A Christmas Buche De Noel

Merry post Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a great holiday with delicious foods. I know I sure did. I’ll be feeling it at the gym later today. But alas, until then I will just sit here sipping on my coffee in peaceful bliss.

 To say this was the best Christmas ever, well, I’m not sure about that. It wasn’t bad, it was just filled with… illness. My brother and dad came down with horrible colds and fevers, making everyone else in the house turn into germaphobic clean freaks, washing our hands every two seconds.

Ok, maybe we weren’t that bad but it’s not fun being sick! If I can, I will try and avoid it at all costs. Aside from disease, the food was absolutely delicious if I do say so myself. Originally I had intended on making duck for Christmas, specifically duck confit, but upon actually buying the duck and the duck fat to cook it in I realized, duck is pretty expensive. I mean, yes I already knew this but it would probably run me about $40 for the duck and the fat all together. Yeah, I’m not sure about that….

So with a quick decision making on my part I bought what else but quail. For tiny delicious quail that were probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I know, this picture looks a little… creepy. I thought so too but hear me out! Quail is probably one of my all time favorite meals of all time. It’s so light and tender. It is perfect. I had th job of cooking the quail and I kind of worried, like a lot. What if I mess it up? I’m messing up CHRISTMAS dinner!

Thankfully, the food gods were watching me that day. Not only did I make the quail right, the Buche De Noel, My first attempt at this roll cake, actually came out good! It didn’t split in half, it didn’t all come apart. It was a success!

 So now that the stress of making Christmas dinner and dessert are over, I can relax and eat whatever remains.

Enjoy!

Buche De Noel

(Recipe adapted from Saveur)
For the Cake
2 tbsp. softened butter
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
7 egg whites
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. dark rum (I used whiskey)
 For the cake: Preheat oven to 375°. Line a 16 1/2″ × 12″ heavy baking pan with buttered parchment paper, cut large enough to hang over sides of the pan by about 1″. Put chocolate in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Bring cream just to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, then pour over chocolate and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool. Beat egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk on medium speed until frothy; increase speed to medium-high and gradually add sugar, beating constantly, then increase speed to high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, 30-40 seconds more. (Don’t overbeat.) Mix one-third of the whites into chocolate using a rubber spatula, then gently fold in remaining whites in two batches, taking care not to deflate batter. Spread in prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 10–12 minutes. Set aside to cool in the pan.
 
 
For the French Buttercream
 
4 oz. semisweet chocolate
6 tbsp. sugar
3 egg yolks
12 tbsp. unsalted butter
 
Melt chocolate with 2 tbsp. water in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water over medium heat. Stir to combine, then set aside to cool. Combine sugar and 3 tbsp. water in a small heavy saucepan; cover and bring to a boil over medium heat, swirling pan several times until sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute. Uncover and continue to boil until syrup reaches the softball stage or 236° on a candy thermometer, about 5 minutes more. Meanwhile, beat yolks in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk on high speed until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and gradually pour in hot syrup. Beat constantly until mixture cools to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Allow butter to soften, then beat into egg mixture 1 tbsp. at a time, waiting until it’s completely incorporated before adding more; continue beating until thick and smooth, about 5 minutes total. Stir in cooled chocolate and set aside.
For the Whipped Cream
 
2 cups heavy cream
6 tbls sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Whip 2 cups heavy cream in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks. Add in 6 tbls sugar gradually, and the vanilla. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Refridgerate until ready to use.
Assemble
 Transfer roulade with parchment to a clean work surface, sprinkle with rum, then spread filling evenly over top using a metal spatula. Grab the long edge of the parchment paper with two hands and gently roll roulade onto itself, pulling off paper as you roll.Using two long metal spatulas, carefully transfer bûche to a serving platter lined with strips of waxed paper. Frost with the whipped cream and serve now or later.

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