Having a December 23, birthday means that your birthday cake will forever be a “Buche de Noel” or Christmas Log…and it was never a problem for me… Having a birthday during the festive holiday season was always very special and I liked the fact that my cake was a long, usually chocolatey delight in the shape of a piece of wood!!!
One of our favorite recipes for a Christmas Log, here at SWEETTABLESCAPES is this Orange-Walnut Christmas Log by Martha Stewart... It looks stunning and tastes even better! It’s always on our holiday menu and goes VERY fast!!
- Vegetable-oil cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts
- 6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
- 10 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Confectionersâ€™ sugar, for dusting
- Orange Mascarpone Filling
- Chocolate Bark
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Coat a 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper. Spray and flour parchment, tapping off excess; set aside. In a food processor, pulse walnuts and flour until coarsely ground; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks with 5 tablespoons sugar until thick and pale. Beat in vanilla. In a clean mixing bowl fitted with a clean whisk, beat egg whites with salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 5 tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff glossy peaks form. Fold egg whites into yolk mixture in three equal batches, and add walnut mixture with last batch.
- Spread batter evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake until top is golden and springs back when touched, about 30 minutes. Run a small sharp knife around edges of cake; invert cake onto a clean kitchen towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Peel off parchment paper. Starting at a short side, gently roll the cake into a log, incorporating towel. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
- Reserve 1 1/2 cups mascarpone filling. Unroll cake and spread remaining filling on top, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Carefully reroll cake (without towel). Arrange, seam-side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a serrated knife, trim end of log. Spread reserved filling over log. Working quickly, arrange chocolate bark all over log, overlapping pieces slightly. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. Garnish with acorns and leaves, if desired; dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
Orange Mascarpone Filling
- Yield Makes enough for 1 twelve-inch log
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon Cointreau, or other orange-flavored liqueur
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat all ingredients except heavy cream, until smooth. Gently fold in whipped cream. Use immediately, or refrigerate, covered, up to 3 days. If you’re refrigerating the filling, bring it to room temperature and beat until smooth with the paddle attachment before using.
- Yield Makes enough to cover 1 twelve-inch log
- 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Place chocolate in a small heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, and stir until melted. Remove bowl from heat; let chocolate cool, stirring occasionally, until it registers 88 degrees on a candy thermometer. Pour onto prepared baking sheet, and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Refrigerate until firm but still pliable, 8 to 10 minutes. Tear into jagged pieces, no larger than 1 1/2 inches each. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Use immediately.