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BRIAN IN THE KITCHEN  brought to you by Stittsworth Meats

November 19 2009

Buche de Noel (French for Yule Log)

One of Kelly's favorite holiday recipes she first tried while taking French Class in high school. She's made this several times, changing up the filling. You may use a can of cherry pie filling to fill the yule log, or even add pistachios to the whipped cream for a bit of crunch and extra sweetness.

4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
4 egg whites

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch baking pan. (If you wish, you may use a sheet of wax paper in the bottom of your pan to help you lift out the finished cake). Sift sugar. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Add sugar gradually and beat until creamy. Then add vanilla and beat in well. Sift flour and resift with baking powder. Gradually add flour mixture to egg yolk mixture. Beat the batter until smooth. Whip egg whites until they are stiff but not dry. Fold them lightly into the cake batter. Spread batter into prepared baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for about 13 minutes. Loosen edges and immediately turn out onto a clean kitchen towel sprinkled with sifted confectioners' sugar. Roll up cake and towel, starting with long side; cool.

FILLING:
1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp (or more) instant coffee (dry), or instant dry espresso.

Whip cream until stiff and fold in instant coffee; taste and add more coffee powder if you wish.

FROSTING:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup cocoa
4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Sift together cocoa and sugar. Cream part of sugar mixture with butter. Blend in vanilla and half the milk. Add remaining ingredients. Add extra sugar if too thin, extra milk if too thick.

TO ASSEMBLE AND DECORATE:
Gently unroll cake and towel; do not flatten cake. Remove towel and spread filling inside rolled cake. Reroll. With a sharp knife, carefully cut a slice about 1 1/2 inches thick off each end; set aside. Put rest of cake on serving dish. Spread chocolate frosting on top and sides of log. Put reserved slices cut side up, near ends of log and frost sides (they should look like cut-off branches). You may wish to dust the log with confectioners sugar snow just before servings. Keep the finished log cool, and slice with a very sharp knife.