Yule Log

Total Time:
6 hr
Prep:
4 hr
Cook:
2 hr

Yield:
1 Yule Log and lots of mushrooms
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
Directions
For the Hazelnut Mousse:

Place cooled hazelnuts on a kitchen towel and rub together to remove skins. Place the skinned hazelnuts in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for l minute. Add the hazelnut oil through the feeder tube and process until a paste forms.

Melt chocolate in a medium bowl placed over simmering water, or melt in a microwave oven. Add the melted chocolate to the hazelnut paste and set aside.

Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in the hazelnut/chocolate mixture. Keep covered in the refrigerator until needed.

To assemble the cake roll:

Trim the edges of the sponge cake. Place the Hazelnut mousse on the cake layer. Spread the mixture evenly over the cake, leaving a l inch space along the long side. Using the parchment paper to aid you, carefully roll up the cake into a thick log, enclosing the mousse. Leave the wrapped, rolled-up cake on the sheet pan and refrigerate until filling is firm, at least 2 hours.

For the Chocolate Frosting:

Melt the chocolate. In a small pot, heat the coffee and cocoa. Add the sour cream. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the chocolate mixture and combine completely. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside until of spreading consistency.

For the Meringue Mushrooms:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line l or 2 baking trays with parchment paper and set aside. Fit a large pastry bag with a #4 or #5 plain tip and set aside.

Beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Turn speed to high, slowly pour in half the sugar, add vanilla and continue to beat for l minute. Slowly pour in the remaining sugar and beat until the whites are very thick and shiny, about 3 to 4 minutes longer. Immediately spoon half the mixture into the prepared pastry bag. (Meringue will begin to break down if not used soon after it is ready.) Hold the pastry bag upright over the prepared baking trays, squeeze out 26 to 30 mushroom caps, making different sizes, placed about l inch apart. The caps can be different sizes, since real mushroom caps are never identical.

Again, holding the bag upright over the other tray, lifting the bag as you squeeze out the meringue, form 26 to 30 stems, each l/2 inch to l inch high, placed about l inch apart.

Place the trays in the oven and bake until the meringues are firm to the touch and can be lifted easily from the trays, about l l/2 hours. The meringues should be dry, but should not take on any color. Remove the trays to a cool dry spot. When cool, with a small knife, trim any pointed tips on the caps and stems, if desired.

Melt the chocolate in a small bowl, and holding the caps upside down, spread a little chocolate on each one. Attach a stem and leave them upside down until the chocolate hardens. When ready, turn mushroom cap side up, and dust lightly with sifted cocoa.

Set aside until ready to use for decoration.

To decorate and serve:

Remove pan with cake from refrigerator and place wrapped cake on a firm surface. Carefully unwrap cake. Using a serrated knife, from one end cut a 2-inch piece of cake on the diagonal. Set the cut piece aside.

Cut out a piece of cardboard the length and width of the cake. Cover the cardboard with foil and place the cake on it. Spread a little frosting on the bottom of the small cut piece and set on top of the cake roll. Using a small spatula, spread the frosting over the entire cake as well as the small piece atop the cake. With a wooden skewer or the point of a small knife, make furrows to simulate bark along the sides and top of the cake.

Arrange Christmas greens, plastic holly, and Meringue Mushrooms around the Yule Log. Sift powdered sugar over the whole thing to simulate snow. Fresh cranberries can be scattered around for added color.


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    My daughter and I made this last year and I am making it again this year. Even though the recipe is long it was fun and easy to make except the mushrooms. The mushrooms take a little practice and your need the right equipment but they can be skip to make this recipe simpler. We added Nutella to the fulling because we could not find hazelnuts. It worked great. We spread frosting and then sliced almonds around the the log. The almonds looked like wood chips and the frosting helped hold the mushrooms in place. It looked beautiful when we were done.
    I made this for my grandsons Christmas birthday. I changed it a bit using raspberry preserves and chocolate whipped cream for the filling. It was SOOOOOO go. Going to make it a tradition. 
    It wasn't near as hard as it looked from this recipe.
    WOW! This was my first Buche de Noel and it came out looking and tasting fabulous. I followed suggestions from previous reviews to use Nutella instead of the hazelnut mousse, and a mix of bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate since that was what I had on hand. I had trouble peeling the cake off of the parchment so I used a nylon scraper to loosen it and then roll a bit, loosen then roll, etc. I also had to guess when to add the melted chocolate to the ganache since the recipe doesn't say. I put it in after the sour cream but before mixing everthing with the butter and sugar and it came out great. I loved the mushrooms - not picture perfect, but fun to make. Great recipe and easy enough to do with basic kitchen skills and patience.
    This recipe is not for beginners; but if you follow the recipe, know how to bake and TAKE YOUR TIME you will not be disappointed. I have made this yule log several times now, and I have family and friends calling me around the holidays asking me to make them this yule log. I have been offered $100 to make this yule log; thats how good it is.
    I found parts of this recipe to be great, others just OK. I had no trouble making the cake part. It rolled easily to make the log and tasted good. I found the hazelnut mouse to be a little grainy, even though I followed the directions and finely ground the hazelnuts in the food processor. (Someone suggested substituting Nutella, but I have never tried it.) The flavor was very nice, however. The chocolate ganache frosting was very chocolately. I think next time I might use dark chocolate or semisweet instead of bittersweet. Also, if you let it sit too long, it becomes very thick and harder to spread. It's a complicated recipe but if you take your time and go step by step, you end up with a really special treat.
    I had problems with the meringue, so I used 2 large eggs, 1/4 tsp vanilla and 1/4 cup of sugar. Also, icing was too bitter for me, so instead of 12 oz of bittersweet chocolate, used 8 oz of bittersweet and 4 oz of semi-sweet.
    A very busy receipe, but so much fun to do! It's not as complicated as it seemed to be and it was not only beautiful, but delicious!
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