How to make a French Buche de Noel at home

Written by on December 14, 2017 in Desserts

delicious French Buche de Noel cake

If you live in France, the chances are you’ll buy one of these classic Christmas cakes in the boulangerie rather than make one at home. There’s such a huge choice of Buches and every baker likes to add his or her own personal touch to these delicious gateaux.

But, if you’re not in France, that doesn’t mean you can’t have your cake and eat it because the good news is – this is fabulous and easy recipe for a French buche de Noel. Add your own finishing touches and personalise the perfect Christmas dessert.

Ingredients for a buche de Noel

Serves 6-8

5 eggs
110g sugar
seeds of 1 vanilla pod
Pinch of salt
70g flour
4 tbsps good-quality cocoa powder
150g white chocolate, chopped
60g butter
125g sour cream
250g powdered sugar

How to make a French Buche de Noel

Preheat the oven to 180°C  and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla until creamy and thick.

In the meantime, whisk the egg whites (to which you’ve added a pinch of salt) until stiff. Now sift the flour and cocoa into the egg yolk mixture and fold in. You will notice that the mixture is thick and heavy. Add the egg whites in three batches. Do this gently so you don’t lose air. Spread the batter evenly over the baking sheet. The batter should measure approximately 33 x 27cm.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow the cake to cool slightly on a wire rack.

Lay another sheet of parchment paper on your work surface, flip the cake onto the paper and gently peel off the sheet it baked on.

To make the frosting, gently melt the chocolate and butter au bain-marie. Allow the mixture to cool and whisk in the rest of the ingredients until you have a smooth consistency. Pop into the fridge for 10 minutes so that it thickens.

Spread the genoise with a layer of frosting and roll tightly from the long side. Cut a small piece from both ends at an angle. These will be used as branches. Use a little of the frosting to ‘glue’ the branches to the sides of the roll. Spread the rest of the frosting over the entire surface and use the prongs of a fork to swirl texture into the frosting.

Decorate as you wish and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Find a recipe for a traditional Galette des Rois, the French Kings’ Cake eaten at new year, in our free ezine The Good Life France Magazine

Paola Westbeek is a food, wine and travel journalist. For more of her recipes, please visit ladoucevie.eu, thefrenchlife.org and her YouTube channel, LaDouceVieFood.

Related Articles

How to make Canelé de Bordeaux cakes

The origins of the little French cakes known as canelés remains a mystery, but one of the most plausible theories is that they were invented by the nuns of the L’Annonciade monastery in Sainte-Eulalie, in Bordeaux. When basking them, some people use a silicone mold. But I always recommend using traditional copper molds. Granted, copper […]

Continue Reading

Easy recipe for Chocolate Soufflé

Easy recipe for Chocolate Soufflé

Written by on February 25, 2019 in Desserts

A light, airy and utterly scrumptious dessert. Most people think it’s a tricky recipe but it’s not really that difficult when you know how. The soufflé as we know it is said to have originated in France in the 18th century when it was apparently created as a dish for the mistress of Louis XV, […]

Continue Reading

Recipe for French gingerbread Pain d’Epices

Whenever I visit the small town of Buxy in France’s Côte Chalonnaise, you will likely find me at the tiny market held in the centre ville on Thursday mornings. Though there aren’t many stalls, every-thing on offer is absolutely delicious. I especially look forward to stopping by the stand selling honey and French gingerbread, or […]

Continue Reading

Chestnut cream-filled meringues with chocolate sauce

Taking hardly any time at all to prepare these sweet, crunchy meringues filled with chestnut cream and covered in hot chocolate sauce are a dreamy dessert! Serves 6 Preparation time: 10 minutes 1.5 cups (200g) thick crème fraiche 1 heaped tablespoon mascarpone 2 teaspoons sweet chestnut purée (crème de marrons) 50z (150g) bittersweet chocolate 5 […]

Continue Reading

Recipe for Apple and Blackberry Clafoutis

Clafoutis is one of the most versatile French desserts and finds its origins in the Limousin, a lush, green region situated in the heart of the Massif Central. If you’ve never made or tasted clafoutis before, think of it as a ‘custardy’ type of cake. It doesn’t call for that much flour, so there isn’t […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top