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.

dessert Christmas Recipe Ed's Pick New York City

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

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