Buche de Noel, or Yule Log Cake, is a classic Christmas dessert for a reason. I know you’ll love this chocolatey, rich, (gluten-free!) yet surprisingly light cake.
I make one of these beauties almost every year. A big, beautiful Buche de Noel decorated with meringue mushrooms and marzipan holly is the perfect centerpiece for your holiday table. First of all, it’s chocolate (duh, always a good thing) and, even better, it can be made well ahead of time.
Buche de Noel is rich, yet surprisingly light!
The base of my Buche de Noel is a flourless chocolate sponge-cake. Since the cake is flourless this also happens to be a gluten-free dessert. Both the sponge cake and the fluffy, whipped-cream filling are super light. You’ll find that a bite of this festive dessert almost melts in your mouth.
If you’ve never made a roll-cake before check out these detailed photos showing the process. Click on the right arrow to view the slider. You can also visit this post to see a video of how to roll the cake.
This is really not a difficult recipe, though it is a little bit of a project since you have to make the cake, filling, ganache and decorations. You could simplify the recipe by eliminating the mushrooms or using fondant to make the holly or even buying edible decorations at the craft store. But this is the baking season. So why not get in the kitchen, have fun, and wow your friends and family with this spectacular cake!
Flourless Chocolate Roulade
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (4oz, 115g) granulated sugar
- 8 large eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 5 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
- 5 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
- 1 1/2 cups (12oz, 350ml) heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- 1/2 cup (2oz, 60g) confectioner's sugar
Make the chocolate roulade
- Whisk the egg yolks with 1/4 cup of the sugar and the cocoa until light and fluffy.
- Add the melted chocolate and whisk until combined
- In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites to soft peak
- Slowly whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of sugar and whip to full peak
- Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread to an even layer
- Bake about 12-15 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center
- As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, cover with a damp kitchen towel and set aside to cool.
Make the chocolate cream
- Whip the cream with the confectioner's sugar and rum to soft peak
- Add a big scoop of the cream to the melted chocolate and immediately whisk to combine
- Whisk the chocolate back into the cream
- Set aside about 1 cup of the chocolate cream
- Use the parchment paper to slide the cake from the pan onto your work surface
- Spread the remaining cream onto the roulade
- Use the parchment paper to roll the cake from the long side
- Flip the roulade, seam side down, onto a tray
- Ice with the reserved chocolate cream and set it into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour until the cream is set (see note)
- Cut an angled 2" piece from each end of the log
- Attach the cut pieces to either side of the log to resemble branches.
- Ice the roulade with the ganache and use a fork or icing comb to make a bark design
- Decorate with holly leaves and berries
- Just before serving add the meringue mushrooms and sprinkle the cake with confectioner's sugar to look like snow.
At this point the cake can be wrapped and refrigerated for several days before finishing or frozen for several weeks.
The cake can be refrigerated until 1/2 hour before serving. Do not place the meringue mushrooms on the cake while it's refrigerated.
You might also like: