Recipe of the month - Bûche de Noël

Bûche de Noël

With Christmas just around the corner, there's a whole lot to plan for, from presents to decorations to Christmas dinner - but we can help a little with the last of those, with a recipe for a very French Christmas dessert: a Bûche de Noël!

The Bûche de Noël ("Yule log" to our English-speaking audience!) was first created in the late 1800s by a French pastry chef to homage the European Christmas tradition of the Yule log, but the delicious dessert quickly took on a life of its own and has survived long after the log itself fell out of common use. With a craggy chocolate surface and a dusting of snow-like icing sugar, the Bûche de Noël is at home on anyone's Christmas dinner table.

We've borrowed this delicious chocolate log recipe from Paul Hollywood, of Great British Bake-Off fame; with its raspberry and cream filling, this wintertime treat puts a new spin on a classic favorite.

Ingredients Required

  • Vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 250g good-quality dark chocolate
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

For the cream filling

  • 400ml double cream, lightly whipped
  • 150g raspberry, defrosted if frozen
  • A little Drambuie liqueur (optional)

For the chocolate buttercream

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g golden icing sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tbsp milk

Cooking Method

  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan /gas 7. Line a 23 x 33cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment and oil lightly. Whisk the caster sugar and yolks in a bowl until pale and thick. Melt the chocolate with 4 tbsp cold water in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir in the sugar mix.
  2. Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks. Stir a spoonful into the chocolate, then fold in remaining using a large metal spoon. Pour batter into tin and bake for 12-14 mins until risen and just firm. Leave in tin until cold.
  3. Lay a sheet of baking parchment on a board. With one bold movement, turn the cake onto the paper, then lift off the tin. Carefully peel away the lining paper.
  4. Spread the whipped cream all over the cake, then scatter over the berries with a dribble of Drambuie, if you like. Starting at the long side opposite you, use the paper to roll the cake towards you. Transfer to a serving dish.
  5. For the buttercream, beat the butter, then sift in sugar and cocoa. Add milk and mix together. Spread over cake, use a fork to create a log effect, and chill until needed. Decorate, dust with icing sugar and serve for everyone to enjoy!

Image and recipe taken from the BBC Good Food website.