Chestnut Buche de Noel - Yule Log

Yield: 16 servings

3/4 c Cake flour
3/4 ts Baking powder
1/4 ts Salt
5 ea Eggs
3/4 c Sugar
1 ts Vanilla extract

Chestnut Filling
1/2 c Sugar, superfine
1 ea Egg yolks
1 pinch Salt
1 1/2 ts Vanilla extract
2 tb Cream, heavy
1/2 c Butter
2 c Sugar, powdered
30 ea Chestnuts, whole cooked
2 tb Butter
4 tb Cream, heavy
1/3 c Sugar, powdered

Mocha Silk Frosting
1 1/4 c Sugar, powdered
3 tb Cocoa powder
2 ts Instant coffee
5 1/3 tb Butter
1 1/2 tb Corn syrup
1 ts Vanilla extract
2 tb Cream, heavy

Have ready: A clean lint-free dish towel and preheat oven to 400 F.
Prepare 12"x18" jelly roll pan by greasing it, lining bottom and sides with wax paper, and greasing wax paper.

Bring eggs to room temperature and separate.
Mix flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat yolks until thick and pale. Gradually add 6 T sugar, beating well after each addition. Mixture should fall in thick ribbon when beaters are lifted. Add vanilla and beat again.
With clean dry beaters, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating constantly, until whites stand in firm, glossy, moist peaks. Fold 1/3 whites into yolk mixture to lighten it, then fold remaining whites in too.
Gradually fold dry ingredients into egg mixture; fold in gently but thoroughly.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan, making sure to get it into the corners. Put pan into oven immediately. Bake 10-12 minutes, just until cake is golden on top and tester comes out clean. Do not overbake.
Remove from oven; working quickly, cover jelly roll pan FIRST with clean towel, then with inverted cookie sheet. Turn over pan, towel, and sheet to turn out cake. Remove jelly roll pan; peel off wax paper. Slide towel and cake onto counter; cake is wrong side up. Cut off any crisp edges, fold one end of towel over short end of cake, and roll cake in towel. Place rolled cake seam side down on wire rack or cookie sheet to cool completely.

Chestnut Buttercream Filling::
Combine sugar, egg yolk, salt, vanilla, and cream. Using an electric mixer, beat for 8 minutes at medium speed. Without washing beaters, cream butter until light. Add yolk mixture a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well after each addition. Set basic buttercream aside.
Using a food processor, puree chestnuts with butter, cream, and powdered sugar. Stir chestnut puree into buttercream, blending thoroughly. If necessary, thin with a little more cream to bring to very spreadable consistency.

Mocha Silk Frosting:
Powder instant coffee by placing in plastic bag and crushing with rolling pin. Mix together sugar, cocoa, and coffee. Add remaining ingredients and beat for 1 minute at medium speed. If necessary, add a little more cream to make frosting easy to spread.

Unroll cooled cake, leaving it on towel; don't worry about the cake looking deflated, it will perk up soon. Spread 1/2 c frosting evenly over cake, all the way to the edges. Spread 2 c filling over thin layer of frosting, pushing generous amount into curved end. Roll up again, without towel but using it to help roll. Place cake, seam side down, on cake plate or tray.
Remove any excess filling from ends and seam edge. Refrigerate for 1 hour to firm filling.
Trim and discard (or eat!) a thin slice from one end of chilled cake; cut and reserve wedge from other end. Spread a small amount of filling on top center of cake and press reserved wedge on it to make the "knothole."
Frost entire cake with remaining frosting, building frosting up around sides of "knothole." Do NOT cover knothole top! Work frosting as far under roll as possible. Repeatedly draw narrow metal spatula lengthwise through the frosting to simulate rough texture of bark. Snip pieces of angelica into leaf shapes and cut glace cherries in half to make log decorations.

Keep cake refrigerated until serving; it is much easier to slice when cold and firm. Before serving, surround cake with holly and cranberries.

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