This cake pops up on my computer screen every now and then towards the year end and I always make a mental note to find a good recipe and try it! And finally this Christmas I did lol I must confess that I was more eager to decorate this cake than actually bake or even eat it. But by the time I was done with the baking and the rolling of the cake all that enthusiasm just sort of died and all I cared about was just finishing my job :-/ So the cake doesn't look as great as I had imagined; nevertheless I am still proud of this first attempt as it does look like some kind of log cake lol
Nope it is not really that hard but time consuming,yes. I chose Nigella Lawson's recipe and it was really simple to follow. In case you wish to try the same, here are some of the things that I encountered:
- The cake turned out to be extremely moist so while rolling it up the cake kept sticking on to my hands and bits kept coming off! I baked it exactly for 20 mins as the recipe says but on hindsight I think I should have baked it few more minutes so that it dried up a bit. So use your judgement here and bake it more or less than 20 mins as necessary.
- Rolling is easy if you hold on tightly to the parchment paper than the cake itself. Will give it better shape.
- My icing was a bit too soft to work with but I still went ahead. Later I realized that I could have just left it in the fridge so that it sets. That makes it easier to apply and carve the log design.
- Leaving the cake to cool in the fridge before icing will also make it lot easier :)
- I was short on chocolate and hence the lighter color. If you use 175g of dark chocolate you should get a deeper colored, better looking log.
No matter what it looks like, it tasted amazing and everybody loved it! So I will be definitely making this again. Hopefully decorate it better next time :D
Yule Log Cake Recipe:
(Source: Nigella Lawson)
- Eggs - 6, separated
- Caster sugar - 150gm
- Cocoa powder - 50gm
- Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
For the icing:
- Icing sugar - 250gm
- Dark chocolate - 175gm, roughly chopped
- Butter - 225gm, at room temperature
- Vanilla extract - 1 tbsp
To make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Line a swiss roll tin with parchment paper, leaving generous overhang on the edges. This will enable easy transfer of the cake after baking.
- In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites till they begin to form soft peaks. Add 1/4 cup of the caster sugar and whisk again till they form stiff peaks.
- In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining caster sugar till the mixture becomes pale and thick.
- Fold in couple of spoons of the egg white into the egg yolk mixture and combine well. Then gradually stir in the rest of the egg white (in parts), mixing with a light hand to keep the air whisked intact.
- Pour the cake batter onto the tin and bake for about 20 mins - till the cake is done. Leave it to cool.
- Spread another sheet of parchment paper onto your work area and dust bit of icing sugar all over the paper. Then using the overhang, lift the cooled cake from the tin and lay it flat onto the second paper. Spread a thin layer of the icing (see the below steps) on the top surface of the cake.
- Holding onto the parchment paper, gently roll the cake to form a swiss roll. Be very gentle and take your time at this step!
To make the icing:
- Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and set aside.
- Remove any lumps from the icing sugar by blitzing it in a processor or blender. Then combine with the butter till you get a smooth mixture.
- To this add the melted chocolate and vanilla extract and whisk again to make a smooth icing.
To decorate the cake:
- Using a spatula or a flat bread knife carefully spread the icing onto the log cake, making sure its even and covering all parts of the cake. Then draw lines to make wood like marks. Use your imagination and creativity - there's no right or wrong here! :) Once complete, dust some more icing sugar to complete the Yule log look. Enjoy!