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Buche de Noel Recipe
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Buche de Noel

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup blanched almonds, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and chopped
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, cut up and softened
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces semisweet chocolate squares, melted and cooled
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares, melted and cooled
1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg whites
4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, divided
Chocolate-dipped hazelnuts, curls, and currants

For praline, grease a cookie sheet. Cook the 1/3 cup sugar and the lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar begins to melt (do not stir). Then cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts completely and turns deep golden. Stir in nuts; immediately pour onto sheet. Cool. Break up praline; process in food processor until finely ground. Decorate cake with chocolate-dipped hazelnuts, curls, and currants. Makes 12 servings.

Note: For best results, separate eggs while cold; then let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.

For buttercream, combine water and 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk over medium-high heat to dissolve sugar; boil until syrup registers 240 degrees F (soft ball stage) on candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, beat 3 egg whites and 1/8 teaspoon salt at medium speed in a mixer bowl, until foamy. Beat to stiff peaks. Slowly pour in boiling (240 degree F) sugar syrup. Beat until cool and thick. Beat in butter, a few pieces at a time, until blended. Add 3/4 teaspoon vanilla and beat until smooth and stiff.

Combine 1-1/2 cups of the buttercream and the ground praline. Stir melted chocolates into remaining buttercream.

For cake, heat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 15x10-1/2x1-inch jelly-roll pan. Line with waxed paper; grease and flour paper. Set aside.

Combine flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Beat the 2 eggs and 3 egg yolks in mixer bowl until thick. Beat in 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until thick. Beat egg whites in clean mixer bowl until foamy. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Beat to soft peaks. Gently fold whites into egg yolk mixture just to combine. Sift flour mixture over egg mixture; gently fold mixtures until just combined. Spread batter in pan.

Bake cake until center springs back when lightly touched, 6 to 8 minutes. Sift 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar over top. Immediately invert onto a clean towel. Remove pan and paper; sift remaining confectioners' sugar over top. Roll up cake from one long side with towel, jelly-roll fashion. Cool cake in towel.

Unroll cake. Set aside 1/3 cup praline buttercream; spread remainder on cake and reroll.

Thinly spread log with 1/3 cup chocolate buttercream (do not coat ends). Spoon remainder into pastry bag fitted with #98 (French star semicircle tip). Pipe parallel lines lengthwise to cover cake. Spoon remaining praline buttercream into pastry bag fitted with 1/4-inch round tip; pipe in circles to cover ends of cake.


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