When I lived in Hershey, Pennsylvania, I decided to add to our Christmas food list, desserts that were from other countries. One of those desserts was the Buche de Noel. Also called a yule log, it is a sponge cake with a whipped cream filling that is frosted. It is a festive dessert to serve after a Christmas dinner. It is always a hit when brought to a Christmas parties.
Buche de Noel (Chocolate Yule Log)
Adapted from Christmas Recipes from the Lion House
For the cake roll:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
For the frosting:
1/3 cup cocoa
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons hot water
Candied cherries, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a jelly-roll pan (or a cookie sheet with sides) with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper.
For the cake roll: Beat eggs in mixer on high until thick and light yellow, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar. Mix in water and vanilla extract. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and add to the batter, mixing just until smooth. Pour into the parchment-lined pan and bake for 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and then turn onto a dish towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Remove the parchment paper and roll up the cake and towel from the short end; cool.
For the filling: Beat the cream together in a mixer until stiff. Add the sugar. Unroll the cake and spread the cream filling over the cake. Roll up and place seam-side down on a serving platter.
For the frosting: Mix together the cocoa, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Add hot water until smooth and of spreading consistency. Cover the roll with the frosting, making strokes to resemble bark. Refrigerate until ready to serve.