Buche de Noel (aka "Yule Log," Grain-Free, Dairy-Free)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

For the holidays, I am home in my parents suburban kitchen with miles of countertops. If you have read the description of the "bobo" kitchen in David Brooks' Bobos in Paradise, you know what my parents' kitchen looks like. The large commercial convection oven begs for an elaborate and complicated project the same way that the usual limited space of my city kitchen begs for simplicity.

Before the days when my allergist/ immunologist banned gluten and a long list of other foods from my diet ("Do you have a pen?" was the first question from the doctor's office when they called with my test results), I was known for hand painting dozens of sugar cut-out cookies for the extended family Christmas Eve party. Not wanting to paint crumbly gluten-free cookies or special order natural food coloring that wasn't full of scary chemicals, my mind wandered back to a particularly magical holiday season in Paris. Yule Logs dominate Paris patisserie cases during the holidays and now for the past two days, my parents big bourgey kitchen. Below is the photo journal of the project with step-by-step instructions.


1. Cake batter, use Coconut Flour Cupcake Recipe
2. Chocolate Frosting Recipe (or your favorite chocolate frosting)
4. 13 x 9 in. pan or dish
5. 13x9 in silpat or parchment paper
6. Large plastic bag


1. Line a 13 x 9 in. pan with edges with parchment paper or silpat mat.

2. Spread the Coconut Flour Cupcake Recipe batter over pan so that it is about .5 in thick.

3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and allow cake to cool.

4. Leave cake in pan while spreading the Chocolate Creme Filling over the cake.

5. Lift the parchment paper/silpat with the cake as you gently roll it, jelly-roll style. Do not worry if small bits of cake stick and there are blemishes— the frosting will cover minor imperfections.

6. Ever so gently, lift the rolled Yule and transfer it to it's final resting plate (the plate that you plan to serve it from).

7. Cut off two edges at an angle to show off the "log"-like interior. Attach to main log like to look like "branches."

8. Spoon the Chocolate Frosting into a large plastic bag and snip off the corner to make an icing bag or use a large icing bag without a tip (don't use a mechanical pastry bag because you will be constantly refilling it and this will not produce the effect that wide circles of icing will).

9. Pipe Chocolate Frosting over cake in long rows, they will be heavy and some may fall off. Don't worry, the frosting is fairly forgiving. Don't be afraid to work with the frosting. You will be spreading it with a knife

10. Run a knife along the rows of chocolate frosting to spread them and create a tree bark texture.

11. Garnish with Cranberries and leaves or mint and sprinkle with coconut or powdered sugar to look like "snow."

Joyeux Noel!

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