Chocolate Peanut Butter Bûche de Noël (Yule log)
Updated: Mar 25, 2021
Around Christmastime in France, shop windows and grocery stores overflow with two treats: chocolates and bûches de Noël (pronounced ‘boosh’). Ever since I first made a bûche for a
Christmas party for my high school French class, I assumed this was just another French cliché. But no, the cliché is true. Every family I know orders a bûche for Christmas dinner dessert. And every year, there are more flavors to choose from. Never ending chocolate varieties, praline, vanilla, exotic fruits, ice cream versions… the list goes on!
I decided to give the traditional bûche my American touch with a peanut butter filling and ooh là là it is delicious! The sponge cake is the most delicate part and while there are different ways to make it, I find this recipe is the easiest for getting a great texture and flavor.
If you are not a peanut butter fan, I also did a very tasty raspberry-filling variation that you will find at the bottom of this post. My husband preferred the peanut butter bûche, but I like the combination of raspberry and chocolate.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bûche de Noël (Yule log)
Prep time: 50 minutes
Cooking Time: 12 minutes
Need: 18 x 13-inch (45 x 33-cm) rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan
Sponge Cake (Genoise):
2/3 cup (90 g) cake flour (T45 in France)
1/3 cup (25 g) cocoa powder
Pinch of baking soda
5 eggs, room temperature
¾ cup (180 g) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup (100 g) brown sugar
¼ cup (35 g) cornstarch (Maizena in France)
½ teaspoon salt
5 large egg yolks
2 cups (48 cl) whole milk
¾ cup (185 g) smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup (15 cl) heavy cream
7-ounces (200 g) bittersweet or dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 ½ tablespoons (50 g) unsalted butter
Optional: Chopped hazelnuts or peanuts for decorating
Start with the genoise. Heat oven to 350° F (175° C). Line the baking sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Butter or grease the paper.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and pinch of baking soda. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric beater until thick and foamy – about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue beating for about 2 minutes.
Pour half the flour mixture into the egg mixture and fold in gently with a spatula. Add the rest of the mixture and fold until there are no clumps and the flour is incorporated.
Gently pour into the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly. Bake for about 12-13 minutes or until the edges pull away from the sides and the cake springs back when gently pressed. Let sit in pan on a wire rack until cooled. Invert the cake onto a sheet of wax paper or new parchment paper. Peel off the ‘cooked’ parchment paper. (If you do not fill the genoise right away, gently roll the cake with the wax or parchment paper, wrap in a towel, put in a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.)
Make the filling. Whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Add the egg yolks and whisk into a thick paste. Add milk and whisk until smooth. Turn the heat to medium and cook about 8-10 minutes, whisking often (especially when it starts to thicken), until the mixture bubbles and thickens into a pudding. Remove from heat and whisk in the peanut butter and vanilla extract until smooth. Let cool about 5-10 minutes.
Use a spatula to spread the cooled filling evenly over the genoise — leave a ½-inch border
around the edges. Gently roll the cake and filling into a log. Place seam-side down on a platter and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Make the ganache. Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Once it boils, pour over the chocolate in the bowl. Let sit for 1 minute then stir with a small spatula to incorporate together. Add
the butter and continue stirring until the butter melts and the ingredients come together into a thick sauce. Let cool down and sit at room temperature until ready to assemble.
Remove rolled cake from refrigerator and cut 1-inch off the ends and discard. Pour the chocolate ganache over the top, spreading evenly with a spatula all over the top and sides of the log. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts or peanuts and transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 1 day. Cut into thick slices and serve by itself or with whipped cream.
And bon appétit!
Chocolate-Raspberry Bûche de Noël
The only difference is the filling. Make the genoise and then make the chocolate ganache. Spread about ¼ of the chocolate ganache all over the genoise. Sprinkle 1 cup (150 g) frozen raspberry pieces (break them up) all over. Take 1 cup fresh raspberries (125 g) and place them in a row down the middle (lengthwise). Roll the cake into a log and put in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Cut 1-inch off ends of the log then spread the rest of the chocolate ganache all over the log. Put fresh raspberries over the top. Serve in slices with a little whipped cream and enjoy!