When I first visited my sister in London during winter break of my sophomore year of high school (which was…more than 5 years ago. I’M GETTING OLDER), she would often take me grocery shopping with her. I LOVE going to grocery stores in foreign countries because you see local products, foods people enjoy, the different prices, the produce they have (or don’t have – Californians are so spoiled!), etc. It’s always an enjoyable experience for me (unless it’s freezing and you have to take two busses and the tube or something). I always make it a point to go to the dessert, pastry & bread sections of any grocery store because well…I love these products. The British love to make pre-packed, individual desserts of their local delicacies like trifles (which I bought out at Marks & Spencer), English pudding, other stuff I forgot, and YULE LOGS! My first encounter with yule logs was at Sainbury’s in England. It was a little log of rolled up cake with frosting covering it and little red decorations all over it. It was so adorable and it looked so good! But it was much too big for me to eat by myself because no one in my family enjoys cake as much as I do. So sadly, I bought my trifles and forgot about it.
Over the years, I have learned that a yule log is the same thing as a bûche de noël and that it’s kind of a European thing. I didn’t really bother reading much about its history. I’d rather browse pictures (which I did) and realized that it was meant to be an actual LOG…like a wood log with mushrooms growing on it and weird funky things. People really go crazy with their yule log decorations. Anyways, it was on my friend Michelle’s and my to-make list so we decided to make it together! With the help of foodgawker.com, I found this recipe, which seemed first and foremost, EASY. Secondly, we had all the ingredients needed. It’s actually fairly easy to make! I think the highlight is the decoration, which we had totally forgotten about. So we made do with the few decorations we had and created our very own bûche de noël. I love saying the French names of baked goods. Bûche de noël. Bûche de noël. Bûche de noël. Okay I’m done.
Quick summary: Bûche de noël is usually made out of a genoise or sponge cake, baked in a large shallow pan so it comes out thin, frosted inside, rolled like a sushi, frosted outside and decorated however you want to.
My friend Michelle (the first human appearance in this blog!) holding up our medium stiff peaks of egg whites for our spongey cake.
This is what medium stiff peaks look like, folks!
Flat, thin chocolate spongey cake, cooled and frosted with whip cream.
Roll it like a sushi! Okay I understand this doesn’t make sense to people who have never made sushi. You basically roll it and remove the parchment paper as you go!
Our bare and rolled up bûche!
Frosted with a chocolate whipped cream. I personally dislike buttercream and prefer whipped cream frosting all the way.
Our finished product! The recipe had perfect quantities of everything. No leftover frosting at all! The cake is light, moist and is best served cold (keep whipped cream frosting in the fridge as much as possible). I’m so happy to have made (AND FINALLY EATEN) a yule log with a great friend. Note to selves: next time decorate it better!