It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! So let’s get to cracking those eggs and searching for the marzipan to make the Yule (Old English for ‘Christmas’) log cake with all the fixings. The Yule log is often referred to as Bûche de Noel in French culture. The rolled Christmas cake is fashioned as a sweet roulade.
The sponge cake is usually a yellow cake that’s rolled and most often iced and filled with chocolate buttercream and cut-off at the end to resemble a log. There are other iterations of the dessert such as using a chocolate sponge cake with chocolate ganache, or chocolate icings infused with coffee, espresso or liqueur.
Bûche de Noel received its name after the ancient Yule log tradition was pretty much discarded. Parisian bakers provided elaborate decorations and brought the popularity of the dessert back in the 19th century. The cake is traditionally served in France, Belgium, Canada, Syria, Switzerland and other former French colonies like Vietnam (I had to look that one up just to make sure it wasn’t fake news. What do you know…you learn something new every day.)
The Yule log cake has been on many a table since the early 1600’s. According to History.com, the first recipe for the Yule log was printed in 1615 in Gervaise Markham’s tome “The English Huswife.” The marzipan and meringue decorations go back just as far.
Celtics, British and Gaelic Europeans of yester-year embraced the lore of burning an actual Yule log. And boy-oh-boy is there a lot of lore that surrounds the pagan tradition of burning away/cleansing the events from the outgoing year. Nonetheless, what has endured is the delicious rolled sponge cake iced and ready for many a Christmas sweet tooth around the world.
Want to try your had at making a Bûche de Noel? See the ingredient list below.
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
½ cup white sugar
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt
6 egg whites
¼ cup white sugar
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
See the rest of the recipe here from AllRecipes.