Here is one to satisfy all the milk-chocolate lovers. My most popular holiday bûche combines a crunchy, nutty sponge layer with a rich gianduja filling of milk chocolate and hazelnuts.
6 large eggs, room temperature, separated
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup finely ground hazelnuts (3 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Filling (page 217 of the book)
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Lightly butter a 9-by-13 inch or quarter-sheet pan and line with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment paper.
Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg yolks and half of the sugar. Start whipping on medium-high speed. Once combined, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to high, whipping until the mixture becomes thick, pale yellow in color, and the sugar has dissolved, 5 to 6 minutes.
In a small bowl, toss together the hazelnuts and baking powder.
Using a rubber spatula, fold the nuts into the yolk mixture in 3 parts. The mixture will become thick.
Clean the whisk, and in a clean mixing bowl begin whipping the egg whites on medium-high speed, increasing the speed and allowing them to become quite frothy. Slowly add the remaining sugar and continue whipping until the peaks are stiff but not dry.
Lighten the yolk mixture by quickly folding in one quarter of the whites. Then gently fold in the remaining whites in 3 parts, trying not to overmix and lose the volume. Evenly spread the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and the top is puffy and feels dry to the touch. A tester inserted in the center will come out dry. Let cool at room temperature in the pan for about 30 minutes. The cake falls and pulls away from the sides as it cools. Leave in the pan for assembly.
To Finish the Roll
Have ready the Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Filling at room temperature.
Run a sharp paring knife along the edges of the pan to loosen. Using the knife, trim excess on all 4 edges to make the cake level. Leave the sponge layer in the pan.
Spread half the Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Filling evenly over the cake layer, leaving 1 inch of the cake bare along the outside edge of both lengths. Using the parchment to lift, start rolling the cake lengthwise, tucking the cake and peeling back the parchment as you go. When the roll is complete and unwrapped, transfer to a serving platter.
With the remaining filling frost the exposed sides and ends of the roll, swirling with an offset spatula. The finished roll should be approximately 3 inches in diameter and 12 inches in length. Chill to set.
Divine Desserts and Sweets from the Creator of Fran's Chocolates
by Fran Bigelow and Helene Siegel
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created February 2005
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