Sep 22, 2017 @ 9:00 AM
In France, no Christmas is considered complete without a Bûche de Noël. For the unfamiliar, the classic log-shaped dessert, which literally translates to "Yule log" in French, is made from a thin layer of spongecake that's rolled, frosted, and topped with confectioners' sugar to resemble a snowy Yule log. According to Eric Kayser, the pastry chef behind the cult-favorite Maison Kayser bakery chain, the cake comes from the old French tradition of burning an actual log on Christmas Eve for good luck and happiness in the New Year. In a live broadcast on InStyle's Facebook page, Kayser schooled us in the art of bûche-making. Watch his full tutorial below, and read on for a simplified version that you can make at home. Happy holidays, indeed.
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a jelly roll pan. Line it with buttered parchment paper.
2. Beat the eggs until thick and lemon colored. Gradually add 1 cup of sugar, beating constantly. Stir in water and chestnut spread. Fold in flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake until cake is springy to the touch and beginning to shrink away from the sides of the pan, about 15 minutes.
4. Lay out a tea towel, and sprinkle it with confectioners' sugar. Turn the cake out on the towel. Peel off the parchment paper. Cut away the crusty edges with kitchen shears or a sharp paring knife. Roll the cake up in the towel, and leave it to cool.
5. To prepare the cream, soften the butter then combine all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
6. Spread 3/4 of the cream on the sponge cake. Reserve the rest.
7. Spread cut up chestnut pieces on top, and gently roll up the cake.
8. Chill the cake for at least 30 minutes.
9. Spread the remaining cream around so that it covers the rolled-up cake, gently shape, and decorate using a fork.
10. Before serving, dust cake with confectioners' sugar and/or top with whipped cream.