I made a buche de Noel for Christmas and the cake didn't rise at all. I've never made one before and am not sure what it should have looked like but it was very flat. The recipe is from Martha Stewart and uses:
6 eggs, separated
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/4 c flour
The egg yolks and whites are beaten separately; whites beaten to soft peaks and then sugar is added gradually and beaten to stiff peaks. The two are folded together and then flour and cocoa sifted on top and folded in. I followed the directions except for beating the whites first; is it possible the started to deflate because I waited too long? I tried to fold very carefully with a spatula. The texture was spongy and soaked up the rum well but it did bubble as batter.
That kind of recipe relies on the air that you beat into the eggs for any kind of rise, but it's not going to rise as much as a cake with added leaveners will. You have to be really careful not to deflate the batter when you fold everything together, but even then it's not going to rise a lot.
Also, Martha Stewart recipes have a reputation for being stinkers that you have to adjust. So I don't know if the proportions of ingredients are off, or if you just expected it to rise more than it did, but it could be that the recipe was iffy. You could go to epicurious.com and do a search for different recipes there and see what people say about different ones. I find that the comments there are good because people will tell what they did to adjust recipes to get better results.
I have never heard of Buche De Noel cake before but it sounds good. Do you use all purpose flour? Sometimes if you accidentally get the least amount of egg yolk into the whites it can mess up the cake but not sure if it makes it rise less if this happens. Others here will probably know better than I would since I am only a hobby baker. So how much rum do you add?
Below is the recipe I use for sponge cake but it is a tres leche cake recipe http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/tres-leches-cake and the 3 milk sauce has dark rum in it that soaks into the cake. Mine has always risen pretty good. Out of the 6 eggs used you only use 3 of the egg yolks saving other three egg yolks for another use.
For icing, I use stabilized whip cream with piping gel added. Recipe for that is on Wilton forum. This cake tastes even better once it has sat in refrigerator overnight. If I make for children I leave out the rum. This is one of my favorite cakes because I make two layers and put whipped icing with fruit in between layers, frost sides and top then put more fruit (strawberries, kiwi pineapple with peaches in middle layer of cake.This cake is a winner!!!! Try it sometime in the future!!! If I want smaller cake I just use two 8 inch cake pans and cook less time.
costumeczar- I thought I was careful but I really can't be sure. I don't think the cake rose at all--I measured the width after it baked and it was very thin. Perhaps it was the recipe. I always find epicurious and Allrecipes frustrating for that very reason. I find that people rate recipes highly even though they made millions of adjustments but I guess reading the adjustments to such a cake would be helpful.
remnant3333- I used AP flour since the recipe didn't specify to use cake flour but maybe cake flour would have improved it. I'm pretty sure I didn't get yolks in there. The egg whites beat pretty well. I'm actually wondering if the problem was the yolks. It was supposed to be 2 Tbsp of rum brushed on after baking but I didn't use that much since I have nieces and nephews to serve. Thanks for the tres leches recipe. I made one before with just whipped cream that rose well but fruit would be a nice addition.
Did you use a non-stick pan? I usually use an aluminium pan for this, and do not grease or line the sides and bottom.
I didn't use any grease. The pan was lined with parchment paper.