Ice Cream Bûche de Noël

For this version of the French traditional Bûche de Noël (yule log), I use a chocolate sponge cake and a filling of homemade mint-chip ice cream instead of the customary genoise and chocolate buttercream filling. The cake is then cut and decorated to look like a log you might stumble upon in an enchanted forest, complete with gnomes or other woodland critters, ferns and mushrooms using small craft supplies for a fairy village. 

By / Photography By Kate Hagel | December 13, 2017

Ingredients

Cake
  • 3 duck eggs (or 4 large chicken eggs), room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 48 ounces mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
  • Forest decorations
Frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup sour cream

Instructions

CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and spray with vegetable oil.

Using a mixer, beat the eggs until thick and pale, then beat in the sugar, salt and extracts.

Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder, and fold gently into the egg mixture. Whisk together the oil and buttermilk and fold in just until combined.

Spread the batter onto the pan with a spatula. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the top springs back when pressed gently.

Remove the cake from the oven, let it cool in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then loosen the edges with knife. Turn out onto a flour sack towel that is lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar. Starting with a short end, carefully roll up loosely, and let cool completely on rack.

Once completely cooled, carefully unroll the cake and spread on a layer of softened mint chocolate chip ice cream. Re-roll, and place seam-side down on a serving plate. Cover and place in freezer overnight or about 12 hours.

Prepare the frosting.

Remove cake from the freezer; it should be solidly frozen. Trim one end to make the edge even. On the other end, cut off a 2-inch diagonal piece of cake. Use a tablespoon of frosting to adhere the angled cut to the main cake to look like a stump.

Frost cake with remaining frosting, using a fork to create a bark design.

Return to freezer. Add additional forest decorations right before serving.

FROSTING

Melt butter and chocolate in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Transfer to large bowl.

Sift cocoa powder and sugar together in a small bowl. 

Whisk vanilla into chocolate mixture.

Whisk in 1 cup of cocoa and sugar and 1/3 cup sour cream.

Whisk in remaining 1 cup of cocoa and sugar. Gradually whisk in enough of remaining sour cream to form a spreadable frosting. 

Ingredients

Cake
  • 3 duck eggs (or 4 large chicken eggs), room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 48 ounces mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
  • Forest decorations
Frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
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