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December 2003 - Make your own Bûche de Noël

[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 Discover 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!

If you are planning a visit to Paris and would like to join Françoise’s cooking class, contact us!

[Bûche de Noël]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.

[Bûche de Noël]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!

Merry Christmas!

Paris Panorama Newsletters for 2003