REALLY easy Buche de Noel recipe
- Diane in Bexley
My daughter takes French in high school and the teacher is offering quite a few bonus points if the kids bring in a Buche de Noel. You will get points detracted if it comes from a bakery, so it has to be homemade. My daughter and I are planning to make this Sun 12-11 for presentation on Thurs 12-15. Does anyone have any EASY recipes? I have never made a jelly roll in my life and that what I am thinking is involved here. Once we make it, can we freeze it or how can we keep it till Thurs? We will need all day Sunday and Idon't have time during the week. Thanks in advance for any help!
I would get a copy of Julia Child's The Way to Cook and follow the directions. She is very thorough and explains the steps well. There are good pictures too. If you don't own it your library probably has a copy.
You could make the sponge cake on Sunday and then roll it and wrap it very tightly in plastic (rolled) and refrigerate. You can also freeze it but be sure to allow at least an hour or so to defrost otherwise the cake will break. Before removing from the jelly roll pan read her instructions on trimming the cake and how to roll it.
Making the bouche is not difficult it is just a rolled filled sponge cake. The fiddly stuff comes with the decorations.
I agree re: Julia Child - that's the recipe I've always used. If you go with that, read it through a couple of times - it is pretty straightforward, and her tips about how to get the jelly roll set up to get it out of the pan, filled and rolled work perfectly, but you should follow the directions carefully in terms of the parchment paper lining etc. Don't worry if it cracks a bit when you roll it up, since it's going to get covered with icing anyway. Good luck! Making the meringue mushrooms is fun - but only if you have the time. I serve mine on a platter with cocoa sprinkled for dirt around the cake and on the mushrooms, then at the last minute I sprinkle on icing sugar through a sieve for "snow".
I would suggest that you fill the roll fresh - it's easiest that way - and then give it a crumb coat and freeze. Thaw out in the fridge the day before and do the final frosting once thawed. Julia's recipe is fine, but any decent jelly roll recipe will do. The frosting is easy because you don't have to get it smooth - roughlike bark is preferred. If you can find holly or mushroom-shaped candies, rather than making your own, you'll save time. Otherwise, use marzipan (a good job for your daughter). Those can be made n the weekend and stored in a tupperware until you've frosted the log and are ready to finish it off.
Think carefully about a box or carrier for transport.
It seems crazy to offer points for a real class for this sort of thing, but I guess schools haven't gotten any saner since I was in them.
I know that Sandra Lee is a persona non grata on this board (which I completely understand...), but it just happens that she did a semi-homemade buche de noel recently. I don't know if this counts, but I think she bought the jelly roll and then just frostec/decorated it herself... Depends on how much you want to push the teacher's limits. At the very least, she did have a good idea for decorations - if you stack a hershey's kiss on top of a mini marshmallow, it looks like a mushroom, use a toothpick to keep it all together and attach it to the log. Good luck!
Chocolate meringues from Trader Joes make good looking tree ears or fungus when placed on edge into the frosting.
A short cut shown on FoodTV 'secret life' program, was to build up the log from strips of cake laid in a cylindrical mold (half of a length of plastic pipe). This bypassed some of the complications of rolling the cake.
I saw a REALLY easy buche recipe this year that is a version of the "cake" made with chocolate wafer cookies and whipped cream. Just stack them together and put a smaller stack on the side for the branch. Then "frost" with whipped cream with a bit of cocoa added for color. The Nabisco web site probably has the details. You can make the little mushrooms out of non-pariels and Hershey's kisses, connected with a bit of melted chocolate.
its really not that hard, tho the last time I tried, my oven thermostat went out and burnt the sponge cake part to a cinder. It is a sponge cake filled and frosted with buttercream icing - takes about a dozen eggs, separated, whites for the cake, yolk for the icing. While you are baking the cake, you can make the icing (I do mocha inside and add chocolate for the "bark". Spread the filling over the cake when cool, then roll it up and frost with the outer layer. You can do the trim off part of the end to create a branch thing, furrow the surfae with a fork, make rings on the end etc. If you skip the meringue mushrooms etc. its a pretty quick job, and with buttercream it keeps well in the refrig.
Just make sure you take your cake home and eat it after the teacher gets a gander its too good for her!