• Issy

Chocolate-Orange Bûche de Noël

Christmas is around the corner and what better way to celebrate it than with a special dessert. Buûche de Noël is only the most famous tradition in France around Christmas. Vitrines of every boulangerie and pastry shop are showcasing unique interpretations of the dessert. Bûche de Noël, as the name suggests (literally Christmas log), is decorated in the form of a yule log. This dessert is not like any other - it is a piece of art.

Bûche de Noël consists of three layers: a delicate sponge, a creamy filling, and a chocolate ganache. My interpretation of this classic dessert is entirely vegan and combines the flavors of chocolate and orange.


Ingredients:

For the sponge (vegan génoise):

  • 120 g spelt flour

  • 30 g cacao powder

  • 80 g coconut sugar

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 150 ml of coconut milk

  • juice of half an orange

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 50 ml aquafaba*

For the orange filling:

  • 200 ml of coconut milk

  • 20 g corn starch

  • 40 g coconut sugar

  • juice and zest of 1 orange

  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the ganache:

  • 60 ml of coconut milk

  • 50 g dark chocolate

  • [optional] 2-3 drops of orange essential oil

Preparation:

For the sponge:

  1. Combine all ingredients except the aquafaba. Mix them together to obtain a homogenous consistency.

  2. Whisk the aquafaba with a mixer until stiff peaks form and gently add it to the mixture.

  3. Pour the batter into a pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes at 180 degrees C.

  4. Flip the sponge over on a wet clean kitchen towel.

  5. Roll the baked sponge while still hot using the towel and let it cool down keeping the rolled shape. That will allow the sponge to develop a memory of how to roll itself up.**

For the orange filling:

  1. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients and place on a stove at medium heat.

  2. Cook until the mixture thickens while stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Allow to cool down.

  3. Unroll the sponge and spread the filling over evenly.

  4. Roll the sponge once again with the filling on the inside.

For the ganache:

  1. Heat up the milk but make sure that it does not boil.

  2. Pour it over the chocolate, wait for 2 minutes and mix well. Add orange essential oil if desired.

  3. Let the ganache cool down and set. This process can take from half an hour to an hour.***

  4. To make your dessert look like a log, you can cut about a quarter of the roll at an angle and attach it to one side of the roll using the ganache.

  5. Then, spread the ganache over the dessert and scar it using a fork or a knife to create the characteristic look of a log.

  6. Dust with some cacao powder and/or icing sugar, and use your imagination to decorate more.

Happy baking, happy holidays! Merry Christmas!

Tips:

* Aquafaba can be replaced by some extra plant-based milk. However, that way the sponge may not turn as airy and fluffy.

** This step is extremely important, it should not be skipped. It will facilitate the rolling of the sponge at a later stage of the preparation.

*** If you want to speed up the setting of the ganache, place it in the fridge.

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Christina (Issy)

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