A Yule Log to get you in the Spirit!

The pleasure of cooking and baking during the holiday season is that we get to indulge  ourselves.  Celebrating the holidays with those you love and sharing the wonderfully decadent and full flavored food of all sorts is what makes this time of year extra special.

Yule Log full of Spirit! (Dark Rum)

Yule Log full of Spirit! (Dark Rum)

What could be more special that a Yule Log (Bûche de Noel) to share!  A light and tender Vanilla Sponge cake layer, soaked with Dark Rum Simple Syrup, filled with a Toasted Walnut & Dark Rum Buttercream, and then rolled up.  Cut and shaped into a log and then topped with a Rich Chocolate Buttercream and then finished with Meringue Mushrooms and Fondant Holly.  Did I say there is Dark Rum in this?  

Know each of the recipes for the Yule Log can be made ahead and stored until you are ready for assembly.  The flavor is much better if you make this a few days a head and store in a container at room temperature.  If you want or need to refrigerate the Yule Log make sure to bring it to room temperature before serving!

Equipment:

  • Mixing Bowls
  • Whisk
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Half Sheet Baking Pan
  • Parchment Paper
  • Small Off Set Spatula
  • Stand Mixer with Bowl and Whip Attachment

Vanilla Sponge Cake

   Measured      Grams       Ingredients

  • ½ cup           113 g.       Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup            127 g.       Cake Flour
  • 1 ½ tsp.       1 ½ tsp.     Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp.          ¼ tsp.        Sea Salt (finely ground)
  • 4 each         4 each        Egg Yolks (large eggs)
  • ¼ cup          64 g.          Oil (Vegetable)
  • 1/3 cup        82 g.          Water
  • 1 ½ tsp.       1 ½ tsp.     Vanilla Extract (pure)
  • ½ cup         113 g.         Granulated Sugar
  • ½ tsp.         ½ tsp.        Cream of Tartar
  • 4 each        4 each         Egg Whites (saved from above)


Preheat the oven to 375° F. 

Mixing the batter:

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, cake flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir together with a whisk to combine.  Set aside.
  2. In another mixing bowl combine the egg yolks, oil, water, and vanilla.  Beat to combine.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until a smooth batter forms.
  4. In a clean mixing bowl fitted with a whisk attachment add the egg whites and cream of tartar to the bowl and whip on medium high speed until the whites start to form soft peaks.  Gradually add the sugar in a slow and steady stream to the egg whites.  Beat on high speed until the sugar is incorporated and egg whites are beaten to stiff peaks.
  5. Using the whisk fold in ¼ quarter of the egg whites into the batter to lighten the mixture.  Add another ¼ of the egg whites and fold to combine.  Continue adding the rest of the egg whites in ¼ at a time.  Folding just until the egg whites are blended.  Don’t fold too much!  
  6. Pour and scrape the the mixture using the rubber spatula into a parchment lined ½ sheet pan and smooth the batter evenly over the baking pan.
  7. Bake at 375° for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden brown and the top springs back when touched.
  8. Remove from the oven; immediately invert cake onto a full sheet tray sized parchment sheet and roll up the cake tightly in the parchment paper from the long side.
  9. Set aside to cool.  Cake could be made up this point and wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days before filling.

Equipment

  • 5 or 6 Qt. Stand Mixer and Mixing Bowl fitted with Whip Attachment (or Electric Hand Beater)
  • 6 Qt. Sauce Pan
  • Rubber Spatula

Swiss Buttercream

   Measured      Grams       Ingredients

  • 6 each          181 g.        Egg Whites (large eggs)
  • 1 ½ cups       294 g.        Granulated Sugar
  • ½ tsp.           ½ tsp.       Sea Salt (finely ground)
  • 2 cups           453 g.        Butter (unsalted, room temp)
  • 2 tsp.            2 tsp.         Vanilla Extract (pure)

Mixing:

  1. In a 5 or 6 Qt. metal mixing bowl combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt and stir to combine.  Place over a double boiler (sauce pan filled with 1″ of water and brought to barely a boil) and heat the egg white/sugar mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and the temperature reaches 180° degrees.
  2. Place the mixing bowl on the mixer and attached the whip.  Raise the bowl whip the egg white/sugar mixture on high until it doubles in volume and becomes thick and shiny.  Whip until room temperature.
  3. On medium speed, add the vanilla and then add pieces of butter a little bit at a time.  Until all the butter is incorporated.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  4. Whip on high for 1 minute to insure all the butter is totally combined with the whipped egg whites and sugar mixture.
  5. Remove half of the buttercream and place it in a large bowl.

Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 8 oz.     Unsweetened Chocolate (melted and cooled to 80° F.)
  1. Melt 8 oz. of unsweetened chocolate over a double boiler or microwave.  Cool the melted chocolate to almost room temperature.
  2. To the buttercream that is still on the mixer, add the melted unsweetened chocolate to the buttercream and blend on medium speed to combine.  Scraping the bowl down as necessary.   The buttercream might curdle slightly, so whip on high until it becomes smooth again.  Set aside for the assembly.

Walnut Rum Buttercream Filling:

  • 1 cup   Toasted Ground Walnuts
  • ½ cup  Dark Spiced Rum
  • 1 tsp.   Vanilla Extract (pure)
  1. To half of the reserved buttercream (about 1 pound), add to it:  The toasted ground walnuts and ½ cup dark rum.  Mix using a hand whip until incorporated.  The filling might look slightly curdled.

Rum Simple Syrup

  • ½ cup    Water
  • ¼ cup    Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ cup    Dark Spiced Rum
  1. In a saucepan, combine the water and sugar.  Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar.  Remove from the heat cool and add the rum.  Store at room temperature.

Yule Log Assembly:

  • Vanilla Sponge Cake (rolled up)
  • Rum Simple Syrup
  • 2″ Natural Pastry Brush
  • Toasted Walnut Rum Filling
  • 13″ x 18″ Half Sheet Tray Pan
  • Chocolate Buttercream
  • Small Off Set Spatula
  • Serrated Knife
  • 10″ x 14″ Cake Board (or make your own with heavy duty cardboard covered with Gold Cake Board paper, found in your local Michael’s or Jo Ann Fabric)
  • Fork
  1. Unroll the Sponge Cake and place it on a clean full size piece of parchment paper.  Some of the top of the cake might pull off, this is OK.
  2. Using the pastry brush.  Brush the entire sponge cake with the Rum Simple Syrup.  Using all of it.
  3. Scrape the Toasted Walnut Rum Filling onto the soaked sponge surface and spread it out evenly over the sponge cake layer.
  4. Starting again at the long end of the cake, start rolling up the cake and filling using the parchment paper to assist you.  Rolling just the cake completely.
  5. There should be parchment paper wrapping around the rolled cake.  Pull the parchment paper towards yourself.  Then with the long side of the sheet tray apply pressure to the top parchment paper pushing the parchment paper while holding the bottom piece in place.  This will compress and reduce the size of the roll.  Do this until it is about 4″ in diameter.
  6. Cut the ends of the roll on an angle.  Creating 2 pieces that will become the branches.
  7. Apply a small amount of Chocolate Buttercream to the Cake Board.  Place the main Yule Log piece on the Chocolate Buttercream (This is to secure it to the board).  Using the Chocolate Buttercream attach the 2 branches to the main Yule log.
  8. Continue icing the Yule Log with the Chocolate Buttercream until completely covered.
  9. Use a fork to drag lightly through the surface of the Chocolate Butter cream to create a bark effect.
  10. Finish the Yule Log with your own decoration of Meringue or Fondant Mushrooms and Holly Berries.  You can purchase these at a cake decorating store.
  11. Sprinkle with Decorating Sugar or Pearl Sugar.
  12. Box or cover and store at room temperature for up to 7 days.  You can refrigerate or freeze the Yule Log.  Making sure to bring it back to room temperature before serving.
  13. Serve 1″ slices and Enjoy!

 

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