Our yule-log challenge this year: Create a twist that not only holds up nicely in the freezer (even when iced and decorated!), but tastes delicious—and just a little bit different. Mission accomplished, thanks to white-chocolate whipped cream and clementine slices that you confit, like a pro, in your microwave. If you decide to assemble this bûche the day of, you can still get a jump on a couple of steps: Both whipped cream and candied citrus will keep well in the refrigerator for a few days.
In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Pour over the chocolate and let melt for 2 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
On a work surface, cut off and discard the ends of the clementines and cut each into 8 thin slices. Set aside.
In an 8-inch (20 cm) glass dish, combine the water, sugar and corn syrup. Microwave for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Add the clementine slices and cinnamon stick. Continue cooking in the microwave for 12 minutes or until the slices become slightly translucent. Let cool.
Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until completely chilled.
With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 17 x 12-inch (43 x 30 cm) baking sheet with parchment paper, letting it hang over the two shorter sides. Butter the parchment paper and the unlined sides.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer for 10 minutes or until the mixture has tripled in volume and forms a ribbon as it falls from the beaters.
Sift the dry ingredients over the eggs, gently folding in with a whisk. Spread the batter evenly onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour.
Drain the clementine confit. Set aside 8 slices for decoration and cut the remaining clementines into small dice.
Whip the cold white chocolate cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
Remove the cake and parchment paper from the baking sheet. Spread half of the whipped cream over the entire surface of the cake. Sprinkle with the diced clementines and press lightly. Roll the cake from the short side. Place on a serving platter. Cover completely with the remaining white chocolate whipped cream.
Finely grate the white chocolate chunk over the yule log. On a work surface, cut a slit from the middle of the clementine slices through to the peel. Twist and place on the log. Top with the chocolate curls.
Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving or freeze. If frozen, leave the cake at room temperature for 2 hours before serving.
Recipes with the "Healthy Pick" stamp have been evaluated by a registered dietitian member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec.