Southern Season

Buche de Noel

bouche de noel_2


Sponge Cake
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoons sweet butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup (2⅔ ounces) sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup sugar
3 large eggs
3 egg yolks
1 recipe chocolate buttercream, recipe follows
1 recipe ganache, recipe follows

Chocolate Buttercream
2 ½ sticks butter, softened
½ lb confectioner’s sugar (scant 2 cups)
2.5 oz semi sweet chocolate, melted
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Chocolate Ganache
½ cup cream
12 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped


Sponge Cake
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Butter bottom and sides of a 13 x 18 inch sheet pan with 1 inch sides. Place a piece of parchment in pan and butter the parchment paper as well. Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan. Sift flour and baking powder. In the bowl of the standing mixer or large heat resistant stainless bowl combine the sugar, eggs and yolks. Heat bowl over a pan of simmering water whisking constantly until mixture is warm, but not hot to the touch.
3. Place bowl on mixer stand or beat with a hand mixer until it is light and fluffy and triples in size. Sift in ½ of the flour mixture and fold in gently with a large spatula. Sift in remaining flour and fold in the same way. Add warm milk and butter and stir to incorporate. Pour into prepared pan and bake 10 – 12 minutes until golden and cooked through. Immediately turn out on a rack and remove the parchment. Take a new piece of parchment and roll the cake with the parchment keeping it from sticking to itself while the cake is still warm. This will make it easier to roll with the filling.
4. Cool to room temperature and wrap with plastic wrap when it’s cool.
5. When ready to make the buche de noel. Unwrap the cake with the parchment on the bottom. Spread the chocolate butter cream all over the cake. Reroll the cake with the buttercream and transfer to a rack on top of a sheet pan. Ice the cake with the chocolate ganache and decorate with chocolate shaving, meringue mushrooms or whatever candies you want to use. You can also take a fork or knife and make the ganache look like bark. Refrigerate at least two hours until ready to serve.

Chocolate Buttercream
1. Beat butter and confectioner’s sugar on high until light and fluffy.
2. Add chocolate, vanilla and salt and beat until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Chocolate Ganache
1. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until bubbly completely around the sides. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir briefly to ensure all chocolate is covered. Let sit about 3 – 4 minutes and then stir until all chocolate is melted and surface is shiny.