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    Christmas yule log

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    Christmas yule log

    • Vegetarian
    • Gluten Free
    • Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes + cooling
    • Cooking time: 18 minutes to 20 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 48 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes + cooling

    Serves: 12


    For the roulade
    400g Belgian dark chocolate with hazelnuts, broken into pieces
    5 British Blacktail Free Range Medium Eggs, separated
    150g light brown muscovado sugar
    Icing sugar, for dusting

    For the filling
    100g cream cheese
    1 tbsp brandy
    40g icing sugar
    150ml double cream

    For the chocolate curls
    100g Belgian dark chocolate, broken into pieces

    For the truffle cream
    150ml double cream
    1 tbsp brandy
    200g bar Belgian dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
    Icing sugar, for dusting


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. To make the roulade, grease a 33x23cm Swiss roll tin and line with baking parchment. Place the hazelnut chocolate in a bowl over a pan of just simmering water. Leave for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until melted.

    2. Meanwhile, using an electric whisk, whizz together the egg yolks and muscovado sugar for about 2-3 minutes, or until thickened and very pale. Then stir in the melted chocolate until just combined.

    3. Whisk the egg whites in a thoroughly clean bowl until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Using a large metal spoon, fold a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it. Gently fold this mixture back into the remaining egg whites.

    4. Pour into the prepared tin and level the surface, smoothing the mixture gently into the corners. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until risen and just firm to the touch. Sprinkle a sheet of baking parchment with a fine dusting of icing sugar. Turn the cooked roulade out onto the paper, then remove the tin and leave the lining paper on the roulade. Leave to rest for at least 3 hours or until completely cooled.

    5. To make the filling, whisk the cream cheese with the brandy and icing sugar until smooth, then pour in the double cream and whisk until softly whipped. Remove the lining paper from the roulade and spread the whipped cream to within 1cm of the edges. Starting from a short end, carefully roll up the roulade, lifting the paper with one hand and easing the sponge into a roll with the other. Slide onto a flat serving late and chill while you prepare the curls and truffle cream.

    6. To make the chocolate curls, heat the chocolate in a bowl over just simmering water until melted, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Pour slowly onto a large marble, wood or plastic board and leave to cool and set.

    7. To make the truffle cream, pour the cream and brandy into a heavy-based pan and heat gently until hot, but not boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Leave for 2-3 minutes, until the chocolate has melted, stirring frequently. Turn into a bowl and leave until the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape when stirred. This will take 30-60 minutes, depending on the temperature of the ingredients and the room.

    8. To decorate the cake, spread the truffle cream over the roulade with a palette knife. Once the chocolate for the curls is set, draw a sharp knife, held so that it is almost flat, across the chocolate to pare off the curls (see Cook’s tips). Scoop up the curls with a fork (they may melt if you use your hands) and press gently over the truffle cream to give a bark-like effect. Cover carefully and chill until needed. To serve, dust with icing sugar and, if you like, decorate with holly leaves.

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