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  • Summary

    We get a little weak-kneed with delight around cakes, particularly cakes whimsically shaped to look like something else—in this case, a Yule log. Made famous in France as Bûches de Noël, these sheet cakes, filled, rolled, and frosted to look like the trunks of trees, complete with the stumps of sawed off branches, provide creative cooks the very real opportunity to play with their food. Want a few woodsy meringue mushrooms made from meringue to continue the conceit? Why not? No offense to the French, but we think this Italian version, brushed with an espresso syrup, filled with whipped cream lightened mascarpone cheese, and encased in a serious chocolate ganache, which lends itself well to sculpting, is just about the best we've ever had. Buttercream frosting is good—we know only too well from licking many bowls of it clean—but ganache is easier to make and even better to eat! Editor's Note: This recipe is part of Gourmet's Modern Menu for A Christmas Classic. Menu also includes Herb-Crusted Beef Rib Roast with Potatoes, Carrots, and Pinot Noir Jus and Green Beans with Caramelized Pecans .

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring), plus additional for dusting pan
    • 5 large eggs, separated, left at room temperature for 30 minutes
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
    • 1/2 cup espresso or very strong black coffee
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 tablespoon Cognac or brandy
    • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
    • 12 ounces 60% bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
    • Meringue mushrooms
    • Unsweetened cocoa for dusting
    • Confectioners' sugar for dusting
    • A 15- by 10- by 1-inch rimmed sheet pan (aka jelly-roll pan; small offset spatula (optional, but really helpful); long rectangular or oval platter or wooden serving board

    Instructions

    Click Here For Step-By-Step Instructions

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    Nutrition

    Nutritional Info
    • Servings Per Recipe: 10
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 515 % Daily Value *
    • Total Fat: 38 g 58.72%
    • Saturated Fat: 23 g 113.93%
    • Trans Fat: 1 g %
    • Cholesterol: 74 mg 24.82%
    • Sodium: 119 mg 4.97%
    • Calcium: 56 mg 5.59%
    • Potassium: 51 mg 1.44%
    • Magnesium: 0 mg 0%
    • Iron: 2 mg 12.82%
    • Zinc: 0 mg 0%
    • Total Carbohydrate: 25 g %
    • Dietary Fiber: 2 g 7.02%
    • Sugar: 18 g
    • Protein: 6 g
    • Alcohol: 0 g
    • Omega 3 Fatty Acid: 0 g
    • Omega 6 Fatty Acid: 1 g
    • Vitamin A 18.14%
    • Vitamin C 0.3%
    • Vitamin D 4.73%
    • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
    Diabetes Exchanges
    • Exchange - Fat8
    • Exchange - Fruit0
    • Exchange - NonFat Milk0
    • Exchange - Other Carbs1
    • Exchange - Starch0
    • Exchange - Vegetables0
    • Exchange - Lean Meat0
    • Exchange - Alcohol0
    MyPlate Info
    • MyPlate - Grain Total0 oz-eq
    • MyPlate - Vegetable Total0 c
    • MyPlate - Fruit0 c
    • MyPlate - Dairy0 c
    • MyPlate - Protein Total0 oz-eq

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