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During the first year of The Lunchbox Season, as part of our Daily Family Advent Calendar, I posted my family’s Classic Chocolate Bûche de Noël recipe. Each year since, the kids and I have done our best to come up with a modern twist on this holiday classic. We’ve made an amazing Cannoli Bûche de Noël, a Lemon Lover’s Yule Log, and a Gingerbread Bûche. In fact, for our family, reinventing the Bûche de Noël has become a holiday tradition in and of itself. Our fifth year on The Lunchbox Season will be no different. The kids have already put in the request for a Chocolate Hazelnut Bûche de Noël.
You asked, we listened. After having a look at these gorgeous cakes, which we’ve only ever posted a day or two before Christmas, as part of our real-time Daily Family Advent Calendar, readers have requested that we post our fantastic Yule Log recipes a bit earlier in the season. This way, you can get your holiday shopping lists in order and bake along. Today, we are happy to offer you a special preview of our top-secret Advent Calendar for 2015.
Without further ado, here it is…a preview of our December 23rd, 2015 Family Advent Calendar Post: Make a Chocolate Hazelnut Bûche de Noël.
The Lunchbox Season's Chocolate Hazelnut Bûche de Noël [Yule Log Cake]
CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT WHIPPED CREAM
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT JELLY ROLL
- 3 cups whole hazelnuts [a.k.a. filberts]
- 1 cup cake flour or 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or hazelnut liqueur
- Additional icing sugar and a tea towel
[OPTIONAL] HAZELNUT SOAK
- 1/4 cup additional white sugar
- 1/8 cup additional hazelnut liqueur
- 1/8 cup additional water
CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BUTTERCREAM
- 1 cup butter
- 2 ounces of good semi-sweet or dark chocolate grated
- 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
PREPARE THE CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT WHIPPED CREAM
- In a small, heavy pot, combine 1 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup nutella.
- Over medium heat, bring to a low simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture is combined.
- Remove the mixture to a glass or stainless container, discarding any sediment at the bottom of the cooking vessel.
- Place the mixture in the refrigerator and chill completely.
ROAST AND CHOP
- Heat oven to 300.
- Place the whole hazelnuts on a parchment lined pan and set in the oven.
- Every minute, open the oven and stirr the tray of nuts, until the nuts are lightly roasted. [Approximately 7-10 minutes.]
- Rub nuts in a clean towel to remove about 40-50% of the skins.
- Roughly chop the nuts, removing additional skins as you can, but without being precious about it.
MAKE THE CAKE
- Heat oven to 375.
- Gently grease the bottom a 10x15x1 jelly roll pan.
- Line the pan with parchment or wax paper cut about 1/4-in smaller than the base of the pan.
- Grease and flour the lined pan.
- In a bowl or on a sheet of wax paper, sift 1 cup of flour, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- In a mixer or by hand, beat the three large eggs until thick and creamy.
- One tablespoon at a time, beat in 1 cup of sugar, until mixture is quite thick.
- Stir in 1/3 cup of water and the 1 teaspoon of vanilla exract or hazelnut liqueur.
- Fold in the flour mixture until just combined, but not lumpy.
- Fold in 3/4 cup of the chopped, toasted hazelnuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula.
- Bake the cake for 12-14 minutes, until the centre springs back when lightly pressed with a finger.
- While the cake is baking, spread a large tea towel on a countertop or table and dust the towel with icing sugar.
- After you take the cake out of the oven. let it cool slightly in its pan on a wire rack for 3-5 minutes.
- While still warm, invert the cake onto the sugar-dusted towel and gently remove the parchment or waxed paper from the cake.
- Make sure that the cake is situated in "landscape" mode in front of you, so that you will maintain its 15-in length and "roll" its ten inches into a "log." And, Gently roll the cake right in towel, dusting with icing sugar as you go.
- Set rolled cake in its towel on a flat surface and cool completely.
PREPARE THE CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT WHIPPED CREAM, CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BUTTER CREAM, AND [OPTIONAL] HAZELNUT SOAK
FOR THE OPTIONAL HAZELNUT SOAK
- In a pan on the stove, combine 1/4 cup sugar, 1/8 cup water, 1/8 cup hazelnut liqueur.
- Stir over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves. [No need to boil or thicken].
- Allow to cool, slightly.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT WHIPPED CREAM
- In a cold mixing bowl fitted with cold beaters, whip the cold cream and nutella mixture you set aside previously until a light and fluffy whipped cream forms. It is imperative that you whip this mixture ONLY until it is light and fluffy. Over-whisking will result in separation.
- If you feel you have too little whipped cream to cover your cake, set this mixture aside, beat up to 1 cup additional whipped cream with a few teaspoons of sugar, and combine this white cream with your nutella cream.
- Grate 2 ounces of good chocolate and, if desired, add about 1 ounce of this chocolate to the whipped cream, reserving the remainder of the grated chocolate for the top of your cake.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BUTTERCREAM
- In a mixer, combine 1 cup room temperature butter and 3/4 cup Nutella until combined.
- Gradually add 1 1/2 cups icing sugar until you have a thick but soft and spreadable icing.
- If the icing looks too soft, refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
PREPARE THE BÛCHE DE NOËL
- Unroll the cooled cake and brush the exposed top with a bit of the hazelnut syrup.
- Spread the exposed top of the unrolled cake with the whipped cream.
- Gently re-roll the cake and place on your serving tray.
- Slice a 1 1/2 to 2-inch slice off of each end of the cake roll to use as the "knots" on your cake.
- Use icing to attach these "knots" to the left and right sides of the cake as you see fit.
- Ice the main portion of the cake, leaving the "exposed" ends of the cake and "knots" to ice last.
- Use a clean knife or icing spatula to ice these "exposed" ends carefully.
- If desired, with the tines of a fork, create a bark pattern on your yule log cake.
- Decorate the cake with additional chopped hazelnuts and grated chocolate as you see fit.
Look out for a special sneak peek, our Advent Love-To-Do List, later this week!
And, be sure to join us beginning on November 29th, 2015, for all of our fifth annual daily Family Advent Calendar posts.
This post was sponsored by the makers of ZANTAC®, but the opinions expressed are my own.