Saturday, 11 December 2010

Chocolate Yule Log

A chocolate Yule log is so festive and makes a fabulous centrepiece for gatherings over Christmas. It's also a good pudding on Christmas day for those who don't like Christmas Pudding (or for those that like both). The sponge is made by whisking the eggs and sugar to a thick foam before folding in the flour and cocoa. I got the recipe from the book of 'Ultimate Christmas'. Although when I was about to pour the mix into a Swiss roll tin (get one for about £4 in TK Maxx), I suddenly noticed that it didn't have cocoa in the recipe! So I quickly added some. Also, the rum to go in the filling is optional, I didn't put any in.
Ingredients -
Butter, for greasing
150g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
115g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp of almond or vanilla extract
2 tbsp cocoa (optional)
For the filling/icing - 
280g plain chocolate, broken
225ml double cream
2 tbsp rum (optional)
100g icing sugar, sifted
holly, to decorate
icing sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 190c. Grease with butter and line a 40x28 cm Swiss roll tin then dust with flour
2. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the caster sugar and whisk the remainder with the egg yolks in a bowl until thick and pale. Stir in the almond or vanilla extract.
Folding the egg whites in
3. Whisk the egg whites in a separate grease-free bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually whisk in the reserved sugar until stiff and glossy. Stir half the flour over the egg yolk mixture and fold in, then fold in 1/4 of the egg whites.
4. Sift and fold in the remaining flour, followed by the remaining egg whites. Spoon the mixture into the tin, spreading it out evenly with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 15minutes until lightly golden.
5. Then sprinkle caster sugar over a sheet of greaseproof paper and turn out the cake on to the paper. Roll up and leave to cool.
6. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to boiling point in a small saucepan, then pour it over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted, add the icing sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and thick. Put in the fridge for about an hour until it is a spreadable consistency. Reserve about 1/3 of chocolate mixture and if using rum, stir into remainder. 
7. Re-roll and place on a plate or silver board. Spread the reserved chocolate mixture evenly over the top and sides. Mark with a fork so that the surface resembles tree bark. Just before serving, decorate with holly and a sprinkling of icing sugar to resemble snow.

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