What better to get you into the festive spirit than a little Christmas baking? Light chocolate sponge, buttery chocolate icing and whipped cream. It’s the perfect thing to finish off your Christmas feast with.
If you’ve got a lot of people coming over, we’d recommend making double the recipe so that you can make an extra long log. Decorate with a spring of fresh holly and a dusting of icing sugar and you’re on to a festive showstopper.
Where go chocolate yule logs originate from?
A Yule log, or bûche de Noël, is a traditional dessert served during the festive season. As the name suggests, it is of French origin and translates as “Christmas log” referring to the traditional tradition of burning a yule log to welcome the winter solstice at the end of December.
They are often served with one end cut off to resemble a chopped branch and are traditionally decorated with mushrooms made from marzipan or meringue. A bark-like texture is often created by dragging a fork through the icing, and powdered sugar sprinkled to resemble snow.
For our own yule log recipe, we opted for a simple approach – a dusting of icing sugar (and a sprig of fresh holly if you have some) is all you need to complete its wintery perfection.
Grease and line a 23 x 32cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
Beat 3 eggs and 85g golden caster sugar together with an electric whisk for about 8 mins until thick and creamy.
Mix 85g plain flour (less 2 tbsp), 2 tbsp cocoa powder and ½ tsp baking powder together, then sift onto the egg mixture. Fold in very carefully, then pour into the tin.
Now tip the tin from side to side to spread the mixture into the corners. Bake for 10 mins.
Lay a sheet of baking parchment on the work surface. When the cake is ready, tip it onto the parchment, peel off the lining paper, then roll the cake up from its longest edge with the paper inside. Leave to cool.
To make the icing, melt 50g butter and 140g dark chocolate together in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Take from the heat and stir in 1 tbsp golden syrup and 5 tbsp double cream from a 284ml pot. Beat in 200g sifted icing sugar until smooth.
Whisk the remaining double cream from the 284ml pot until it holds its shape.
Unravel the cake, spread the cream over the top, scatter over 2-3 crushed extra strong mints, if using, then carefully roll up again into a log.
Cut a thick diagonal slice from one end of the log. Lift the log on to a plate, then arrange the slice on the side with the diagonal cut against the cake to make a branch.
Spread the icing over the log and branch (don’t cover the ends), then use a fork to mark the icing to give the effect of tree bark. Scatter with unsifted icing sugar to resemble snow, and decorate with holly.