Yule Log Cake – the most anticipated festive treat in our household during the Christmas period.
It is also known as “Bûche de Noël” and is a French Christmas tradition that dates back to the 19th century. The log shape of the cake represents the yule log that families would burn starting on Christmas Eve. In Turkey, we do celebrate the New Year, and having a chestnut cream-filled cake is a New Year’s Eve tradition. I have been making this Chocolate yule log for many years now, and it never disappoints. After all I am totally addicted to chocolate and it is hardly surprising that I go for something chocolatey for Christmas, if you are like me you will also like my chocolate cookie recipe.
This cake is made of 3 main parts: Creamed Chestnut filling, Chocolate Swiss roll, and chocolate frosting. It is not hard to make this delicious and stunning-looking cake, but you need to take your time and it is worth the effort – after all, it is for a special occasion!
For the cake part, elasticity and sponginess are very important factors and I took my inspiration from www.delish.com.
The creamy chestnut filling and chocolate frosting recipe is a 50+ year old recipe from my mother’s recipe book.
The most tricky part of this recipe is rolling the cake without cracking it and here is a video link showing how to do it! Please watch this to learn the tricks before you even attempt to roll the cake – I speak from years of experience!
Hope you and your family and friends enjoy this cake as much as we do! Happy Festivities!
For the cake
- Cooking spray
- 6 large eggs at room temperature, yolks, and whites separated
- 65 g plain flour
- 30 g no sugar added cocoa powder
- 150 g caster sugar, divided into 100g and 50g batches
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp icing sugar, for sprinkling
For the Filling
- 200 g Chestnut puree
- 120 ml whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract/brandy
- 4 tbsp icing sugar
For the Frosting
- 100 grams dark chocolate (chopped)
- 200 millilitres double cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cranberries/Red currants, for garnishing
- Rosemary sprigs, for garnishing
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C conventional /160 °C fan.
- Line a swiss roll baking sheet with parchment paper that is sprayed with oil on both sides.
- Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl, and mix well.
- In a large bowl beat the egg yolks with a handheld electric mixer until it thickens and then add 100g sugar gradually and beat until it becomes pale then beat in the flour mixture gradually.
- In another large bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then add 50 g sugar slowly continue beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into batter mix using a spatula in 2-3 batches.
- Pour the mixture into the baking sheet and spread it into an even layer by gently moving the baking sheet back and forth.
- Bake for approx. for 15 minutes – until when you press the sponge bounces back without feeling sticky. Do not over bake otherwise the roll may crack when rolling.
- Whilst baking make the chestnut filling:Using a handheld mixer, start beating the chestnut puree, icing sugar, vanilla essence/brandy, and 1 tbsp cream in medium speed for 1 minute until you get a fluffy texture. Gradually add the cream whilst beating. Continue beating until you get a light, airy and fluffy mixture. Chill in the fridge until you sue for filling the cake.
- Dust a large sheet of baking paper with icing sugar evenly whilst letting the cake cool for 5-10 minutes so it is safe to handle.
- Invert the warm cake ( see the video link above) into the grease-proof paper and gently peel away the baking paper from the sponge.
- Using a sharp knife, trim of the sides to create straight edges.
- Score a line along the bottom of the cake (nearer you where you start rolling) that is 2.5 cm away from the edge. Do not cut through.
- Push the sponge with one hand and pull the paper away with the other. Keep rolling slowly and leave the sponge rolled up until it cools completely, approx. 30mins.
- Make the frosting: Melt the chocolate in a double boiler/Bain Marie or microwave, and leave it to cool. Whip the cream using a handheld whisker until it starts getting stiff but still soft, and then mix in the vanilla and fold in the melted chocolate. Mix with a spatula gently until an even mix is achieved.
- Use a palette knife to cover the roll all over, and then use a fork to create wavy patterns to make the roll look like a log.
- Sprinkle some icing sugar and then garnish. Chill in the fridge for at least a couple of hours before serving. It keeps in the fridge -covered- for up to 3 days.