Chocolate Yule Log

This is a proper, traditional chocolate yule log.

I’ve seen some very fancy looking ‘Buche de Noel’ recipes floating around this year, but I have a feeling that unless you’re from a family of pastry chefs they’re probably not the chocolate log that graced your table at Christmas as a child.

I’m talking about the retro supermarket spectacular, chocolate swiss roll with chocolate buttercream and crisp chocolate coating. This is what the pony wanted for Christmas eve dessert, and I am actually really proud of how it turned out – exactly how we remembered!

It’s really simple but will definitely be coming back again next Christmas!

Chocolate Yule Log (vaguely adapted from a BBC Good Food roulade)

Serves 8

For the sponge:

  • 5 eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 25g self raising flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g ground almonds

Whisk the eggs and sugar together for about 5 minutes with an electric whisk. They should have trebled in volume and leave a trail when you lift the whisk out. Sift in the rest of the ingredients and fold in lightly, being careful not to overmix. Line a 30x20cm shallow baking tray with greaseproof paper or baking sheet and spread the mixture in, taking it right to the corners. Bake at 190 degrees for 12 minutes.

Turn out immediately onto another sheet of greaseproof paper, dusted with cocoa powder. Peel off the paper the sponge baked on, then roll up, starting from one of the long sides, keeping the cocoa dusted sheet of paper in the roll. Leave until completely cool.

For the icing:

  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 50g butter
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 1tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1tbsp milk
  • 200g milk chocolate

Melt the dark chocolate over a saucepan of simmering water and set aside. Beat the butter to soften, then gradually add in the icing sugar, adding a little milk if it gets too sift. Beat in the melted chocolate and cocoa powder.

Unroll the sponge and spread the icing all over the inside. Roll it up again, without the paper, then trim the ends to neaten it up.

Melt the milk chocolate, then spread a strip as long as the log onto a piece of baking paper. Place the log on top of the strip of chocolate, then pour the rest of the chocolate over the top and spread to cover the whole thing. Use a fork to create lines in the chocolate, for the authentic woody look! Then dust lightly with icing sugar and leave to set.

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