Dining In 1 minute 22 December 2022

Recipe: Bûche de Noël from Balthazar

A bûche de Noël, aka a Yule log, is a Christmastime tradition. It's most common in France, Belgium, and Switzerland, but its popularity has spread worldwide.

From New York mainstay Balthazar comes this recipe for a bûche de Noël. It's no easy feat but is a fun project, for baking aficionados. The log itself needs to be refrigerated overnight, so tackle this recipe over two days.

Chocolate sponge
  • 100g egg yolks
  • 200g whole eggs
  • 162g sugar (#1)
  • 130g egg whites
  • 65g sugar (#2)
  • 50g pastry flour
  • 50g cocoa powder


  • Sift together the pastry flour and cocoa powder and reserve.
  • Whip the egg yolks, whole eggs, and sugar #1 to the ribbon stage.
  • Whip the egg whites and sugar #2 to medium-soft peaks.
  • Add the meringue to the while egg and yolk foam in three stages. Then fold in the sifted dry ingredients.
  • Portion on to sprayed and papered sheet tray.
  • Bake at 400°F (200°C), low fan, for 7 to 9 minutes.
  • 400g mascarpone
  • 400g chestnut paste
  • 300g heavy cream


  • Mix mascarpone and chestnut paste together.
  • Lighten by folding in whipped heavy cream.
  • 200g Manjar chocolate
  • 200g heavy cream
  • 50g butter


  • Bring cream to a boil and stir in chocolate and butter.
Simple syrup mixture
  • 100g simple syrup
  • 20g espresso
  • 20g brandy
  • Candied chestnut pieces

Putting the bûche de Noël together — pt. 1

  • Release baked sponge cake from tray. Remove the baking paper, then return to the tray, keeping the loose baking paper underneath.
  • Soak with simple syrup mixture.
  • Evenly spread filling and stud with broken pieces of candied chestnuts.
  • Starting at the top, roll the cake as tightly as possible.
  • Refrigerate the roulade (rolled cake)overnight.

Putting the bûche de Noël together — pt. 2

  • Make ganache. Coat the roulade with molten chocolate on a wire tray.
  • Cut a small slice off both ends. These will be the tree limbs to be placed on top.
  • Temper the Manjar chocolate.
  • Spread a thin layer of chocolate onto parchment paper no more than 2 inches (5cm) wide.
  • Apply immediately to roulade randomly – do not overlap.
  • Freeze or refrigerate overnight until the chocolate is set

Putting the bûche de Noël together — pt. 3

  • Remove paper and apply more chocolate covered parchment – freeze or refrigerate
  • Repeat process until roulade resembles a log.
  • Decorate with marzipan  holly leaves and royal icing berries.

Hero image: Balthazar's bûche de Noël. Photo courtesy of Balthazar

Keep Exploring - Stories we think you will enjoy reading