This yummy post is contributed by Caroline of Armelle Blog
Bûche de Noël literally means “Christmas log” in French, referring to the Yule log that would be burned in the the fireplace in centuries past for good luck and healing properties.
1) Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 15-1/2X10-1/2-inch jelly-roll pan; and line pan with parchment paper. Place flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; stir to combine, and set aside.
2) Beat egg yolks and 3/4 cup granulated sugar with a mixer at high speed about 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored, scraping down side of bowl once. Beat in the flour, baking powder, and salt mixture 1/4 of a cup at a time allowing it to incorporate before adding more. Then, beat in the vanilla; set aside.
4) Beat egg whites in clean large bowl using clean beaters with electric mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form.
5) Fold egg whites into the egg yolk and flour mixture 1/3 of the egg white mixture at a time, until it is evenly incorporated. Spread mixture into the prepared parchment lined pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched with finger.
6) Lightly sift a few tablespoons of powdered sugar over a clean dish towel. Loosen warm cake from edges of pan; invert onto prepared dish towel. Remove pan; carefully peel off the parchment paper. Gently roll up cake in the dish towel from short end, jelly-roll style. Let rolled cake cool completely on wire rack.
For the Pastry Cream Filling
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
3 tbsp. cornstarch
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste, that is my preference!)
1) Heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering, whisk occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
2) Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds.
3) Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.
4) When the half-and-half mixture has reached a simmer, slowly add it to the egg yolk mixture to temper, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Return the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds.
5) Remove from the heat, and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.
Re-roll the cake, making sure to tuck in the first part well. Use the towel by holding it up at one end to allow the cake to roll down the towel on it’s own. Try not to handle the cake too much to prevent cracking.
Once the cake is rolled up into a nice cake roll, take a serrated knife and trim off one end at and angle.
This piece will serve as the “stump” on the log.