Raymond cooks

Buche de Noel (Christmas Log)

Buche de Noel (Christmas Log)
Preparation time:
40 minutes
Cooking time:
10 minutes
8 serves

Bûche de Noël is a French Christmas cake shaped like a log. Originally, the Yule log was an actual log that was specially selected to burn on the hearth on Christmas day. This dessert is intended to resemble it - the bark-like texture is created by dragging a fork through the icing, and icing sugar represents the falling snow.

  • Ingredients

    For the sponge (Genoise):
    • 4 egg whites, organic or free-range
    • 60g caster sugar
    • 4 egg yolks, organic or free-range
    • 60g plain flour, sieved onto a sheet of baking parchment
    • 20g unsalted butter, melted
    For the chestnut buttercream:
    • 80g caster sugar
    • 60ml water
    • 3 egg yolks, organic or free-range
    • 30ml water
    • 240g unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 30ml dark rum
    • 200g sweetened chestnut purée
    • 4 candied chestnuts, roughly chopped (plus a few for decoration)
    For the soaking syrup:
    • 40g espresso coffee
    For the chocolate sauce:
    • 2 tbsp milk
    • 90ml whipping cream
    • 80g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
    To serve:
    • Cocoa powder
  • Method

    For the sponge:
    • Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

    • Line your pastry tray with baking parchment.

    • In your Kenwood Chef Titanium with the whisk, on full speed whip the egg whites while gradually adding the sugar until they reach soft peaks. Reduce the speed to medium and whisk in the egg yolks and melted butter.

    • Remove the bowl from the machine and pour in half the sieved flour and with a spatula fold gently into the whipped egg whites. Repeat for the remaining flour trying to keep as much air as possible in the mixture.

    • Place a little of the mixture under each corner of the paper to secure it to the tray and pour the mixture onto the tray.

    • Using a palette knife, spread to 1cm thickness. Cook in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, until a light golden colour is reached and it springs back to the touch. Don’t overcook the sponge as it will be dry and difficult to roll.

    • Remove from the oven and when cool enough to handle transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

    For the chestnut buttercream:
    • In a small saucepan bring the sugar and water to 121˚C, using a sugar thermometer to check the temperature.

    • Using your Kenwood Chef Titanium, whisk the yolks and the 30ml of water for 5 minutes at full speed until light and aerated. Turn down to a medium speed and slowly pour the sugar syrup halfway down the side of the bowl. Making sure it is away from the whisk otherwise it will simply spray the hot sugar syrup around the bowl rather than onto the egg yolks.

    • This hot sugar syrup will partially cook the egg yolks giving you a silky, stable sabayon.

    • Reduce the speed of the machine to medium and whisk for a further 3 minutes to allow the mixture to cool to around 35˚C.

    • At a slow speed add the rum and the sweetened chestnut purée.

    • Then gradually add the soft, room temperature butter. Whisk on full speed for a final 3 minutes to generate a little more lightness and volume.

    • Reserve one third (180g) for filling the Buche, the rest will be for decoration.

    To build the Buche:
    • Place the sponge upside down onto a clean tea towel and peel away the greaseproof paper.

    • Use a pastry brush to evenly soak the sponge with the espresso coffee.

    • Spread one-third of the buttercream over the soaked sponge, then roll the sponge into a tight roll 30cm long. Start by folding over the top, long edge towards you by about 1cm then use this to roll the log up making sure that it’s tight all the way through, but not pushing out the filling.

    • Using the tea towel wrap the log into a cylinder shape, placing the joint on the underside and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
      Unwrap the Buche and place it on a serving dish or cake board, again joint side down. Carefully trim each end to give you a straight side.

    • Evenly spread the remaining buttercream all over and using a fork, mark the cream to give the impression of a log. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    For the chocolate sauce:
    • Using the warming function of the Kenwood machine, set the temperature to number 9, add the chocolate pieces to the Kenwood bowl and leave for 3 minutes to slowly melt.

    • Add the milk and cream and using the whisk attachment, whisk on speed setting 2 for 1 minute until it is evenly mixed.

    • Remove from the machine into a clean serving bowl or jug ready to serve with the Buche.

    To serve:
    • Dust with a little cocoa powder, Slice the end off the Buche and place it in the middle on top so you can see the inside of the Buche to give a sawn-off log effect.

    • Garnish with a few chocolate flakes by scraping your knife down the length of your chocolate bar and a few whole sweetened chestnuts.

  • Chef's Notes

    • You could change the Rum for Cointreau and grated Orange zest.

    • Change the filling to a chocolate ganache (200g chocolate melted into 200ml whipping cream)

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