Buche de Noel

Buche de Noel

Serves 10-12

 

A great centerpiece for your holiday table.  Looks just like a log, especially with the mushrooms! Yes, this takes a bit of preparation but your friends and family will be ever so impressed.

Chocolate Genoise

3

Tbs

clarfied sweet butter            

1.5

ounces

43

grams

1

tsp

vanilla extract                            

 

 

 5

ml

cup

sifted cake flour  (plain)           

2

ounces

43

grams

cup

sifted cocoa powder              

1.5

ounces

43

grams

4

large

eggs

 

 

 

 

cup

sugar   (caster)       

5

ounces

132

grams

Ganache

27

oz

semisweet chocolate                        

 

 

765

grams

2

cups 

heavy whipping cream                       

 

 

690

ml

1

Tbs  

Grand Marnier                              

 

 

15

ml

Meringue Mushrooms

2

large

egg whites

 

 

 

 

tsp

cream of tartar                              

 

 

1.2

ml

4

oz

superfine sugar (caster) 

 

 

115

grams

Chocolate Genoise

Preheat oven to 350F [175C].
Line bottom of 11" x 17"  pan [28 cm x 43 cm] with parchment.

Combine clarified butter and vanilla in a small bowl. Keep hot until needed.
In a separate bowl, combine flour with cocoa and sift twice.

In a large heatproof bowl, mix eggs and sugar, then heat until warm.
Beat egg mixture at high speed with electric mixer until it has cooled, tripled in bulk, and resembles softly whipped cream.
Sift about 1/3 of the combined flour/cocoa mixture over the whipped eggs.
Use your largest rubber spatula to fold the mixture, by hand, quickly but gently until combined.
Fold in half of the remaining flour/cocoa, then fold in the rest.
Scoop 1 cup [250 ml] of the batter into another bowl and combine with the hot butter and vanilla, folding with a smaller spatula.
When completely combined, use the large spatula to fold butter mixture completely into batter.
Turn batter into pan.

Bake until cake shrinks slightly from edges of pan and top springs back when pressed with fingers; 15-20 minutes.
Immediately remove from pan and place on clean dish towel dusted with powdered (icing) sugar.
Roll up & set on rack to cool.

Ganache:

Finely chop chocolate in food processor.
Heat cream to boiling in microwave (7-8 minutes).
With the motor running, pour the cream through the feed tube in a steady stream. Process a few seconds until smooth.
Transfer to a bowl and add Grand Marnier.
Cool for several hours, until frosting consistency.

Assembly:

Unroll cooled cake and sprinkle with Grand Marnier.
Spread flavored ganache over cake, then roll up, using towel. Wrap in foil and refrigerate 1 hour, until firm.
Unwrap roll and cut 3" piece off each end, diagonally.
From each cut piece, cut the square end diagonally.
Place the large log onto 9" x 13" [23 cm x 33 cm] board or serving tray.
Cover evenly with ganache.
Place one cut piece on once side of the log & the other on the opposite side.
Place the two smallest cuts on top of the log, diagonal cut down.
Spread ganache over cut pieces.
Using fork, drag the tines through the ganache to make it look like bark. Swirl the ends to look like rings.
Cake can be stored in refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Place Mushrooms around log just before serving.

Meringue Mushrooms:

Prepare two baking sheets by covering them with parchment.
Have ready one small decorating bag, fitted with a #4 tip.
Also have a medium bag fitted with a #10 tip.
In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until frothy.
Add the cream of tartar and beat at medium speed, gradually adding 2 tablespoons sugar.
When soft peaks form, add 1 tablespoon sugar and increase speed to high.
When stiff peaks form, gradually beat in the remaining superfine sugar and beat until very stiff and glossy.
Fill the pastry bags with the meringue mixture, placing about cup [60 ml] in the bag with the smaller tip, and the remainder in the other bag.
Use the larger tube to pipe the caps and stems and the smaller tube to "glue" the pieces together.

For caps, hold tube vertically and press, keeping tip in meringue until rounded shape forms.

Quit squeezing and pull tip out, swirling slightly to cut off any point.
Points can be removed with a moistened finger.

For stems, Hold the bag vertically with the tube touching the baking sheet.
Squeeze with heavy pressure, keeping the tip buried in the meringue, until you build a cone inches [2 cm] high and wide enough at the base not to topple over.
Allow 1 hour drying time before baking.

Preheat oven to 200 F [95 C]
Bake for 45 minutes or until the mushrooms are firm enough to lift from the baking sheet.
If it is raining, it may take up to another hour to dry sufficiently.
With a sharp knife point, make a small hole in the underside of each cap.
Use the smaller tube to pipe a tiny dab of meringue into the hole and attach the stem by inserting the pointed end.
Place the mushrooms, caps down, on the baking sheet and return them to the oven for 20 minutes or until thoroughly dry.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature at low humidity.
Keeps indefinitely.

Just before serving, dust lightly with cocoa to simulate dirt.

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