"" Writer's Wanderings: Joyeux Noël

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Joyeux Noël


In France, much like the children in Holland, shoes are set out at Christmas time for the French version of Santa, Pere Noel, to fill with sweets and little gifts.

Many of the traditions at Christmas vary with the area of France. In some areas the tradition of burning a yule log all night is still carried on. On source said that the yule log was sprinkled with wine to make it smell nicer as it burned. In some homes, the burning yule log has been replaced with a tasty edible chocolate version called buche de Noel.

A grand feast of the season called le reveillon takes place usually on Christmas Eve after the midnight mass. The menu varies depending upon the area of the country but can include goose or turkey with chestnuts. Of course in Paris they eat oysters and pat de foie gras. But all meals include the delicious pastries the French are noted for including the buche de Noel. If a chocolate yule log sounds good, here's one version of it:

Ingredients
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 egg whites
1/4 cup white sugar
confectioners' sugar for dusting
Directions
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whip cream, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until thick and stiff. Refrigerate.
2.In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until thick and pale. Blend in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and salt. In large glass bowl, using clean beaters, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, and beat until whites form stiff peaks. Immediately fold the yolk mixture into the whites. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
3.Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Dust a clean dishtowel with confectioners' sugar. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and turn the warm cake out onto the towel. Remove and discard parchment paper. Starting at the short edge of the cake, roll the cake up with the towel. Cool for 30 minutes.
4.Unroll the cake, and spread the filling to within 1 inch of the edge. Roll the cake up with the filling inside. Place seam side down onto a serving plate, and refrigerate until serving. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Yum, I love these things. I made one with ice cream for the filling. Delicious!

cb
http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com

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