Friday, December 7, 2018

Chocolate Yule Log – This Bûche de Noël Only Looks Difficult

If you’ve never made a Yule Log because you thought it would take a lot of time and effort, then you probably made the right decision, since it does. But, if you haven’t tried this classic holiday dessert because you thought it required advanced baking and pastry skill, then get ready to bûche, since the techniques required are actually quite simple.

This classic holiday dessert is a showstopper, but it’s often better looking, than it is tasting, which is not the case here, thanks to a simple-to-make, rich chocolate sponge cake, and mocha buttercream filling. Having said that, if you have a favorite frosting or filling, literally anything you can spread will work here. As long as you can slice it later, pretty much anything goes.

I forgot to add the vanilla extract, and I’ve made that correction in the ingredients below, but above and beyond what you add to the batter, you can also drizzle the baked sponge with many delicious, possibly adult beverages. Coffee liqueur is a great choice, as is dark rum, Kirsch, and Framboise, just to name a few. This practice probably started to cover up dry, overcooked cake, which of course would never be a problem for us, but even a perfectly cooked sponge can benefit if you’re so inclined.

As far as the decorations go, just a dusted and frosted Yule log makes for a great presentation, but half the fun is creating a scene around your log, and an image search should give you plenty of ideas. I may try to sneak in a video for how to do the meringue mushrooms, but not sure exactly when. Regardless of how you decorate it, or what you flavor it with, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for one Chocolate Yule Log (8 portions):
NOTE: This was for a 13 X 18" sheet pan)
2 tablespoons melted butter for greasing pan
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 large room temperature eggs (do not use cold eggs)
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Bake at 400 F. for 8 to 10 minutes

For the filling:
NOTE: I thought mine had too much buttercream, so I'd probably use 2/3 rd for this and save the rest for cupcakes)
1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup room temp butter
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons coffee liquor, and or any other flavoring or extract, or a splash of milk to achieve a light, fluffy buttercream
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese

Ganache frosting:
1 cup hot heavy cream
8 ounces dark chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate
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26 comments:

mamafrog said...

Is this recipe going to be on Allrecipes? Love this but don't want to run back and forth to the video to make it.

Unknown said...

First of all, I have to remark on the serendipity of this post. We have a holiday dessert contest coming up at work, and my first thought was, a Yule log would be the perfect choice; then my partner showed me your video this morning, so thank you for doing this post a thousand times over!
I remember making a Yule log for my French class in high school, and it had a lovely raspberry cream filling with a raspberry purée drizzle to add while serving. This recipe is long gone, and I was hoping you would have some pointers for how to make a raspberry cream filling that you may be willing to share, if you would please.
I’ve looked around online, and most of the time, they just are incorporating whole berries into the cream (often whipped cream for that matter) or placing them just before rolling, but the one I did before was using puréed berries with the seeds strained out. A basic buttercream seems it would work, but I worry the berry purée will negatively affect the consistency, and I’m unsure of how to approach the situation without having to botch the filling, probably many times.
Anywhoo, any of your advise and expertise would be greatly appreciated. :)
Thank you so much, Chef John!

Unknown said...

Hey Chef, what size sheet pan did you use? It looked like a half, but I'm not a "real" chef so I don't have one of those. I do however have other sizes of rimmed baking sheets. Stay classy.

anonops said...

Thank you so much for all of your hard work and great dishes, you do it better than anyone. it's so great

Unknown said...

I was able to find a video on how to make meringue mushrooms. Definitely wasn't half as fun to watch as your videos are though! Hope to see your take on them soon. :)

Unknown said...

I forgot the vanilla...

Unknown said...

Made this yesterday and it came out great! The log ended up looking more like a "T". I think I used a pan with a shorter width. What size pan did you use? Also drizzled over some Marie Brizard Chocolat Royal liqueur......yum!

jaggededge said...

Looks amazing but way too much work. I can buy a Yule Log at the bakery. :)

Unknown said...

We made this recipe, exactly as instructed. Unfortunately it tasted way too eggy and was inedible. Had to spit it out after one bite. Very disappointing!

Daryl Mather said...

Chef John, why can't the eggs be cold?

Patty said...

Hi, how far can I make this in advance if I want to eat it on Christmas day?

Joann Jacquin said...

I second Patty's question......how far in advance can this be made, if wanting it for Christmas dessert?? And...can it be totally assembled or only partially beforehand?? Please answer...only 5 days left!!

KGonz said...

Merry Christmas to you!! I just started following your recipe videos, and I must say, I am hooked!!

Unknown said...

I also forgot the vanilla--should have gotten it out of the cabinet and put it with the bowl of dry ingredients. The sponge was a tad dry so I mixed vanilla with coffee liquor and dashed on after. Can't wait to serve it to solstice party guests tomorrow!

Liliane Poirot said...

To the person asking about raspberry butter cream (sorry I can't figure out how to reply to a comment) fruit puree works really well,my fav is strawberry. Just replace the liquid in the buttercream recipe (usually milk but here is liquor) if the buttercream is too thin just add more powdered sugar. Enjoy!

horseman said...

Chef John: Your recipes are wonderful..enjoy thwm all.. EXCEPT for 1 thing. PLEASE , PLEASE STOP with that horrible Cayenne pepper..with which you seem to be obsessed!! It is awful and ruins every recipe!!!

Yuregenu said...

I tried to make this, but the buttercream was more of a butterslime and ran all over the place. No amount of powdered sugar could save it. The cake was way too thick for the ingrediënt amounts given (my sheetpan is actually larger than the one in the video, so that was unexpected) and wasn't cooked through in the center. I rolled it up with the buttercream regardless and as it lay sagging away in my fridge and leaking frosting all over the place I threw it in the trash. Thanks Chef John, the ingredient amounts didn't match at all and now I've thrown out a bunch of perfectly good ingredients, wasted three hours, have a kitchen coated in a layer of powdered sugar dust and no show-stopper for Christmas.

Sparks said...

Cheated and used store-bought swiss rolls as the cake, but did the rest. Worked pretty well.

http://www.stochasticgeometry.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-12-24-21.14.41a.jpg

trantrad said...

Did this Yule log on Dec. 25 with great success! I followed the recipe exactly except I used a hand mixer. It was a lot of work but not so difficult. My family thought it tasted yummy -- very chocolatey!

Unknown said...

Ummm amazing. Love your videos. We did 2 chef John recipes tonight...this and pastas bravas...so so delish!

Marina Tsushko said...

I followed the steps; however, when I unrolled the roll to frost, it broke in 3 big sections. What did I do wrong?

karla.teresa said...

This was really yummy! Just little too sweet for me, so I'll adjust to my taste next time, but it was a solid recipe. I didn't have the correct size sheet pan, so I just made 2 cakes and combined them when I formed the log- it turned out fine. I decorated it with fake dirt, meringue mushrooms, and rosemary as well and everyone loved the presentation.

Glenn R said...

Some might agree with Chef John that this recipe is too knotty, but its bark is worse than its bite.
And, it’s bite is pretty darn terrific. Thanks, Chef.

Renee Hendricks said...

We ended up with a beautiful yule log this year thanks to your wonderful recipe and instruction. It can be seen at https://twitter.com/Skepti_Schism/status/1079562910496641024 if anyone is interested.

Cadence Carter said...

I made it and it was AMAZING. i piled on coco power and powdered sugar and let it sit for a while, so when I came back, it looked like a REAL LOG, with really deep groves and everything. Tots making this again.

Unknown said...

I changed out your filling with a custom mint chocolate chip filling for my girlfriend's birthday because she likes that kind of thing better. And I have to say I don't normally like mint and chocolate together but it was great. She shared it with some of her family now all of her family always want me to make them this. It's awesome! Thanks. To anyone feeling creative I would highly recommend trying to make your own filling.