BEST YULE LOG RECIPE by Nigella Lawson
- FOR THE CAKE
- 6 large eggs separated
- 150g caster sugar
- 50g Food Thoughts Organic 100% Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 tsp icing sugar (to decorate)
- FOR THE ICING
- 175g Food Thoughts 70% Fine Dark Cacao Chocolate Melts (chopped)
- 250g icing sugar
- 225g soft butter
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4/ 350°F.
- In a large, clean bowl whisk the egg whites until thick and peaking, then, still whisking, sprinkle in 50g of the caster sugar and continue whisking until the whites are holding their peaks but not dry.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining caster sugar until the mixture is moussy, pale and thick. Add the vanilla extract, sieve the cocoa powder over, then fold both in.
- Lighten the yolk mixture with a couple of dollops of egg whites, folding them in robustly. Then add the remaining whites in thirds, folding them in carefully to avoid losing the air.
- Line a Swiss roll tin with baking parchment, leaving a generous overhang at the ends and sides, and folding the parchment into the corners to help the paper stay anchored.
- Pour in the cake mixture and bake in the over for 20 minutes. Let the cake cool a little before turning out onto another piece of parchment with a little icing sugar as this may help with preventing it to stick. Don;t worry too much if it tears or dents as this will be covered up by the icing sugar. Cover loosely with a clean tea towel.
- To make the icing, melt the chocolate - either in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave following the manufacturer's guidelines - and let it cool!
- Put the icing sugar into a processor and blitz it to remover any lumps. Ass the butter and process until smooth. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and the tablespoon of vanilla extract and pule again to make a smooth icing. You can do this by hand but it does mean you will have to sieve the sugar before creaming it with the butter and stirring in the chocolate and vanilla.
- Sit the flat chocolate cake on a large piece of baking parchment. Trim the edges of the Swiss roll. Spread some of the icing thinly over the sponge, going right out to the edges. Start rolling from the long side facing you, taking care to get a tight roll from the start, and roll up to the other side. Pressing against the parchment, rather than the tender cake, makes this easier.
- Cut one or both ends slightly at a gentle angle, reserving the remnants, and place the Swiss roll on a board or long dish. The remnants, along with the trimmed-off bits earlier are to make a branch or two; you get the effect by placing a piece of cake at an angle to look like a branch coming off the big log.
- Spread the yule log with the remaining icing, covering the cut-off ends as well as any branches. Create a wood-like texture by marking along the length of the log with a skewer or fork, remembering to do wibbly circles , as in tree rings, on each end.
- You don't have to dust with icing sugar but this this gives it the freshly fallen snow effect so push a little through a small sieve, letting some settle in heaps on the board or plate on which the log sits.