Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

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Bûchettes de Noël

December 15th, 2009 · 18 Comments

Christmas Cookies

This is the last Christmas cookie recipe in my short series on Christmas Cookies, and I present the Bûchettes de Noël.

Bûchettes de Noël

Bûchettes de NoëlThe classic Bûche de Noël is the French Christmas cake in the shape of a Yule log. The name of these cookies derived from the “ettes” meaning little logs, and is a miniature version of the classic cake, but made with a cocoa infused meringue. Oh, and they are perfect with hot cocoa, coffee, cognac, a hot toddy or even milk. The ingredients and procedures in this recipe are modified but follow very closely with those found in the cookbook, Rose’s Christmas Cookies, by Rose Levy Beranbaum. This batch will yield about 12 ounces of meringue cookies.

Ingredients
Volume Weight Ingredient
1 Cup 4 Ounces Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp 0.5 Ounces Cocoa, unsweetened
½ Cup 4.25 Ounces Egg whites, room temperature
½ Tsp - Cream of Tartar
1 Tbsp + ½ Cup 4 Ounces Superfine Sugar
Procedure Steps
1. In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar and cocoa.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the egg whites until frothy then add the cream of tartar and continue to beat at medium speed while gradually adding 1 tablespoon of the superfine sugar. When soft peaks are formed add 1 tablespoon more of the superfine sugar, then increase the mixer speed to high. When stiff peaks are formed gradually beat in the remaining superfine sugar and continue until stiff and glossy.
3. Soft the cocoa and powdered sugar mixture into the meringue and fold it in gently using a large wire whisk or rubber spatula.
4. Spoon the meringue mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a #6 star tip.
5. Hold the pastry bag at a slight angle and with the tube several inches above the parchment lined sheet pan. Apply an even pressure on the bag and starting from the top of the sheet pan squeeze evenly allowing the meringue to drop from the tube onto the parchment and continue to pipe out the meringue to the bottom of the pan. Be sure to leave at least ½ inch between each row of piped meringue, they do not have to be exactly straight, use your creativity for varied s-curves or shapes if you are up to being innovative.
6. Allow the meringue lines to dry for 1 hour at room temperature, then bake in a pre heated 200° F oven for another hour or until completely set. Rotate the sheet pans after 45 minutes for even baking. Cool completely before carefully removing them from the parchment paper. Then break them into 4 to 6 inch portions.
These can be stored in an airtight container for up to a few months in low humidity.

Quick Tips

  • For better texture use old egg whites
  • Ensure that the bowl, beater and egg whites are free of grease, including even a speck of egg yolk
  • Egg whites can be frozen for up to 1 year
  • Do not open the oven door during the first three quarters of the drying stages, this will cause cracking of the meringue
  • Meringue will stick to wax paper, do not use it or your finished product will fall apart when removing
  • Avoid crowding the cookie sheet, spread out the caps and stems to ensure even air space
  • Superfine sugar makes for a lighter meringue and can be made from granulated sugar. Just put the granulated sugar into the bowl of a food processor and allow it to run until the sugar is a fine grain
  • When folding in the cocoa/powdered sugar use a wire whisk to gently add them while preserving the volume of the meringue
  • Meringue mixtures should be shaped or piped right after preparing, if you are short on sheet pans line a sheet of parchment or foil on the counter top that is the same surface area as your single sheet pan, when the first batch is done, simply slide off the parchment and slip the sheet pan under the next batch
  • Both volume and weight measurements have been given in this recipe as professional bakers and pastry chefs utilize weighted products and specifications for their recipes and formulas. Weighted ingredients give more control over the product and omit any variation due to storage temperature, humidity and elevation differences
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Tags: Desserts · Holidays · Recipes

18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gera @ SweetsFoodsNo Gravatar // Dec 15, 2009 at 9:56 am

    So nice form and if they are with meringue I’m in!
    Here we’ve French patisserie but this type isn’t common at the stores or in recipes.

    Cheers,

    Gera

  • 2 TrixNo Gravatar // Dec 15, 2009 at 10:03 am

    How neat – I’ve never had this. I’ll take mine with a hot toddy please ; )

  • 3 EmilyNo Gravatar // Dec 15, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Yummm! C’est magnifique.

  • 4 BradNo Gravatar // Dec 15, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Wow, what an intense cookie, thanks for the recipe.

  • 5 KellyNo Gravatar // Dec 15, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Another Rose recipe (just love her!) and given a twist from you and it looks delicious–again, an Egg Replacer recipe for me to try! Thanks much, Chef!

  • 6 JessieNo Gravatar // Dec 15, 2009 at 11:38 am

    I imagine this is one sweet cookie! I never had this cookie before, now I have to make these yummy cookies

  • 7 Dana MaxNo Gravatar // Dec 15, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Yammy cookies for Christmas! Thanks for sharing!

  • 8 linda @saltyseattleNo Gravatar // Dec 15, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    thank god for an interesting spin on tired xmas cookies- these babies look too good to eat!

  • 9 averagebettyNo Gravatar // Dec 15, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Love the “quick tips” you give too!

  • 10 The Chocolate PriestessNo Gravatar // Dec 15, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    May I ask what you define as “old egg whites” just to clarify?

  • 11 Ryan BoudreauxNo Gravatar // Dec 15, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    @The Chocolate Priestess,
    To answer your question, for smooth meringue cookies, older eggs are preferred to fresh. However, in stores most eggs are a few weeks old, indeed. But here is the rub, most store bought commercial eggs are sprayed with a substance that seals the shell to extend the shelf life, so the egg whites do not “age” much. According to Rose, the best way to “age” egg whites is to whisk it lightly to break it up and then allow to sit covered overnight at room temperature. Or freeze the egg whites for several hours, defrost and then allow them to come back up to room temperature, covered.

  • 12 Shelly @ EC PursuitsNo Gravatar // Dec 15, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    what a fun, playful cookie!

  • 13 pegasuslegendNo Gravatar // Dec 15, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    oh boy sounds great never had this!

  • 14 DrickNo Gravatar // Dec 15, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    you are so full of it – information I mean…. every read is like an education for me. This is a really cool treat. Thanks, Ryan for all you share…

  • 15 ShirleyNo Gravatar // Dec 15, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Lovely cookie. Thanks for the tip on “old eggs”. Interesting.

  • 16 AltaNo Gravatar // Dec 17, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Oh, I bet these are all too easy to eat! I’d probably grab one too many. Love them!

  • 17 Bianca @south bay rants n ravesNo Gravatar // Dec 17, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    I’ll have my husband attempt to bake this for my party… he’s the baker, I’m the cook!

  • 18 penny aka jeroxieNo Gravatar // Dec 17, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I still need chocolate with this.