The Yule log, or bûche de Noël, is a traditional Christmastime dessert popular in Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Quebec and dates back to pre-medieval time. They would burn actual logs to celebrate the winter solstice and cleanse the air and it wasn’t until the 19th century that the yule log cake would become popularized and enjoyed for decades to come.
This was a new baking challenge for me and has been on my baking bucket list for some time. With all the holiday pie options offered I wanted to make sure there was an option that my kitchen helper liked as well. Since he is a big fan of vanilla cake and vanilla buttercream I knew this was the time to try the yule log using his favorite flavors. The birch tree yule log was the answer. To take on this baking challenge I decided to use a cake batter and buttercream that I have used in the past and that my family loves. The special “birch” tree effect came from melting both white and dark chocolate. This decorative detail provided an amazing texture to the dessert. This easy decorative element makes a huge impact on the presentation and I was so excited about how it turned out.
If you would like to take on this challenge, here are a few suggestions. I baked the cake, made the birch tree chocolate and buttercream, while my kitchen helper was in school. He then assisted me in assembling the yule log as an after school activity. He was very curious about the cake being rolled up and couldn’t wait to unroll and take a nibble. Rolling the cake, preferably in parchment paper, when it’s warm helps prevent cracking. My cake did crack but only because it was left too long wrapped up, but I’m happy to say the buttercream saved the day in covering up these imperfections. Adding the buttercream to the inside of the roll was a perfect job for my kitchen helper and he loved helping me roll the cake back into a yule log form. Once the buttercream was applied to the outside of the cake it was time to decorate and then enjoy a slice. You too can accomplish this baking challenge and in the process make a new holiday family tradition.
History Information Sources: History.com