Buche de Noel
Make this recipe for Buche de Noel from Johnny Iuzzini for an unforgettable holiday dessert.
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 large egg whites
- Johnny Iuzzini's Chocolate Ganache
- Chestnut Pastry Cream
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- Marzipan, or 8 ounces store-bought marzipan
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting work surface and decorating
- Johnny Iuzzini's Meringue Mushrooms
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.