This Buche de Noel is a decadent whipped cream-filled chocolate jellyroll infused with Kahlua for extra panache and topped with chocolate ganache to make it simply divine. It’s simple to make too.
Today was my first day off in a long time so I thought I’d have a baking therapy session. It was one of those days where I reveled in my pajamas all day long. I wasn’t lazy about anything else but it was so nice to not wear real clothes (if you know what I mean). I put on some Christmas music and then got to work.
I’ve always loved chocolate with whipped cream. When I was a kid, some of my classmates would bring crème filled cupcakes to school in their lunches. All of the kids who were stuck with school lunches, including myself, stared with envy while they relished their treats. Now that I’m an adult, I can make my own chocolate and whipped cream treats. One of my favorites is Buche De Noel. I infuse mine with Kahlua for an extra decadent treat but you can use strong coffee, peppermint liquor or Bailey’s instead. The recipe I have at home is entirely from scratch. You have to whip up egg whites, fold in melted chocolate and flour, and carefully put the mixture in a jellyroll pan (hoping to maintain all the air so that the cake remains light and fluffy in texture). You then have to let it cool, fill it, let the filled cake cool, drizzle the thick glaze on top and let that cool once again before serving. It takes all day and I end up with a lot of dishes to wash which means I only make it for very special occasions.
A reader asked for a recipe for a Buche de Noel so I decided to see if I could simplify my from-scratch recipe with similar results. I’ve come up with a recipe that starts with a box cake mix (this saves a LOT of time and dishes) and still tastes just as great as the recipe from scratch that used to take all day. Best part is there are only 3 bowls and one pan to clean; compared to the small mountain of dirty dishes I used to have afterwards. I kept the homemade whipped cream because it’s one of my favorites and simple to make, but you could use cool whip to save time (and still more dishes). You still need time for things to cool in between steps so this is not a “quick” recipe but it’s well worth the time.
This cake looks complicated but it’s actually pretty easy because the whipped cream holds everything together and the chocolate ganache covers any mistakes.
You roll the cake up in a tea towel while it’s hot and let it cool as a roll.
When you unroll the cake, it will break but that’s OK.
Just push the pieces close together and tuck a piece of aluminum foil under the far end of the cake. Top the cake with whipped cream and use the tea to roll the cake back up. Because you cooled the cake rolled up in the tea towel, it will roll back up pretty easily. It’s OK if there are cracks in the cake. Logs aren’t perfect.
Roll the cake onto the aluminum foil and refrigerate for an hour before topping with the chocolate ganache. The whipped cream will glue the broken pieces back together.