Bûche de Noël
Nothing finishes a festive holiday meal like a bûche de Noël. It’s fitting and it always seems to bring a sense of joy to the guests. Every year I make a different flavor combination to keep things exciting. This time I choose to bring mascarpone cheese and chestnuts together for a delicious finally to any meal.
When I was a kid, bûche de Noël was finished to resemble a tree trunk. Decorated with chocolate shavings to mimic tree bark and usually topped with meringue mushrooms. Since I can never leave good enough alone, I give my bûche de Noël a fresh new look every year.
This time I spread white tempered chocolate very thin on a ribbed plastic sheet and once it was firm like leather I cut it in thin strips. Since the filling is made with chestnut paste, I dipped some roasted chestnuts in caramel and used to decorate the log.
Getting it all together!
Make the sponge cake first. Once baked, it can easily be frozen for time management. Prepare the simple syrup and set aside in the refrigerator. The mascarpone chestnut cream can be made using homemade chestnut paste or use a sweetened purchased variety. Once the log is rolled up, it can be frozen. Simply remove from the freezer and place in the refrigerator the day before needed. The chocolate plaques can be made ahead of time and be kept covered at room temperature.
Assembly: Moisten the sponge cake with the flavored simple syrup. Spread the chestnut mascarpone cream over the moistened cake. (If the cream is a little soft, mix it with a spatula to firm it up) Roll up the sponge cake. Place in the freezer or refrigerator. Stick the chocolate plaques on the log using crème Chantilly or butter cream. Decorate as desired.
Yield: 1 baking sheet 16 x 12 inches (40 x 30 cm)
|2||(2)||Large egg yolk||2|
|1 teaspoon||(1 tsp)||Vanilla extract||1 tsp|
|½ Cup||(4 oz)||Extra fine granulated sugar (B)||120 g|
|½ Cup + 2 Tablespoons||(2.75 oz)||All purpose or pastry flour||80 g|
- Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and butter lightly. Sprinkle with flour and shake off excess. Set aside.
- Whip the eggs and yolks for 1 minute. Add the vanilla, salt and sugar and whip until the mixture is light in color and thick ribbons fall of the whip attachment.
- Turn of mixer and gently fold in the flour.
- Spread the mixture evenly on the baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake until light golden and the cake bounces back when lightly pressed. Upon removal from the oven turn the cake upside down onto parchment or a kitchen towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Let cool.
|½ Cup||(4 oz)||Extra fine granulated sugar||120 g|
|½ Cup||(4 oz||Water||120 g|
- Place the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil one minute. Let cool.
- To flavor the syrup add 2 oz of Chestnut or Rum liquor.
Chestnut mascarpone cream
|8 oz||(8 oz)||Chestnut paste, sweetened||240 g|
|8 oz||(8 oz)||Mascarpone cheese||240 g|
- Place the chestnut paste in a bowl. If needed add a small amount of simple syrup to the chestnut paste to make it soft as mayonnaise.
- Gently stir in the mascarpone cream.