Buche de Noel (Yule Log Cake)
This is a chocolate, egg-less sponge cake rolled up like a jellyroll with chocolate mousse and frosted with a fudge icing. Very rich and very chocolate.
For the chocolate flourless sponge cake:
6 egg yolks 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
6 egg whites 3/4 t. cream of tarter
2 T. sugar
Meringue mushrooms, optional.
1 Chocolate Mouse Recipe - below
1 Fat Chocolate Fudge Icing recipe - below
Prepare and assemble the meringue mushrooms. (This may be done the day before.)
For the cake:
Separate the eggs, and allow 30 minutes or so for them to come up to room temperature. Melt the chocolate and let cool. Prepare the chocolate mousse (below) and let cool in refrigerator, stirring from time to time. Spray a jellyroll pan with pan, line it with parchment paper and spray it again. Preheat oven to 350.
With a good mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow and thick. (5 minutes or so.) Beat in vanilla extract. Add chocolate and beat only to combine evenly.
In a very clean bowl, with very clean (no grease) beaters, beat the egg whites with the cream of tarter. Once soft peaks form, beat in the sugar. Continue to beat until very, very stiff.
Fold in a small amount of egg white mixture into the yolk and chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently fold the two mixtures together until even. Do not over mix as the batter will deflate. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared jellyroll pan. Bake until cake has puffed, and springs back when pressed. (15-17 minutes or so.) While it is baking slightly dampen two clean smooth towels (not terrycloth.)
When done, remove from oven. Use a knife to loosen the edges, but leave in pan. Cover with a damp cloth and let cool about 10 minutes. Leaving the damp cloth on top, turn cake out onto large flat cookie sheet (the damp cloth should now be under the cake. Remove the parchment paper and put a second damp cloth over the top and let cool to barely warm. (5-10 more minutes or so.)
To assemble cake:
Remove the top damp cloth. Spread the cake with the chocolate mouse. Using the bottom damp towel for support, roll the cake starting at one side. It should now be one long log. Clip the towel together for support and chill cake until stable. (4-8 hours.)
Mix Fat Chocolate Fudge Icing (below). Remove cake from refrigerator and remove towel. Place on serving tray (or cake board covered in cake foil.) If desired, diagonally slice off one end and put on the side like a limb off a trunk. Ice cake, using the spatula to swirl the edges like rings and rough up the main sides like bark. Chill. Remove from the refrigerator about 1-2 hours before serving. Right before serving garnish with meringue mushrooms, if desired. (The mushrooms won't last too long once they come into contact with moisture.)
Chill or freeze any leftover cake.
2 egg whites (room temp) ¼ t. cream of tartar
½ c. sugar ½ t. vanilla
cocoa for sprinkling
2-3 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate for assembling.
Preheat oven to 225 deg. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. In a very clean bowl beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar and beat until completely dissolved and egg whites are stiff. Beat in vanilla. Use a plastic bag, and make a small cut off one corner to extrude the meringue. Put the meringue in the bag. Make the stems as little peaks (don't worry if they aren't too tall, as they mushrooms will be more stable. Also don't worry if there are sharp peaks in the top, that will help later.) When piping the caps, just let it get big and pull from the bottom side so no peak is left or smooth a bit with your finger.) Should make at least a dozen or so, caps and peaks. Sprinkle lightly with cocoa (use a sieve or sifter.) Bake about two hours or until they are dry and crisp. Let cool.
When cool, melt the chocolate. In the bottom of the caps use a sharp knife to make a hole to accommodate the peak at the top of the stems. Paint the bottom of the caps with chocolate and attach stem. Place cap side down to cool.
Store in a dry place, moisture will destroy them.
2 c. cream
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
¼ c. confectioner’s sugar
1 t. vanilla & 2T. Grand Marnier
Heat 1/2 c. cream to simmer (microwave fine). Stir in chocolate and cover. Set aside for 5 min. Stir until smooth. In another bowl whip 1 ½ c. cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold with chocolate mixture. Chill.
Fat Chocolate Cake Fudge Icing
1/2 lb. butter (2 sticks) (room temp.)
1 ½ t. vanilla
1 ¼ lb. powdered sugar (5 ½ -6 c.)
1 ¼ c. + 1 T. cocoa
½ c. half n half or whipping cream. (room temp.)
Mix butter and vanilla. Add dry ingredients all at once and mix until butter is evenly distributed. Add the half –n-half or cream until the desired texture is achieved.