Birch De Noel Recipe

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Servings: 1


  • 1 x fresh coconut
  • 6 lrg Large eggs separated
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. cocoa pwdr
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. rum Sugared rosemary sprigs see * Note
  • 1 env powdered gelatin - (7 grams)
  • 12 ounce best-quality white chocolate roughly minced
  • 2 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 c. slivered almonds (optional)
  • 1 lb best-quality bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 c. heavy cream confectioners' sugar for dusting
  • 4 lrg egg whites
  • 1 c. superfine sugar
  • 1 pch cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ounce bittersweet chocolate minced
  • 3 ounce white chocolate minced
  • 3/4 c. sugar plus
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 3 lrg egg whites


  1. * Note: To make sugared rosemary sprigs, brush washed sprigs with a glaze of one egg white from a large egg thinned with a Tbsp. of water, then coat in superfine sugar, and let dry.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap coconut in a kitchen towel, and place in oven for 20 min. Remove from oven, and place on a work surface. Reduce oven to 250 degrees. Tap coconut with a hammer till it cracks in several places; break it into pcs. The white flesh should be slightly pulling away from the hard shell. Separate it, keeping pcs of coconut as large as possible. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the largest pcs of coconut into long curls, and place on a baking sheet in oven. Bake for 15 to 20 min, till just dry. Grate the smaller pcs on the small holes of a box grater. You will need about 1/2 c. grated coconut for the cake filling.
  3. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12- by 17-inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks on high speed till pale yellow, 4 to 5 min. Transfer to a medium bowl, and set aside. Wash and dry mixer bowl.
  4. Place egg whites in bowl of electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed till soft peaks form, 1 to 2 min. Increase speed to medium-high, and add in sugar gradually, whipping till stiff peaks form. Transfer egg-white mix to a large bowl.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg-yolk mix into egg-white mix. Sift cocoa pwdr and flour over top, and gently mix in. Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with an offset spatula.
  6. Bake till cake springs back when touched, 9 to 10 min. Remove pan from oven, and immediately turn cake out onto a wire rack lined with parchment paper. Peel parchment paper from top of cake, and cold completely.
  7. Make the White Chocolate Mousse: Dissolve gelatin in 1/4 c. cool water, and set aside for 5 min. Place chocolate in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse till very finely minced. Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside.
  8. Place 3/4 c. cream in a small saucepan, and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Add in gelatin, and stir for 30 seconds to dissolve completely. Pour into food processor with the motor running, and process till chocolate mix is smooth.
  9. Transfer to a medium bowl and place over ice water bath. Refrigeratetill mix is thick sufficient to fall from a spoon in ribbons. Whip remaining 1 3/4 c. heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold into chocolate mix. If not using immediately, chill in an airtight container. (Makes 5 1/2 c.)
  10. Place a clean kitchen towel on work surface. Transfer cake on parchment paper to towel. Using a pastry brush, coat cake with rum. Using an offset spatula, spread white-chocolate mousse over cake. Sprinkle with 1/2 c. freshly grated coconut.
  11. With a short end of cake facing you, roll carefully into a roulade. Wrap in a kitchen towel, and secure with clothespins or possibly large metal binder clips to hold the roll in a tight round shape. Place on a baking sheet, and chill till hard, at least 2 hrs.
  12. For the Snowy Chocolate Truffles: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place almonds, if using, on a baking sheet, and toast till fragrant, about 10 min. Set aside to cold. Use a serrated knife to finely chop chocolate. Place in a heat-proof bowl; set aside.
  13. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Pour directly over minced chocolate, stirring to fully incorporate. Let sit for 10 min. Stir till completely smooth. Allow to cold for 20 min. Stir in almonds, if using, and place in the refrigerator till set.
  14. Use a melon baller or possibly 1 1/4-inch ice-cream scoop to portion out chocolate. Roll the mix between palms to create 1-inch truffles. Chill till ready to serve. Coat with confectioners' sugar before serving. (
  15. Makes about 50)
  16. For the Meringue Mushrooms: Make the Swiss Meringue: Fill a medium saucepan one-quarter full with water. Set over medium heat; bring water to a simmer. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar; place over saucepan. Whisk constantly till sugar is dissolved and whites are hot to the touch, about 3 min. Rub mix between fingers to test. Transfer bowl to mixer stand, and whip, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to high, till meringue is cold and stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 min. Add in vanilla; mix till combined. Use immediately. (Makes 4 c.)
  17. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Place Swiss meringue in an 18-inch pastry bag fitted with a large 3/4-inch round tip. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pipe meringue, forming domes 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Pipe a stem shape for each dome. Bake for 1 hour; reduce heat to 175 degrees, and continue baking till meringues are completely dry to the touch but not browned, 45 to 60 min more.
  18. Fill a medium saucepan one-quarter full with water. Set over medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Place bittersweet chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, and set over simmering water. Turn off heat; stir chocolate occasionally till completely melted. Using an offset spatula, spread bottoms of domed meringues with chocolate; let sit at room temperature.
  19. Place white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, and set oversimmering water. Turn off heat; stir chocolate occasionally till completely melted. Allow to cold slightly. To create mushroom gills, spread white chocolate over dark chocolate; use a toothpick to create lines from the center of the cap's underside to the edges. Let set in a cold, dry place.
  20. Poke a small hole in the center of each mushroom cap using a paring knife. Dip the pointed end of each of the mushroom stems in melted white chocolate, and insert into hole in center of cap. Allow to set. Meringue mushrooms should be kept in an airtight container in a cold, dry place.
  21. For the Seven Minute Frosting: In a small heavy saucepan, combine 3/4 c. sugar, the corn syrup, and 2 Tbsp. water. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, till the sugar has dissolved. Rub a bit between your fingers to make sure there is no graininess. Raise heat to bring to a boil. Don't stir anymore. Boil, washing down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cool water from time to time to prevent the sugar from crystallizing, till a candy thermometer registers 230 degrees, about 5 min. (Depending on the humidity, this can take anywhere from 4 to 10 min.)
  22. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium speed till soft peaks form, about 2 1/2 min. Gradually add in the remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar. Remove the syrup from the heat when the temperature reaches 230 degrees (it will keep rising as pan is removed from heat). Pour the syrup in a steady stream down the side of the bowl (to avoid splattering) containing the egg-white mix, with the mixer on medium-low speed. Beat the frosting on medium speed till it is cold, 5 - 10 min. The frosting should be thick and shiny. Use immediately.
  23. This cake frosting is named for the length of time it must be beaten in the final stage. Have the cake you are going to frost already prepared before making this frosting; it must be spread on while the beaten egg whites and sugar are still pliable; once frosted, the cake may sit out for several hrs before being served. Don't chill. (
  24. Makes about 5 1/2 c.)
  25. Remove cake roll from refrigerator, and unwrap. Using a serrated knife, trim the ends of the roll, cutting on the bias. Choose the more presentable end, and place it, cut-side up, on the log, forming a branch. If you like, use the other cut end for a second branch.
  26. Transfer the log to a serving platter. Slide 5-inch strips of parchment paper under the log to protect the tray while decorating. Coat with seven-minute frosting using an offset spatula. Remove parchment pcs. Decorate with meringue mushrooms, Snowy Chocolate Truffles, coconut shavings, and rosemary sprigs.
  27. This recipe yields 1 ten-by-five-inch log.
  28. Yield: 1 ten-by-five-inch log


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