Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Buche de Noel / Yule Log

Christmas is undeniably the best festive period of the year! Though it might be a Christian observance, from kids to adults, everyone loves celebrating Christmas! And why not, it is one very merry holiday that lights everybody's face with joy! Those of you living on the paradise island might already be aware of it, but to everybody else, Christmas in Mauritius is like nowhere in the world! On the Eve, unlike in other countries where I have been and from my friends' testimonials, people crazy shop for Christmas and the New Year until midnight!! The massive crowd creates a festive ambience that pervades the whole town! For me, going out on the 24th of December is a real must and it comes only once in a year so there's no excuse to miss that! However, this year, I spent the morning having a lie-in until I decided that I had to make the yule log, I've been wanting to make since a decade now!!!! 

With that, came along a huge dilemma! Which yule log to make? My sister is not much into Coffee unlike me, she's more a chocaholic! And another friend of mine, who's a sort of foodie, prefers vanilla! So, what I came up with is a Vanilla Sponge with Coffee Mascarpone Cream Filling and a Chocolate Ganache! My friend and I were pleased with the idea, but as for my sister she wasn't convinced that it would taste good because of the coffee! And you know what, I hate saying it (evil laugh), but the coffee mascarpone cream was the hero of the yule log, and my sister made her confession! If you're worried that the coffee will be an overwhelming taste, please don't be!!! It's all worth it! 


This Three-Flavoured Yule Log, with Soft and Light Vanilla Sponge that is filled
with a very Smooth and Delicate Coffee Mascarpone Cream and Coated in a
Dark Chocolate Ganache is a Must Make!

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

1. For the Vanilla Sponge:
  • 4 Eggs at room temperature (Separated)
  • ¼ Cup of Caster Sugar
  • ½ Cup of All Purpose Flour (Sifted)
  • 1 Tsp of Honey
  • 1 Tbsp of Vanilla Essence
  • ± 1 Tsp Sugar to sprinkle
2. For the Coffee Mascarpone Filling:
  • 250g of Mascarpone Cheese
  • ½ Cup of Heavy Cream
  • 1½ Tsp of Coffee Granules (The better the quality, the better the taste!)
  • ¼ Cup of Icing Sugar
3. For the Chocolate Ganache:
  • ½ Cup of Heavy Cream 
  • 125g of Dark Chocolate, (Chopped; The better the quality, the better the taste!)
  • 2 Tbsp of Unsalted Butter
4. To Decorate:
  • Marzipan
  • Icing Sugar

Method:

1.  The Chocolate Ganache

Begin with the chocolate ganache as you will need to let it cool for around 1½ hour. 
  • Bring heavy cream to a slow boil in a saucepot.
  • Toss in, the chopped chocolate. Cover and let sit for a few minutes.
  • Using a whisk, stir the mixture until all the chocolate has melted.
  • Let sit, until it thickens to a paste. (Should take 1½ hour)

2.  The Vanilla Sponge
  • Preheat oven to 220˚C. Butter a 26 x 30 cm baking sheet with butter and line with parchment paper and then butter again.  Dust with flour and remove any excess.
  • Add the sugar, vanilla essence and honey to the egg yolks. Beat with a hand mixer until pale yellow and doubled in volume.
  • In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  • Fold the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, taking care that you do not deflate the batter.
  • Finally fold in the sifted flour.
  • Pour mixture onto the baking sheet and let bake for 6-7 minutes or until the surface becomes golden brown.
  • Once removed from the oven, lift the parchment paper together with the sponge, and sprinkle some sugar on top.
  • Starting at the shorter end, roll the sponge (together with the parchment paper) and allow it to cool.

3.  The Coffee Mascarpone Filling
  • In a saucepan, bring the heavy cream, the coffee granules and the icing sugar to a simmer until dissolved. Let cool.
  • Gently add the mixture to mascarpone cheese, using a whisk.

4. Assembly
  • Unroll the sponge, spread the mascarpone cream evenly, leaving an inch at the end.
  • Re-roll the sponge and place the seam-side down.
  • Cut a piece diagonally at one end and reserve.
  • If the ganache has not yet thickened, refrigerate, otherwise spread on the log.
  • Place the 'stump piece', with the diagonally-cut side facing up, on top of the log.
  • Cover with ganache.
  • Using a fork, gently draw strokes of wood markings.
  • Decorate with marzipan-shaped mushrooms and holly berries! Dust with icing sugar!

Voila! Merry Christmas People ;)

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