Buche de Noel with Calamondin Ginger Marmalade


Sugared Cranberries & Rosemary
120g fresh cranberries
4–5 rosemary sprigs (optional)
400g granulated sugar, divided
240ml water

157g cake flour
10g unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
200g granulated sugar, divided
30ml vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For Rolling
15g unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder

Meringue Mushrooms
1 large egg white, at room temperature
less than 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar (about 1/16 teaspoon)
pinch salt
25g granulated sugar
50ml of Akaka Falls Farm Calamondin Ginger Marmalade
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder (optional for dusting)
28g semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

Cocoa Hazelnut Whipped Cream
360ml cold heavy cream
30ml Frangelico liqueur
30g confectioners’ sugar
5g unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
60g finely chopped hazelnuts (optional)
Ganache Topping
170g semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
180ml heavy cream

Make the sugared cranberries and rosemary: If you want to decorate the cake with
sugared cranberries and rosemary, start them the night before because they need to sit
for several hours. Place cranberries and rosemary in a large bowl; set aside. In a
medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of sugar and the water to a boil and whisk until the sugar
has dissolved. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pour sugar
syrup over the cranberries and rosemary and stir to combine. Let the cranberries and
rosemary sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator (lightly covered) for 6 hours or
overnight. You’ll notice the sugar syrup is quite thick after this amount of time. Drain the
cranberries and rosemary from the syrup and pour 1 cup of sugar on top. Toss to coat.
Pour the sugared cranberries and rosemary on a parchment paper or silicone baking
mat-lined baking sheet and let them dry for at least 2 hours at room temperature or in
the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 12×17 inch baking pan with nonstick spray or
grease with butter, so the parchment paper sticks. Then line it with parchment paper so
the cake seamlessly releases. Spray or grease the parchment paper too. We want an
extremely nonstick surface for this cake roll.
Make the cake: Whisk the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in
a medium bowl. Set aside until the next step. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted
with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and 1/2 cup (100g) sugar together on high
speed for 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl. Using the same
mixing bowl you just had the egg whites in (no need to clean it), add the egg yolks,
remaining sugar, oil, and vanilla extract. Beat together on high speed for 3-4 minutes or
until thickened and light in color.
Add half of the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Beat on low speed for 10
seconds. Repeat with remaining egg whites and beat on low for 10 seconds. Add half of
the flour mixture and beat on low or fold with a rubber spatula until combined. Repeat
with remaining flour mixture. Avoid over-mixing and deflating those egg whites. Batter
will be very light.
Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Gently bang the pan on the counter a couple
times to pop any air bubbles. Bake for 18-19 minutes or until the cake springs back
when lightly poked with your finger. Cake will look a little bubbly on top when it’s done.
That’s ok. Avoid over-baking cake because it will crack if over-baked. As the cake
bakes, get started on the next step.
Prepare to roll: As the cake bakes, place a piece of parchment paper (larger than the
cake) or a thin kitchen/tea towel flat on the counter. (Note: I find a kitchen towel is better
to help prevent cracking.) Using a fine mesh sieve, dust parchment/towel with 3
Tablespoons (15g) of cocoa powder. Once the cake comes out of the oven, quickly run
a knife around the edges to loosen it. Immediately invert it onto the parchment/towel.
Peel off the parchment paper that was on the bottom of the cake as it baked. Starting
with the narrow end, begin tightly rolling the hot cake up with the parchment/towel. Do
this slowly and gently. The cake will be warm. Allow the cake to cool completely rolled
up in the parchment/towel. Feel free to place it in the refrigerator to speed it up, about 3
hours and up to 1 day.
During this time, make the meringue mushrooms: Preheat oven to 200°F (93°C). Line a
large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a completely clean
residue-free large glass or metal mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer or stand mixer
fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg white, cream of tartar, and salt together on
high speed until foamy, about 2 minutes– this is a small amount and the whisk on a
stand mixer might not reach it, so whisk by hand until foamy if needed. With the mixer
running on high speed, slowly add the sugar and beat until stiff glossy peaks form,
about 2 more minutes. Snip off the end of a plastic bag or fit a round piping tip in a
piping bag. I use and recommend Wilton 2A piping tip or any tip with around a 1/2 inch
opening. Pipe quarter-sized circles (these will be the round mushroom tops) and 1-inch
tall cones (these will be the stems). You will have enough meringue batter for about 16
mushrooms. I usually only make 8-12 and discard leftovers, but feel free to make all 16.
Using a moistened finger (just a dab of water is fine), smooth down any peaks. If
desired, lightly dust mushroom tops with cocoa powder using a fine mesh sieve. Bake
for 2 hours. Do not open the oven as the meringues bake. Turn off the oven after 2
hours and let the meringues sit inside the cooling oven for 20 minutes. Remove
meringues from the oven and cool completely. When they’re just about cool, melt the 1
ounce of chocolate in a double boiler or use the microwave. If using the microwave,
melt in 15 second increments, stopping and stirring between each until melted and
smooth. Cool for 5-10 minutes. (Easier to adhere mushrooms if the melted chocolate is
a bit cool.) Once meringues have cooled, use a flat spatula to remove them from the
baking sheets. Dot a bit of chocolate onto the center of the bottom of a mushroom top.
Adhere a mushroom stem to it. Place back on the baking sheet to set. If stems or tops
still have a little peak, scrape off with a knife or your spatula, as you see me do in the
video above. Leaning them against the rim is helpful if they keep toppling over. Repeat
with remaining tops and stems to form mushrooms. Let chocolate cool and harden,
about 1 hour.
Remove the cake roll from the refrigerator and allow to sit on the counter for a few
minutes to warm up as you prepare the whipped cream.
Make the whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk
attachment, whip the heavy cream, Frangelico, confectioners’ sugar, and cocoa powder
on medium-high speed until medium to stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.
Gently and very slowly unroll the cake. Spread whipped cream evenly on top, leaving
about a 1/2 inch border around the cake. I like using a large or small offset spatula to
spread. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts on top. Gently roll the cake back up, without the
parchment/towel this time. Roll it slowly. This part is messy. Carefully place on a cutting
board. If the exterior of the cake looks moist, dust with a little cocoa powder. Cover with
plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days before shaping and
topping with ganache.
Make the ganache topping: Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream
in a small saucepan until it begins to simmer. (Do not let it come to a rapid boil– that’s
too hot.) Pour over chocolate, then let it sit for 2-3 minutes to gently soften the
chocolate. Slowly stir until completely combined and chocolate has melted. Ganache
will be thin, so it has to thicken before using. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30
minutes and up to 1 hour to thicken.
Remove rolled cake from the refrigerator. Diagonally slice a 3-4 inch section off one
end. At this point, I usually place the cake on a serving platter. Place the angled side
against a side of the roll, forming a branch. Slowly pour and spread thickened ganache
all over the top and sides of cake. Feel free to leave the cut ends exposed (as you see
in these photos) or spread ganache over the ends– there should be plenty of ganache
to use. Use a fork to make textured lines resembling tree bark. Feel free to wipe the
serving plate if ganache dripped all over.
Decorate with meringue mushrooms, sugared cranberries and rosemary, and
a dusting of confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Recipe by Charbel Aoun


A skilled Culinary Professional, and 2 star Michelin award winner in 2002 from L’auberges restaurant, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Recognized for a comprehensive knowledge of Italian & French cuisine and an innovative approach to setting the stage for a customized dining experience. Winner of golden certificate in Molecular Gastronomy in 2009, Berlin, Germany. More than 22 years of progressive experience managing the provision of fine dining for resorts, restaurants, country clubs, and clubhouses; refining the art of cooking; developing impressive menus; and preparing culinary dishes influenced by culturally diverse regions around the globe. Particularly committed to leaving patrons with an especially memorable dining experience.

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