What’s Christmas without a yule log? This recipe takes the festive favourite to a whole new level by using a brandy butter as the filling, and chocolate truffle icing for that extra bit of indulgence. Well, it is Christmas after all…
For the sponge:
- 5 eggs, separated
- 125g light brown soft sugar
- 40g cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- White caster sugar, for sprinkling
For the filling:
- 100g soft butter
- 250g icing sugar
- 4 tbsp brandy
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the icing:
- 100g dark chocolate, chopped
- 100ml double cream
- 25g butter
- Begin by lining a 35cm x 25cm Swiss roll tin with baking paper, and heating your oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / Gas Mark 4. Pop the egg whites into a bowl and beat with an electric whisk (or stand mixer) until they are just holding peaks. Add in half of the sugar 1 tbsp at a time, constantly beating, until the peaks hold. Set everything to one side.
- Take another bowl and pop in the egg yolks. Beat these together with the remaining sugar until pale and fluffy. Sift in the cocoa and spices, and gently fold through. Beat in a third of the egg whites, then gently fold through the rest until you have an airy mousse. Pour into the tin and spread evenly, then bake for 12-15 minutes.
- Sprinkle caster sugar over a large sheet of baking paper, and turn the cake out onto it. Remove the sheet of paper the cake baked in, and cover the cake with a clean tea towel. Leave to cool completely, then score along the inside edge of one of the short sides and roll up, using the parchment to help.
- Now, make the filling by beating together the butter, icing sugar, brandy and vanilla for about 10 minutes until light and fluffy. Unroll the sponge, and turn it so that one long edge is facing you. Using a palette knife, spread the buttercream over the sponge, keeping the furthest end from you clear. Re-roll the sponge.
- Make the frosting by tipping the chocolate into a bowl. Gently heat together the cream and butter in a saucepan until everything it reaches a simmering point. Now tip in the chocolate and stir together until you have a smooth mixture. Leave to cool, stirring occasionally, until you have a thick mix. Spread over the sponge and, using a fork, mark tree bark lines in the frosting. Pop in the fridge and allow to chill for at least 30 minutes.
- When the frosting is chilled and firm, remove from the fridge and adorn with festive decoration. Serve and enjoy!
Lead image: etorres69 via Getty images.