One of my favorite cakes to make during the holiday season is the bûche de nöel. The cake is a holiday tradition for France made during Christmas time.
The cake is then covered in a dark chocolate mocha frosting using a rubber spatula rather than offset spatula (like this one). Typically, the cake frosted with an offset spatula to give the frosting a smooth perfect appearance, but in this case, we want the bûche de nöel to see otherwise; little ridges and bumps are welcome!
for the cake
- 4 eggs yolks and whites separated
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup cake flour
for the filling
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar plus more for dusting
for the frosting
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tbsp Kahlua
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 oz dark or bittersweet chocolate chips 3/4 cup
- 1.5 tbsp softened unsalted butter
- 1 tsp instant coffee granules
- cranberries and rosemary for garnishing
- Preheat your oven 425 ° F and line a baking dish with a sheet of parchment paper. Cut a slit in the parchment paper in one of the four corners of the Pan so that the parchment paper lies completely flat against the edge of the pan. Using Office Binder clips to clip the edges of the parchment paper pan. Set aside.
- Drop the egg whites into the Bowl from the mixer stand. Beat on high speed for about a minute, until the 2-3 wet, soft peaks form. You want white to keep it hanging on the whisk you when they are held upside down, but you don’t want them to be so rigid and dry like you would for a merengue (aim for gently curled the tips). While putting aside the white.
- In a large bowl, stir together egg yolks and sugar together until pale yellow. In a separate bowl, smaller, sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, coffee granules, baking powder and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the Bowl containing the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk combine-dough will be very thick and hard to mix, but this is normal, so just try your best to mix everything together.
- Add half of the egg whites and use a rubber spatula to gently fold the whites into the batter. You don’t need to be extra gentle on this point because you are just trying to loosen the dough with the egg whites. Now, add the remaining half of the egg whites and, at present, be very gentle when folding the whites into the batter with a spatula; make light, long flap.
- Pour the batter into the Pan and you’re ready to use Your spatula to gently smooth out the batter. Do not press or to move the Pan side to side – you don’t want to spoil the air bubbles you made with beaten egg whites. Bake the cake for 6 to 7 minutes, or until the cake POPs back when gently pressed with your fingertips (for me, it was always about 6 1/2 minutes in the oven). Let the cake cool slightly in the pan for 5 minutes – no longer.
- Meanwhile, prepare the kitchen/Tea towel lightly with powdered sugar sprinkled all over it. Flip cake out onto towel and very gently Peel the parchment paper off inch by inch. Take one of the short sides of the cake and roll toward the short side of the other, rolling a towel with it as you go. Let the cakes keep it coiled form until completely cool. (Note: it is very important to do this while the cake is still warm, as the cake was still flexible at the moment and this prevents the cake from cracking or tearing as you roll it).
- Meanwhile, make the frosting by adding chocolate chips, coffee granules, kahlua, unsalted butter, and vanilla extract into the medium bowl. Heat the heavy cream over medium-low heat until hot but not boiling (the banks have to start boiling and steam that rose from the cream). Pour the cream is hot chocolate and contents in the bowl, then use a spoon to Stir the mixture together until completely smooth. Cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes-not anymore.
- While frosting, whip the heavy cream chills You in your stand mixer on high speed for one minute, or until the whisk folds start to appear in the cream. Add the vanilla extract and powdered sugar and continue to whisk until a thick cream high like frosting.
- Once your cake is cool, unroll your cake and use the offset spatula to spread the whipped cream all over the surface, leaving a very small border around edges of cake unfrosted. Gently roll the cake back as you did before (minus the towel), with a side seam facing downward.
- Take a sharp knife and cut a piece of 2-inch from one end of the cake, cut at an angle so that one end of the 2-inch pieces and the other end is closer to 1 inch. Take slice it and place that side that don’t cut/exposed and attach them to the main log cake somewhere in the middle of the log.
- Use a hand mixer to whisk the frosting to cool for 15 to 25 minutes, or until you can see the whisk leaves the grooves in the frosting. Do not shake longer than that as this would ruin the frosting. Use a rubber spatula to smooth cake frosting log and stump side. It has more love that you do not use the offset spatula as a rubber spatula leaves streaks pleasing that makes the cake look more like a log. Take a fork and run it along the log cake several times. Decorate the cake with cranberry and rosemary to look more festive.