Guest Post: Bûche de Noël by Luca Marchiori

I’ve got another one of my Guest Posts from a fellow food blogger, Luca Marchiori for the 2nd post in my Bumper December. I met Luca on Twitter, as seems to be the case all too often these days, and when he started tweeting these amazing bakes I discovered his blog. Then I had the idea for these Guest Posts and we started talking and soon we traded a post each tackling something French, since Luca lives in France. Luca will be tackling a Bûche de Noël on my blog meanwhile I’ve created a Sabayon Cake over on Luca’s blog.

Luca Blog

You can find Luca’s blog here:

You can follow Luca on Twitter: @chuechebueb

Known in the UK as the Yule Log, the Bûche de Noël is one of the two archetypal French cakes for the festive season and no French reveillon or Christmas dinner would be complete without one. Originally designed to look like logs, the chic boutiques of Paris now sport them in all shapes, sizes and colours. Not being a chocolate fan, I developed the following recipe to reflect this, and oh la vache, it tasted good.

Any sweet white wine such as Tokaji Àszu, a Sauternes, or a sweet sherry, can be used to replace the Muscadet. Strawberries, redcurrants, or even cranberries soaked in sugar syrup, would all provide alternative fruit.

LM Buche de Noel

Biscuit Joconde:

30g butter

20g flour

75g icing sugar

75g ground almonds

2 whole eggs

2 egg whites

Pinch of salt

12g caster sugar

Crème Patissière:

½ vanilla pod

250ml milk

3 egg yolks

50g caster sugar

20g flour

20g butter

To Finish:

Muscat de Rivesaltes – a sweet French wine

125g fresh raspberries

500ml double cream

½ tsp red powder food colouring

120g white cooking chocolate

Icing sugar, to decorate

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease and line a lipped baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Melt the butter and then let it cool.
  3. Sift the flour, icing sugar and ground almonds into a bowl. Add the whole eggs and beat until you have a light creamy mixture.
  4. Place the egg whites in a bowl with the salt and caster sugar. Whisk until they form stiff peaks.
  5. Fold the egg whites into the other mixture, being really careful to keep as much air as possible. This is what will give the biscuitits light character. When they are combined, add the melted butter and continue folding until it is incorporated.
  6. Place the mixture into the baking tray and spread with a spatula until is it even; bake for 8‑10 minutes. Let it cool, remove the paper and the biscuitis ready to use.
  7. For the crème pâtissière, place the vanilla pod and milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil; remove from the heat and leave the pod to infuse for about 10 minutes. Then remove the pod and discard
  8. Beat the egg yolks together with the caster sugar in a mixing bowl; then sift the flour into the bowl and mix until smooth.
  9. Pour the milk into the mixing bowl and combine with a whisk; then put the entire mixture into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring all the time with the whisk; simmer, still stirring, for one minute.
  10. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the butter; stir until combined. Cover the mixture with cling film which should touch the surface of the cream to stop a skin forming and leave to cool completely.
  11. Spread the crème pâtissièreevenly over the biscuit. Place a row of raspberries along one of the short edges of the biscuit and then roll it up with the raspberries in the middle. Place it on a serving plate and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
  12. Add the food colouring to the cream until you have achieved the desired color. Break the white chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Boil the heavy cream and then pour over the white chocolate and leave for 10 minutes. Stir the cream until the chocolate has been dissolved completely. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
  13. Using a stand mixer, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Then using a piping bag and a star nozzle, pipe long stripes of cream to cover the cake. Place three rows of raspberries on the top and sprinkle with icing sugar. Voilà!

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