Chocolate and Chestnut Bûche de Noël - Yule Log
Bûche de Noël is a traditional dessert served during the Christmas holidays in France and several other Christian-populated francophone countries.
FOR THE SYRUP
- 50 grams butter
- 0.5 cup water
- 3 tablespoons alcohol, the same used in the cream
FOR THE ICING
- 50 grams semi sweet dark chocolate
FOR THE ROLLED GÉNOISE
- 60 grams all-purpose flour, sifted
- 40 grams cornstarch, sifted
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 140 grams sugar
FOR THE CHESTNUT CREAM
- 500 grams chestnut cream, 2 x 250 gram or 9-ounce cans Clement Faugier
- 250 grams butter, soft
- 3 tablespoons Cognac, dark rum or whiskey
- 100 grams sugar
FOR THE BAKING SHEET
- 1 baking sheet of 15 by 11 inches / 45 centimeters by 25 centimeters
- Parchment paper, same size as the baking sheet
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons flour
Make the rolled génoise:
- Line a 17 ½ by 12 ½ inch baking sheet with parchment and brush well with melted butter. Cover with the flour and remove the excess. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the sugar together until the mixture whitens and foams. Then whisk in the flour, the cornstarch, and the melted butter. Work the mixture until homogenized. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment of a stand mixer on medium until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped whites into the yolk mixture, thoroughly but gently. Pour into the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes in a preheated 200°C/400°F oven, or until it pulls away from the sides and is just turning golden. Roll the génoise immediately after it has been baked or it will break, do it right out of the oven when the cookie is hot and very flexible.
- Dampen a clean towel, squeeze out any excess of water and spread it on the baked génoise. Cover with a second baking sheet, and with a quick movement, return both baking sheets. Remove the top tray and, then gently peel off the parchment paper. Using the towel, fold crosswise a ½ inch (1.5 centimeters) strip of cake and gently roll the biscuit on it and let it cool for about 30 minutes.
- While the génoise cool down, make the chestnut cream: With an electric whisk, in a bowl work together with the chestnut cream, the soft butter, and the alcohol. You can also add a few chips of candied chestnuts. Once cooled, place the biscuits on a sheet of plastic wrap and gently unroll your génoise.
Make the syrup:
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and alcohol. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Form the Christmas log:
- Using a pastry brush, soak the génoise with the syrup. With a spatula, spread evenly 3/4 of the chestnut cream all over. Roll again the génoise with the plastic wrap pressing slightly. If some cream falls out during the operation, retrieve it for the icing. Melt the chocolate in a Bain Marie or in the microwave oven, and combine with the remaining chestnut cream. Place the bûche on the service platter as you won't be able to move it again after the glazing. Spread evenly all over the Christmas log. With a fork, draw the stripes of the log all along, then place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
Finish the Christmas log:
- Finally, remove the log about half an hour before eating, and decorate as you like. Here with whole candied chestnuts, silver sugar ball, mint leaves etc.
This log can be kept for 2 days in the refrigerator. Note that you can make it without alcohol.