Chocolate and Nut Yule Log
A simple version of the classic French dessert buche de Noel, this enchanting cake covered with crunchy almonds and creamy frosting calls to mind a snow-covered log in a wintry forest. Trim the ends of this showstopping dessert to reveal swirls of chocolate-nut filling.
- Nonstick cooking spray, for pan
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- Chocolate-Hazelnut Filling and Whipped-Cream Frosting
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan with nonstick cooking spray; line bottom with parchment paper. Coat paper with cooking spray; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks with 1/2 cup granulated sugar until pale yellow. Whisk in almond extract and flour just until combined (do not overmix); set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. While beating, slowly add remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar (1 tablespoon at a time) and beat until stiff and glossy. Whisk one third of beaten egg whites into yolk mixture; gently fold in remaining whites with a rubber spatula. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan; bake until center of cake springs back when lightly pressed, 15 to 17 minutes.
Immediately after removing cake from oven, run a knife around edge of pan. Dust top of cake with confectioners' sugar; invert cake onto clean parchment paper, and gently peel off the lining paper that's now on top of cake. Starting from a short side of cake, gently roll cake, along with clean paper, into a log; let cool, seam side down, 30 minutes.
Once cake has cooled, prepare filling and frosting. Gently unroll cake, and spread with filling, leaving a 1/2-inch border; starting from a short side, carefully re-roll (do not roll paper in cake), and place, seam side down, on a baking sheet or serving platter. Spread log with frosting; sprinkle with almonds. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
To serve, use a serrated knife to slice off the ends of the log neatly, revealing interior. Dust with confectioners' sugar, and, if desired, garnish with Marzipan Mushrooms.