The French Christmas cake, or Bûche de Noël (Christmas log) is a delicious cake, normally consisting of a Swiss roll-type sponge cake, filled with coffee, chestnut or chocolate butter cream and covered with the same cream, then decorated to look like a log, with extra little decorations on top. But in my childhood, my mother invented a new and equally delicious version of it, which was eminently suitable for an Australian summer Christmas. It’s super easy, doesn’t heat the house up–because no baking required at all!–and can be made Christmas Eve. I make it every year. It’s always popular!
I’ve published this recipe before, but not for a while, so here it is again, Maman’s Bûche de Noël.
1 packet sponge finger biscuits
200 g unsalted butter, melted
1 or 2 eggs(depending on how much mixture you have)
half to 3/4 cup hot strong sweet coffee(a good instant coffee works fine)
Good cooking chocolate, melted with a little cream.
Crush all the biscuits (you can do this in the blender), add the hot sweet coffee, the melted butter, and mix well. Add the slightly beaten egg(or two). You need to obtain a good stiff mix that you can easily shape into a log. That’s what you do then–shape it into a log, and then put it in fridge till it is set. Meanwhile melt the chocolate over a low heat with a little cream, stir till all melted and glossy. Spread over the cake, on the top and sides. Put in fridge to set overnight. You can decorate the top with angelica leaves, almonds, rose petals, candied flowers, whatever you feel like! (Picture above is of one I made a couple of Christmasses ago)