Recipe 133 – Bûche de Noël

24th December 2012

Having been invited to my brother-in-law’s house for Christmas Day, it’s tradition that I take along a couple of desserts.  The first dessert always requested is my trifle – made with maltesers.  This had already been made (except for putting the maltesers on the top – something that happens just before it’s served) and was in the fridge ready to take tomorrow.

The other dessert I thought could be a Yule Log, so having looked through Mary’s Bible I saw this recipe.  I must admit before you start reading it though, I have changed it.  Mary has a chestnut filling and knowing my children aren’t too keen on chestnuts and probably my niece and nephew wouldn’t be either, I decided to fill it with cream.  The other difference is Mary covers her cake with whipped cream and then dusts with cocoa powder.  This I thought confusing as I had always thought of Yule logs being covered in chocolate and then sprinkled with icing sugar to give the effect of snow – so this I have changed too.  The cake, however, is as Mary cooks it!

I’m sure most of you know the cake used in this recipe is in fact a Chocolate Swiss Roll.  So the first thing to do was to put the oven on to preheat and grease and line the Swiss roll tin.  I made sure this time that one piece of parchment was used and pushed into the corners and up the tiny sides of the tin.

I’ll quickly go through the recipe, but if you look back to Recipe 123 you will be able to read my blog on making the Chocolate Swiss Roll in full.

My husband had kindly taken the dog out for a walk and the children were both out with friends or shopping for last minute presents, so I had the house to myself.

4 large eggs and sugar were put in a large bowl and mixed together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  To this I added the sieved flour and cocoa which was gently folded in.  The mixture was turned into the tin, given a gentle shake to level it out and popped into the oven for ten minutes.

Whist it was in the oven I put a sheet of parchment on my large chopping board and sprinkled this generously with icing sugar.  Once the cake was cooked it was removed from the oven and inverted onto the sugared parchment.  As it landed the icing sugar puffed out everywhere – thank goodness I was home alone at least I would have chance to clean the mess up before anybody saw it!  The parchment the cake was baked on was quickly removed. I didn’t feel there was any need to trim the edges, so instead a score mark was made along one of the longer edges of the Swiss roll about 2cm in.  Another sheet of parchment was placed on top of the Swiss roll and very carefully this was rolled up nice and tight.  This was then left to cool.

Whilst the cake was cooling I made a ganache to cover the cake with.  Into a pan went half a carton of double cream.  This was heated until just warm enough for you to be able to dip your little finger in without it being burned.  The pan was removed from the heat and broken up pieces of plain chocolate were added.  I then stirred the mixture continually until all the chocolate had melted.  At first the mixture appears as though it is separating, but don’t worry, continue to stir and eventually it will come together to form a lovely glossy chocolaty mixture.  This was left to cool for half an hour before I put it in the fridge so it would firm up slightly so that I could pipe it onto the cake rather than smooth it over.

The remaining double cream was whisked up until it formed soft peaks.  The Swiss roll had now cooled so it was unrolled and the parchment removed from the top.  The cream was spread over the surface of the cake and it was again rolled up.  It was at this point that I tidied the ends of the cake up and it also meant I could have a taste! Yum…

Once the ganache had cooled and thickened slightly in the fridge this was put into a piping bag ready to pipe.  First of all, however a quarter of the Swiss roll had to be sliced off, at a slight angle.  This was put on one side of the remaining Swiss roll to make it look like a branch from a tree.  The ganache was then piped lenghtways down the cake.  In a couple of places I put a small swirl to make it appear as though there was a ‘knot’ in the wood.  Once all the cake had been covered the ends were filled in with ganache.  This time in circles, to make it look like the end of a branch that had been cut.

Just before serving the cake was covered in a sprinkling of icing sugar to make it look as though it had snowed.  Everybody seemed to enjoy this cake as it soon disappeared.



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