The Yule log cake (or bûche de Noël in French) is an elaborate creation consisting of a rolled, chocolate whipped cream filled sponge cake, frosted with chocolate ganache made to resemble tree bark, decorated with meringue mushrooms, chocolate almond truffle pine cones and any other edible decoration.
To make this yule log cake, there are three fairly easy steps, they include preparing the sponge cake, the whipped cream filling and a chocolate ganache frosting. All you will need is a few simple ingredients, time, patience, and a light hand.
Give it a try, it may become your Christmas tradition!
STEP 1 - Chocolate Sponge Cake:
- 2 large eggs ( room temperature )
- 3 egg yolks ( room temperature )
- 2 large egg whites ( room temperature, to be beaten separately )
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar ( minus 1 tablespoon )
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- Preheat oven at 400 F
- Prepare sheet pan by applying butter to pan, line buttered pan with parchment paper,
then applying butter to parchment paper with an even dusting of flour ( set aside )
- Using a stand mixer, at a high speed setting, beat 2 large eggs, 3 egg yolks with vanilla
extract and 1/2 cup sugar ( minus 1 tablespoon ) for about 5 minutes. Egg and sugar
mixture should increase in volume and become thick and pale in color.
- In a separate bowl whisk together cake flour, cocoa powder, salt and cornstarch. Sift over egg mixture, folding into egg mixture using large strokes, being careful not to
deflate air that was formed in egg mixture ( set aside )
- Place remaining egg whites along with 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar in a very clean stand mixer with whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.
Add additional 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
- Fold in stiff egg whites into cake batter using large strokes until combined. Spread
batter onto prepared pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
- Bake between 6 - 8 minutes ( depending on your oven setting ) until inserted toothpick
comes out clean.
- Immediately remove from pan and sprinkle with confectioners
sugar ( this will prevent sponge cake from sticking. Invert sponge cake onto cooling
rack and carefully peel off parchment paper. repeat dusting of confectioners sugar to other side.
- Place clean kitchen towel over sponge cake and gently roll sponge cake with towel and
set aside to cool completely.
STEP 2- Chocolate Ganache:
- 8 oz. semi sweet chocolate
- 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- In a heat proof bowl, place semi sweet chocolate.
- Heat cream and butter in a heavy sauce pan until cream mixture reaches boiling
point, without actually boiling. As soon as small bubbles form on edge of cream.
Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Stir gently without over stirring to avoid
incorporating air into the mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 1 -2 hours, occasionally stirring until ganache firms up enough to spread. You can sped up cooling process by placing in refrigerator, but be very careful to check every 5 minutes and stir
to prevent ganache from becoming too stiff.
STEP 3 - Chocolate Whipped Cream Filling:
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup cold whipping cream
- combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment.
- whip at medium - high speed until cream forms stiff peaks.
Assemble Cake Filling and Frosting:
- Unroll cooled sponge cake from rolled up dish towel.
- Apply whipped cream filling evenly on top of sponge cake, allowing space along edge to
avoid cream from oozing out once rolled up.
- Roll up sponge cake with seam side down on and place on serving platter.
- Cut a diagonal 4" piece from end of roll to be used as side limb of yule log.
- Take cooled ganache frosting and spread on diagonal limb to use as glue to attach to
side to form log. Spread frosting to log completely covering one end of log, leaving one
end exposed ( showing rolled spiral effect )
- With the tines of a fork create bark ridges in ganache frosting.
- Decorate with meringue mushrooms, chocolate truffle pine cones and assorted fruit
and fresh herbs.