bche de nol

from the cake bible, via ross hoffman

Ross was making this the day I moved into the Barn, to much acclaim, as usual. Labor-intensive but fantastic.


  • Chocolate Cloud Roll
  • Perfect Whipped Cream
  • Dark Ganache Frosting

Optional Decor:

  • Meringue Mushrooms
  • [Pistachio] Marzipan Ivy Leagues
  1. Fill the Choc. Roll w/ whipped cream
  2. chill at least 1 hour
  3. cut a diagonal slice from one end and place on top to form knot
  4. spread ganache on log and use a fork to make bark lines
  5. decorate with extra stuff
  6. refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

Chocolate Cloud Roll:

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 4 oz. bittersweet choc
  • 3/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa

Preheat oven to 350

Beat 1/4 cup sugar and egg yolks for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy, and the chocolate (and optionally 1/4 cup of ground almonds) and beat until incorporated.

Beat egg whites until foamy, add cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, until stiff peaks form when beater is slowly raised fold 1/4 of whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then fold in remaining whites, gently pour into prepared 17x12 inch jelly-roll pan (greased, floured, lined etc.) and bake for 16 minutes. Cake will have lost its shine and will spring back to the touch.

Wet a clean dish towel and wring it out. Remove cake from oven and leave in pan. Dust with cocoa and immediately cover with damp towel. Let cake cool.

Remove towel and gently slide cake from pan using the edge of foil or wax paper lining. Roll immediately, peeling away liner as you go.

Perfect Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream (ultrapasteurized)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Chill all ingredients, beater, and bowl for at least 15 minutes. Beat until soft peaks form.


  • 12 oz. bittersweet choc
  • 1 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp cognac

Break chocolate into pieces and food process until fine. Heat cream to boiling point and pour it through feed tube with motor running. Process a few seconds until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely. Stir in cognac. Allow to cool for several hours.

Meringue for Mushrooms:

(makes 5 cups)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1.4 cup water
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Heat 3/4 C sugar and water, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves and syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring and turn heat to lowest setting. In bowl beat egg whites until foamy, add cream of tartar, beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar. Increase heat and boil syrup until 248 to 250 degreess. Immediately pour into glass cup measure to stop the cooking. Beat syrup into whites in a steady stream, avoiding the beaters. Immediately beat for 5 seconds. Stop mixer and add more syrup, continue in like fashion. Beat at medium speed until cool (2 minutes.)

With pastry bag, pipe out pointed stems and round caps for mushrooms separately on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 200 for 25 minutes. Use knife to make hole in bottom of cap, and a tiny dab of meringue to serve as glue to hold it to the stem.

Marzipan + green food coloring, roll into vines and cut into leaves.

red hots = holly berries
powdered sugar = snow
cocoa = dirt (for mushrooms especially.)