‘Yule’ be mad to miss out on a slice of this chocolate-laden yule log
“The French enjoy their main feast on Christmas Eve, after returning from midnight mass. This feast always ends with a yule log – a tradition stemming from the custom of bringing in a log for the fire on Christmas Eve”.
• 1/2 cup plain flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 60g dark chocolate, chopped
• 4 eggs
• 3/4 cup caster sugar, plus extra, to dust
• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
• 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
• 2 tablespoons cold water
For the chocolate butter cream:
• 2 egg yolks
• 1/4 cup caster sugar
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup milk
• 250g unsalted butter, softened
• 60g dark chocolate
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease a 38 × 25 × 2.5 cm Swiss roll tin and line with baking paper. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Melt the chocolate in a basin over hot water.
2 Break the eggs into a bowl, add the sugar and beat over hot water, or on the highest speed of the electric mixer, until the mixture is very light and thick and increased in volume. Fold in the sifted mixture and vanilla into the egg mixture.
3 Stir the bicarbonate of soda and cold water into the melted chocolate and fold quickly and evenly into the cake mixture.
4 Turn into the prepared tin and bake for 15 minutes or until the cake top springs back when the centre is lightly touched.
5 Loosen the edges and turn out onto a tea towel thickly dusted with caster sugar. Peel off the paper and trim the edges of the cake with a sharp knife.
6 Roll immediately in the towel and leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, to make the chocolate butter cream, cream the egg yolks with the caster sugar.
7 Dissolve the remaining sugar with the milk over a low heat and bring to the boil. Add gradually to the creamed mixture, then return to the saucepan and heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Strain and allow to cool.
8 Cream the butter until it resembles whipped cream and gradually beat into the cooled custard.
9 Melt the chocolate over hot water, cool, then beat into the butter mixture.
10 When the cake is cold, carefully unroll and spread with one-third of the chocolate butter cream.
11 Roll the cake once more and cut off one end of the cake at an angle.
12 Place the cake on plate or board, arrange the cut piece of cake to resemble a stump and cover the yule log with the remaining butter cream. Chill until serving time.
Recipe and image courtesy of Margaret Fulton, extracted from The 12 Days of Christmas.