There are all sorts of cake: everyday breakfast cakes, afternoon tea cakes, birthday cakes, festive cakes...
You really don't need much of an excuse to make (or eat) a cake.
I love swiss roll cakes: light fluffy cake, enveloping some sort of creamy or jammy filling... it's fantastic.
Now, this Bûche de Noël (aka Yule Log, or simply log cake), is traditionally served by Christians over Christmas. Hotels and bakeries present it all throughout the winter season.
Bûche de Noël is simply a camoflaged swiss roll cake, made festive for winter.
I decorated our log with meringue mushrooms, whimsically decorated with colorful m&m's and chocolate.
There are a few stages that might require some concentration, but this impressive log cake was really fun and easy to make, even with children to "help."
Adapted. with changes, from NQN.
6 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar, extra
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tsp instant coffee powder
1 1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp instant coffee powder
200g dark chocolate
1 tsp instant coffee powder
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
Meringue Mushrooms, to decorate
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a swiss roll tin with baking parchment with a little overhang (it rises a little in the oven but sinks down when cooling).
In a clean, large bowl whisk the egg whites until starting to hold a peak and then whisk in the quarter cup sugar by the spoonful until soft, firm peaks form (but not dry).
In another bowl, whip egg yolks and half cup sugar until pale and mousse-like.
Sift cocoa over the egg yolk mixture and fold to combine.
Add coffee powder and stir.
Add 2 tablespoons of the fluffy egg white mixture to the yolk and sugar mixture.
Fold gently to combine.
Then add the rest of the egg whites in 3 even lots.
Pour into swiss roll tin and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, place a parchment paper over the surface, then drape a slightly damp kitchen towel to cover and cool.
For the cream filling:
Put the whipping cream, cocoa, powdered sugar, and instant coffee powder in a clean, dry bowl.
Whisk until thickened and of spreadable consistence.
Refrigerate until the cake is cooled.
For the icing:
Melt chocolate in a microwave or in a bowl over simmering water.
Put icing sugar in food processor to get rid of any lumps or sieve in a bowl.
If using a food processor beat with butter, coffee powder and then cooled chocolate.
If doing it by hand, whisk with butter in with the sieved icing sugar, coffee powder and then add chocolate and beat by hand using a large whisk.
Spread the chocolate cream filling across the cake going up to the edges.
Trim cake if necessary and roll up the cake from one end (one of the longer sides).
Don’t worry if the whole cake doesn’t come away from the parchment.
Using a large sharp knife, cut one end at a diagonal and reserve the piece.
Using the icing, stick the cut off piece at an angel to simulate a branch.
Spread the icing over the entire Log and using a toothpick, make squiggly lines much like a tree.
Decorate as desired.
Cake can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in a very cool area for up to 1 week You can also freeze the Yule Log and store it for up to 3 months in a rigid container (to preserve its shape). Thaw it overnight and store in an airtight container until serving.
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