A French Holiday Treat

Francois Payard From Famed Payard P CBS/EARLY SHOW

This week The Early Show is examining culinary traditions from around the world to mark the holidays.

Francois Payard from the famed Payard Pâtissserie & Bistro visited the show to talk about and cook French food for the holidays.

Payard made his Bûche de Noel rolls, famous at Christmastime in France (similar to a Yule Log, and totally edible). He also had butternut squash soup to start a traditional meal that includes a duck entree he will offer as part of a prix fixe menu in deference to the hard economic times on Christmas Eve at his restaurant.

The Bûche de Noel is always a show-stopper, as much holiday décor as it is dessert. Payard offers four Bûche de Noel flavors this season: Louvre, Piemont, Bagatelle, and Montmartre.

He brought three different variations (Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Hazelnut and Mascarpone & Berries) with him on the show which can be made the day before they are to be served, and refrigerated. All can be served with vanilla ice cream, or perhaps some whipped cream, but the chocolate and chestnut cakes are also fine all by themselves.





RECIPES

Chocolate Bûche de Noel
Courtesy of François Payard, "Simply Sensational Desserts" (1999, Broadway Books. Makes 8 to 10 servings)

Génoise
5 large eggs
1 ¼ cups (150 grams) sugar
1 cup (130 grams) cake flour, sifted
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, melted

Chocolate Pastry Cream
½ cup (100 grams) sugar
¼ cup (24 grams) unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup (242 grams) whole milk
½ vanilla bean, split
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch, sifted

Cocoa Syrup
½ cup (100 grams) sugar
¼ cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

Chocolate Glaze
11 ounces (312 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 ¼ cups (290 grams) heavy cream

Directions
1. Make the génoise: Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a 10 x 15-inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.
2. Fill a medium saucepan one-third full with water and bring to a simmer. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the eggs and sugar by hand. Place the bowl over the pan of simmering water and whisk constantly until the mixture has doubled in volume and is cool, about 7 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the cake flour.
3. Place the melted butter in a small bowl. Stir a large scoop of the cake batter into the butter until well combined. Gently fold this mixture into the remaining cake batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan. Smooth the top with an offset metal spatula.
4. Bake the cake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the top is light golden brown and springs back when lightly touched. Don't over bake the cake, or it will be dry. Place a wire rack over the cake, invert, and cool completely, leaving the parchment paper on the cake.
5. Make the chocolate pastry cream: Put ¼ cup (50 grams) of the sugar and the cocoa powder in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in the milk, about 2 tablespoons at a time, until well combined and smooth. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan, add the bean, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
6. Whisk together the egg yolks, the remaining ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar, and the cornstarch in a medium bowl until thickened and pale. Gradually whisk in about half of the hot milk until blended. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the pastry cream boils and thickens. Continue to cook. Whisking constantly, for another minute. Remove the pan from the heat and remove the vanilla bean. Scrape the pastry cream into a medium bowl, place a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
7. Make the cocoa syrup: Combine the sugar and cocoa powder in a small saucepan. Gradually whisk in ½ cup (118 grams) water until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and cool the syrup completely.
8. Strain the syrup through a sieve into a small container and set aside.
9. Assemble the cake: Place the cake right side up on a work surface. Brush it generously with the cocoa syrup. Scrape about 1 cup of the chocolate pastry cream onto the cake and, using an offset metal spatula, spread it into an even layer. Starting at one of the long sides, roll the cake up tightly, peeling off the parchment paper as you roll. Rewrap the rolled cake in the parchment paper, twisting the ends tightly to secure them. Freeze the cake for 1 hour.
10. Slice an angled piece from each end of the log. Glue the two pieces together with a small amount of pastry cream to form a small stump. Attach the stump to the top of the cake with come of the pastry cream. Spread the remaining pastry cream over the entire log in a thin layer. Freeze the cake for 20 minutes.
11. Make the chocolate glaze: Put the chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and gently stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
12. Place the chilled log on a wire rack over a large baking sheet. Pour the warm glaze evenly over the log, coating it completely. Refrigerate the log for at least 20 minutes, or up to 8 hours in advance.
13. Garnish the cake: Garnish the top of the log as desired with white chocolate stars, meringue mushrooms, chocolate fans, and the optional chocolate truffles. Serve chilled.

Chestnut Bûche de Noel

Chestnuts are an integral part of the December holidays, especially in France, but in America as well. Before rolling the sponge cake up with the chestnut cream filling, brush it with ginger syrup, to add a slight tingle that goes so well with chestnut. The pieces of whole candied chestnut in the chestnut cream make for a wonderful surprise when you bite into the cake. Courtesy of François Payard, "Simply Sensational Desserts" (1999, Broadway Books. Makes 8 to 10 servings)

Génoise
5 large eggs
1 ¼ cups (250 grams) sugar
1 cup (130 grams) cake flour, sifted
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, melted

Chestnut Pastry Cream
2/3 cup (160 grams) whole milk
½ vanilla bean, split
2 large egg yolks
¼ cup plus 2 table spoons (75 grams) sugar
2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch
½ cup (136 grams) sweetened chestnut puree'
1 tablespoon (14 grams) dark rum, such as Myer's, or whiskey

Ginger Syrup
1 ¼ cups (250 grams) sugar
2 tablespoons (30 grams) peeled and chopped ginger

Assembly
1 cup (232 grams) heavy cream
10 candied chestnuts, coarsely chopped

Directions
1. Make the génoise: Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a 10 X 15-inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
2. Fill a medium saucepan one-third full with water and bring to a simmer. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the eggs and sugar by hand. Place the bowl over the pan of simmering water and whisk constantly until the mixture is warm to the touch. Transfer the bowl to the mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment beat at medium-high speed until the egg mixture has doubled in volume and is cool, about 7 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the cake flour.
3. Place the melted butter in a small bowl. Stir a large scoop of the cake batter into the butter until well combined. Gently fold this mixture into the remaining cake batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared jellyroll pan. Smooth the top with an offset metal spatula.
4. Bake the cake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the top is light golden brown and springs back when lightly touched. Don't over bake the cake, or it will be dry. Immediately invert the cake onto a wire rack and cool completely, leaving the parchment paper on the cake.
5. Make the chestnut pastry cream: Put the milk in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan, and add the bean. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
6. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium bowl until pale yellow. Gradually whisk in about half of the hot milk until blended. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the pastry cream boils and thickens. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, for another minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chestnut puree and rum. Remove the vanilla bean. Scrape the pastry cream into a bowl, place a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
7. Make the ginger syrup: Combine the sugar, 1 cup (236 grams) water, and the ginger in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and cool the syrup completely. Strain the syrup through a sieve into a small container and set aside.
8. Assemble the cake: In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream at high speed to soft peaks. Fold about one third of the whipped cream into the pastry cream to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble the cake, up to 1 day in advance.
9. Place the cake right side up on a work surface. Brush it generously with the ginger syrup. Scrape about 1 cup of the pastry cream onto the cake and, using an offset metal spatula, spread it into an even layer. Arrange the candied chestnut pieces down one long side of the cake, about 2 inches from the edge. Starting at this side, roll the cake up tightly, peeling off the parchment paper as you roll. Rewrap the rolled cake in the parchment paper, twisting the ends tightly to secure them. Freeze the cake for 1 hour.
10. Slice an angled piece from each end of the log. Glue the two pieces together with a small amount of the chestnut cream to form a small stump. Attach the stump to the top of the cake with some of the chestnut cream. Spread the remaining chestnut cream, over the entire log, smoothing it into an even layer. Run a pastry comb or fork lengthwise down the log and stump several times so the frosting resembles tree bark. Dip your finger into the cocoa and touch it to the center of one of the ends of the log. Repeat wit the other end. Dip a glass in the cocoa and stamp a cocoa circle around each fingerprint, to look like the cross-section of a log. Garnish the top of the log as desired. At Payard, we garnish often with white chocolate leaves and meringue mushrooms. Serve chilled.

(Go to page 2 for more recipes)
  • CBSNews

Comments