This year I celebrated Christmas eve at work in the midst of patients, colleagues and other hospital staff. It was a pretty uneventful call for our unit which allowed us to take some time off and have dinner together. The chinese dishes we ordered from a nearby restaurant were not impressive; the only reason we chose to order from there was because it was the only one with a free home-delivery service, or hospital-delivery in our case 😉 

My tiny contribution to the ‘feast’ was a batch of tuna-filled spring rolls. For dessert, I baked a small chocolate mud cake that I’ll blog about later; I dnt have any pics of this one. I rounded off my Christmas baking in style with the traditional bûche de noël, something I’ve been baking for the past 3 years now.

To put my punnet of fresh strawberries to good use, I decided to experiment with a strawberry flavoured mousse in addition to my usual dark chocolate filling. I simply stirred 1 tbs strawberry puree into 1/2 cup of sweetened whipped cream, chilled it for a bit before spreading on my mini bûche de noël

May the Christmas season
fill your home with joy,

your heart with love and
your life with laughter.

I tried to write the above christmas message on my chocolate bûche but you know how hopeless I am when it comes to piping. Melted chocolate makes it doubly difficult but I guess I have to keep trying till I master the technique.

BUCHE DE NOEL

 

Ingredients:

4 eggs

2 egg yolks

100 g all purpose flour

60 g caster sugar

1 tbs cold water

1/2 cup whipping cream

100 g dark chocolate

100 g marzipan

Method:

  • Separate eggs so that you have 6 yolks and 4 whites.
  • Beat egg whites with cold water until partially stiff.
  • Add sugar and continue beating till stiff and creamy.

 

  • Fold in egg yolks so that the cream is evenly yellow.
  • Sift flour over eggs and carefully fold in with a rubber spatula taking care not to deflate the batter.

 

  • Spread mixture in a uniform layer on a greased swiss roll pan or flat rectangular pan lined with baking paper.
  • Bake at 180 oC in a preheated oven for 10 minutes. Do not overbake otherwise bûche will be dry and difficult to roll.

 

  • Turn out on a damp teacloth and roll it up tightly.
  • Leave bûche to cool to room temperature before unrolling.
  • For the filling, beat whipping cream until it forms soft peaks.

 

  • Break chocolate into pieces and melt in the microwave or over a double boiler until smooth.
  • Add melted chocolate to whipped cream till well combined.
  • Unroll bûche and spread a thick layer of chocolate filling.

 

  • Roll up again and chill for 5 minutes before frosting.
  • Coat bûche with a thin layer of chocolate mixture to seal crumbs, then add a second thicker layer.

 

  • Run a fork through the frosting to give it a bark-like texture.
  • Make mushroom shapes out of marzipan and stick them randomly on the bûche. Store in fridge until ready to serve.

Joyeux Noël à tous!

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