Bche de Nol

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Yield: 1 cake

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This vanilla twist on the holiday classic Yule Log cake is inspired by bonfires used to celebrate the Winter solstice. A light sponge cake filled with whipped chocolate ganache becomes a pretty log when decorated with white chocolate and dusted with cocoa. A delicious way to welcome the season.

Bche de Nol

star rating (12) rate this recipe
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 cake
Published: 12/21/2009

Ingredients

Chiffon cake

  • 7 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup milk (2%, whole or fat free half and half)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon hazelnut extra strong flavor (optional but very good)
  • simple syrup or hazelnut syrup or hazelnut liquor for brushing cake

Chocolate Ganache filling

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 1/8 teaspoon hazelnut extra strong flavoring

Tips from our bakers

  • To sugar cranberries and leaves for decoration, dip the fruit in lightly beaten egg white. Wipe off any extra white and roll the fruit in granulated sugar. Set aside on parchment to dry. Use the same techinque on edible leaves (bay leaves were used in the photo) to add sparkle to your plate.
  • For a chocolate buche, sift 1/2 cup dutch-processed cocoa in with the other dry ingredients. Proceed as directed.

Directions

see this recipe's blog

1) Preheat oven to 325F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and spritz with cooking spray. Set pan aside. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Add 1/2 cup of sugar gradually, continue beating the whites until stiff peaks form. Set whites aside.

2) In a small bowl whisk together the dry ingredients, including the remaining one cup of sugar. Set aside.

3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the egg yolks, oil, milk, vanilla and hazelnut flavoring until well blended. Mix on medium speed until lightened and pale lemon colored. Add the dry ingredients and continue to mix, about 1 minute until well incorporated.

4) Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a large spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter, 1/3 at a time. Use gentle motions to preserve the air in the whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown on top and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan slightly.

5) While the cake is baking, prepare the ganache filling: Heat the cream until just simmering. Add the chopped chocolate and remove from the heat. Stir gently until the chocolate melts completely. Remove from the pan and place in a large bowl to cool. You may refrigerate or freeze the ganache to speed the cooling. Once the ganache is cooled to pudding consistency, whip with a whisk or hand mixer until fluffy and frosting like.

6) Remove the cake from the pan by lifting the parchment paper. Place cake side up on the counter and trim off the edges of the cake to make rolling easier. Turn the cake over and peel off the parchment paper.

7) Brush the cake with the simple syrup; let it sit for 5 minutes so the syrup can soak in.

8) Using a large, clean kitchen towel well dusted with confectioners' sugar, roll the cake up as though the towel were the filling. Cool the cake rolled up for 20-30 minutes. Unroll the towel and remove it. Spread with the prepared ganache filling and re-roll. Place in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes. The roll can be frozen at this point for up to 3 months.

9) To decorate the cake, melt 8 ounces of white chocolate very slowly over low heat in a double boiler. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and spread a thin layer of chocolate over the entire surface. Return to the fridge to set up, 10-15 minutes. Add a second layer of white chocolate to the cake, spreading the chocolate to resemble tree bark. A fork may be used to add texture by dragging the tines through the cooling chocolate. Once the chocolate has firmed, decorate as desired with a dusting of confectioners' sugar, cocoa or chocolate curls.

Reviews

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  • star rating 12/26/2014
  • Jane from San Francisco, CA
  • I have successfully made a chocolate buche de Noel for the past few years and decided to change to a vanilla based cake this year. I was excited to try this recipe because I am quite a fan of King Arthur flour. Although this cake is tasty, there are a few challenges with it. #1) the quantity specified is far too much for a standard jelly roll pan, which is what I have and I imagine more home cooks would have vs. The half sheet pan specified. As a direct result I realized too late that my jelly roll pan was overfilled and the 15-18m baking time was far too little and the cake was way too large to possibly roll. Sally I had to throw away my first attempt at the cake and tried again using just 5 eggs and 3/4 quantity. #2) I really think this recipe uses too much flour. The jelly roll sized cake I made baked well, but sadly, like other bakers reported, I experienced cracks in the cake. Yes I just filled them in with chocolate ganache but it was disappointing.

    Hi Jane- I'm sorry to hear you had so much trouble with this recipe. The recipe is designed for a half sheet as you mentioned which is nearly twice the area of our current jelly roll pan, so we would certainly recommend a reduction if you are not using the pan called for in the recipe. In regards to the cracking, you may have added a bit too much flour if you used a different method of measuring flour than we do here and it also may have resulted from a bit of over-baking. If you would like to give our Baker's Hotline a call a 855-371-2253, we would be happy to further discuss the recipe with you and figure out how to get everything back on track for a beautiful roll on your next attempt. Happy baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  • star rating 12/22/2014
  • Melissa from Montreal, QC
  • Had some trouble with rolling (first time) but the cake and filling were delicious! I used a bit of orange rum in my filling and syrup. Instead of white chocolate I used another chocolate frosting recipe (with butter, cocoa, melted chocolate and powdered sugar and more orange rum). Used rosemary coated with egg-whites and sugar to make pine boughs. Will use this recipe again next year.
  • star rating 12/27/2012
  • Tess from Los Angeles, CA
  • This buche was delicious and a lovely presentation. I did have trouble rolling it without cracking the cake, but it didn't affect the finished look and gave me extra crevices to fill with chocolate! I made an almond simple syrup to brush the cake with and used 1/2 tsp almond extract in place of the hazelnut flavor throughout, which was just the right amount of almond flavor. I will definitely be making my own again next year, if not sooner!
  • star rating 01/03/2012
  • ElizabethNan from KAF Community
  • I had never made a rolled cake, didn't have an offset spatula, and was baking at midnight. It came out great! Much easier than I thought it would be, and so tasty. My only difference was I made a white chocolate ganache instead of just white chocolate. Forgot all the hazelnut stuff too. But so good.
  • star rating 12/18/2010
  • Kattrinka from KAF Community
  • I've always wanted to do a Buche.....now with an empty nest I have the time. I enjoyed doing this recipe. It should be rolled w/the long edge, this way you have more of a "log" so you can cut off an angled piece for a decorative branch. It is thawing right now waiting for the frosting which I will, as a reader posted make a white chocolate ganache rather than just the chocolate that will crack. In the filling I put down a layer of nutella as I do not have hazlenut flavoring on hand, I think it will be yummy combined w/the chocolate ganache. I made the traditional mereingue mushrooms and I think this will be a perfect dessert for our family brunch tomorrow.
  • star rating 12/29/2009
  • Jeannine from St. Charles, MO
  • I love the chocolate filling in this version verses the fluffy white filling in the original yule log I printed 12/21/2003. I do believe that KAF should create a link to this instruction, "Making a Yule Log". It is quite long, approx. 25 pages, but it covers every detail on the creation of a Yule Log (Buche de Noel). I have many recipes but this is the only one with its own three ring binder.
    Hi Jeannine. Yes, we do have a very extensive lesson under our online baking classes on making a Yule Log. Our new blog was intended for those wanting a shorter version for the holiday, but for truly in-depth lessons, do check out the complete Yule log under the free online classes.
  • star rating 12/29/2009
  • from
  • The cake itself is delicious, but putting this recipe together was problematic. I have made dozens of rolled cakes with no cracking problems, but this one cracked in two places! The instructions didn't state which end to start on, and since there were fewer turns if you started on the long end, I did it that way, but it still split. Is it because the cake is so thick? It was much thicker than others I have made. Also, the filling recipe didn't produce a thick enough layer. Finally, the white chocolate on top made for very messy slicing, as the chocolate broke off in chunks, even when I heated the knife. There have been so many KAF recipes where steps have been left off, and this one is no exception--the rolling process was very inadequately described, and no mention of when to use the syrup. Next time I use a KAF recipe I will wait until the reviews come in!
    Sorry this recipe didn't meet your holiday expectations. The blog is a wonderful source of step by step directions in the form of pictures that help many of us see the process before, or while, we are baking. We appreciate your candor and strive for success right along with our customer/bakers. Irene @ KAF
  • star rating 12/29/2009
  • Pam from Long Island, NY
  • This recipe saved my Christmas dessert! I was prepared to use another recipe and the cake was too dry to roll - it just crumbled (and this happened on Christmas Eve). So after after a lot of cursing, I remembered that KAF just posted this recipe to the blog and I gave it a try - it was so easy and it came out perfect! I used a dark chocolate ganache on the outside rather than a white chocolate frosting, but that was the only change I made. Excellent as always.
  • star rating 12/26/2009
  • Amber from Nevada City, CA
  • This was a delicious and lovely cake. I did find a couple parts a little tricky, and you're missing two little things from your instructions. You didn't mention where you use the simple syrup and you also didn't specify at what point you add the hazelnut flavor to the filling. I'd recommend dusting the surface you place the cake on when you turn it over to peel the parchment off, because I had a terrible time with the cake sticking when I went to roll it up. This was the first time I've attempted a rolled up cake like this, and I enjoyed the challenge. It'll be a special occasion cake I'll try again - I'm sure it will look better the second time!
  • 12/24/2009
  • Lucita from Ohio
  • Your cake looks great. I am going to make it, but I have a question. I thing spreading white chocolate will make it hard to cut. I think the chocolate will break into pieces when you cut it. Why not white ganache. So simple to make cream, white chocolate, flavoring and a little bit of butter.
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