Christmas Bûche with a strong twist of hazelnut praline!

The Christmas Bûche is a French traditional dessert for Christmas and it exists in all kinds of colors and flavors literally for every taste! It’s a dessert rich in fat but when it’s made properly, it’s really delicious and we can eat it without any remorse if we eat just a little bit!

This bûche comes from a recipe of the Great Pastry Chef Philippe Conticini , but the Chef had forgotten to put the recipe for the almond biscuit! So, I had to find a recipe on my own and make this bûche because I just love hazelnut praline! I just really love it! And so this bûche is just a marvel because it couples well and in a fine manner a traditional taste with a somehow rough look that is not at all perfectly smooth! It’s sure that the recipe requires some technique but it really worth it and you should definitely take the detour! So to your ovens as we say in France!

In two words: 

“The emperor still has loyal friends here, and their invisible league is powerful”.

Friedrich von Schiller, The Death of Wallenstein Tweet
To Start...

difficulty a bit difficult
preparationat least 12h to soften the butter + 5’ (to prepare the biscuit) + 10’ (for the buttercream) + 10’ (for bring it all together)
cooking - 40’ (for the biscuit + the time to cool it off) + enough time to caramelize hazelnuts in a dark brown caramel
serves - 10  

Ingredients

for the almond biscuit

  • 70gr of almond powder
  • 4 egg whites of medium size
  • 1 pinch of fleur de sel or coarse salt
  • 100gr of caster sugar

for the caramelized hazelnuts

  • 35gr of hazelnuts with the skin on
  • 50gr of caster sugar
  • 15gr of water

for the buttercream

  • 30gr of water
  • 3 egg whites of medium size
  • 115gr of caster sugar
  • 180gr of very soften butter sliced in dices
  • 175gr of hazelnut praline (bought in the store) (*)

Steps

for the almond biscuit

  • Preheat the oven at 180°C
  • Add the egg whites in a bowl with a bit of salt
  • Start beating the egg whites until they form soft peaks
  • Add the sugar little-by-little once the egg whites have formed peaks and continue to beat after each addition
  • Add the almond powder little-by-little on the egg whites and stir gently with a rubber spatula after each addition
  • Spread the mix equally onto a tray covered with parchment paper and forming a rectangle
  • Low the heat at the oven at 140°C
  • Bake for 40’
  • Let the biscuit cool almost completely

for the caramelized hazelnuts

  • Place some parchment paper into a tray tolerant to heat
  • Boil the water and the sugar into a small casserole
  • Add the hazelnuts with the skin on when the temperature is 116°C
  • Stir constantly with a wooden spoon at high heat for enough time to form a dark brown caramel
  • Place the hazelnuts onto the parchment paper and let them cool
  • Once the hazelnuts cold, and before starting the buttercream, cover them with parchment paper and press on them a rolling pin to crash them roughly
  • Keep half for decorating the bûche on the exterior and the rest for the buttercream

for the buttercream

  • Slice the butter in dices
  • Start beating the egg whites into a bowl with a bit of salt
  • Add the water and the sugar into a small casserole and heat-up until 121°C by constantly stirring
  • When the syrup touches the 121°C remove it from heat
  • Finish up quickly beating the egg whites into soft peaks form
  • Pour the syrup slowly onto the egg whites and continue to beat
  • Continue to beat until the bowl become mildly hot
  • Add the butter little-by-little and sliced in dices and continue to beat after each addition until it is absorbed completely by the egg whites and form a cream
  • Add the hazelnut praline slowly and stir gently with a rubber spatula
  • Add the roughly crashed caramelized hazelnuts and stir gently with the rubber spatula

to bring everything together

  • Spread the buttercream onto the biscuit in an even layer not very thick
  • Roll the biscuit onto the cream starting from the top and rolling towards you ; if needed use a flat spatule to get the biscuit off the parchment paper and easy up the rolling
  • Once the biscuit is all rolled-up and a bûche (small cylinder) is formed, place it gently in a rectangular tray and cover it with the rest of the butter cream
  • Sprinkle all over the remaining hazelnuts
  • Place the bûche into the refrigerator for 5’ to freeze the buttercream a little bit
  • Serve and enjoy this marvel asap :) that is if you like the hazelnut praline!

Inspiration

recipe coming for the Great French Pastry Chef Philippe Conticini

(*) in France we can find ready-made hazelnut praline in stores, , if you cannot find it in your country, I found this recipe for you but please note that I have not yet made it :)

o-o C'est si bon ! o-o

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