Thursday, December 27, 2007

Yule log or Buche de Noel

The Yule log or Buche de Noel is part of the traditional Christmas dessert, especially in North Europe. It's not certain when and who created this cake for the first time. But, based on the ignredients used, for sure is around the 1850's.

One popular story behind the creation of this dessert is that Napoleon I of France issued a proclamation requiring households in Paris to keep their chimneys closed during the winter. So some French bakers invented this dessert as a symbolic replacement around which the family could gather for story-telling and other holiday merriment.

Traditionally this dessert is made of spongencake and chocolate buttercream, but since then, so many variations came up. My recipe calls for a luxurious cheesecake filling! The only thing: I've bought it already done!!!! Yeah, I know it's not 100% homemade, but  after I saw this filling in a supermarket, I've decided to try it and see how it would have work into a yule log (it worked really well!!!!). But, my New Year's resolution will be to try to replicate that by scratch!!!!

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Spongecake:

6 eggs, separated

¼ + ½ cup sugar

⅓ cup dark cocoa powder

3 tablespoons flour

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:

24 oz no-bake cheesecake filling

sour cherry in light syrup  as needed

Topping:

10 oz heavy cream whipped with powdered sugar to taste and 3-4 tablespoon of dark cocoa powder

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 15x10-inch jelly roll pan. Line with parchment paper. Sift together flour and cocoa. Beat together sugar and egg yolks at high speed until light and fluffy. At low speed, alternately beat milk and flour mixture into egg mixture. Using clean beaters, beat egg whites at high speed until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. Fold one third of beaten whites into batter. Fold in remaining whites. Spread batter in prepared pan; smooth top. Bake cake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) until set, 15 minutes. Dust a clean cloth with confectioners' sugar. Turn cake out onto prepared cloth. Remove paper. Starting with a long side, roll up cake, jelly-roll style. Transfer, seam-side down, to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Unroll cake; remove cloth. Spread filling over cake. Re-roll cake. Place, seam-side down, on serving plate.

Assembly: Cut the two side on bias and attach the on the side of the yule log. Then spread the topping all around the yule log. With a fork make some line all over. Decorate (optional) with mushrooms meringues.

Mushroom meringues:

2 large egg whites, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup sugar

 

Preheat oven at 200 F. Beat the egg whites until foamy.Add the cream of tartar and beat at medium speed until soft peaks form.  Continue beating (increasing speed to high), gradually adding the sugar, until the whites are very stiff and glossy. Pipe the meringue into round (to make to the head of a mushroom) and into a cone-shape (to make the bottom part) on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. 

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