Tis the season, everyone!
What better way to herald in the holiday season than with a Buche de Noel (also known as a yule log)? If you are not familiar with this particular dessert, it is traditionally a rolled cake in the shape of a log that is served near Christmastime. Typically, a Buche de Noel is a roulade style cake, very similar to a giant sized Hostess Ho Ho.
However, the most recent class offered at William Dean Chocolates was not for the average yule log cake! Participants created oh so fancy Buche de Noels with silicone molds and unique ingredients/flavors.
The base of each Buche de Noel was created with mousse – dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or passion fruit. The center of the logs contained ingredients like caramel and hazelnut. Once the mousse and center fillings were added to the molds, a thin piece of almond based cake was precisely cut to seal off the top of the mold (which would become the bottom layer of the log). A trip to the freezer was in order to allow the Buche de Noel mods to set…and then it was time to decorate!
I dare you to tell me you wouldn’t want to use a power paint sprayer to apply chocolate to a dessert. When I returned home from the class, I joked with Justin that we needed to head to Home Depot to obtain a paint sprayer that would be solely dedicated to chocolate use. Why the power sprayer, you ask? The tool was able to spray a beautiful, natural texture to the chilled Buche de Noel cakes. Plus, it added the final layer of crunch and flavor to the cake itself.
As for decor, this is where things got very fun. Meringue mushrooms were absolutely a must for the cakes, and Chef Tim instructed the class on how to make the perfect meringue to pipe the woodland treats. After applying the tops to the bottoms, the mushrooms were sprinkled gently with cocoa to emulate the appearance of dirt.
But we couldn’t stop at only meringue mushrooms, now could we? Three flavors of thin chocolate sheets (dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate), decked out with holiday patterns, were added to the mix to be placed on the ends of each yule log. Also, macaron shells were piped and baked for the occasion. Just looking at the vibrant red and green cookies were enough to put one in the holiday spirit!
Each piece was carefully assembled on the finalized Buche de Noel, and each of the attendees were able to bring home a completed yule log cake in the flavor of their choice! These cakes will certainly be a delicious and impressive dessert on their holiday tables (and I can’t wait to dig in to a slice of my own)!
Have you attended a specialty cooking class? What did you learn to make?