Buche de Noel, Swiss Roll, Yule Log or Christmas Cake…regardless of what you call it, it’s divine! This chocolate sponge, filled with velvety soft whipped cream, covered in ultra rich chocolate icing is perfect for the Christmas day family gathering.
I’m a sponge virgin! The shot that you are looking at is my very first attempt at a sponge roll and with 38 days till Christmas (ekkk!) I am feeling rather chuffed at my first attempt.
Researching the history of Buche de Noel (thanks to good old wikipedia and Google!) as the name suggests it is French in origin but has links to Celtic tradition which dates back all the way to the Iron Ages. In winter the families would get together in December to celebrate winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. They would decorate yule logs with holly, pine cones or ivy and burn the logs. This would not only usher in spring but also warn off any evil spirits and signify rebirth.
Legend has it that the recipe really came to life when Napoleon issued a law which stopped Parisians using their chimneys because he thought the cold air caused people to get sick. Seeing as people were no longer able to burn logs in their fire places the Parisian bakers invented the dessert as a substitute for the actual process of burning the log.
I tasted my first Buche de Noel a few years ago at my husbands parents place.They bought the most amazingly decorator chocolate log cake I have ever seen, each year the log would come with different decorations which we have kept. The Santa on top of mine is from the very first cake I tasted.
Sponge cakes are easy, providing that you follow the instructions to the nth degree. I did with this one. My sponge was light, fluffy and easy to roll. The secret is to have everything prepared and ready.
So from my family to yours, wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and HAPPY BAKING!