IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME!
And I’ve been researching holiday treats from other parts of the world and here’s a really popular one from France! It can be a LITTTLEE tricky to make the muggle way, I’ve broken a few cakes in the rolling stage, but magic makes it a lot easier. Just don’t let the cake get to cool while working with it!
You will need!
- For the Sponge Cake:
- 4 large eggs (room temperature)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cake flour
- For the Chocolate Buttercream:
- 7 large egg whites
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate (melted and cooled)
- 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (softened)
- Powdered sugar and/or cocoa powder (optional)
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Clean kitchen towel
- Parchment paper
- Toothpicks or wooden skewers
- Cooking spray or crisco
- Muggle electric mixer
- 10 x 15-inch rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan
- Edible decorations for the log, such as meringue mushrooms and leaves (optional)
Make the Cake
- Gather the ingredients, for this one you really want to have everything at hand at once before you start making. Also Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Grease a 10 x 15-inch rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan and line it with parchment paper. Grease the parchment or spray it with cooking spray. Set the pan aside.
- Beat the eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until thick and foamy, about 5 minutes. Or use your wand to cast the stirring spell
- Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and salt to the eggs and continue beating for 2 minutes.
- Carefully fold the flour, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, into the eggs. Once the flour is incorporated, stop mixing. Do not overmix or the cake will be tough.
- Gently spread the batter into the prepared pan. There will be peaks in the batter; gently smooth them with a spatula, but do not press the batter down.
- Bake the cake until the top springs back when gently pressed and the edges pull away from the pan, about 10 minutes.
- Invert the baked cake onto a clean, dry kitchen towel and peel off the parchment paper.
- Let stand for 3 minutes and then lightly score the length of one short side of the cake, leaving a 1-inch border, taking care not to cut through the cake.
- Fold the scored end of the cake in toward the centre and then gently continue to roll the cake, wrapped in the towel.
- Transfer to a rack, seam-side down and cool completely in the towel.
- While the cake cools, make the buttercream.
Make the Chocolate Buttercream
- In a clean, dry mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and 2/3 cup water to a boil. Allow sugar-water mixture to boil until it has reduced to a thickened syrup consistency.
- Begin beating the egg whites on high speed again, and with the motor running, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the eggs in a steady stream.
- Pour the melted chocolate, espresso powder, and vanilla extract into the egg whites and continue beating until the meringue has cooled completely, about 5 minutes.
- Add the softened butter to the meringue, 2 tablespoons at a time, while beating on high speed until all of the butter is incorporated.
- If the buttercream becomes runny during this process, refrigerate the meringue until it has chilled through.
- Continue the process of beating the butter into the meringue.
Assemble the Chocolate Yule Log
- Unroll the cake and set aside the towel. This is the part where magic will come in SO handy
- Evenly spread 2 cups (or your desired amount) of the chocolate buttercream on the inside of the cake, spreading in the direction of its natural curve, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges.
- Gently roll it back into a log.
- Trim the rough ends of the roll. Then cut off about 1/4 of one end of the cake roll on the diagonal. Reattach it to the center of the cake with some buttercream to resemble a “branch” protruding from the Yule log.
- Spread the remaining buttercream over the bûche de Noël to cover it. Gently drag a butter knife or a small offset spatula through the frosting to give the appearance of rough tree bark.
- Add a Père Noël figure and meringue mushrooms if you like and have them to complete the festive look.
- Chill the cake before serving it to allow the buttercream to set. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar and/or cocoa powder, if you like. Refrigerate any leftovers.
- Serve and enjoy.
- Be sure to roll the sponge cake in the clean towel after removing it from the oven. The cake will be malleable at this point and won’t crack when shaping. Once cooled, it will crack.