Yule Log

First proper Christmas recipe! And quite possibly also the last, don’t know that many typical Christmas recipes. In the spirit of Christmas (and in the spirit of an overly full freezer) I gave most of this away to my neighbours and most of them seemed to like it.

Don’t have many exciting plans for Christmas. Just your plain old ‘eating so much that you hate yourself’ approach with the family on First Christmas Day. Not sure about Second Christmas Day yet (and yes, that’s what we call it here). The time leading up to Christmas seems to mostly filled with deadlines, baking, drinking and dancing along to terrible/brilliant Christmas music.

Never made a Yule Log before and I can’t say I have had the best of experiences working with Swiss rolls. This one also almost turned out to be a disaster, but thank fuck for the ton of ganache you cover it with. Now I will never claim I can produce the best looking yule log, but for a first try I’m quite pleased.


– 100g caster sugar
– 4 eggs (large)
– 40g self-raising flour
– 40g cocoa powder
– 25g corn flour/starch
– 20g ground hazelnuts
– pinch of salt
– 1 tbsp milk

– 125g dark chocolate
– 1 tbsp Cointreau (optional)
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 200ml cream

– 200g dark chocolate
– 200ml cream
– 1 tbsp Cointreau (optional)

Step 1. Put the eggs and sugar in a bowl and mix it till it is fluffy and has about double in volume

Step 2. Put the flour, corn starch, cocoa, salt and hazelnut in a small bowl and stir (you want to get the biggest lumps out).

Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Make sure you don’t knock too much air out. Lastly add the milk. If you can’t find any ground hazelnuts just leave them and the milk out.

Step 3. Pour the batter into a swiss roll baking tin of about 30 x 23 cm lined with baking parchment (I used a very cheap baking tray with the same dimensions, seemed to work fine).

Bake the sponge for about 10-12 minutes at 180°C (165°C for fan ovens). While it is baking put down a piece of baking paper which is bigger than the sponge on your work surface and cover it with a couple of tablespoons of caster/icing sugar (seen both in recipes, I used caster).

When you take the sponge out of the oven make a shallow cut about 2 cm from the edge of one of the long sides and turn it upside down onto the baking paper. Then remove the baking paper from the bottom and gently roll up the sponge starting on the side where you made the cut.

Cover it with a damp kitchen towel and leave to cool.
Step 4. This bit you can skip if you can’t be bothered to do it, but I quite like it. This is pretty much a really quick way of making chocolate mousse using just water and chocolate. Place the chocolate for the filling about 100ml of water, the sugar and the Cointreau into a small pan.

Heat it while stirring till all the chocolate has melted. Then pour this mixture into a bowl which you have placed in ice water. Then beat the mix till it thickens (I did most of it by hand, you could use an electric mixer, but it will splash). Once it has thickened place the bowl into a fridge/freezer.
Step 5. Place the cream for the ganache into a small pan and heat it till you can only just hold a finger in. Then add the chocolate and Cointreau and stir till you have a smooth and shiny mix. Let it cool down a bit and then also place this in the fridge/freezer (it needs to be quite thick).
Step 6. Once the cake has cooled down enough beat the cream for the filling till it’s quite thick. If you couldn’t be bovvered to make the mousse use 300ml instead of 200ml. Unroll the sponge and spread the mousse on top.

Then spread the cream on top of that.

Then reroll the sponge while unpeeling the baking paper (some probably stick, but that’s okay since we have ganache to hide it).

Step 7. Once the ganache has set enough spread it out over the roll.

After that draw some lines in it with a fork to make it resemble a log. Just before serving it liberally sprinkle icing sugar on top.


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