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.
- 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