There is no other dessert that embodies the Christmas spirit both in taste and appearance more than a Yule Log. Chocolate Yule Log Cake - a classic Christmas showstopper that will elevate your dinner scene and upstage every other dish that may be on the table.
Burning of a yule log is a Christmas tradition that dates back to the archaic medieval time. The ritual entailed every family carefully selecting a Christmas tree for their home, bringing it in and placing its largest end into the fire. The whole tree would be burned with the fire going to keep their home warm for the day.
This custom has been incorporated into the most elaborate Christmas dessert lists across the world and is popularly known as the “Buche de Noel” due to its connection to France. Fortunately, the dessert version is not meant to be burnt but to be relished for its delectable flavors of sponge cake with cream and chocolate filling.
How to Make a Chocolate Yule Log
Even though it may appear that baking a Yule log cake requires advanced patisserie craftsmanship, the techniques used in this recipe are relatively simple and can be conquered by even amateurs.
Ingredients of Chocolate Yule Log
For the Filling:
- 1 ⅔ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 ½ tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
- ⅓ cup mascarpone cheese
For the Chocolate Sponge Cake:
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, or as needed
For the Ganache Frosting:
- 1 cup heavy cream, boiling-hot
- 1 (8 ounces) package dark chocolate chips
Step 1: In a large bowl, whip powdered sugar, butter, cocoa powder, salt, and coffee liqueur together on high speed with the stand mixer. This concoction is the buttercream filling. You can add mascarpone cheese to it, and mix until combined. Set aside.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit(200 degrees C). Rim your 13x18 baking pan with butter paper and grease the edges with melted butter.
Step 3: Mix the cocoa powder, salt, and flour; sift the mixture to break up clumps.
Step 4: In another large bowl, whip the eggs with a stand mixer. Pause and add sugar and whip again until you get a fluffy, thick mix that is light in color. Add 1/2 of the cocoa, salt, and flour mixture and mix it in slowly. When it is combined properly, add the rest of the mix and beat it in slowly at first progressing to a higher speed. Pause when the mixture is moistened but not fully blended, whisk the rest manually until the batter is evenly blended.
Step 5: Pour this batter into the parchment rimmed baking dish with the help of a spatula. Leave some room around the edges, and tap the pan on the counter to get rid of any bubbles.
Step 6: Place the baking dish into the preheated oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away.
Step 7: Now, on a clean kitchen towel, dust some powdered sugar across the surface area that would cover slightly more than the sponge cake spread. Take the cake out of the oven, run a knife around the edges of the pan. Place a spatula under the parchment to ensure that the cake is not stuck to the pan. Sprinkle some powdered sugar over the top.
Step 8: Flip the baking dish on top of the sugared area to invert the cake onto the kitchen towel. Remove the parchment paper, dust more powdered sugar over it, and cover it with another piece of kitchen towel. Gently roll up the cake inside the towel and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
Step 9: Unroll the cake and add a big scoop of buttercream. Save some buttercream for later. Spread the frosting to the edges. Now start rolling up the cake over the frosting using the kitchen towel. Make sure you don’t roll up the towel over the frosting. Sprinkle more powdered sugar over the roll and wrap it up in a plastic wrap. Refrigerate the log for about 2 hours until firm.
Step 10: Take some chocolate chips in a bowl. Add the hot cream to it and let it sit for a minute. Whisk until the chocolate melts. This will constitute the chocolate ganache.
Step 11: Take a log out of the refrigerator and check if it is firm. Place the log on a parchment-lined sheet pan and make a 3-inch angled cut to one of the sides. Cover the angled slice with buttercream and attach it to one side. Then spread a layer of ganache all over the chocolate sponge cake, leaving the swirls exposed. Refrigerate for 15 minutes until the ganache becomes firm.
Step 12: Use a fork to carve a line into the ganache to create an appearance of tree bark. Refrigerate to chill thoroughly before serving—dust with cocoa powder and powdered sugar to signify dust and snow.
Use sugared cranberries, meringue mushrooms, and rosemary sprigs to garnish and give it the ultimate Christmas vibe.
Enjoy your Christmas yule log cake!