I am sharing with you today seriously the Best Pistachio Raspberry Yule log (Bûche de Noël) for Christmas celebration. There is no Christmas without a beautiful Yule log and this year I decided to go with one of my favourite flavour combinations: pistachio and raspberry . Whether you call it Swiss roll, Cake roll, Yule log or Bûche de Noël, it is always a showstopper, elegant, creamy log shape cake that can be the highlight of the Christmas dinner, in fact, any dinner!
This Pistachio Raspberry Yule log recipe (Bûche de Noël) consists of a Choux pastry sponge that is a flexible sponge so it is easy to roll it without breaking it. The Yule log filling includes a delicious, slightly tangy raspberry couilis and the silkiest, creamiest pistachio whipped ganache, two flavours that perfectly balance each other without being overly sweet! Finally, the Bûche de Noël is decorated with super easy, yet visually appealing white chocolate stars that are garnished with freezed dried raspberries. This is a totally showstopper Christmas cake that is completely doable for home bakers! With a different decoration, in line with the season, you can even make it into a whole new cake.
My Top 5 Baking Tips for home bakers
- Read the recipe carefully including my tips and recommendations on how to avoid and fix typical issues during baking this Pistachio Raspberry Yule log
- Avoid using substitutes and changing the recipe unless you are aware of how to fully reformulate the recipe in order to keep the balance in texture as well as flavour. Reducing sugar, replacing egg, using ingredients not on the right temperature etc. will all have an impact baking Yule log
- For consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is provided as an indicative figure only and might be used for less complex and large batch recipes however it is not an appropriate method for more delicate, complex pastries like this Pistachio Raspberry Yule log
- Did you know that most home ovens can significantly under or oven run? Also, oven temperature hugely drops when opening the oven door therefore it is recommended to always pre-heat the oven above the required baking temperature.
- Temperature is so important when it comes to baking and accurate oven temperature is key, can make or break any recipe. Make sure you invest into an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer to avoid under baked, burnt, sad looking cakes
Some important notes regarding the INGREDIENTS of this Pistachio Raspberry Yule log Christmas cake
For the Choux pastry sponge
- Milk: Whole milk is the best to make the sponge for this Yule log, definitely avoid using milk substitutes unless you are aware of how to reformulate the recipe
- Sugar: This choux pastry sponge is made using a small amount simple granulated sugar. The flavour and sweetness will come from the filling of the Yule log so no need to use a lot of sugar here. While heating the mixture up make sure sugar full dissolves. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here
- Salt: An essential ingredient in most of the dessert recipes. Salt balances the flavour and enhances other ingredients, make sure salt fully dissolves while heating it up with butter and milk
- Butter: Use always unsalted as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using 82% fat content butter in all my recipes. While in most of the recipes butter needs to be on room temperature, this is an exception. Since butter will be heated, it is fine to use it straight out of the fridge
- Flour: While tradition choux pastry eg. eclair (my recipe in here) has to be made with high protein content bread flour, in this sponge recipe simple AP flour is totally fine. If you want to be a Pro when it comes to deciding what type of flour to use in your baking, please read my article in here
- Egg: Room temperature as always. You will need 4 egg whites and yolks separately + 1 extra whole egg. Make sure no yolk goes into the white part as it is impossible to whip the egg white up with any sort of fat in it
For the pistachio whipped ganache
- White chocolate: It is worth to remember that not all chocolate are created equal, in fact the quality of the chocolate goes way beyond taste. In this recipe I am using Callebaut White chocolate (callets), this is a high-quality chocolate (yet affordable) that contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter than the average supermarket chocolate. It is usually sold online in a bigger pack eg. 1 kg and perfect to make recipes that requires high quality chocolate. I order mine from Amazon and surprisingly the price / kg it is not even so much more expensive than a low quality supermarket chocolate. Couverture chocolate is not a must in this recipe, but try to buy the best one you can access so that it will have the right texture as well as a pleasant creamy taste that won´t overpower the pistachio paste
- Cream: Also known as whipping cream or double cream, has a fat content between 36% and 40% , in my recipes I always use 36%. Avoid substitutes like vegetable based “whipping cream”
- Gelatin: It´s an odorless, tasteless and colorless thickening agent, very often used by pastry chefs particularly in mousse cakes. Powder or sheet versions are available, in my recipes I always use sheet (1,7 g / sheet), which I found easier to handle. Simple soak the gelatin sheets into cold water for a few minutes before you need them and use it according to the recipe. Please note that gelatin is not suitable for vegetarians. Agar agar can be a good substitution for vegetarians however replacing gelatin with agar agar is not 1:1 and can only be done by reformulating the recipe slightly
- Pistachio paste: Make sure that you use 100% pistachio paste (that has one single ingredient: pistachio) as many spreads claim to be pistachio paste with less than 50% pistachio in it. I bought mine online from Amazon, it has a super deep and delicious pistachio taste without any additives, oil, milk powder or sugar
- Food colouring (optional): depending on the pistachio paste you are using you might or might not achieve the desired green colour in your cream. A very small amount of food colouring (gel or powder) can be always handy to fine tune the colour
For the white chocolate star decoration
- White chocolate: Same applies as above, even more important that you use high quality white chocolate as it will need to be tempered and cut into a star shape (I am using a cookie cutter to do that). You will need couverture chocolate if you want to replicate those beautifully chocolate decorations you see on Instagram or in professional pastry shops! In this recipe I am using Callebaut White chocolate (callets), this is a high-quality chocolate (yet affordable) that contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter than the average supermarket chocolate. The additional cocoa butter, combined with proper tempering technique gives the chocolate a more shiny look, a firmer “snap” when broken, and a creamier, more smooth texture.
- Freezed dried raspberry: this is optional but I think it gives a nice texture and colour to the overall design of this Pistachio Raspberry Yule log
My top 5 tips regarding the TECHNIQUE of making this Pistachio Raspberry Yule log recipe
1. How to make cakeroll that does not break
You might have seen several swiss roll recipes on the Internet and in baking books but almost all of them breaks while rolling and the recipe fails to explain how to avoid breaking it while rolling. Some might say; it is fine, I will just hide it with cream or dust with icing sugar, but I say no way! I have a Japanese cake roll recipe that does not break as it is roll it up with a tea towel while it is still warm. However, this time, I am sharing with you a different kind of more elastic sponge called choux pastry sponge. I must say this sponge is absolutely the best kind I recommend to make this Pistachio raspberry Yule log! Thin, as it should be, very elastic, does not break into pieces while rolling, and super delicious. The perfect sponge layer to hold that beautiful cream in this Bûche de Noël.
The choux pastry sponge starts with making classic choux pastry so heating up milk, butter, salt and sugar then flour goes in at one go forming a thick paste. You will then need to add egg yolks and whole egg into the mixture pretty similarly as making eclair. Lastly, unlike classic choux pastry, egg white need to be beaten up to meringue and need to be folded into the mixture. Make sure, you do not over beat the egg white, it should be beaten only until early stiff peaks stage. If meringue is too stiff, it can form lumps that is difficult to fold into the rest of the cake batter and can result in cake cracking while baking - I made this mistake in my first test, please you try to avoid it. With the help of a Rubber spatula fold ⅓ of the meringue into the rest of the mixture and mix throughout then fold the rest of the meringue in carefully. The batter consistency before baking is a sponge like cake batter, somewhat runny but also increased in volume and somewhat fluffy, but not too much.
Bake it in a large tray, I was using my new silicone 33x33cm (12,8inch) baking tray that is called Silicone roulade mat from Silikomart. It´s brilliant, spreading the cake batter in it is super easy (use a Offset spatula) and the cake bakes evenly. I can warmly recommend this silicone baking tray however if you have a different one, calculate the quantity of the batter according to the size of your tin. Mine is 33x33=1089cm2. If yours is for example 23x23cm=529cm2 then it means you will need 529/1089=0.48 , so about half of the ingredients. Hope you like math!
Make sure you do not over bake the sponge, mine was done in 20 minutes. Over baking would mean making it too dry that will result in cracks while rolling. After baking, the sponge stay elastic and easy to roll. Let it cool to room temp in the Silicone roulade mat before filling and turning into a beautiful Pistachio Raspberry Yule log. Make sure, you do not leave the sponge out overnight as it will dry out and again, it will result in not being able to roll it up without breaking it.
2. How to make raspberry coulis
This Pistachio Raspberry Yule log will be filled with a tangy, refreshing raspberry coulis.
As fancy it sounds (like the word Bûche de Noël!!) it is literally cooking raspberry, sugar, lemon juice until the mixture thickens, about 30 minutes. Make sure you cook the mixture long enough so the coulis won´t be too runny to fill the Yule log, however bear in mind that the mixture will further thicken as it cools. The amount of sugar will depend on the sweetness of the raspberry you are using. I was using frozen one and with the sugar I state in the recipe the coulis turned out to be rather tangy, that in my view goes super well with the creamy pistachio ganache. Feel free to run the mixture through a sieve to get rid of raspberry seeds.
3. How to make pistachio whipped ganache for this Christmas Yule log
This Pistachio Raspberry Yule log will be filled with a super light and fluffy pistachio whipped ganache.
First of of why make whipped ganache? Ganache is chocolate-cream 1:1 ratio mixture. As of whipped ganache, it also contains gelatine and the cream ratio is higher so when it is whipped, the consistency will be super creamy and fluffy. You might just never ever make butter cream again once you taste whipped ganache, it has the perfect consistency and the perfect taste without adding any powder sugar or butter.
So whipped ganache is a mixture of cream, chocolate and gelatine. I recommend to chose a high quality brand when it comes to chocolate with high cocoa content to avoid disappointment. I am using Callebaut White chocolate (callets), that is creamy and has a natural taste so when I add flavour to the ganache, in this case pistachio paste, it will come through really strongly.
Regarding the cream, I am using heavy cream that has 36% fat content. Do not make ganache using low fat creams or vegetable creams.
Regarding the gelatin, I am using sheet gelatin that is super easy to work with, please see my note about gelatin above.
How does the process look like to make pistachip whipped ganache for this Yule log recipe
- Place finely chopped chocolate into a bowl
- Pour pistachio paste on top of chocolate
- Soak gelatin into cold water
- Heat some part of the cream until simmering. If it’s boiling, the cream is too hot and could burn the chocolate. If the cream is not warm enough, it won´t melt the chocolate properly and won’t emulsify
- Mix gelatin into warm cream
- Pour warm cream over the chopped chocolate & pistachio paste
- Let the two sit for a minute then stir together or use a blender to emulsify
- Once slightly cooled, pour the rest of the cold cream into the mixture and fold
- Cover the surface of the ganache with plastic wrap and refrigerate for min. 4 hours
- 4 hours later or oven better if the next day, take the ganache and gently whip it in a stand mixer (the quantity of the cream will be quite a lot to fill the cake roll and cover also the outside ) It will reach a fluffy, pipeable consistency in a minute or two. Make sure, you do not over beat the mixture after this point
4. How to assemble this Pistachio Raspberry Yule log
Assembling this Pistachio Raspberry Yule log is so easy, quick and rewarding if you have done all the elements correctly
- the choux sponge should be elastic and not dry so it will be easy to roll
- the raspberry coulis should be thick enough so it won´t make a mess
- the whipped ganache should be perfectly light, airy but pipable, not runny so it will be keeping its structure
The Yule log can be rolled either directly from the actual Silicone roulade mat you baked in or if you are more comfortable with parchment paper, then move it onto parchment once Yule log cooled to room temp. With a quick and confident move, flip the sponge onto a parchment paper, then flip again onto another parchment paper so eventually the side that was on the top stays on the top. The sponge should get easily released from the Silicone roulade mat. Make sure, you do not break the sponge during these movements, do support the flipping with a cooling rack or similar.
While applying the filling on the sponge leave at least 1-2 cm around the side. First apply the raspberry coulis and spread it all over with a large Offset spatula. Then pipe the pistachio whipped ganache on top and again, spread it evenly with a large Offset spatula. Try to work as neat as possible without mixing the raspberry coulis with the pistachio whipped ganache too much. The amount of pistachio ganache stated in the recipe is enough to fill the cake and also to make the frosting on the outside part so make sure you leave cream to frost the outside.
After you are happy with the filling, start rolling the cake tightly and neatly from up to down with the help of the parchment paper or Silicone roulade mat. The cream should stay firm during rolling and you can start decorating immediately however if in doubt and you feel the roll is more on the soft side, place it into the freezer for 30 minutes.
For frosting the outside use the ramaining pistachio whipped ganache, pipe it on top and spread it evenly over the top and side as well with an Offset spatula . You can either leave it rustic or for an extra smooth look use small piece of parchment paper and while holding with your fingers quickly run it through over the cakeroll - the parchment will smooth the frosting. Repeat the movement for a few times until frosting looks smooth.. Your Pistachio Raspberry Yule log is almost ready!
After frosting, decorate with the white chocolate stars and freezed dried raspberries to turn it into a showstopper a Raspberry Pistachio Bûche de Noël!
5. How to make chocolate decoration for Bûche de Noël
The chocolate star decoration is what turns a simple a cake roll into a true celebration Yul log or Bûche de Noël! Making these chocolate starts is actually not super hard once you learn how to temper chocolate!
There are various methods to temper chocolate, for home bakers and with small batch of chocolate, I recommend the “seeding method” that is super easy and can be achieved with a microwave and thermometer, eg. Infrared thermometer gun. It might sound complicated and too scientific, but in fact it is really easy. Remember, you only have to learn how to temper chocolate once and after you can make beautiful chocolate decorations any time you wish! All you need to do is melt chocolate to a certain temperature then add more chocolate chips (that is called callet, it is already tempered and it is NOT the same as cheap supermarket chocolate chip!!) into the melted chocolate – that will bring down your chocolate temperature to the so called working temperature. That´s it! If you can access couverture chocolate, the required temperatures are stated on the bag. In my case, for the Callebaut White chocolate (callets) I have to warm up the chocolate to 45C then cool it down to 28-29C by adding more chocolate.
Please check my hot chocolate bomb tutorial where I go in much more detail into the topic. Oh and why not try that recipe too?!
So once you have tempered your chocolate, spread chocolate over a Silicone baking mat in an even layer with the help of a large Offset spatula. Not too thin, not too thick, sort of 1-2 mm thick then sprinkle with freezed dried raspberries and wait. You will need to wait for the perfect moment to cut out the stars, the exact moment when chocolate starts to set but not too hard yet. Visually the chocolate will go from shiny to mat however deciding on the exact moment will obviously will require some practice... like anything in life. Since my kitchen is rather hot, I personally like to put the chocolate into the fridge for 2-3 minutes and check every 30 seconds. It is a good idea to check the side of your chocolate with your finger and see how hard it has set already. Then when chocolate already firm enough but not too hard cut out the circles with a cookie cutter. In a similar way you can cut out any decoration. Let the decoration further set in the fridge until decorating the Pistachio Raspberry Yule log.
Try some of my other Christmas recipes
Chocolate pistachio tart Christmas tree edition - This festive Chocolate Pistachio Tart Christmas tree edition is the ultimate elegant dessert you can serve during Christmas and impress everyone! Homemade Pâte Sablée tart cases filled with crunchy pistachios, creamy pistachio paste that is topped with silky chocolate ganache. Recipe in here
Christmas tree meringue - I am sharing with you today my foolproof Christmas tree meringue recipe including all my tips and trick! Meringue based desserts are naturally gluten-free, in fact the recipe using only a few ingredients you probably already have at home, namely egg and sugar. Recipe in here
Christmas tree cupcake - This Christmas tree cupcake recipe consists of a moist and tender chocolate muffin filled with chocolate ganache and decorated with my favorite super light and easy mascarpone cream frosting. Easy, quick, looks and tastes just amazing! Recipe in here
Apple Cinnamon Bûche De Noël - This Apple Cinnamon Bûche De Noël recipe is the Ultimate Yule log if you want to make a really fancy Christmas cake that not just tastes amazing but truly unique and impressive! Apple and cinnamon flavours can be found in a dreamy, airy mousse cake with a wonderful festive design that can be the showstopper dessert on your Christmas table! Recipe in here
Gold macaron - These Gold macarons can be perfect for any special occasions or celebrations like birthdays, weddings, Christmas or New Year´s etc. Festive French macarons that also tastes amazing; they are filled with caramelized white chocolate that has the perfect deep caramel note without being overly sweet and hazelnut paste with the most delicious natural nutty flavor. The Gold macarons are decorated with a very simple technique using gold glitter that is painted on them. Recipe in here
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Pistachio Raspberry Yule log recipe (Bûche de Noël)
For the choux pastry sponge
For the pistachio whipped ganache
- 225 g Callebaut WhiteChocolate (callets)
- 550 g Heavy Cream fat content min 36%
- 60 g Pistachio paste 100% pistachio only!
- 4 Gelatine sheet
For the raspberry coulis
- 450 g Raspberry fresh or frozen
- 70 g Granulated sugar
- 50 g Lemon juice freshly squeezed
For the chocolate stars
- 150 g Callebaut WhiteChocolate (callets) +7% for tempering
- freezed dried raspberry
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
Start with making the pistachio whipped ganache
- Chop chocolate into small pieces and place them into a bowl. Pour pistachio paste on top
- Soak gelatin into cold water
- Heat 250g cream until simmering, mix gelatin sheet in and pour it over the chocolate & pistachio paste mixture
- Let the chocolate cream mixture set for a minute until chocolate gently melts then stir together or hand blend
- Once mixture slightly cools to room temp, stir in rest of the cream, cover the top of the ganache with plastic wrap and refrigerate for minimum 4 hours
- The mixture should thicken after 4 hours and can be whipped into a pipeable, fluffy consistency in a Stand mixer. Once it is reached a fluffy consistency (1-2min), make sure you do not over whip the ganache as it can break
- Whipped ganache should be stored in the fridge before using it or best if you use it immediately
Making the Choux pastry sponge
- Pre-heat oven to 180 C / 356 F
- Sift flour then measure it and set aside
- Place butter, milk, salt and sugar into a saucepan over medium heat
- As soon as the mixture starts simmering remove from heat, add the flour in one go and whisk vigorously with a Rubber spatula until it forms one smooth ball and flour bits are not visible
- Transfer the dough into a bowl and let it rest for a minute or two before mixing one whole egg in then mix in the egg yolks. Only add a small amount of egg at a time, consistently whisking after each addition. Use either an electric hand mixer or stand mixer
- In the meantime beat egg white in a Stand mixer into a a consistency of early stiff peaks but make sure you do not over beat the egg white to a stage where it would form lumps
- With the help of a Rubber spatula fold ⅓ of the meringue into the rest of the mixture and mix throughout then fold the rest of the meringue in carefully
- Monitor the sponge and take out as soon as it is well baked, avoid over baking as that would results in making it too dry and difficult to fold (=will break)
- Let the sponge cool to room temp . Leave it either on the Silicone roulade mat or before assembling flip it over to a parchment paper then flip it again to another parchment so that the top side stays on top
- Cook all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat for 30 minutes or until it thickens. Make sure it gets thick enough so it will be easy to fill it into our cake roll
Chocolate star decoration
- Temper Callebaut WhiteChocolate (callets) and spread it over a sheet of parchment paper in a 1-2mm even layer and dust with freezed dried raspberries
- At the perfect moment, when chocolate is already hardening but not too hard yet, cut out 5 stars with the help of a cookie cutter. Let the stars further set in the fridge until using them
- Arrange all the elements: room temp sponge, whipped up ganache, room temp raspberry coulis
- With the help of a Offset spatula spread raspberry coulis on top in a thin even layer leaving out 1-2cm around the side
- Pipe at least ¾ of the whipped ganache on top of the raspberry coulis and carefully spread it over. Make sure the two cream won´t melt together
- Then start rolling the cake tightly and neatly from top to down with the help of a parchment paper or the Silicone roulade mat (that is under the sponge)
- Spread the remaining pistachio whipped ganache over and around the sponge and smooth the surface with a piece of parchment paper (see pic above)
- Decorate with the chocolate stars and dust with freezed dried raspberry