Last December I the opportunity to attend a few cooking classes at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Boston, MA. Spending some time in a city at Christmas is something I always look forward to and Boston was amazing at Christmas! The history lessons and tours, walks in the snow, ice-skating, and shopping all added to the experience! At cooking school we learned the long, hands on, step by step processes of making Buche de Noel or a Yule log. It’s traditionally served at Christmas, especially in France. There are many variations of a Yule log, the most traditional being a yellow sponge cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. Today I simplified the very detailed version for an easier one and decided to make it all chocolate! Chocolate cake rolled up in chocolate frosting!
Chocolate Yule Log / Buche de Noel
2 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
6 egg whites
1/4 c. white sugar
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 375°. Line a 10×15 inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whip cream, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until thick and stiff. Refrigerate.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until thick and pale. Blend in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and salt. In large glass bowl, using clean beaters, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, and beat until whites form stiff peaks. Immediately fold the yolk mixture into the whites. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared jellyroll pan.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Dust a clean dishtowel with confectioners’ sugar. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and turn the warm cake out onto the towel. Remove and discard parchment paper. Starting at the short edge of the cake, roll the cake up with the towel. Cool for 30 minutes.
Unroll the cake, and spread the filling to within 1 inch of the edge. Roll the cake up with the filling inside. Place seam side down and frost with Belgian Chocolate Icing. Refrigerate till served.
Belgian Chocolate Icing
1 c. dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
½ c. heavy whipping cream
¼ c. confectioners sugar – to taste
Gently melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave. Leave to cool slightly.
Blend in the cream and confectioners’ sugar. Mix in the melted chocolate and leave to cool to room temperature. The mixture will thicken as it cools.
Spread the icing over the sponge with a palate knife and use a fork to create a bark effect.
Traditionally fun treats are added to the filling of the Yule Log. Candied fruit, nuts, gummy bears! You pick the surprise!