A couple of years ago the Boy had to do a project for school: Research the Christmas traditions of another country or region. The place he drew out of the hat? France.
We learned a lot, but one of the things he found most interesting was the Bûche de Noël, or Yule Log.
Part of it, I’m sure was that it was cake… something that’s kind of hard to come by in our real food/low sugar/half-way to gluten-free household. But another part — dare I hope the larger part? — is that our family celebrates Yule in addition to Christmas.
And what could possibly be more appropriate to a Yule gathering than a Yule Log? Especially if it is made of chocolate! 😉
There is nothing difficult or complicated about this recipe, but it is a little fiddly. And it takes a while. So, if you’re not very familiar with baking (ahem… like me) it can be a little daunting.
I hope this post helps you out.
5 eggs, separated (preferably from pastured hens)
1 cup organic cane sugar, divided (I used Natural Cane Sugar)
1/2 cup organic flour (I use this kind) , sifted
1/4 cup baking cocoa, also sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt (like this)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream (not ultra-pasteurized), preferably from grass-fed cows
1/2 cup organic confectioners’ sugar (like this)
1/3 cup butter, softened (preferably from grass-fed cows; I like Kerrygold)
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1 cup confectioners’ sugar (like this)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (like this)
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with parchment paper; grease the paper.
Measure out the flour and cocoa. Sift together into a small bowl. Incidentally, a colander — like this — makes a fabulous and easily washable sifter. Add the salt, and set aside.
Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat egg yolks on high until light and fluffy. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add the flour-cocoa-salt mixture to the egg yolk and mix until well blended. The mixture will be very thick.
Beat egg whites on medium until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Stir a fourth of the egg white mixture into chocolate mixture. Then fold in remaining egg whites until no streaks remain.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until cake springs back. Do not over bake.
Cool for 5 minutes; invert onto a linen towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Peel off parchment paper. Roll up in the towel, starting with a short side.
Cool on a wire rack.
To make the filling, beat cream in a large, chilled bowl until it begins to thicken. Add sugar.
Beat until stiff peaks form.
Unroll cooled cake; spread filling to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up again, carefully peeling the cake from the towel.
Place on serving platter; chill.
In a large bowl, beat frosting ingredients until smooth.
Frost cake. Make lines resembling tree bark.
Yield: 12 servings.
What did you think? Comments are always welcome!
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