Raven Ramblings, Raven Recipes

Raven Roast Buche De Noel Cake

Raven Roast Buche De Noel

Happy Solstice!

May the sun return and shine on all of us! For this incredibly ancient holiday, we would like to give you a new take on an old classic. Rich chocolate pairs with the complex and unique flavor of Raven Roast Coffee Alternative for a unique yet timeless Buche De Noel.  A French inspired Holiday classic!

The Buche de Noel

A desert with a rich yet homely history. The literal translation is Yule log. Sounding familiar? The Yule log was originally a Norse pagan tradition -Yule being a Norse word for their god of winter- but spread south to Gaelic and Celtic lands. It was literally a giant log brought into the hearth of the main hall and kept burning for days on end. It was meant to bring warmth and illumination to the darkest nights of the year and to hold the night at bay until the suns return. Burning a Yule log could help ensure the following seasons were fruitful, and the leftover ashes were spread on crops and kept as a ward against evil and bad luck.

It caught on like a fire.

Yule log rituals were gradually absorbed into standard Christmas traditions. Each European culture had their own unique spin. Some people sprinkled salt, holy water, or meaningful herbs on the log.  Other people…well…if you want a real kick in the pants, read about Catalan’s Yule log tradition😳. Eventually, hauling a whole damn tree inside and lighting it on fire became less and less practical, and Yule logs got smaller…and smaller.

The Norse god of winter? Perhaps?

Then the French got a hold of it and were like…dude… what if this log was made of chocolate cake… and we could just… eat it  🤷  

+              ⇄       ✔

 And VOILA the desert Buche de Noel was born.

There are as many versions of Buche de Noel as there are little French grandma’s baking away at Christmas time. Generally speaking, it is a thin chocolate flavoured sponge cake rolled into a jelly roll with a buttercream filling. Then it is topped with ganache or chocolate frosting and decorated to look…well…like a log.

This one has a rich sponge enhanced with Raven Roast Cocoa Ramon. The herbal Coffee Alternative gives it depth and interest similar to coffee -and of course, you get to eat your herbs!  It contains enough cocoa to give it a comforting traditional feel. The Ramon nut is also chocolaty and rich. Dandelion and Chicory add a bit of bitter complexity and brightness. The Buttercream filling is smooth and rich with heavy cream and also flavored with Raven Roast. Your friends and family will notice the coffee like flavor, but not be able to quite pin it down. Fun!

Since Raven Roast was developed here in the Valhalla Mountains of BC (on unceded Sinixt territory), it feels really appropriate to offer you a traditional Christmas desert with Nordic Pagan roots. My mother in law Sheila developed this recipe. She used Cocoa Ramon non-caffeinated, but our caffeinated Mocha Mate would work just as well.  She and my father in law live in an off grid cabin in the woods of BC. The first version was baked in a wood fired oven, so about as traditional as you can get – without hauling a whole giant tree into your house, that is.

 

Raven Roast Buche de Noel Recipe

INGREDIENTS

CAKE:

6 large eggs, separated

1/2 c. all-purpose flour

2 T Raven Roast, Mocha Mate or Cocoa Ramon

2T Cocoa Powder

3/4 c. granulated sugar, divided (1/2 c. + 1/4 c.)

1/4 tsp. salt

Powdered sugar, for sprinkling

FILLING:

1 1/4 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. powdered sugar

2 1/2 tsp Raven Roast

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

FROSTING:

Coconut cream skimmed from 1 can coconut milk

1 cup chocolate chips

Cranberries, moistened then dipped in sugar for garnish (optional)

Small rosemary sprig or a small evergreen branch, for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line a jelly roll pan (15×10 sheet pan) with parchment paper and grease with butter or cooking spray.

Cake: 

  • In a medium bowl mix together flour, cocoa powder, Raven Roast, and salt.
  • In a large bowl beat egg yolks until thick. Slowly add ½ cup sugar and beat until pale. With a sifter add in flour mixture, then mix gently until smooth.
  • In another bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining ¼ cup sugar a little at a time and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Add egg whites to batter, folding gently.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and even out with a spatula. Bake until top springs back when lightly pressed, 12-15 minutes.
  • Dust a clean kitchen towel with powdered sugar. Using a knife, carefully loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and then invert the warm cake onto the towel. Carefully peel off parchment paper. Sprinkle with a little more powdered sugar.
  • Starting at the short end, tightly roll the cake, along with the towel, into a log. Let cool completely.

Filling: 

  • In a large bowl, beat together heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until peaks form. Add the 2 1/2 tsp. Raven Roast and beat again. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • When cake is cool, unroll and spread filling evenly over cake. Roll cake back into a log, this time without rolling the towel along with it. Wrap the towel over the top to keep the roll tight. Place seam side down on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Frosting: 

  • Take the cream from a can of coconut milk (Chill the can and then skim off the cream that rises to the top) and put into a medium sized bowl.
  • Melt 1 cup chocolate chips or other chocolate in a double boiler, then cool slightly. Mix into the coconut cream until smooth. It will be fairly liquid.
  • Pour some frosting over the cake, being sure to cover the whole surface.
  • Refrigerate the rest of the frosting. (It will thicken as it cools.) Once it thickens, spread the remaining frosting over the log.
  • Take a fork and make lines to look like bark. Place cranberries and a rosemary sprig or small cedar branch on log for a festive look.

Hope you enjoy your Buche de Noel cake! Tag us in the pictures when  you make it! Happy Sun Returns!

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