Buche de Noel is a chocolate roulade and is really France's Christmas cake. Buche is the French word for log. The idea is that it looks like a snow covered log! It's a great alternative to our own heavier Traditional Christmas Cake. Or if you prefer, you could serve both!
- 225g (8 oz) Dark Chocolate
- 150g (5 oz) Caster Sugar
- 5 Large eggs
- 350ml (12 fluid oz.) Cream
- 110g (4 oz.) sugar
- 110g(4 oz.) Slivered Almonds
To make the Praline: Melt the 4 oz. of sugar in a small heavy pan. Keep it on the heat and, stirring from time to time, continue cooking until it turns nut brown. Tip in the almonds very carefully and stir into the mixture.
Have a lightly buttered baking tin ready and carefully tip the contents of the pot on to this. Leave this to cool and set to a crisp toffee.
Bash the toffee into coarse crumbs (use a pestle and mortar if you have one, if not use the end of a rolling pin in a strong bowl or give it a quick whizz in a food processor). Set the praline aside and start on the cake.
Melt the chocolate with 4 tablespoons of water (do this either in a microwave set at medium or in a bowl over a pot of barely simmering water).
Separate the eggs and beat the whites up to soft peaks and set aside.
Beat the yolks up with the sugar until thick and white. Fold the melted chocolate into the yolks and when well blended fold the whites in gently.
Line a swiss-roll tin with parchment paper and set the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the lined tin and bake at this temperature for 15 to 20 mts. (the mixture should still be soft and sticky in the middle).
Turn this out on to a wire rack (also lined with paper) and leave to cool completely.
Beat the cream until thick and put half of it to one side. Mix the other half with the praline and spread over the chocolate cake.
Roll this up like a swiss roll and leave to set (don't worry if it cracks, these can be covered later).
If you transfer the roulade on to a clean tea cloth before you put the praline cream on it makes the rolling much easier.
Serve with the remaining cream and enjoy!