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christmas 2011

The French Buche de Noel or Yule log needs no introduction. This one is easily put together with simple steps that can be made in advance and includes a lighter chocolate cream compared to the often richer buttercream and mousse varieties.

When making the meringue mushrooms don't worry if they seem a little funky to begin with, once glued together and placed within the log they will look right at home - remember not all fungi are created equal and neither should yours.

  • Sponge Roll
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ vanilla bean, scraped
  • 110 grams of castor sugar
  • 75 grams of plain flour
  • ¼ cup of raspberry jam
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (392°F)
  2. Grease and line a swiss roll tin with cooking paper.
  3. Whisk the eggs, vanilla and sugar with an electric mixer or beater on high until the mixture resembles a thick stable foam, and the mark from a spoon dragged through the mixture doesn't disappear.
  4. Sift in the flour and very gently fold in with a large metal spoon.
  5. Gently pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth out to the corners with a pallet knife.
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Check the sponge is cooked by carefully running your hand over the top.
  7. It is cooked if your hand leaves a slight mark, which disappears quickly and springs back.
  8. Turn out immediately onto a cake rack covered with a clean dry tea towel.
  9. Peel off the cooking paper and roll with the aid of the tea towel. Rolling now while it is still hot lessens the risk of it cracking. Unroll again and allow to cool.
  10. Spread the sponge lightly with raspberry jam and roll into a tight spiral, starting from the longer side.
  11. Slice one third of the log on the diagonal and place both pieces to resemble a forked log on a serving plate.
  • Chocolate Cream
  • 400 ml of whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon of caster sugar
  1. In a large bowl whip the cream to soft peaks.
  2. Add the sifted cocoa and caster sugar and whip again until well combined.
  3. Ice / frost the sponge roll log with this chocolate cream and secure pieces of chocolate bark to cover. Grate the extra chocolate coarsely and generously over the log.
  4. Garnish with the meringue mushrooms, pine needles and icing sugar for snow as desired.
  • Chocolate Bark
  • 250 grams of dark bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 100 grams of extra dark bittersweet chocolate, grated, optional
  1. Spread the melted chocolate evenly onto 2 sheets of parchment paper with a palate knife.
  2. Layer a 2nd piece of parchment onto each coated sheet to "sandwich" the chocolate.
  3. Smooth out any air bubbles with a ruler.
  4. Roll up the sandwiched papers and place them in to the freezer for several hours.
  5. Unroll the hardened sandwiches and the chocolate will magically break into shards of bark.
  • Meringue Mushrooms
  • 3 large (110 grams) of egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup (200 grams) of caster / superfine sugar
  • chocolate, melted for "glue"
  1. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper
  2. Preheat your oven to 100°C (212°F)
  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer whisk the egg whites until foamy, add the cream of tartar and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  4. Increase the speed and gradually add the castor sugar until dissolved, continue beating until the meringue is very stiff and glossy.
  5. Place the meringue into a large piping bag with a small ½cm plain tip.
  6. Pipe small mushroom cap like rounds approximately 2cm in diameter onto one tray.
  7. On the second tray pipe the mushroom stems, holding the pastry bag upright and close to the paper pipe, the base of the stem building the height with even pressure to about 2cm.
  8. Bake the meringue caps and stems for approximately 1 hour until completely hard and they can be lifted off the paper without sticking.
  9. Rotate the baking trays after 30 minutes to ensure even baking.
  10. Cool the meringue caps and stems for 1 hour before glueing them together with a little melted chocolate.

Christmas 2011 Table of Contents Bron's Thoughts for Christmas 2011 Australia BBQ Chili Mango Prawns Brazil Pudim de Leite Condensado Canada Chocolate Pecan Butter Tartlets
France Buche de Noel Greece Kourabiedes Scented Almond Shortbread Germany Gluhwein India Cream Cheese and Cumin Murukku Italy Panforte Japan Christmas Rudolph Bento
New Zealand Ice Cream Christmas Puddings England Christmas Ham Sweden Rice Pudding Until Next Time
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