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Buche De Noel: Yule Log Cake Baking at Terranea

Written By Alexandria Rosas, Pastry Cook

Traditions are very important here at Terranea Resort, and during the holidays there are plenty for us to celebrate. From our custom, ever-changing annual gingerbread house to sugar cookie decorating, the bakeshop is an exciting place to be during the holidays. Many traditions circle around food, and what better way to be put in a great mood is to treat yourself to something sweet.

A coveted holiday traditional dessert is the legendary Buche de Noel, most commonly known as the Yule log. The history dates back to before the medieval times and is one of the oldest cake traditions that is still being celebrated. The cake itself symbolizes the giant logs people would gather and burn during the winter solstice. The logs were decorated festively; once burned the ashes were saved and said to hold medicinal benefits. Having a yule log on your holiday dinner table is a good way to usher in good luck into the New Year, which is a reason why the cake is so popular today.

Being a cake decorator during the holidays, this cake brings in a personal tradition. During the early days of my career, I started an internship at a cake shop in mid-November. I was completely new to cake decorating and could barely hold a rolling pin. As soon as December hit, we received an overwhelming amount of orders for this beloved cake. It was my responsibility to bake and roll over 100 orders, I didn’t even know where to start. A traditional Yule log is a chocolate sponge cake filling with creamy vanilla frosting, rolled into a log and finished with chocolate texturized frosting to look like a log.  As I began to fill and roll, some came out fat, some skinny, some broken and some lopsided. Just as my employer at the time was about to give up on me, about a quarter way through I had gotten the hang of it and began to roll these cakes like a pro. It took a little practice, but eventually became one of my personal specialties and is highly requested every year. See my step by step photo guide below for tips!

Chocolate Yule Log Recipe

Chocolate Sponge:

9.5 oz. Yolks

25 oz. Whole Eggs

25 oz. Granulated Sugar

1 oz. Honey

3 oz. Sugar

15 oz. Eggs Whites

16 oz. All Purpose flour, sifted

8 oz. Cocoa Powder

Whip yolks, eggs, honey and 25 oz. of sugar to ribbon stage. Separately, whip egg whites and 3 oz sugar to stiff peaks, fold into yolk mixture. Fold in all-purpose flour and combine thoroughly. Pour 2 quarts of batter into a half sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes. Makes 4 sheets.

Chocolate Frosting:

1 pound unsalted butter, softened

12 tablespoons cocoa powder

6 cups powder sugar

1 cup whipping cream

1 tsp. vanilla

Beat butter, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar till light and fluffy. Add whipping cream and vanilla and beat for another minute, or until creamy.

Creamy Peppermint Filling:

1 quart Heavy Whipping Cream

1 tsp Peppermint Extract

½ Cup Powdered Sugar

In a chilled bowl of a stand up mixer, whip the cream, peppermint extract and powdered sugar till just stiff peaks form and store in refrigerator till ready to use.

Step-By-Step Assembly:

Separate sheet of sponge from the sheet pan and invert cake into clean work surface. Spread peppermint filling onto sponge cake leaving an inch border along the sides.

Gently pull one side of the cake up and roll over into a tight log shape.

Fill a piping bag fitted with a medium star tip with the chocolate frosting and pipe long strides of icing onto the log until fully covered.

Dust with powdered sugar and top with chocolate shavings, if desired.




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