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Introduction & method

This traditional Christmas cake was invented in France, where it is known as 'bûche de Noël'. It's basically a chocolate Swiss roll covered in chocolate ganache and make to look like a log. Quite easy to make and very impressive to look at.

Christmas Yule Log Recipe

Make the Sponge

Preheat your oven to 200°C (392°F). Grease a Swiss roll tin with butter and line it with greaseproof (parchment) paper. If you don't have a Swiss roll tin, you can use a baking sheet with a rim that is about 2cm (just under an inch) high.

Weigh out the caster sugar and put it in a mixing bowl. Break the eggs into it and whisk them until the mixture goes pale and frothy - an electric hand whisk will do this in seconds.

Sift the flour and cocoa into the mixture and carefully fold it in with a spatula - try not to knock the air out of the eggs.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tin and spread it out to form a thin, even layer.

Bake for 10 minutes. When cooked, the sponge should feel firm and have shrunk away from the side of the tin a little bit.

Make the Ganache

While the sponge is cooking, make the ganache. Heat the cream in a saucepan on medium heat until it is too hot to comfortably put your finger into, but not boiling. Break the chocolate into small pieces. Remove the cream from the heat and add the chocolate chunks. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Put the ganache into the fridge or freezer to cool down and firm up.

Roll up the Log

Put a sheet of greaseproof paper on your worktop and sprinkle it with caster sugar. Turn the baking tray over and release the sponge. Carefuly peel the first layer of paper away from the sponge. Score a line about 2.5cm (1 inch) away from one of the long edges. Lift up the edge of the greaseproof paper and carefully roll the sponge up. The paper is rolled inside the sponge.

When the sponge is completely cool, whip the cream until it thickens. Unroll the sponge and spread the cream all over the top of it. Now roll up the sponge again, with the paper on the outside only now.

Assemble the Yule Log

Cut about a quarter of the roll off on the diagonal - this will become a branch off the log. Spread some ganache over the cut end of the branch and stick it onto the top/side of the log. Cover the whole thing with ganache. I don't usually do the ends because I like to see the exposed sponge with the spiral of cream.

With a fork, scrape lines in the ganache to make it look a bit like bark. Sift some caster sugar over the top and sides, and decorate with pine cones, holly, plastic robins or any other small Christmas trinkets that you happen to have lying around.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Christmas Yule Log on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

•  4 eggs
•  100 grams caster sugar
•  65 grams self-raising flour
•  40 grams cocoa powder
•  300 ml double cream
•  300 grams dark chocolate
•  300 ml double cream

butter to grease the tin

US (cups, sticks, etc)

Makes 1 log
Prep time: 20 minutes. cooling time: 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 10 minutes.
Total time: 1 hour.

Watch the video on YouTube