For our Christmas dinner menu, we are going to start with dessert first. Your family will love this traditional French Christmas dessert!
Buche de Noel (Christmas Yule Log)
3 large eggs (room temperature)
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 TB butter, melted
Chambord, Rum or Grand Marnier
3 eggs, separated (room temperature)
1/2 cup heavy cream (very cold)
4 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate
8 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate
8 oz heavy cream
Preheat oven to 330 degrees F
Prepare a 12×16 inch sheet pan by buttering or spraying with cooking spray and placing a piece of parchment paper on top.
Place the eggs, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl and warm the mixture over boiling water for a few seconds. Remove from heat and beat on medium high speed for 5 minutes. Sift the flour into the bowl and fold in with spatula. Fold in melted butter with spatula.
Spread mixture evenly in the pan and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes. Invert cake onto parchment paper and remove parchment that covered bottom of cake. Lay removed parchment loosely over cake and leave to cool completely.
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Set aside to cool.
In a mixing bowl, whip the egg whites until still peaks form
In another mixing bowl, whip the cream until still peaks form.
Mix the egg yolks with a fork in yet another large bowl. Add the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Add a small amount of the egg whites and fold with a spatula to combine. Add the rest of the egg whites and fold with a spatula to combine. Add the whipped cream and fold with a spatula to combine. Place mousse in refrigerator to set up a bit.
Heat cream over medium high heat until scalding.
Chop chocolate roughly and place in mixing bowl.
Pour heated cream over and stir to combine.
Place in refrigerator to set up. (About an hour.)
Remove loose parchment paper from the “top” of the inverted cake.
Sprinkle cake with Chambord, Rum or Grand Marnier.
Spread a thick layer of mousse over cake.
Roll cake up from the short end, removing parchment underneath as you go. Place on a serving platter.
Cut a 1 to 1 1/2 inch piece off one end of cake. Place on top for the “stump”.
Spread ganache over outside of cake. Use tines of fork to make ridges or “bark”.
Decorate with fresh mint to make leaves etc., if desired.
Elizabeth Dougherty has been cooking and writing about food intensively for more than ten years. She is the fourth generation of chefs and gourmet grocers in her family with her mother, Francesca Esposito and grandmother, Carmella being major influences in her early cooking years. As a teenager, her family sent her to Europe where she became focused on French and Italian cuisine. She survived a year and half of culinary tutelage under a maniacal Swiss-German chef and is a graduate of NYIT, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations.
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