Friday, December 27, 2013

Chocolate-Peppermint Buche de Noel

My family did not come into town for the Christmas holiday so we spent Christmas Day with SP's family at his parents' house. Everyone pitches in for the meal and this year in addition to a dip for a veggie tray, we offered to take dessert. We took a bunch of the cookies we baked and we made a Buche de Noel. I really like the combination of chocolate & peppermint, and I especially like peppermint flavored treats this time of year, so we made a Chocolate-Peppermint Buche de Noel.
I did not get many photos of this dessert. We were really busy Christmas morning, baking this cake plus trying to get a bunch of other stuff done before heading out for the day, so we didn't take any photos at home. We used the chocolate cake and ganache recipes from the Buche de Noel recipe we made a few years ago (from Baking Illustrated) but instead of espresso-mascarpone filling (which we used before and which is quite delicious) we decided to make a peppermint filling. Since we were a bit afraid of a whipped cream filling not lasting/turning into a runny & wet mess, we used this recipe to stabilize the filling. It uses powdered sugar and a bit of cream cheese with the whipping cream and we added 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (we used 1 cup whipping cream).

I think this cake was a big hit and I know that we both really enjoyed it. The chocolate cake is moist and spongy and chocolaty. The peppermint filling was light and just pepperminty enough.

We didn't cut the cake into pieces and create a true Buche de Noel complete with meringue mushrooms like we did the last time we made it. We didn't use fork tines to make the ganache resemble bark. We simply left the cake as a long jelly roll cake. It was too long for our cake carrier, so we took it to Christmas on a foil lined cookie sheet and covered in plastic wrap.

Sadly, it seems someone squashed the leftovers after we wrapped them and left them on the table at Christmas:
This is quite disappointing, and a little hurtful, since making a jelly roll cake isn't exactly easy and quick. This particular recipe uses a lot of bowls, a lot of whisks and beaters, a pot & bowl for the double boiler, both the stand mixer and food processor (for the ganache), and involves folding whipped egg whites into batter. Lots of work and lots of clean up.
That's the end of it, all squashed out and with the filling spurting out. We suspect that for some reason it was the 5 1/2 year old nephew who decided to squash it, but honestly, knowing how my brother and I were raised and how my brother has raised his kids, I just cannot believe a 5 1/2 year old would do this. He should know better. If my brother or I did this at that age, we would have been spanked/punished. Of course, we would never have even thought to do such a thing. I thought we had left it on the table in a not easily reached location, but I guess not.

So I am a little sad. My delicious (in my opinion) leftover cake that we spent a lot of time and effort on is squashed into an unappetizing mess. At least it still tastes delicious. This is a definite make again dessert.

Ho ho ho.

Cake, filling, & ganache recipes can be found here.

Stabilizing a whipping cream recipe can be found here.

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