September 28, 2014
Hazelnut-Mocha Bûche de Noël
Though this Christmas cake looks elaborate, it’s quite easy to prepare and can be enjoyed any time of year. The simple hazelnut sponge cake is rolled around a quick mocha filling before being iced with a one-bowl fudge frosting — and it tastes amazing!
Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings
- Preheat oven to 375°F. To make jelly roll, beat eggs on high speed until foamy, then gradually add sugar, beating well until thickened and light yellow. Add water and vanilla, then beat some more. In a separate bowl mix together hazelnuts, flour, baking powder and salt, then stir into egg batter a little at a time until just blended and smooth.
- Line a rimmed cookie sheet with lightly oiled parchment paper, then pour in batter and smooth. Bake for 11 to 14 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
- Lightly dust a tea towel with icing sugar. Run a knife around the rim of the cookie sheet, then turn cake onto tea towel and carefully peel off parchment paper. Roll cake into towel lengthways (the towel will get rolled into the cake), while still warm. Let cool in towel, seam side down.
- To make mocha filling, whip cream until soft peaks form, then blend in icing sugar and dissolved coffee. Refrigerate until cold. Gently unroll cake, remove towel and spread with mocha filling. Roll back up and place seam side down on a platter.
- To make fudge frosting, gently melt chocolate and butter together. In a large bowl, mix together milk, icing sugar and vanilla. Add chocolate mixture and beat until smooth, then chill to let frosting thicken.
- Once the filled cake and frosting have cooled, cut a 2″ angled slice from one end of the log and place it on top to look like a stump. Some of the filling will ooze from the cake; wipe it clean so icing won’t stick to the filling. Use some icing to glue the stump to the top of the log, then ice entire cake and decorate using your imagination. Gently running a bread knife along the icing makes for a bark- look finish; mushroom meringues (you can buy them at patisseries) are also a nice touch. (The cake can be made the day before and chilled. Add meringue mushrooms and other embellishments at the last moment.)