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Buche de Noel


Make this recipe for Buche de Noel from Johnny Iuzzini for an unforgettable holiday dessert.

  • Yield: Serves 10 to 12

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, December Holiday 2007



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Place egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm. Attach bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until room temperature. Add vegetable oil and 5 tablespoons water; fold to combine.

  3. In a large bowl, sift together cocoa powder, baking soda, and flour; set aside. In another bowl attached to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add egg whites. Add remaining 1 cup sugar to egg whites in 3 batches, whisking to dissolve the sugar after each addition; continue to beat egg whites until firm but not dry. Fold flour mixture into egg yolk mixture, alternating with egg white mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.

  4. Spread mixture evenly into prepared baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to oven and bake until springy to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately lift cake out of baking sheet using parchment paper and transfer to another baking sheet. Let cool to room temperature.

  5. Place parchment paper side down, on work surface. Trim about 1 inch from all sides of the cake and discard trimmings. Spread cake evenly with 1/4 of the ganache; let stand until set. Spread chestnut pastry cream evenly over the layer of ganache; sprinkle with toasted almonds.

  6. On a clean work surface, roll marzipan into a log 17 inches in length. Position the cake on your work surface with the long side of the cake parallel to the edge of your work surface. Place marzipan near the edge of the long side nearest to the edge of your work surface. Begin rolling cake to enclose marzipan, pulling away the parchment paper as you roll. Use the paper to then wrap the rolled cake, twisting each end to fit the size of the cake. Transfer cake to freezer and freeze for 1 hour.

  7. Unwrap cake and trim 1/4 inch from each end. Cut each end on the diagonal to form a small triangular piece from each end. Place a wire rack over a sheet pan and place cake on top of rack. Pour 1/2 of the remaining ganache over the cake. Adhere triangles to the sides of the cake to form branches. Pour remaining ganache over the cut pieces to glaze.

  8. Transfer cake to a serving platter. Dip your index finger into a small bowl of confectioners' sugar and make a fingerprint in the center of all four cut sides. Using two different-size small round cookie cutters or glasses, dip the edges into confectioners' sugar and place around the fingerprints to form the rings in a cut log. Decorate cake and platter with meringue mushrooms. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Reviews Add a comment

  • mecaroline
    10 DEC, 2010
    I believe since we are to roll the marzipan to 17 inches to fit the length of the pan, we are to use an 18x13 pan. Unfortunately I didn't catch that little hint until I had already baked in a smaller 15x10 jelly roll pan. no wonder it took so much longer to bake....
  • nunahk
    17 DEC, 2009
    what is the size of the rimmed baking sheet
  • adozeneggs
    30 DEC, 2007
    I haven't made this version of Buche de Noel, but, most recipes call for a half sheet pan. A half sheet pan is 18x13 and fits in all home ovens. You can use a jelly roll pan, which is comparable in size. (commercial size, or full sheet pans are 18x26) You wouldn't want to use a pan smaller than the 18x13, or you'll end up with a yule stump instead of a log.
  • burlms
    19 DEC, 2007
    Is this recipe for the large commercial baking sheets (appox. 18x12) or the smaller "residential" size?