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
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
- 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!