While some folks enjoy a burning log in the fireplace (or the classic television version of a burning log) for the holidays, we prefer ours on the dinner table.
With roots that go back to paganism (when a real special log was burned around Christmas), the name goes to the crafty and culinary French who are credited for coming up with this delicious and fun concoction for the holiday table.
Locally, you can order your own yule log from the Dessert Deli, which makes around 70 special orders for the Christmas season.
“The yule logs are an important dessert to many of our customers,” said owner Trish Mullaney. “Many are regulars, and I do think it is a family tradition for them. Not to mention, they taste darn good.”
Mullaney notes the first yule log cake recipe appeared in the 1600s.
“As time has gone on the variation changed a bit to what we have now. Although the Parisian chefs are known for the decorated cake it actually started in the Gaelic countries,” she said, referring to the Celts who burned a log to counter the long dark days of winter.
Mullaney said Dessert Deli’s version is a vanilla roulade (cake) done with a thin layer of chocolate ganache and mocha buttercream. “The roulades are baked, then when cooled a little they are filled with both fillings and rolled. The icing and garnishing take more time than the actual baking,” she said.
Then the darling decorations are added: meringue mushrooms and holly leaves.
“Weeks ahead the meringue mushrooms are made. The holly leaves are ordered in. Baking from start to finish is about two to three hours per batch. Decorating is about three hours per batch. A batch size is eight logs,” said Mullaney.
Each yule log feeds between 10-12 persons, depending on the size of the slice and does not need to be refrigerated, said Mullaney.
“The ingredients we use to fill the cake actually have the ability to stay bit longer without refrigeration. Buttercream and ganache have more staying power. And the roulade is filled with the yummy chocolate and mocha, which helps keep the cake moist.”
Yule logs are $54 and must be ordered at least 10 days prior.
Dessert Deli has two locations: 716 Maple Road, Williamsville; and 6429 Transit Road, East Amherst.
For fun, watch Julia Child make a yule log in "The French Chef" Buche De Noel episode here.
Story topics: Dessert Deli