Growing up, we were so lucky to have some amazing desserts and pastries, especially at Christmas. If you have read my story, you’ll know that my great great great Grandfather used to own a bakery. Unfortunately I didn't have the pleasure to know him, but it was my Grandmother who carried on the baking. As a kid I remember her delivering fresh baked cookies, cakes and sweet pastries during the holidays.
This year, I decided to make the traditional yule log, bouche de noel, using our gluten-free chocolate cake mix. And because I'm a peppermint lover, for the filling, I made a peppermint swiss meringue buttercream but then added in some melted belgium white chocolate. It was so good! I’m so happy I made this cake, not only was it delicious but it is a perfect sweet treat for winter holidays and parties.
I will definitely be making this again for Christmas, and can’t wait for my family to taste it!
Makes 12-15 slices
1 bag of MinusG The Best Ever! Chocolate Cake Mix
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup milk or milk substitute
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp GF Vanilla
1 tbsp + 2 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
4 egg whites
1/8 tsp peppermint oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 sticks butter, slightly cool and cut into 1 tablespoon chances
pinch of salt
2 oz melted white chocolate, I used Belgium White Chocolate
6 crushed candy canes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a half size sheet pan (18x13 or 15x10) with a silpat or parchment paper. Note: if using the silpat, grease just the sides of the pan, this worked incredibly well. If using parchment, lightly grease.
- For the eggs: separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.
- Using a large mixing bowl, whisk together the separated eggs yolks. Using the whisk attachment, mix on medium-low speed for about 4 minute until combined and is thick, and pale yellow. Add the milk, oil, vanilla into the whipped egg yolks and mix together. Gradually add the bag of cake mix to the egg yolk mix. Switch to the paddle attachment, and mix on medium-low speed until fully combined, scraping the sides of bowl. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, about 5 quarts. (if you have another mixer bowl you can just keep it in there)
- In a clean mixer bowl, whip the separated eggs whites, on medium speed for about 1 minute, or until foamy. Lower the speed and slowly add in the 1 tbsp plus 2 1/2 tsp of sugar, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for about 3 minutes, or until the whites are glossy with soft peaks.
- Fold in the egg whites in 2 additions. Note: To fold in egg whites, spoon half of the egg whites into the chocolate cake batter. Using a spatula, lightly sweep the sides of the bowl and lift the batter into the egg whites. Do this until the egg whites are fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and using a spatula smooth out the batter in an even layer, being sure to get it into the corners.
- Bake the cake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Mine took about 18 minutes because I used the 15x10 size. Be sure not to over bake or the cake will crack while rolling!
- Lay a piece of parchment larger than the sheet pan on the counter dusted lightly with confectioner sugar. Gently invert the cake onto the parchment paper, then remove the parchment or silpat on the top. Sprinkle the top of the cake with granulated sugar, about 1 to 2 tablespoons. Let the cake cool. Use the cake right away and assemble as directed below.
- In the clean bowl of a stand mixer, add in the egg whites, and sugar. Gently whisk to combine. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water, so that it is not submersed. Keep whisking the egg white mixture with a hand whisk until the temperature reaches 160 degrees F, about 5 minutes. If you don't have a thermometer, you can check by rubbing some of the mixture between your fingers, you want all the sugar to be dissolved.
- Remove from the heat, and using your stand mixer, with the whip attachment, beat the mixture starting at slow speed, and gradually increasing to high speed. Beat the meringue for about 10 minutes, or until the bottom of the bowl is about room temperature.
- Switch to the paddle attachment, and on medium-low speed, slowly add in the butter, about 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time until each one is incorporated. The mixture may look a bit curdled half way through, but keep mixing and adding the butter, it will come together. Once all the butter is incorporated, the buttercream should be smooth and silky. Add in the salt and peppermint oil, and beat on medium-high speed for a few minutes to remove any air bubbles.
- Set aside about 1/2 of the buttercream in another bowl. Add the melted chocolate to remaining buttercream (in the stand mixer) and beat on medium speed until all the chocolate is incorporated. Set aside, this will be used to frost the cake.
- Lay out a piece of parchment paper on the counter, slightly longer than your sheet pan. Gently flip the sheet of cake onto the parchment. Evenly spread the reserved espresso icing onto the cake, leaving about a 1/2-inch on all sides. Using the parchment paper to help you, very gently roll the cake starting from the short side into a tight roll. It may crack just a little on the very first roll, that's okay, just keep going. Once done rolling, gently adjust the cake so that the seam side is down. Diagonally cut about 3/4 to 1-inch off both ends of the cake and reserve. Very gently transfer the cake to a cake platter, or serving dish.
- Spread the icing on the cake, to the top, sides, front and back of the log. It doesn't have to be perfect. Sprinkle with crushed candies.
- The cake can be refrigerated or at room temperature. Remove from the fridge at least 1 hour before serving.
NOTE: Please read directions for the cake a few times before baking. I have tried to make the directions as easy to follow as possible, please ask any questions if you have them. Although it looks difficult, it is rather easy, you just have to pay attention to measurements and follow the directions.