I keep trying to come up with new things the family hasn't traditionally had for different holidays i.e. Pumpkin Cake for Thanksgiving. They aren't meant to replace the "norm" unless they are SPECTACULAR, just more of a way to instill the fact that change can be good ;)
This however may remain on our once a year plate because it was pretty darned good! I am salivating as I type - I really am!
I was watching something (likely the food network) and saw a commercial for the edible yule log or Buche de Noel as it may be referred to and thought "hey, I want to make that!". I told my MIL that is what I would be contributing this year for dinner - no objections!
The yule log has been around for many centuries and each nation has its own account as to how or why the wood was used. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule_log
I am just happy that someone decided that chocolate cake and icing was a good way to keep this tradition alive and ran with it!! Here's to you, whoever you are *high five*
Buche de Noel
1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. granulated white sugar
6 large eggs, separated
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 squares semisweet chocolate, chopped in small pieces & 1 1/2 tbsp. cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Whipped Cream Topping
1 c. milk (1%)
1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix
3 c. whipped cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Spray a 17 x 12 in. baking pan with cooking spray and line the pan with parchment paper. Make sure to butter and flour the parchment paper so that the cake comes off smooth.
In the bowl with the egg yolks mix 1/4 c. of sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about five minutes- you should notice that when you slowly raise the beaters, the batter will fall back into the bowl in a slow ribbon.)
Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the melted chocolate and cocoa and beat only to combine.
In the other egg white bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold a small amount of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture using a rubber spatula or whisk. Fold in the remaining whites just until incorporated. Don't over mix or the batter will deflate.
Spread the batter evenly into the pan. Bake until the cake is slightly puffy, has lost its shine, and springs back when gently pressed, approx. 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place on wire rack to cool. Cover the cake with a clean, slightly damp towel.
While the cake is cooling make your frosting :)
Whisk pudding mix with milk for about 2 minutes until it is slightly thick. Fold in the whipped cream.
The cake is the hardest part!!
Spread 1/3 of the frosting on the cake, roll into a log from the longest side. The cake may crack, its alright, keep going - it will be hidden by the rest of the frosting.
Cut off a few inches at the end on a diagonal on both sides and place one on top of the cake and one on the side to make it look as though the branches of the log were cut.
Use the remainder of the frosting to cover the rest of the cake.
I made meringue mushrooms for garnish (will post separately)