How to make it

  • Preheat the oven to 180c. 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.
  • In a large, clean bowl whisk the egg whites until foamy and thick, then add 50g of the sugar and continue whisking until the whites are holding peaks but not dry.
  • In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar until they are pale and thick. Add the vanilla extract and sieve over the cocoa, then fold both in.
  • Lighten the yolk mixture with a couple of dollops of the whites, folding in gently, and then add the whites in thirds, mixing carefully to avoid losing the air.
  • Pour the cake mixture into the lined tin, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Let the cake cool a little before turning it out on to another piece of baking parchment.
  • To make the icing, melt the chocolate - either in a bowl suspended over a pan or simmering water or, my preference, in a microwave - and let cool. Put the icing sugar into a processor and blitz to remove any lumps, add the butter and process until smooth. Add the cooled melted chocolate and vanilla and pulse again to make a smooth icing.
  • Trim the long edges of the swiss roll, as well as the shortest edge which should be towards you. Spread some of the icing thinly over the sponge, going right out of the edges. Roll up from the short side facing you taking care to get a tight roll from the beginning, and roll up to meet the other short end. Cut one or both ends slightly , at a gentle angle.
  • Use the sponge trimmings to make branches as you wish, and then ice the Yule log with the remaining icing, covering the cut-off ends as well. Create wood-like texture by going along the length of the log with a skewer, etching in knots and so on if you feel creative. Remember to do wibbly circles, as in tree rings, on each end.
  • You don't have to dust with icing sugar, but I love the freshly fallen snow effect, so push quite a bit through a small sieve, letting some settle in heaps on the plate or board on which the log sits.

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  • jenncantkook 10 years ago
    This might be a great dessert for my experienced cook husband to make this winter. Yummy.
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag

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