December 2003 - Make your own Bûche de Noël
To celebrate the holidays this year, why not make a traditional Bûche de Noël? This delicious roll cake will make your Christmas spirits soar!
We asked our culinary associate, Chef Françoise, to contribute the following recipe (see below). We then prepared the cake in our own kitchen, here at Entrée to Black Paris. The results were scrumptious and quickly consumed by our staff!
Françoise gives cooking classes on French cuisine in her specially equipped kitchen in Paris. Her classes are designed to encourage student participation, and they are always lively. Participants come from all over of the world – in a session that we recently attended, an Italian, a Filipino, a Fin, a Mauritian, four Americans, and a Vietnamese joined four French participants in the kitchen.
After each lesson, the convivial group sits down to enjoy the three-course meal that they have prepared together. Hearty conversation develops around the shared experience and a good time is had by all!
POSTSCRIPT: Françoise has retired since we wrote this blog in 2003. If you are planning a visit to Paris and would like to join a cooking class that is similar to the one we describe above, contact us!
What you will need to prepare a Bûche de Noël:
For the cake
All-purpose flour (2/3 cup)
Whole eggs (3)
Sugar (1/2 cup)
Salt (a pinch)
Baking powder (1/2 teaspoon)
For the syrup
Rum (3 tablespoons)
Water (2 tablespoons)
Sugar (3 tablespoons)
For the buttercream
Unsalted butter (1½ cups)
Sliced almonds (1/2 cup)
Instant coffee (1 tablespoon)
Water (1 tablespoon)
Egg yolks (3)
Powdered sugar (1 cup)
To prepare the cake
1) Heat the oven to 400° F
2) With a portable mixer, mix the eggs with the sugar. Add the flour, the salt and the baking powder. Mix well.
3) Line a baking pan (10” x 15”) with non-stick baking paper. Spread the batter onto the baking pan, using a spatula, until it covers the entire surface.
4) Bake 8 minutes on the lower oven rack.
5) Remove the cake from the oven. When cool enough to handle, roll it into a cylinder (rolling the baking paper with the cake); secure the cylinder to keep it from unrolling and set aside.
To prepare the syrup
In a saucepan, heat the rum, the water and the sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
To prepare the buttercream
1) In a mixing bowl, stir the butter with a fork until it is smooth like a pomade.
2) Heat the sliced almonds in a skillet until they are lightly toasted. Use two wooden spatulas to toss the almonds while they are heating to keep them from burning.
3) When the almonds have cooled, add them to the butter and mix them in.
4) Add the powdered sugar and egg yolks. Mix well.
5) Dissolve the instant coffee in a tablespoon of water and stir it into the buttercream.
6) Heat the buttercream mixture for 5 seconds in the microwave to soften it. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth.
To prepare the Bûche de Noël
1) Unroll the cake cylinder and remove the baking paper.
2) With a baking brush, spread the syrup on the cake. Imbibe the cake completely, using all of the syrup.
3) With a spatula, spread 1/3 of the buttercream on the open cake.
4) Roll the cake into a tight cylinder, this time without the baking paper.
5) Place the cake on a serving platter.
6) Trim the ends of the cylinder, then spread the remaining buttercream over the cake.
7) Decorate the cake with a sprig of holly and enjoy!
Paris Panorama Newsletters for 2003
- December 2003 - Make your own Bûche de Noël
- November 2003 - Tea Time in Paris (Part 2)
- October 2003 - Tea Time in Paris (Part 1)
- September 2003 - Le Centaure
- August 2003 - Venus, Unveiled
- July 2003 - Christian Churches in Paris
- June 2003 - A Taste of Honey
- May 2003 - Hemingway's Paris
- April 2003 - The Old Tool Fair at Bievres
- March 2003 - Nairn's Paris
- February 2003 - The End of an Era
- January 2003 - Lionel Poilâne (1945-2002) Master Baker