A Bird in the Hand Isn't Worth 2 Buches

I'm a big fan of using relatively inappropriate tools to great effect in pastry.  Especially for home baking.  I have tools that work beautifully for large production but they don't translate well when you have a smaller oven and sheet pans. So when I find something that works the same but on a smaller scale, even if I find it in the paint section at Home Depot, I do a happy dance.

As a matter of fact, I was in the paint section at the Home Depot this past Sunday and found the mother lode.  The Martha Stewart paint effects collection.  I immediately knew that I would use two of the tools to make buche.  Run, don't walk, to your nearest Home Depot for some fabulous pastry supplies.

BUCHE, two ways
stripe and wood grain tool.  

The buche I made with the wood grain effect was made with the decor sides and  Helga Cake recipe for the interior cake, which I baked in a half sheet pan.  I filled it with 2 cups of whipped cream, sweetened with 1/8 cup of maple syrup and flavored with 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste.  I colored the decor paste with 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder.

For the chocolate and peppermint buche:

For the decor:  follow directions in the blog post.  When using the wood grain tool, follow directions that come along with the paint decor set.  Be careful to press down very firmly when using the wood grain tool and clean it thoroughly between "swipes."


for the cake
preheat oven to 350º

6 room temperature eggs, separated
12 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coffee
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar


for the cake

-whisk together the egg yolks, 6 tablespoons sugar, coffee, corn starch and cocoa powder until incorporated.
-in a clean mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until foamy.  Slowly add the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar and whisk on high until you achieve medium firm peaks.
-stir 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture to lighten.  Carefully fold in the remaining egg whites.
-Spray a parchment lined half sheet pan with non stick spray.  Using an offset spatula, evenly and carefully spread the cake batter over the half sheet pan
-Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cake springs back when you poke it.  Do not over bake.  You want the cake very moist so that it doesn't crack when you roll it.

For the filling

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint oil

whisk until you achieve firm peaks

To assemble:

thin layer of whipped cream on the decor side

add remaining cream to the chocolate layer
-If you are using decor. place the decor strip decor side DOWN on a piece of parchment.  Spread a very small amount of whipped cream over the decor sheet to act as an adhesive.  Gently place the chocolate cake on top of the decor.
-evenly spread the remaining whipped cream over the chocolate layer.  Use the parchment under the decor sheet to help your gently roll the cake.  Do not roll the cake too tightly, otherwise you'll crack the cake.  Freeze the cake for 1/2 hour until set.  Trim the ends.

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