenly in prepared jelly roll pan. Bake 15-20 minutes, till cake pops back up when lightly tapped. Do not overbake. Place on rack till cool enough to handle.
  15. Dust top of cake with cocoa powder. Cut around perimeter of cake to loosen. Place a piece of waxed paper over top of cake, followed by a damp dish towel. Invert cake onto a work surface, peel off parchment and sprinkle with cocoa. Starting with one short end, carefully roll up cake in the towel. Wrap in plastic if desired and refrigerate till needed.
  16. Make ganache: Microwave cream in large measuring cup till hot. Add chocolate and whisk till smooth. Refrigerated till cold.
  17. Whip cold ganache at medium speed till it has the consistency of soft butter. Start assembling the cake.
  18. To assemble: Carefully unroll cake onto the backside of a baking pan. Discard the wax paper and any plastic wrap. Spread mousse on cake leaving a one inch margin on each long edge. Reroll cake starting with the other end…using towel to help roll. Cover with plastic and chill one hour.
  19. Ice with the ganache. Make lines or ridges on cake to resemble tree bark if desired. Garnish with meringue mushrooms.

Comments

  1. Just beautiful, this brings back memories of the yule logs my grandma made every Christmas while we were growing up!

  2. I agree with you.. chocolate desserts are always a hit.. at least for me:) I simply adore chocolate. This is really amazing, I can imagine the taste.

  3. Gorgeous Liz! 19 steps. Wow. That’s an amazing amount of work. I’m not worthy!

  4. Lizzy, what a gorgeous dessert!!!!

  5. It’s not even 9am here in the UK and I totally want a slice of this for breakfast 🙂 I just wish I was better at baking!

  6. This buche de Noël looks amazing ! My mother in law cooks one every Christmas and is not good. This year I will give her, this recipe !!! Lol!

  7. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud says:

    Last year I finally tried Stollen, one of these buche-de-noel’s is on my to-do list:@)

  8. I love yule logs. This is gorgeous!

  9. This cake is gorgeous. The bakery I worked at in college made these and they went for $50 a pop. I don’t know if I could pay that much for cake but seeing this one makes me want to have a slice so made. Desperate cravings…

  10. LOVE this!!! What a lovely and delicious dessert… and from some of my favorite bloggers!! So fun!

  11. You had me at chocolate!!! and a triple chocolate yule log or Bûche de Noël . . yum!!! I’ve always wanted to try making one of these. . pinning and need to take a stab at this recipe for the holidays!!! love love love!

  12. What an incredible dessert and so festive and fun for the holidays.

  13. Your log looks so pretty and festive. I’m with Katie – I’d be fighting for those meringue mushrooms!

  14. Bravo for this holiday beauty! You did a masterful job and it’s almost a shame to eat it. Not that it would stop me. Pass the fork!

  15. What an absolutely gorgeous cake roll! I would love to have a few slices of that with coffee this morning!

  16. Wow, Liz! You are certainly in the holiday spirit with this lovely cake! I appreciate that you included how to make the meringue mushrooms, too.

  17. This looks gorgeous Liz! It obviously gave you some hard work with the holes in the mousse, but the end result is picture perfect.

  18. Wow, Liz, this is a cracker of a festive dessert! I think the first one of these I made was in 1974 High School Home Ec class. Thank you for the memories.

  19. I know this didn’t quite live up to your expectations, Liz, but I think it’s looks perfect – just as if you bought it from a posh patisserie!
    Happy December!

  20. This buche de noel is a show stopper, Liz! And what a tempting slice…

  21. I can’t believe I’ve never made this. Yours looks perfect, I need to give it a try. I know my family would love it, if I didn’t eat it up before they saw it.

  22. I think you’re being too hard on yourself, Liz! This looks absolutely glorious and I’m sure it was ridiculously delicious. I’d rather take the mousse over a buttercream filling any day. I’ve always wanted to make a jelly roll but that would require me to buy a jelly roll pan and the skills not to crack the cake into a million pieces while rolling! I’ll just ooh and aah over yours from a distance 🙂

  23. I love buche de noel cakes!! I made one years ago before kids and my husband ate 90% of it. He is my chocoholic. Time consuming but such a show stopper dessert. Love the little meringue mushrooms you made too!

  24. This is beautiful! I’ve always looked longingly at Yule logs, but have never made one. Maybe this is the year to try. 🙂

  25. Beautiful! This is one of my favorite Christmas desserts. Yours is just perfect!

  26. This looks fantastic, Liz. You make the best sweets!

  27. I seriously wish I could make my rolls look as perfect as yours!

  28. That mousse!!! How can anyone turn down this treat?!

  29. That mousse!!! How can anyone turn down this treat?!

  30. I can’t believe I’ve never made one of these, it’s spectacular!

  31. Oh, if only I had lots of uninterrupted time… I would be making this! I saw a Buche de Noel recipe in Susan Purdy’s “The Perfect Cake” cookbook and thought it was so cool. But the intimidation factor is high because it seems tricky! Congrats on a beautiful cake!

  32. OMG this is sooooo rich! I can almost taste it from the description! Beautiful job!!

  33. Buche de Noel! I make one every year and serve it on Christmas Eve. This is such a festive and pretty and gorgeous dessert. You are very good at desserts that need to be rolled, Liz xx

  34. Airy mousse over custard would definitely be my choice. Liz. And lo-la-la what a très bien celebration of Christmas!

  35. *jaw drops* I need to become French. Because this is myyyy ideaaaa of a meryy Christmas! Drooling. Pinned!

  36. A beautiful job. This would grace any Christmas table.

  37. Very ambitious treat but well worth it. Love your presentation!

  38. You are far better than I – I haven’t made a roll cake in ages!

  39. This turned out gorgeous, Liz! I love the idea of a light chocolate mousse filling to contrast the ganache. Fabulously festive!

  40. This looks so Delicious, I can’t wait to make it! Beautiful photos 🙂 thanks for sharing! Liz xx

  41. This is so pretty and festive, Lizzy!

  42. Absolutely wicked! No wonder Katie also pinched all the meringue mushrooms. The trimmings are always so much fun at Christmas, aren’t they? Nick sure has a lot to catch up on over the holidays 😉

  43. That’s beautiful, Liz! I’m sure Santa would be good to anyone who made a Buche de Noel that looked that good. 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. […] A Yule Log or Bûche de Noël is a traditional French Christmas dessert. Filled with chocolate mousse and iced with chocolate ganache, this cake will be the star of your holiday menu!  […]

  2. […] Buche de Noel from That Skinny Chick Can Bake […]

  3. […] Buche de Noel from That Skinny Chick Can Bake […]

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