Throughout France, the stunningly decorated Bûche de Noël graces the holiday table every year. As a child, Le Diplomate’s Parisian-born pastry chef, Fabrice Bendano recalls the holiday confection being one of his favorite Christmas time traditions, and he is excited to honor it with the release of his 2018 Bûche de Noël varieties at the DC-based Brasserie by Starr Restaurants. Though the first versions of the “yule log’ were made with a rolled cake, the Michelin-star pastry chef utilizes a more modern technique, presenting a molded cake with layers of mousse, fruits, and sponge cake to create a stunning variety of texture and flavor. And you can make your own at home. You first make the sponge cake and the fillings. Then assemble.

CHOCOLATE BUCHE DE NOEL

  • BISCUIT ROULADE

450g Sugar

9 Eggs

9 Yolks

150 g. Flour, sifted

75g Cocoa powder

9 Egg whites, whipped

Whip eggs, yolks and half sugar. Whip egg whites with sugar remaining to soft peak then add it eggs mix. Incorporate gently with a spatula the flour. On a sheet pan with parchment paper scale 800g and bake at 375F. after removing from the oven flip it on top a parchment paper a softly peel the paper from the sponge.

  • BUTTERCREAM

1 cup Egg whites

1 cup Water

1.3lb. Sugar

3lbs Butter, room temperature

1 tsp. Vanilla

METHOD:

Cook sugar with water to 248°F (soft ball) and make Italian meringue with egg whites. Gradually beat in softened butter, shortening and vanilla

  • GANACHE

2.2 lb Chocolate

1.1 qts Heavy cream

1oz Butter

METHOD:

Bring cream to a boil. Pour over chocolate and stir until smooth. Stir in butter.

ASSEMBLY

  • Spread chocolate buttercream on to sheet spongecake.
  • Roll the chocolate spongecake into the shape of a log, cutting the ends to the preferred length. Let set and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Spread the remaining chocolate buttercream onto the cake, using the back of your fork to give the ridges resembling bark.
  • Top with nuts, candies, chocolate pieces, and if available gold leaf to give it some shine.
Chocolate Buche de Noel
closeup of a yule log cake, traditional of christmas time, in a golden tray on a rustic wooden table
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