“Yule” Be The Talk of the Town with this Holiday Cake
We recently developed a recipe for a Yule Log Cake for our 2014 Holiday Brochure. In my family, our holiday traditions revolved around cut-out cookies; a Yule Log was never part of the mix. So I was intrigued and did a little bit of research to see what this was all about.SEE THE RECIPE
We recently developed a recipe for a Yule Log Cake for our 2014 Holiday Brochure. In my family, our holiday traditions revolved around cut-out cookies; a Yule Log was never part of the mix. So I was intrigued and did a little bit of research to see what this was all about. It turns out the history of the Yule Log (or Buche de Noel) dates back to before the medieval era when the winter solstice was celebrated by burning logs. The ashes were kept for medicinal purposes, and it was also said they guarded against evil.
Fast forward to the early 1800s and, while the tradition of burning yule logs was still being practiced, Napoleon outlawed wood-burning fireplaces. This led people to celebrate the season by baking Buche de Noel cakes in place of burning the traditional yule logs. Pretty cool, huh?
Since our gas fireplace does not allow us to burn actual logs, I figured I would try baking a Yule Log Cake for our 2014 holiday celebration. Here’s how to tackle it:
Bake the cake base. Run a butter knife around the edges, and then, while it’s still warm, flip it out on a kitchen towel (sometimes called a tea towel – think the smooth kind, not shaggy) that has been dusted with cocoa powder. This way it won’t stick to the towel, and the cocoa powder won’t show up as obviously as flour would.
Remove the parchment paper.
Cut the cake in half lengthwise….
…and lay short ends end-to-end on the towel.
Cut 4 inches off one end and place next to one short end of the cake. This little piece will make the branch.
Then roll up the cake in the towel and set it aside to cool.
Now make the two frostings – one with cream cheese and chocolate hazelnut spread, and another with chocolate, butter and powdered sugar. And try not to sample them directly out of the bowl.
While the cake is cooling, make the “mushrooms” to embellish the cake. I think they are so adorable! All you need is pre-made meringue cookies, melted chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Dip the bottoms of the meringues in the melted chocolate.
Attach a mini marshmallow to the wet chocolate and let stand until hardened.
Once the cake is completely cooled, unroll the cake. Spread the little piece with about 1/4 cup of the hazelnut filling and reroll. Refrigerate until it’s time to assemble the rest of the cake.
Spread the larger cake(s) with the remaining filling.
Roll up the cake carefully.
Stand the cake on a plate.
Frost the sides with the chocolate butter frosting.
Cut the end of the smaller cake roll at an angle so it’s easier to attach to the sides of the larger cake.
Use toothpicks to attach.
You can also prop a mushroom underneath the branch to help it stand up.
Now frost the sides of the branch carefully, and then use a fork to draw bark designs on the sides of the cake.
Garnish the log with mushrooms, rosemary sprigs and a gnome for good measure.
Now if that isn’t a show-stopping dessert, I don’t know what is. Not to mention that it’s over-the-top delicious. Win-win situation, I’d say! Do you have any holiday baking traditions in your family? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Happy holidays!
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