Every December, Chefs Sidney and Alison used to host guests for a special cooking vacation all about French holiday traditions. While we no longer offer that particular Christmas trip, you can get in the holiday spirit now with their Bûche de Noël, or Christmas log, recipe.
Bûche de Noël
Prep time: 120 minutes (plus overnight)
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cook method: Bake
- 300 ml (or 1 1/4 cup) egg whites
- 125 g (4 1/2 ounces) caster sugar
- 225 g (1 cup) ground hazelnuts
- 200 g (7 ounces) icing sugar
- 60 g (1/4 cup) flour
- 60 ml (2 ounces) double cream
- 60 ml (2 ounces) milk
- 25 g (1 ounce) caster sugar
- 30 g (1 ounce) yolks
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 3 grams leaf gelatine, soaked to soften
- 100 g (3 1/2 ounces) double cream
- 50 ml (2 ounces) coffee essence or strong espresso
White chocolate mousse
- 270 g (1 1/4 cup) white chocolate
- 500 ml (2 cups) double cream
- 2 leaves gelatin
Meringue (to garnish)
- 500 g (2 1/4 cup) egg whites
- 850 g (3 3/4 cup) caster sugar
You will also need two molds. Try using one long mold (48 cm by 8 cm) and smaller molds (5 cm by 5 cm) for the inner layer of the bavarois.
To make the dacquoise
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF).
2. Whisk the egg white and when it starts to froth, add the sugar in spoonfuls until it is all used up and you have a smooth, stiff mixture.
3. Next, sift in the dry ingredients, and then carefully fold them in with a spoon, so as not to lose the air bubbles.
4. Spread onto a flat non-stick baking tray, or a normal baking tray lined with baking paper.
5. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes.
To make the bavarois
6. Put the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla into a pan and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and leave to cool slightly before pouring into the yolks, whisking all the time.
7. Next, add the soaked gelatine and stir in.
8. Once the mixture has cooled and started to thicken, whip the cream to the soft peak stage and fold into the mix. Then add the coffee.
9. Set the bavarois in your smallest molds.
To make the white chocolate mousse
10. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over hot water. Take off the heat and add 100ml of the double cream.
11. Add the soaked and drained gelatine.
12. Semi-whip the cream and fold into the chocolate mix.
13. Pour into your terrine mould and push in the set bavarois so it is level with the top of the mold.
14. Cut the dacquoise so it fits on top, and push it so that it will stick to the mousse.
15. Place in the fridge to set overnight.
To make the merinque
16. Whip the egg whites and when they start to froth, slowly start adding the sugar until you have a smooth mixture. You can also add a shot of espresso to this too, if you like coffee flavor.
17. Turn your set bûche from the mold and cover with the meringue, before carefully browning with a blowtorch.
Recipe by Alison Bond
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Want something easier? Try this simple recipe for chocolate mousse.
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