So I finally took the leap and made my own Buche de Noel this year. Lots of research went into this before settling on a series of recipes that would work for me. It only took around 7 hours total. It’s mostly done except for final frosting and decorations (currently in the freezer)
So here are the steps:
First make the Vanilla Simple Syrup (can be made a few days in advance):
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla pod split
Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Stir in vanilla extract and add in vanilla bean.Let cool completely.
Praline (hazelnut) Paste: Perhaps this is easy to find elsewhere in the world but I could not find in Montreal, so I had to make my own – This can be made ahead of time – It will keep for several months in a tightly-closed container at a moderate temperature. Avoid heat, which will turn the hazelnut oil rancid and make the paste unusable.
3 Cups Hazelnuts
1 ½ Cups Caster sugar
1 Teaspoon Hazelnut oil
Preheat your oven to 180c and put your nuts on a tray (You can omit this part if you buy roasted hazelnuts instead of unroasted)Place in hot over for about 5-8 minutes Until the skins start to split. Lift out. Place in a tea towel, Rub your nuts;)The skin will easily rub off . When cool enough you can rub your nuts in your hands! There should be no skin left on them whatsoever..
Line a tray with silicon sheet or oil a tray. Add sugar to a pan. Put on a med-low heat with NO water . It will start to melt and caramelise . It may a little time but be patient. If you find it is getting too dark too quickly, reduce heat. Add your nuts .And coat. Turn out onto tray to cool, don’t put in fridge. When cool smash them up. And blitz in a food processor. Like this until nicely ground. And there you go! Ok so this is hazelnut praline. But……you want to make hazelnut paste, so carry on. Keep blitzing on high until the oil starts coming out off your nuts.
Add 1 tsp of hazelnut oil, Keep on blitzing
Now on to the Praline Buttercream:
1/3 cup praline paste
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Heat sugar and eggs: Bring a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of water to a simmer. Meanwhile, combine sugar, egg whites, and salt in a large heat-proof mixing bowl. Set bowl over (not in) simmering water, and whisk until whites are warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. (Heating the eggs relaxes their proteins, enabling the eggs to whip up higher and more quickly; the sugar also melts, for a silky smooth consistency.) Test by rubbing between your fingers; the mixture should feel smooth.
- Whip meringue: Attach bowl to a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form and mixture is cooled completely, about 10 minutes.
- Mix in butter: Reduce speed to medium-low; add butter 2 tablespoons at a time, beating to incorporate fully after each addition. Don’t worry if the buttercream appears curdled at this point; it will become perfectly smooth again with continued beating. After all the butter has been incorporated, beat in vanilla. Blend ½ cup buttercream into the praline paste, then add to the remaining buttercream. Whip briefly on med-low speed to combine.
- Finish: Switch to the paddle attachment. Beat on the lowest speed to reduce air bubbles, 3 to 5 minutes. Let stand, covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature.
If not using the same day, transfer to airtight containers and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days or the freezer up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature; beat with paddle attachment on the lowest speed until smooth and pliable, about 10 minutes. Sometimes buttercream will break. Look online for there are many fixes that you can do to make it work
- Butter for jellyroll pan
- 8 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- Pinch of salt
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Line bottom with parchment cut to fit, and coat parchment with spray. Dust with flour, and tap out excess.
- Whisk together eggs and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk until mixture is warm and sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes.
- With a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg mixture on high speed until pale and very thick, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Sift flour and salt over mixture in 3 additions, folding gently with a spatula. When almost incorporated, pour melted butter down side of bowl, and gently fold until completely incorporated.
- Heat oven to 400°. Grease and flour an approximately 13″ x 18″ rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, and set aside. Spread batter into an even layer on bottom of prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown on the bottom, about 12 minutes. Place a clean kitchen towel that is larger than the baking sheet on a work surface, and dust it liberally with confectioners’ sugar. Invert cake onto towel; dust with more sugar. Starting with a narrow end of the rectangle, immediately roll cake up into a jelly roll, letting the towel roll inside the cake. Let cool to room temperature.
5. Once cake is cooled, gently unroll it, remove towel, and brush the inside with the vanilla syrup; allow to soak in for about 2 minutes. Spread buttercream evenly over cake; reroll cake and set the roll seam side down on a serving platter. Since I did not have enough buttercream to frost, I froze the cake at this point. It looked like this Then I wrapped with food saver and bubble wrapped (just in case)
- Next step I’ll prepare a couple of of days prior to Xmas . Left to do…Slice off about 3″ of one end of the cake roll at a 30° angle; cut the other end to make it flat. Spread the flat end of the angled slice with a little buttercream and set the slice on top of the cake roll to create a “stump.” More buttercream frosting and use something to make it look like a log….