Yule Log. Bûche de Noël. What more is there to say....other than MAKE IT. It is one of those recipes that looks complicated and so people are all "Wowzas, you made a Yule Log, you must be some sort of baking fiend"....and you can be all "well yes, ahem, *humble smile*, I do bake a lot", but on the inside you'll be like "Yule Log is easy fool"....but only on the inside.
If you are of the 'cake doesn't really count without inches and inches of icing'-school, it is the peeeerfect cake for you. It's basically not much cake held together and prettied up with SHED-LOADS of icing. Helllooooo it's Christmas, eating butter by the spoonful is practically mandatory.
And if you like brownies (hi, er, everyone), you will lovelovelove this. The sponge is all light and airy but then sinks as it cools so ends up being dense and fudgy. Dense and fudgy people...LIKE BROWNIES.
So I hope I've made myself clear...you can make this cake, you should make this cake, you will LOVE this cake, and those that come a visitin' with loads of presents for you to put under your tree (yeah?) will provide you with enough ooohs and aaaahs to give your soul a glow long enough to stave off the January blues. Now gooooo...bake. With Love and Cake.
Bûche de Noël.
From Nigella Christmas
A few notes:
- This recipe requires a fair amount of egg beating, so unless you want a major upper-body work out, use an electric hand whisk or free standing mixer.
- I made the icing in my food processor, as Nigella does. If you don't have one, simply sieve the icing sugar into a bowl, and instead of the 'whizzing' that is required, you'll need to beat with an electric hand whisk or plain old wooden spoon.
Makes 1 yule log
You will need
1 x swiss roll tin, they are usually 13x9 inches, lined with plenty of greaseproof
For the cake
6 eggs separated
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
icing sugar to dust
For the icing
175g dark chocolate
200g icing sugar
225g butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 180°c.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until just starting to stiffen.
- Whisk in 50g of the caster sugar and continue to whisk the whites until they form stiff peaks but don't look too dry.
- In another, nice and large, bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the rest of the caster sugar until thick and pale.
- Add the vanilla and whisk a bit more.
- Sieve in the cocoa and fold in gently until well combined.
- Briskly stir a tablespoon of the egg whites into the yolks to combine well.
- Then, in 3 batches, gently fold in the rest of the whites.
- Pour the moussy batter into the lined Swiss roll tin and bake for 20 minutes until puffed up and set.
- Let cool in the tin for a while; it will sink a bit but that's fine.
- Prepare a sheet of greaseproof paper on your work surface by sprinkling it with plenty of icing sugar.
- Turn out the sheet of sponge onto the dusted paper.
- Now to make the icing...melt the chocolate gently, either in a microwave or over a pan of hot water.
- In a food processor, pulse the icing sugar to remove any lumps.
- Add the butter to the processor and whizz until smooth and well combined.
- Add the cooled melted chocolate and vanilla extract and whizz again until you have a smooth and shiny paste.
- Now to assemble. Spread a few tablespoons of the icing over the flat sponge; be liberal, you have a made a LOT of icing.
- Using the greaseproof paper on which the sponge sits, roll the sponge into a Swiss roll; you will need to pick up the long side of the greaseproof paper close to you and use it to press the sponge into a spiral.
- When you have a fairly tight roll, cut off one of the ends at an angle; this will make one of the twigs coming of the main log.
- Transfer the main log onto your serving dish and sit the 'cut off end' somewhere along one of the sides as I have in the pictures.
- Cover the whole thing with icing, filling in cracks and covering the exposed ends.
- Clean any messy bits you've made on the serving dish with a piece of kitchen roll.
- Make the woody effects by dragging something like a cocktail stick or little knife along the length of the log, and make swirls on any ends.
- Sprinkle with lots and lots of snow (icing sugar) and make whichever cutesysute scene you fancy.