Sunday, 22 December 2013

Chestnut and Mascarpone Yule Log

It’s time for some more Christmas baking fun and as the big day gets ever closer overindulgence now rules! The yule log or Bûche de Noël is a traditional Christmas desert but not something that has ever been a major part of our celebrations (we are much more of a Christmas pudding family!). And I had never attempted to make a yule log…until now that is, and after reading a few tips from The Guardian website I came up with a pretty delicious treat. And the great thing about the light and airy sponge that makes the base of the yule log is that it is often naturally gluten free and many recipes contain absolutely no flour but are just lots of whipped up eggs and cocoa powder, so a perfect gluten free addition to the Christmas dinner table, and not as tricky to make as you may think!!


6 large eggs, separated
150g caster sugar
60g cocoa powder

1 jar of chestnut jam (you can make your own by checking out this recipe)

100g frozen cherries (or other red berries as preferred)

150g mascarpone
50g icing sugar

200g dark choc
180ml double cream
Glug of rum

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line a swiss roll tin (or shallow rectangular baking tin) with grease proof paper, being careful to fully tuck the paper into the corners of the tin so that they are neatly folded in as this will allow the cake to rise nicely.

Separate the eggs dividing the egg whites and egg yolks into separate bowls.

Add the sugar to the egg yolks and beat with an electric mixer until a thick and glossy mixture is formed. Add the cocoa powder to the mixture and continue to beat until fully combined.

Ensure that the electric mixer is fully cleaned and has no traces of the egg yolk mixture and then beat the egg whites until soft peaks are formed.

Gently fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture a little at a time until fully combined. But be careful not to knock all of the air out of the egg whites.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and place in the centre for about 25 minutes until firm to the touch.

Remove the cake from the oven, place another sheet of baking paper on top of the cake and invert onto the kitchen surface. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and peel off the baking paper that had lined the tin. Then, using the paper now underneath the cake carefully roll the cake up along the longest edge until a tight roll is formed. Leave the cake to cool rolled up (you can make the cake the day before you require it and leave it rolled up overnight before decorating the following day).

Once you are ready to construct the Bûch carefully unroll the cake (don’t worry if it cracks a little at this point, any little faults will be covered up with all the icing!)

I filled mine with chestnut jam which I had previously made (following this recipe, but if you don’t have a personal supply of chestnuts and enough time to make yourself some jam sweetened chestnut puree will work just fine) and sweetened mascarpone which I made by combining the mascarpone with the icing sugar. Spread the chestnut jam evenly over the cake. Then sprinkle with the cherries and top with the sweetened mascarpone. Carefully re-roll the cake using the baking paper for support as you roll.

Carefully transfer the roll to your serving plate and then liberally coat with chocolate ganache which is made be breaking the chocolate into a heat proof bowl, then bring the cream to the boil in a small pan, as soon as the cream begins to boil remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir the mixture until the chocolate has melted and a smooth glossy mixture has formed. Stir in a glug of rum and then pour the ganache over the cake and spread across with a spatula until it is fully covered.

I melted a little extra chocolate and piped out holly leaf shapes onto some non-stick baking parchment and once set used these to decorate my yule log but a liberal dusting of icing sugar would look just as festive.

Then get stuck in and enjoy this gorgeously indulgent chocolate desert…it is Christmas after all.

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