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Chocolate yule log
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Chocolate-lovers will never forget the year that you brought this beauty to the table. The light sponge is a cinch to roll, meaning you can achieve that satisfying swirl of rich buttercream without the stress.
4 British Blacktail Free Range Large Eggs
100g caster sugar
75g self-raising flour
50g cocoa powder
cing sugar, for dusting
150g unsalted butter, softened
300g icing sugar, sifted
50ml double cream
CHOCOLATE GANACHE ICING
175g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
125g unsalted butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
175ml double cream
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4 and line a large baking tray or Swiss roll tin (about 32cm x 22cm) with baking parchment. Using a freestanding mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar together for about 8 minutes, or until they are thick and frothy and the whisk leaves a trail visible for at least 3 seconds when it’s removed.
2. Sieve over the flour and cocoa powder. Use a balloon whisk to gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until no floury patches remain. Scrape the mixture into the lined tin and use a spatula to spread it into the corners.
3. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cake should be risen and firm to the touch, and a skewer inserted should come out clean. Remove from the oven and carefully flip the cake onto a sheet of baking parchment dusted with icing sugar. Peel the baking parchment off the bottom of the cake, then roll tightly, starting at one of the short edges. Leave to cool completely while rolled up.
4. To make the buttercream filling, beat the butter in a large mixing bowl with a electric beaters until loose. Add the icing sugar in stages, whisking until smooth, then add the double cream. Beat for a few minutes until light.
5. For the ganache, bring a small saucepan of water to a gentle simmer. Put the chocolate, butter and syrup in a large, heatproof bowl. Without the bowl touching the water, set it over the top of the pan. Stir until melted, then remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Cool, cover and chill the ganache for 1 hour, or until ready to use.
6. When the cake is cool, carefully unroll it. Don’t worry if it cracks, because it will be coated in ganache. Using a palette knife, spread an even layer of buttercream over the sponge, then roll it up again.
7. Spoon the ganache into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe lines of ganache all over the cake to create a wood bark effect. (Alternatively, spread onto the cake in an even layer, then use a fork to create a wood bark effect.) Dust with a little more icing sugar before serving. The yule log will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in October 2021.