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Buche de Noel

Chocolate Cloud Roll

¼ cup + 2 T sugar

6 eggs, separated

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

1 T unsweetened cocoa

For assembly:

1 cup apricot preserves

Perfect Whipped Cream (See below)

Chocolate Ganache (See below)

For decoration:

Cranberries, rosemary, meringue mushrooms or holiday figurines

Position the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Spray a 12x17 or 12x18 sheet pan with cooking spray or baking spray. Line with parchment or wax paper and spray again.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a mixing bowl beat ¼ cup sugar and the egg yolks for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate and beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides.

In a large mixing bowl, bet the egg whites until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Gradually beat in the remaining 2 T sugar, beating until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.

Fold ¼ of the whites in to the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then gently fold in remaining egg whites.

Pout into the prepared pan, spreading evenly with a spatula, and bake 16 minutes. The cake will have puffed and lost its shine and will spring back when lightly pressed with a finger.

Wet a few paper towels and wring them out well. Remove the cake from the oven and leave it in the pan. Dust with the cocoa and cover immediately with the damp paper towel. Allow the cake to cool. Remove the paper towels and, lifting by a long edge of the liner, gently slide the cake from the pan onto a flat surface. Spread at once with the filling and roll up, using the liner or foil for support and gently peeling it away as you go. Frost with dark chocolate ganache. You can add fruit preserves, brandied cherries, etc. as you wish.

Perfect Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream

1T sugar

In a large mixing bowl place all the ingredients and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. (Chill beater alongside bowl.)

Beat until soft peaks form. If using for a cake, frost, fill or decorate the cake with the whipped cream and chill for at least 1 hour.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1 2/3 cups heavy cream

¼ cup butter

Process the chocolate in a food processor until very fine. Heat the cream to the boiling point and, with the motor running, our it through the feed tube in a steady stream. Process a few seconds until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely. Add the butter.

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