The atmosphere is charged; March Madness is in full swing. Everyone is busy drafting and revising their brackets, heated discussions are on to project their winners, potlucks are being arranged, and bars are overflowing with fans. My husband and son are watching the games on TV and then turning to internet to enjoy special moments. Now throw in another kind of madness into the mix, my son had invited friends for a sleepover at our house and a request was put in to make his favorite cake Buche de Noel, French for Yule Log. My favorite version is from Betty Crocker’s Everything Chocolate book. This is a luscious dessert that will be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. My family’s only complaint with this dessert is that it doesn’t yield many pieces, so I always double this recipe and make two logs.
For the cake
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Line a jelly roll pan with approximate dimensions of a 15 X 10 X 1 inches, with a parchment paper. Grease the paper with butter.
3. In a small bowl whisk together
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
You will also need
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
4. In a large bowl beat eggs with an electric mixer till very thick.
5. Gradually beat in sugar, water and vanilla.
6. Beat in flour mixture from step 3 until batter is smooth. Do not overbeat.
7. Spread the batter into the prepared pan from step 2 and bake for 12-15 minutes
8. When the cake is in the oven, spread a kitchen towel on a countertop and cover it with about 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar.
9. Invert the cake on the Kitchen towel and carefully remove the parchment paper.
10. Cut the edges of the cake if they are stiff and hard, otherwise you will have difficulty rolling the cake.
11. Immediately roll the cake and towel from narrow end. When I made this cake the first time, I had trouble understanding the instructions, so I have added a youtube link from Taste of Home magazine for your convenience.
12. Cool the roll on a wire rack for 30-45 minutes.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp coffee
13. In a chilled bow, with an electric mixer beat whipping cream, sugar and coffee until stiff; if the mixture is too fluffy it will ooze out of the cake.
14. Unroll cake, remove towel and spread whipped cream evenly over it. Now you are ready to frost the cake.
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup cocoa
2 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 to 2 tbsp hot water
15. Beat butter and cocoa till thoroughly mixed.
16. Add sugar, vanilla and water.
17. Beat till frosting is smooth and of spreading consistency.
18. Frost the cake and with the tines of fork, make strokes in frosting to resemble bark.