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Buche de Noel
Hazelnut Génoise, Meringue Mushrooms, Grand Marnier Syrup
Chocolate Pastry Cream, Hazelnut Buttercream Frosting

Hazelnut Génoise

1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned

1-1/4cup granulated sugar, divided

3/4 cup all purpose flour

5 large eggs

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Pre-heat oven to 375F. Grease 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan. Line with parchment paper. Process hazelnuts and cup sugar in food processor until ground fine. Combine with flour. Set aside. Fill medium saucepan 1/3 full of water. Bring to simmer. Whisk eggs and remaining sugar together in bowl by hand. Place bowl over simmering water. Beat constantly with electric mixer until mixture is warm, light colored and holds ribbon. Remove from heat. Continue to beat until cool, about 7 minutes. Mixture will double in volume. Fold in flour and hazelnut mixture using rubber spatula. Melt butter in small bowl. Stir 1/3 cup cake batter into melted butter. Combine well. Gently fold mixture into remaining cake batter. Spread batter into prepared pan. Smooth top with metal spatula. Bake 10 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched and is golden brown. Do not over bake. Place wire rack on top. Invert. Cool completely.

Meringue Mushrooms

4 egg whites, at room temperature

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. almond extract

2 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted

1 tsp. cocoa

Pre-heat oven to 200F. Lightly grease and flour large cookie sheet. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar to soft peaks in small bowl.  Add sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Beat in almond extract.  Whites should stand in stiff, glossy peaks. Spoon meringue into large decorating bag with large tip.   Pipe meringue onto cookie sheet into 30 mounds, about 1 " diameter, to resemble mushroom caps.  Pipe remaining meringue upright onto cookie sheet into 30 1 " lengths to resemble mushroom stems. Bake 1 hours.   Turn oven off. Let meringues stand in oven 30 minutes longer to dry.  Cool completely on cookie sheet on wire rack. Cut small hole in center of underside of each mushroom cap with tip of small knife.  Place small amount melted chocolate in hole. Spread underside of cap with chocolate.  Attach stem to mushroom cap by inserting pointed end of stem into hole in underside of cap.  Let chocolate dry 1 hour. Set aside. Just before serving, sprinkle tops of mushrooms lightly with cocoa. 

Grand Marnier Syrup

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

Stir together sugar and water. Bring to boil. Set aside. Cool. Add Grand Marnier. Set aside.

Chocolate Pastry Cream

6 large egg yolks, beaten
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2-1/4 cups milk
5 oz. Godiva semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or any good quality chocolate)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
In large mixing bowl combine egg yolks, sugar and corn starch. Beat well. Place milk, chocolate, and vanilla in large nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine well. Bring to gentle boil. Gradually add 1 cup chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Whisk well. Return mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium heat until pastry cream boils and thickens. Continue to whisk constantly 1 minute. Remove from heat. Place in medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, placed directly on surface of cream to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

Hazelnut Buttercream Frosting

1 cup whole milk

4 large egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

5 oz. hazelnut praline paste

Bring milk to boil in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Beat egg yolks in large mixing bowl until smooth. Gradually add sugar. Continue beating until mixture is pale yellow and forms ribbon. Gradually add broiling milk to mixture. Whisk constantly. Return egg mixture to saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Cook 30 seconds. Strain through fine sieve into glass bowl set over ice. Cool. In large mixing bowl beat butter and praline paste until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in cooled egg mixture. Set aside.

Assembly

1/3 cup cocoa powder

36 candied holly berries

36 marzipan leaves

Place cake, right side up on work surface. Brush with Grand Marnier syrup. Spread 1 cups chocolate pastry cream evenly on cake, using off set metal spatula. Roll cake tightly starting from long side, remove parchment as you roll. Tightly rewrap rolled cake in parchment paper. Freeze one hour. Remove parchment paper. Slice each end on bias using serated knife. Bind two end pieces together with small amount pastry cream to form small stump. Attach to top of cake with pastry cream. Spread hazelnut buttercream over entire log. Smooth into even layer. Run pastry comb or large fork over, down log and stump several times, lengthwise, so frosting resembles tree bark. Dip index finger into cocoa powder. Touch to center of log ends. Dip glass into cocoa powder. Gently touch to log ends to form circle around cocoa fingerprint. Garnish with candied meringue mushrooms, holly berries and marzipan leaves.

 

 

Bon Appetit!!
Executive Chef Bernard Guillas

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