Friday, December 25, 2009
Yule Logs for Christmas dinner
Although, I realize this is a bit late for your Christmas dinner... I am hoping it might inspire for next years dinner. It is early Christmas morning and we have already opened most of the presents...I wanted to give to you this gift of a lesson in making the yule log... while doing it I missed a couple of key shots but I think there is enough here to get you excited about making one, even if it is next year...
First of all I use a chocolate souffle roll rather than a traditional sponge cake to give a lighter but still very rich twist to this wonderful end to another big holiday meal. Second, I don't care for buttercream so much with a dessert it is more of a birthday cake or wedding cake topping in my mind so I use a one to one ganache that I have allowed to set up until it is thick and speadable like skippy peanut butter. Then I fill it with coffee flavored whipped cream to just give it that little kick and as I call it the "YUM FACTOR".
Here is the recipe for the roll...
Chocolate Souffle Roll
8 oz. semi sweet chocolate melted
2 oz. unsalted butter
2 Tbl. hot coffee
6 eggs separated
4 oz. sugar
Melt chocolate and butter with coffee in a bain marie.
Whip the yolks with half the sugar until ribbons form.
Fold half the yolks into the chocolate mixture and then the rest.
Whip the whites until foamy and then slowly add the rest of the sugar whipping until stiff peaks form. It is important that the whites are whipped stiff but not over whipped since they are the structure of this cake.
Spread gently into a half sheet pan lined with parchment and bake for 18 -20 minutes at 350˚.
Turn the cake out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and sift powdered sugar and cocoa powder over it.
Whip 1 ½ cups of whipped cream flavored as you like (vanilla, coffee, hazelnut, raspberry, rum or whatever) and add 2 Tbl. of sugar whip until stiff. Spread out over the cake and roll it up. Freeze overnight and then ice with thickened ganache or chocolate buttercream.
Then after it is baked it will be puffy and have a gently spring back quality but when it cools a bit if falls back since... it is a souffle... no flour at all!
Now you must turn it out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap that has been dusted with powdered sugar so it doesn't stick to the plastic when it is unrolled. Then spread the coffee cream over the cake. I will use one cup instead of 1 1/2 cups sometimes just to make it a bit smaller...works fine.
Now begin rolling it up by first folding the end in a bit to give it a start then pull the plastic up and over the cake to help it roll up into the plastic. Then cover the roll up with the remaining wrap and freeze overnight to make it easier to handle while decorating.
Have your ganache ready...make it the day ahead as well and let it sit at room temperature for the perfect consistency the next day!
Ice the cake by piping the ganache on first and then spreading it over. Cut the ends off at an angle to use as the knots on the log.
Use a fork to give the rough bark look and then decorate with the meringue mushroom, marzipan holly leaves and berries and a bit of powdered sugar for snow!
This is half a roll to feed 6-8 people
This is the full roll to feed 12-16 people
Have fun and have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!