Christmas is coming…Buche de Noel

I’ll be taking a break from the less interesting food industry investigations. The festive season is upon us, so it seems fitting to write about the tastier side of things. Today we will look at the Buche de Noel or Yule log if you prefer. I’ll provide the base recipes for the cake, and suggest a few fairly easy garnishes to give it that traditional look. These are almost like a family project, a centerpiece to your dessert table presentation.

The cake emerged in the 19th century, probably in France, before spreading to other countries. It is traditionally made from a genoise, generally baked in a large, shallow Swiss roll pan, iced, rolled to form a cylinder, and iced again on the outside. The most common combination is basic yellow sponge cake and chocolate buttercream, though many variations that include chocolate cake, ganache, and icings flavored with espresso or liqueurs exist.

Yule logs are often served with one end cut off and set atop the cake, or protruding from its side to resemble a chopped off branch. A bark-like texture is often produced by dragging a fork through the icing, and powdered sugar sprinkled to resemble snow. Other cake decorations may include actual tree branches, fresh berries, and mushrooms made of meringue or marzipan. Below I have provided three recipes in mastercook format, these are the three base recipes, everything else is decor, including the meringue.


I’m nor going to say that these are easy to make, or they likely wouldn’t cost so much to buy, at least a good quality one. Expect to pay up to $80 for one small cake to feed 8-10people. They are fun to make, but not so easy! Some of the garnishes aside from meringue mushrooms, above are the most complicated part. Typically I use chocolate decorations, candy, marzipan figurines, etc. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect, just delicious! Enjoy, and have a great hump day! 38 more sleeps until Christmas!

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