Baking Chez Moi – Bûche de Noël

buche de noel

My mother’s sister, Lorraine, always brought a bûche de Noël to Christmas dinner. They were traditional chocolate logs from a bakery, but I remember them as being rich, delicious, and perfect. She died when I was an adolescent and bûche de Noël was only an occasional part of our holiday celebrations thereafter, but they’ve been a symbol of the season for me ever since.

I’ve always wanted to make one, so I was happy that one of the recipes chosen for our second month of baking through Baking Chez Moi was Dorie’s Gingerbread Bûche de Noël.

There are a lot of steps in making this dish, but some of the most intimidating parts of the process are also surprisingly easy. The pecan praline wasn’t at all difficult, the cream cheese filling was a snap to whip together, and the marshmallow icing was quite straightforward, once I’d braced myself for the task of pouring hot liquid sugar into the bowl of a running mixer.

My particular Waterloo on this dessert was the making of the sponge. I can’t seem to get sponge cakes quite right. This one didn’t turn out horribly and was quite tasty, but as you can see in the photo below, the cake is about half the height it should be. The batter deflated a lot more than it should have when I folded the butter mixture in. I guess it’s just a matter of getting some more practice, but I admit I was disappointed.

Slice

Luckily, the filling and icing made the bûche look beautiful, even with the imperfections in the cake. I’m going to try again with sponge cake and I think one of my few resolutions for 2015 will be to conquer the roulade. Next year’s bûche will be looking much prettier, I swear.

You can find the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie crew’s entries on this recipe here: Bûche de Noël. And you can find more Tuesdays with Dorie catch up posts at this link.

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16 thoughts on “Baking Chez Moi – Bûche de Noël

  1. I struggle with sponge cakes too, so I will share your resolution for next year. Your cake looks beautiful, though, and I agree that the filling and frosting definitely make up for a lot of imperfections.

  2. Looks darn good to me, Teresa. I was very intimidated by each step too until I finished, then I
    was proud of myself. Happy New Year.

  3. You cake looks pretty good. This was my second time to make a genoise. I did one for Baking with Julia that was not very successful. I did do better this time, so practice will help. My first one I was so afraid to fold in the flour that I actually had bits of flour in the bottom of thefinished cake!! And it was a cake I took my girlfrieds house for a dinner. Ugh!

  4. Your buche turned out great! I had never heard of a buche until cooking from Dorie’s books. My sponge seemed to sweat in the towel, but the filling and frosting cured all ills. It was delish.

  5. It looks great, Teresa! I figure at least it still tastes good even if the texture isn’t exactly right. I’d be the same about the resolution though: must not let roulade beat me!

  6. It still looks beautiful, and I’m sure it was enjoyed by all! I have a fool-proof recipe for sponge cake from the Moosewood Kitchen Book of Desserts. I could share it with you if you would like to try it in your quest to conquer the roulade!

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