The best of French holiday recipes from our publisher, Michele Elyzabeth… La Buche de Noel
La Buche de Noel, (Christmas Yule log) is the traditional Christmas dessert for the French. The traditional buche is a genoise, (similar to sponge cake) baked in a medium Swiss roll pan – 1 foot by 1 ½ foot.
Ingredients for the Genoise:
2.6 oz. of sugar
2.6 oz. of Flour
0.88 oz. or a quarter of a butter stick (melted).
3 full eggs plus one yolk
How to make the Genoise:
With the help of an egg beater, beat the 3 egg whites until very firm. Place in the refrigerator during the time you are preparing the batter for the genoise. In a large bowl, mix the sugar with the 4 yolks with a spatula. Incorporate the flour and the egg white, then add the melted butter.
Line your Swiss roll or cookie pan with wax paper. Apply a thin layer of butter or oil film with a brush. This will keep the dough from sticking. Very important; spread your dough evenly (½ inch) to avoid dry patches. Place inside a very warm oven pre-heated to 475ᵒ, and then reduce heat to 225ᵒ. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven, turn the cake upside down on a very cold surface. (Marble is ideal) While cooling off, prepare your filling.
Ingredients for the filling:
5.30 oz. of butter
1.1 lb. of chestnut cream
What To Do:
Mix both ingredients together with a whisk. With the help of a cake knife spatula, evenly spread the creamy filling.
The flavor can vary depending on your taste, from buttery chocolate, to coffee, to creamy chestnut or whatever your heart desires.
Roll the cake into the shape of a log. I usually cut a small piece at the end which is placed on top of the log to simulate the trunk of a chopped-off tree. Frost your log with the same cream (you also may add a bit more chocolate or chestnut cream to add to the taste). Then comes the fun part. Drag a fork through the frosting to give your log the texture of bark. You can add homemade meringue mushrooms; dust with powdered sugar for a snow effect, shaved chocolate bits, and make holly leaves from almond paste. You may also decorate with small figures found at party shops which you can use every year.
Recipe by our LATF Publisher Michele Elyzabeth