This divinity is also called Yule Log. Don’t ask me who started this tradition. All I know is that this is delicious!. Rolling cakes has always frightened me but over the years, I have learned that it’s not a hard thing to do. It’s actually satisfying to make, present to your guests with a drum-roll and, of course, devour the end result. This log is filled with a chocolate mousse and chestnuts soaked in brandy for that slightly boozy, festive edge.
FOR THE CAKE:
- 120 dark chocolate (I use Cadbury’s “bournville”)
- 80 g granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs, separated
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 2 Tbs cocoa powder
FOR THE FILLING:
- 90 g chestnuts, cooked, peeled and chopped
- 1 Tbs brandy
- 150 g dark chocolate
- 300 ml cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 50 g icing sugar
FOR THE GANACHE:
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 200 ml cream
- 1 Tbs brandy
- Icing sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Make the cake. Preheat oven to 175 C fan. Butter a 33 x 40 cm baking pan (I use my oven’s pan), cover with a large piece of greaseproof paper, butter and flour the paper. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Let it cool but still runny.
Beat yolks and half the sugar until fluffy and creamy. Mix in the cooled, melted chocolate and one tablespoon cocoa powder.
Beat eggwhites with cream of tartar until frothy. Add the remaining sugar and beet until soft peaks form. Fold meringue into the yolk mixture.
Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Take out of the oven and sift on top of the cake the cocoa powder. Cover cake with a dampened tea-towel and leave to cool to room temperature.
Make the filling: Soak chestnuts in the brandy. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Let it cool a little. Whip cream, vanilla, and icing sugar until soft peaks form (don’t overbeat). Fold cream into chocolate (do it in batches) until mixed through. Fold in chestnuts.
Make the ganache: Heat cream and pour over chopped chocolate in a bowl. Let it stand for 5 minutes, then stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Add the brandy. Cool to spreading consistency.
Assemble the cake: Remove tea-towel from cake. Transfer cake with paper on your work top. Spread cake with the chocolate mousse filling. Using the paper to help you, start rolling the cake starting from the long side, and remove the paper as you go.
Transfer rolled cake on a serving platter. Spread with the ganache and use a fork or a spatula to make tree-trunk grooves. Cut edges diagonally (eat the scraps!). Sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve cold.