Buche de Noel sounds rather more charming than Christmas Log doesn’t it although neither name really conveys the pleasure of eating this. Never mind, the answer is to press on and try it for yourself to see how very, very delicious it is.
This came about because none of my family are very keen on mincemeat based puds which puts Christmas pudding, mince pies et al fairly firmly out of the window. Indeed it came down to me to be solely responsible for the consumption of our Christmas cake last year (and the second one I made in January because I was so bereft when the first was finished, but that is another story).
So I set about finding something that is both festive and celebratory but avoided raisins or mincemeat. Some sort of Buche de Noel came to mind and I liked the idea of Marsala as I find is heady warmth particularly suited to this time of year. Tiramisu in its usual form is popular chez May so I decided this was the way to go.
This is both light and rich if that is not an oxymoron. What I mean is that you feel as if you have had a proper treat, boozy and creamy and yet don’t immediately need to lie down in a cool room because you are so stuffed. If that weren’t enough I think it is an absolute stunner – it brings to mind Biba mocha velvet with a cappuccino colour, floppy satin pussy cat bow…. Happy Christmas!
A Buche de Noel
This an easy pudding and you can make the components ahead of time. The chocolate outer you see in the photographs was made a day before and kept rolled in a cool place before being filled – as you see it looks a picture and I must tell you, tasted divine.
5 teaspoons coffee (made with 1/2 a teaspoon of instant coffee and 6 of boiling water)
130g caster sugar
50g cocoa, plus extra for dusting
250g tub marscarpone
6 teaspoons Marsala
2 tablespoons icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 170 and line a swiss roll tin (approx 34x24cm) with baking parchment. Put the egg yolks and sugar in one bowl and whisk until pale and doubled in volume; put the whites into another bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Sieve the cocoa into the egg yolks along with 2 teaspoons of the coffee and combine. Add a third of the egg whites into the yolks and mix well to slacken the chocolate mixture then add the remaining whites in two lots, combining very gently. Pour the whole lot into the prepared tin and cook for 15 minutes until just firm on top. Whilst it is in the oven dust another sheet of parchment with cocoa. When the chocolate mix is cooked, carefully tip it out onto the cocoa dusted parchment and starting from the short end, firmly (but gently!) roll up, using the paper to help you and leave it to cool.
Meanwhile mix the mascarpone, marsala, icing sugar and 3 teaspoons of the coffee together and taste, you might decide you want a little more sugar or marsala…! Carefully unroll the chocolate outer and spread the marscarpone mixture over it, then roll it up again. It may crack but usually stays together pretty well and anyway, it really doesn’t matter. If you want you can dust with more cocoa, a snow fall of icing sugar or a grating of chocolate – up to you. Serves 6-8 depending on how generous your slices are and how much you want left over…..