Yule Log (BÛCHE DE NOËL)

Lindsay Conchar, founder of Life, Love & Sugar, graciously shared this Yule Log cake recipe with me. It’s so good! Eliza Fox, one of the characters in A Murder Yule Regret, the 6th Bread Shop mystery, attempts this showpiece cake.

In the olden days in France, the spirit of love drew families together on Christmas Eve. Family members surrounded the blazing “yule log” to warm themselves before walking to Midnight Mass. The burning ashes of the “yule log”, or BÛCHE DE NOËL, were said to hold magical properties, protecting newborns from illness and animals from fever.

The cake, shaped like a log, that we eat nowadays is a renewal of this belief.

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs, divided
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  •  

Mascarpone Cream Filling

  • 1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese
  •  

Whipped Chocolate Ganache

  • 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips or a block, finely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  •  

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Line a 17×12 inch jelly roll sheet pan with parchment paper, allowing the edges to roll up to cover the lip of the pan.


3. In a medium bowl, blend together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until light and well blended.


5. Add the sour cream, melted butter and vanilla extract to the egg/sugar mixture, and blend together well.


6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Gently blend until well combined.


7 In a mixing bowl, whip the egg whites until a stiff peak forms when you lift the beaters out.


8.  Gently, so as not to break down the beaten egg whites, fold 1/3 of the whites into the chocolate mixture. Add the rest of the beaten whites and fold together until combined.

9. Pour the cake batter into the pan, spreading to make it even. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The top of the cake should springs back when touched. You can also insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is ready.

10. Once you’ve removed the cake from the oven, carefully lift it from the pan using the edges of the parchment paper.


11. Working while the cake is still hot, use the parchment paper to roll cake into a jellyroll shape, starting on the short side. Allow cake to cool completely.


12. Later, once the cake is cooled all the way, begin the filling. Whip together the cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt until soft peaks form when lifting out the beaters.


13. Add the softened, but still cool, mascarpone cheese and whip again until stiff peaks form.


14. Carefully unfurl the cake roll. Use a spatula or other tool to carefully pull the parchment paper away from the cake, taking care not to break the cake itself.


15. Spread the filling onto the unrolled cake, leaving 1/4 all the way around to allow for spreading. Without the parchment, roll the filled cake back into a roll.


16. Wrap rolled cake in plastic wrap, seam side down, and refrigerate for several hours.


17. After the cooling is complete, make the chocolate ganache by adding the chopped chocolate or the chips to a medium-sized bowl. Heat the cream until it’s very hot and on the verge of boiling (in the microwave or on the stove). Pour the hot cream over the chocolate.


18. Once the chocolate starts melting from the cream, whisk together until smooth.

19. Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature, transfer to a large mixer bowl, and whip on high speed until it lightens in color. The consistency should be spreadable.


20. Now to decorate! Start by diagonally cutting off a 3 inch end piece of the log (use a serrated knife), and use ganache to affix the cut section to the side of the larger log. It should appear as a branched piece of wood.

21. Using a spatula, spread the rest of the ganache over the cake. Use the tines of a fork along the length of the log to create “bark” lines.

22. Add sugared fruit such as cranberries and sugared rosemary for a festive touch.


23. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Printed with permission from Life, Love, and Sugar: https://www.lifeloveandsugar.com/yule-log-cake-buche-de-noel/