Hazelnut Buche de Noel
Posted By: Staff
¼ Cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned ¾ Cup of granulated sugar, divided 4 Large eggs, separated 1 Teaspoon of vanilla ¼ Teaspoon salt ¾ Cup of all-purpose flour Confectioner’s sugar Coffee Buttercream Also needed: 4 Squares (4 ounces) of semisweet chocolate, melted 1/4 Cup of brewed espresso coffee, cooled 1 Tablespoon of hazelnut liqueur
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Line it with wax paper; grease and flour the paper. In a food processor, process the hazelnuts with 1/4 cup of sugar until they are ground fine. Beat the egg yolks with ¼ cup of sugar in a mixer bowl at high speed until the mixture is pale and thick and forms a ribbon when the beaters are lifted, beat at least 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and salt. In a clean mixer bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Gradually add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, beating until stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into the yolks. Sift the flour on top and fold it in. Fold in the hazelnuts. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake 15 to 17 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly touched. Sift confectioner’s sugar onto a clean kitchen towel and invert the cake on top. Peel off the paper. With the towel, roll the cake up jelly-roll fashion from the long side. Cool completely. Coffee Buttercream: Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove it from the heat and stir in the ground coffee. Let it stand for 20 minutes. Strain it through a sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth into a clean medium saucepan. Reheat the milk to simmering over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook stirring constantly, over a medium-low heat until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon (do not boil). Strain through the sieve into the mixer bowl. Stir in the coffee liqueur. Cool to room temperature. Beat in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. (If the mixture appears curdled, let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes, then beat at high speed until smooth). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Spread melted chocolate on the paper to a 10 x 8-inch rectangle. Refrigerate until firm. To assemble, unroll the cake. Combine the brewed espresso with the hazelnut liqueur and brush evenly over the inside of the cake with a pastry brush. Reserve 1/2 cup of buttercream for the ends. Spread half the remaining buttercream on the cake and reroll. Place the cake seam side down on the cookie sheet and frost the outside with the remaining half of the buttercream. With a knife held diagonally at one end of the log, make a cut about 2 inches from the end to make a branch. Place the branch on top of the log. Frost the exposed ends of the cake with the reserved buttercream and draw a ring pattern with a fork. Break the cooled chocolate into 1-inch wide strips by bending the paper. Place the strips in the buttercream to form the bark of the log. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours. One hour before serving, remove from the refrigerator and transfer to a serving platter. Slice with a serrated knife.