One of my favorite Christmas desserts is Buche de Noel. I could hand you a cuppa nog and recline by the fire, as we regale the history and origins of this delight, but I'd rather just get straight to cooking! Thus, I will refer you to here:
History of the Yule Log
Origins of Buche de Noel
and allow you come to your own conclusions
What you'll need:
6 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3c cocoa powder
1/2c tapioca flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
pinch sea salt
1/2c unsalted butter
1/2c palm shortening
1c egg nog (1/4c for the recipe, the rest for you, hahaha)
extra stevia to taste
optional: pumpkin spice
alternatively you could do a 16 oz package of cream cheese & 1/2c coconut oil with the egg nog & spice, and sweeten to taste
(all optional, but nice)
You. (I MAKE A FUNNY!)
piping bag (optional, but helpful)
Preheat oven 350F
Now, some people will tell you to combine your wet ingredients separately from your dry ingredients, but honestly... I never do. Go ahead and separate your eggs, placing the yolks into the bowl with everything except the cream or tartar.
Whip up your egg whites with the cream of tartar into a fluffy consistency.
Fold your egg whites together with your chocolate cake batter, retaining as much fluff as possible.
Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and grease it with butter. Pour the batter in, and spread it out evenly over the entirety of the pan.
Bake for 7-10 mins, until cake shrinks away from sides a bit. I only cooked mine for 5.
Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine your butter, palm shortening, egg nog, and pumpkin spice (if desired). Give it a taste, then carefully sweeten with stevia if necessary.
Remove your cake from the oven and turn out on to a chilled pan lined with wax paper (easiest way is to chill your pan while cake is cooking, and once it comes out of oven, place wax paper on to cake, the chilled pan on top, then flip like a ninja). Allow to cool completely.
Once cooled, spread your egg nog butter cream all over the cake until generously coated.
Depending on what kind of log you're going for, you can roll long and skinny, or short and fat. I'm preparing this for a party, so I will roll the long edge toward the other long edge for a handsome, thin log.
If you're slightly crazy, like me, your brain will recognize that this short and thin log would be a young yule log, so decorate it accordingly. If you roll the short edge toward the other short edge for a fat, stumpy log, make it look older. Does that make sense? Think of how saplings look and how very old, fat trees look.
Don't worry if the cake cracks a little, you're going to smother it with frosting anyway! Just go slow, treat it nicely, and gently pull the wax paper away from the cake as you roll it.
Once rolled, make a 90 degree angle cut, to suggest where the yule log may have been chopped down. Save the triangular piece you cut away, and set it aside.
Fill your piping bag with frosting and begin to lay down the "bark". If you have opted not to use a piping bag, thickly spread frosting on to cake. We will take care of bark look momentarily. When your cake is covered, place your triangular leftover strategically beside it to make it look like a cut branch. Frost this as well.
If NOT using a piping bag: Using the tines of a fork, or a clean toothbrush, gently drag through the frosting to make it look like bark (ah, the things you learn in college theatre tech classes!). Give it some waves, and what not. Make the stumpy ends of the cake circular.
If using piping bag: Lay down long strips of frosting side by side until cake is covered. use a circular motion to frost stumps. When coated, gently smooth over with butter knife (bumpy side), and give it waves and personality
Garnish with cranberry, mint leaves, and truffles if desired.
Improvise, but follow the recipe! ~Ratatouille