Friday, December 16, 2011

Here’s my version of the Yule log recipe with every short cut I can give you. People are busy during the holidays. I don’t know of many people with the time to make a Yule log that takes a day to make.

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the cake:
1 box chocolate cake mix prepared according to directions or your recipe
1 can bakers spray or grease and flour  for pan
1 roll parchment or wax paper
Jelly roll pan

Directions for the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or according to you cake box directions.
Spray a jelly roll pan with bakers spray or grease and flour the pan.
Tear off a sheet of parchment or wax paper that is big enough to overlap the pan a slight bit.
Press the parchment in the pan and smooth.
Spray the top of the parchment again with baking spray or grease and flour.
Mix the cake according to package directions.
Pour the batter into the jelly roll pan and smooth to fill corners, etc.
Bake according to package directions.
When cake is done, set aside to cool. Don’t move it around yet. Just let it cool!

Brush the surface of the cake with liquor if desired. Such as orange or raspberry liquor. Or rum or espresso of coffee. Do not make the cake wet. Just brush with enough liquid to flavor the cake well.
Spread the mousse evenly over the cake.
If desired you can sprinkle fresh coconut and nuts over the mousse.
Begin to roll starting with the short end and pulling back the parchment paper as you roll.
Once the roll is complete, wrap parchment around the roll and a clean dish towel and pin with clothes pins or binder clips. Refrigerate or freeze until firm and set.

For the frosting:
(2 cans store bought of frosting if you don’t want to make your own, in any flavor you desire. White or chocolate work best but go crazy if you want. It can be a fantasy log : )
For homemade buttercream (YUM)
2 sticks butter, softened
4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla
Pinch salt
½ cup milk or heavy cream

Directions for the buttercream frosting:
Cream butter with mixer in a mixing bowl
Add vanilla, salt and mix.
Add confectioners sugar and mix until incorporated
Slowly add the cream
Mix for about 5 minutes.
Set aside until you’re ready to frost your buche de noel.
Also set aside a bit of icing to color red and green for piping berries and leaves for decoration if desired.

For the filling:
1 box plain gelatin
1 quart heavy whipping cream
12 ounces good white chocolate or chips
Liquor or espresso ( your choice) Just a cap full.

Soften one package of gelatin in ¼ cup of warm water. (Not hot.)
In a bowl mix 1 ¾ cups heavy whipping cream and whip to soft peaks. Set aside.
Heat ¾ cup of heavy cream on medium heat. Add gelatin to cream and stir to heat through.
In a food processor, grind 12 ounces white chocolate finely.
Add cream and gelatin mixture to the food processor with the chocolate in it. Pulse as you are pouring to combine.
Add ice to a larger bowl with water.
Pour white chocolate mixture into a bowl and set the bowl in the larger bowl of ice water and stir to cool.
Now fold the whip cream in the white chocolate mixture slowly until combined. Stir. It will thicken quickly into a mousse filling. Set aside.

For the meringue mushrooms: (Optional)
In a mixing bowl, add 4 egg whites, 1 cup super fine sugar and a pinch of cream of tarter. Mix until fluffy or about 2 minutes. If you don’t have super fine sugar, just pulse a cup of regular granulated sugar in processor for 2 to 3 minutes, or until fine.
Using an 18 inch pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch round tip or as close as you can get, fill bag half way with meringue and pipe mushroom caps. You will also pipe as many stems as you have caps. You can use scissors or a wet knife to cut stems from pastry bag if they don’t want to pull off easy. Wet a finger and smooth out any points that occur on the mushroom caps.
Note the picture provided. They should look something like the picture and you can vary the sizes like in nature. Should some topple,, it’s fine. You will see they will work perfectly, anyway. Use all the meringue and make plenty of extras for guest to munch on.
Bake in a 200 degree F oven for 1 hour and then reduce temperature to 150 to 175 degree F from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the humidity and your oven. Bake until meringue is completely dry.

When meringue pieces are cooled. Melt some chocolate and using a spatuala or butter knife, spread chocolate on underside of mushroom cap. Push stems
On caps and lay aside to dry.
Use to decorate Yule log.

To frost and assemble:
Place 4 pieces of parchment (one for each side of log) on platter to prevent icing from getting on plate and set log on platter. Using a serrated knife, slice off ends at a diagonal and use ends as stumps on log.
Ice log and place ends on top and at the side. Ice ends.
Using a fork, pull across the log and stumps to make the bark look.
Pull parchment pieces off platter and arrange mushrooms and decorations on and around log.