Chocolate Buche de Noel


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Christmas would not be Christmas without a buche de Noel or Yule Log. Usually I make the Buche de Noel for Christmas day. And I always, always make the one my mom used to make. It brings so many memories…And I posted the recipe last year. Check it out.

Well on Christmas eve, we always go to my in-laws for the “Reveillon”. My mother -in-law prepares the tradition German “Pasteten” and the rest of the family brings various dishes to help her out. It can be sides, appetizers, and desserts… So guess what I am in charge for?? desserts of course.

Every year i always bring a “lighter dessert” to serve for the evening. It is never a cake, because by the time desserts come, it is always very late and we are already full. In the past I brought various  ice-cream and sorbets that i made. This year I brought a frozen desserts out of mango and raspberry sorbet, and a buche de noel. I know.. not that light, but this buche de Noel was made out of chocolate and seemed to be a lighter version of the original recipe. so this is what I served and this is also the one I will share with you today. It is so so easy, and everybody loved it.

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Ingredients for 1 buche de Noel for 6-8 people:

For the Cake:

  • 6 eggs separated
  • 150 gr. of sugar
  • 50 gr. of cocoa powder

For the “chocolate frosting:

  • 250 gr. of chocolate chips ( I used bittersweet Ghiradhelli chocolate chips)
  • 200 gr. of butter
  • 50 gr. of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of milk
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

For the Filling:

  • 300 ml. of heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp of granulated sugar

Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and add the sugar. Whip well so as so get a fluffy whitish mixture.

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Add the cocoa and mix well. Set aside. In a kitchen mixer, whip the egg whites into a meringue with soft peaks. Then carefully with a spatula, mix the “meringue” into the chocolate mixture.

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Pour this mixture into a flexipan and cook in a warm oven at 350 for 12 minutes.

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When the cake is cooked, let it cool for a few minutes before rolling it into itself while still warm. You will need to do this while it is warm, or the cake will break if you do not. 

While the cake is cooling. Prepare the chocolate frosting. In a microwave bowl, place the chocolate chips, and the butter and microwave for 2 minutes or until the butter and the chocolate have melted. With a small whisk, mix well so that the mixture becomes homogeneous. Add the brown sugar and microwave for another 1 minute. Let it cool. When it is lukewarm, place this mixture into the fridge or even freezer to cool it ever more.

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In a mixer, add the heavy cream and the sugar and beat until the cream becomes a whipped cream with hard peaks.

To prepare the buche de noel, unroll the cake. Spread some of the chocolate frosting on the cake. Then place the cake into the fridge for the frosting to harden. When the frosting is hard, spread the whipped cream all over the chocolate frosting. Carefully roll the cake onto itself.

With the rest of the frosting, “frost” the outside of the log. Then with a fork, make marks on the cake make it look like wood grain. Decorate as you like.

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I decorated my cake with chocolate leaves, red chocolate covered hazelnuts  to make them look like holly fruit.  I also molded mushrooms out of marzipan paste. When you are finished decorating, place the cake in the fridge to keep it cool. But take it 0ut of the fridge for 30 minutes before eating it.

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Creme de Marrons or Chestnut Cream


photoWhen I was a child, and it rained over night, we would go to the nearest forest and search for “cepes”. Cepes are big mushrooms similar to portobello that seem to pop up after a good rain. I remember never being very good at finding them, because they would often hide under the leaves.  So often while my parents searched for them, I , on the other hand would search for other things. And I would pick chesnuts. Chestnuts… Yumm.

We would roast them in the open fire at home in our living room using those huge pan with holes on them, or mom would boil them. Sometimes, mom would also serve them as a side for dinner. I really love, love chestnuts. And I am always very excited to find them in the store, though often they are of poor quality or have worms inside most of them.

Last week, as I was picking up some groceries at Costco ( yeah again..), I found a bag of chestnut and just picked it up just to see what they would taste like.

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I don’t know really what i was expecting…but they are not good to snack on. They are good to cook with though. A good friend of mine had just mentioned that his favorite was chestnut puree so I decided to make that with them. I had never ever made chestnut puree or creme de marron so after browsing the internet, I decided to follow the recipe found the recipe on Marmiton.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 bag of chestnut or about 567 gr.
  • 450 gr of sugar or about 1  3/4 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of unsweetened real vanilla extract

Place the chestnuts in a large bowl and set aside.

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Place the sugar in a large saucepan with the water and cook. When the sugar is completely dissolved, take about 1/4 cup of the sugar mixture and empty it over the chestnuts.With an emulsion mixer, puree the chestnuts. Set aside.

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Continue cooking the sugar mixture and cook until the mixture starts boiling and the “bubbles” are big and almost look like soap bubbles. Remove the pan from the stove, pour the chestnut puree in it, add the vanilla extract and stir well. Place the pot back onto the stove and cook on low temperature for 15 minutes or until the mixture is very thick (and will not fall off a spoon if you were to place it upside down) . Be careful to stir often. When it is ready, remove the pot from the oven and let it cool.

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Chestnut puree is wonderful to eat as a spread on toast, as a filling in cakes, or by itself alone or with a bit of creme fraiche.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!