Orange-Walnut Buche de Noel
This multilayered dessert is much easier to put together than you might imagine. The chocolate bark requires a bit of precision, but then it's simply a matter of tearing it into shards. The tuiles and acorns are optional, but they enhance the log's rustic appearance (and can be made ahead and stored in airtight containers). To mimic the exact design of the tuiles, you will need a leaf stencil, found at crafts stores.
- Yield: Makes 1 twelve-inch log
Photography: Sang An
Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2003
- Vegetable oil cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts
- 6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
- 10 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Confectionersâ€™ sugar, for dusting
- Orange Mascarpone Filling
- Chocolate Bark
- Fig-and-Marzipan Acorns
- Tuile Leaves
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Coat a 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper. Spray and flour parchment, tapping off excess; set aside. In a food processor, pulse walnuts and flour until coarsely ground; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks with 5 tablespoons sugar until thick and pale. Beat in vanilla. In a clean mixing bowl fitted with a clean whisk, beat egg whites with salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 5 tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff (but not dry) glossy peaks form. Fold egg whites into yolk mixture in 3 equal batches, and add walnut mixture with last batch.
Spread batter evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake until top is golden and springs back when touched, about 30 minutes. Run a small, sharp knife around edges of cake; invert cake onto a clean kitchen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Peel off parchment paper. Starting at a short side, gently roll the cake into a log, incorporating towel. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
Reserve 1 1/2 cups mascarpone filling. Unroll cake and spread remaining filling on top, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Carefully reroll cake (without towel). Arrange, seam-side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a serrated knife, trim ends of log. Spread reserved filling over log. Working quickly, arrange chocolate bark all over log, overlapping pieces slightly. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. Garnish with acorns and leaves, if desired; dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.