12 Days of Christmas Baking Day 10: Bûche de Noël

Photo: K.Henriques

This recipe was actually on the schedule for earlier in this challenge but I knew this was a beast of a project and honestly after some of the bread recipes I needed a break so I just kept pushing it back. But here it is… the day has arrived.

I started this process yesterday by making the meringue mushrooms so they can be assembled and completely cooled. I only halved the recipe even though I knew I wouldn’t need that many, but we went ahead and made the base for a Pavlova (of sorts) since we had extra meringue.

Just a note on Joe Pastry’s instructions: there are links to all of the various components on the main Bûche de Noël link below, however we aware there is a separate link for assembling. Because this was my first time trying this is was a little frustrating to have to go back and forth between so many different links and somehow I missed that I was also supposed to make the ganache yesterday.

The cake wasn’t super difficult to put together but mine came out very thin on one side so I’m not sure if I didn’t whip the sugar and eggs enough or what happened. It tasted okay so we decided to just go with it rather than try the cake again. Do read through all of the instructions first because while the cake is still hot you do need to roll it up so it doesn’t crack. Once the cake was rolled and it was cooling I started making the buttercream. I didn’t feel like pulling all our pans out again to do the swiss buttercream this recipe recommends so I just whipped up a quick coffee buttercream that I’d use for cupcakes. I unrolled the cake and spread the buttercream out and then rolled it back up. Thanks to the trick of rolling it up while hot it unrolled and rolled back up nicely. Then I cut a little section off for a side trunk and then used the coffee buttercream for the edges of the log using a star tip.

From there I made a chocolate buttercream since I was supposed to do the ganache yesterday and spread it onto the log in a bark-like fashion. I dusted the meringue mushrooms in cocoa after assembling those and then added them to the cake where I felt like it fit.

All in all it was as difficult as I thought initially, especially if you spread out the components. I felt like had I given myself a little more time I might have made it look a little prettier but for a first time I felt like this was a solid attempt and something I’d do again.

Baking Ease7
Time Spent8
Taste9
Visual9

Recipe Used: Joe Pastry

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