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How to Assemble and Decorate Your Bûche de Noël

7 of 10 in Series: Menu for a White Christmas Party for 20

Bûche de Noël is a special Christmas desert made of yellow sponge cake rolled around a cherry and white chocolate filling. After you have made the cake, and the fillings, follow the steps here to assemble a decorate a Bûche de Noël that will wow your holiday guests.

Assembling and Decorating Instructions for Your Bûche de Noël

1 yellow sponge cake

1 recipe Whipped White Chocolate Ganache Filling and Frosting

1 recipe cherry filling

3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

  1. Use a knife tip to loosen cake edges. Lay out a clean piece of parchment on your work surface and dust lightly with confectioners sugar; invert the cake onto the parchment. Remove the pan and very gently peel the parchment off of the cake. Have the cake horizontally in front of you. Using a pastry brush, dip down into the cherry marinade and dab all over the surface of the cake.

  2. Using an electric mixer and balloon whip attachment, beat the white chocolate filling on medium-high speed until the mixture just starts to thicken. Watch the filling constantly and whip just until soft peaks form. The filling should not slide off the balloon whip. Do not overbeat.

  3. Using an offset spatula, spread 3 cups of the filling evenly over the cake, going all the way to the short edges. Leave 1/4-inch border along the top edge. Scatter the reserved cherries evenly over the filling. Press them into the filling slightly by running over them with the spatula.

  4. Using the bottom parchment to help, roll the cake, starting with the long side that’s nearest to you. Roll firmly, separating the parchment from the cake as you go so that it doesn't get rolled up inside. Carefully transfer the roll onto a serving platter, seam side down.

  5. Trim one end on a 45-degree angle, just trimming the very end (taste the scrap!). Trim the other end on a similar angle about 4 inches down the log. Take this piece and lay it a third of the way down the side of the log using the angled end to nestle against the log. Doing so makes a “branch.” If you need help visualizing the finished product, note that there’s a photograph in the color insert.

  6. Spread the remaining white chocolate mixture all over the log using the icing spatula. A small offset spatula might help you to get the corners and the edges that are resting on the platter. Cover the ends with frosting as well. If serving as is, use a small, narrow icing spatula to make long ridges in the frosting to simulate bark. Use a fork to make concentric rings on the ends. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

  7. If desired, place pine boughs around the cake and dust with confectioners sugar to mimic snow.

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