Guest chef

Eric Lanlard

Master pâtissier Eric Lanlard runs cookery school and café Cake Boy. Eric trained as an apprentice chocolatier, and his latest book, Chocolat, has over 100 recipes that chocoholics will love.

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White chocolate Bûche de Noël

  • Serves 10
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Total time 40 mins, plus cooling and chilling
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White chocolate Bûche de Noël
White chocolate Bûche de Noël

step by step

  • 1Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4, and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  • 2Tip the berries into a small pan with 100g of the sugar. Place over a low heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the fruit is soft. Sieve over a bowl to drain the syrup. Cool, then stir in the kirsch or cherry brandy, if using.
  • In France the Bûche de Noël or Yule log is a Christmas tradition. This version is fresh and light. Joyeux Noël!
  • 3For the sponge, separate the eggs into two bowls. Add 100g of the sugar and 2 teaspoons of the vanilla to the egg yolks, and whisk until they double in volume. Set aside.
  • 4Using a clean whisk, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then whisk in the final 25g of sugar.
  • 5Fold the flour into the yolk mixture, then gradually fold in the stiff egg whites until smooth but still fluffy.
  • 6Using a palette knife, spread the mixture on to the baking paper so it measures about 25 x 35cm and is level. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Cool for 5 minutes, then brush the sponge with the syrup. Cover with clingfilm; set aside.
  • 7For the white chocolate cream, melt the pieces of chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. In a small pan, gently heat the cream – but don't let it boil.
  • 8Pour the cream over the melted chocolate, whisking gently until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and mascarpone until glossy; add the lime zest. Chill for 2 hours.
  • 9Using an electric hand whisk, beat the chilled white chocolate cream to peaks – don't overdo it, you don't want the mixture to split. Use a palette knife to spread a thin layer of the cream over the soaked sponge. Cover with the berries.
  • 10Use the baking paper to roll up the Yule log tightly, starting with one of the long sides. Slice off a piece of the log to make a branch, remove the paper and place the log on a serving platter with the branch at an angle to the log. Cover the log with the rest of the white chocolate cream. Use a fork to create the bark effect.
  • 11Decorate with the redcurrants and dust with icing sugar. Chill until ready to serve.
  • Photographed by Martin Poole

Get ahead

Make up to the end of step 6 a day ahead. Finish the Bûche a few hours ahead, cover loosely with clingfilm and chill.

You will need

  • 200g mixed red berries, fresh or frozen and defrosted
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp kirsch or cherry brandy (optional)
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 100g plain flour

For the white chocolate cream

  • 200g white chocolate, in pieces
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 100g mascarpone
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • zest of 1 lime

To finish

  • a few sprigs of redcurrants
  • icing sugar, to dust

+ Nutritional Information