Christmas Yule log cake

image

This is Bûche de Noël also know as a Yule Cake Log. Everything that is eatable is 100% made by me. The leaves and berries are just plastic decorations. Since, I wasn’t going to attempt fondant leaves and berries tonight. Maybe next year. I made this mainly for Nick’ because of his french heritage I thought that he would really enjoy this treat.

Though, we are also working on our own traditions for our family that blend Christianity, Catholic, and our spiritual paths together. So I would like to make baking a Yule cake every year a Christmas Eve tradition for our family.

                                                                                                               

Next year I would like to attempt to make everything on the cake eatable including the decorations. I would also like to make a traditional spiritual yule log with my own candles like the above image shows an example of.

Batter: 


4 eggs (these have to be at room temperature)
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cake flour (sifted before measuring)

Buttermilk Icing: 

1/2 cup soft unsalted butter
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup buttermilk

The Original Yule Log

OK, you already know that long before we were chowing down on cake, most people lived much simpler lives. In those days, something like a well stocked woodpile was the difference in surviving the winter or not. So when the days grew short and the night cold, just the ability to make a fire was cause for celebration.

firewood

In France, and other countries in Europe, when winter gloom had got the upper hand, a large log (many times a tree trunk) was chosen from the woodpile. It was decorated with ribbons and brought into the house with considerable fanfare – songs were song and everyone enjoyed themselves. The log was placed ceremoniously on the hearth and blessed by the master of the house. Who lit the French yule log was of importance and many times this fell upon the youngest member of the family. This was all done on the 24th of December and the log was expected to burn until the first day of the New Year, so a sturdy, dense piece of wood was the perfect candidate.

The yule log of yore would sit slowly burning through the week, giving people hope and comfort through the dark days of winter. Of course there were superstitions about the log. Commonly, if the log made a lot of sparks, it was said that the harvest that year would be a good one. If the fire from the log cast shadows upon the wall, people would fear that a family member would die that year.

With the dawning of the 20th century, considerable changes in daily living were taking place in French people’s lives. Modern means of heating homes eliminated the need for wood in many cases and the tradition of the French yule log began to die out. Fortunately the French always had food to fall back on, and a pastry chef came up with the idea of making a cake to symbolically replace the yule log.

 

-Update

We actually did try to eat my yule cake and Christmas and found it to be extremely dry, and didn’t taste very good. That’s when we discovered the $4.00 1/2 gallon of butter milk that I had bought was bad.  So I guess I will try to do better next year.

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~ by Snow on December 25, 2011.

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