With Christmas just around the corner.....WAIT WHAT?!?! That's right, 2020 is coming to a crazy end, so it’s time for some delicious Yule Log cake! The spiral I made in the log wasn't as tight as I would have liked, but not much about 2020 was tight, so it works!
YULE LOG CAKE
Prep time: 01:30
Cook time: 00:12
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs, divided
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 tbsp sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
MASCARPONE WHIPPED CREAM FILLING
1 1/4 cups (300ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
3/4 cups (86g) powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened but still chilled
WHIPPED CHOCOLATE GANACHE
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
6 ounces semi-sweet dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 17×12 inch jelly roll sheet pan with parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper sticks up at least an inch above the sides of the pan on all sides. (Use the parchment paper later to lift the cake out of the pan and roll it up.)
Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk together until combined. Add the sour cream, melted butter and vanilla extract and whisk together until combined. Add the dry ingredients and gently whisk together until combined, set aside.
Add the egg whites to a large mixer bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Gently fold about 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen up the batter. Add the remaining egg whites and gently fold together until combined.
Spread the cake batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and immediately lift the cake out of the pan using the parchment paper and place it on the counter.
While the cake is hot, use the parchment paper the cake was baked in and start at the shorter end of the cake to slowly roll the cake up. Set the cake aside to cool completely.
When the cake has cooled and is ready to be filled, make the filling. Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt to a large bowl and whip on until soft peaks form.
Add the mascarpone cheese to the whipped cream and whip until stiff peaks form.
Unroll the cake roll very carefully, looking out for areas where it may be sticking to release it. Spread the filling evenly onto the unrolled cake, then roll it back up without the parchment paper. Wrap it up in plastic wrap with the seam side down and refrigerate for at least an hour.
When you’re read to decorate the cake, make the chocolate ganache. Add the chocolate to a medium sized bowl and set aside. Heat the cream just until it begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate. Allow the chocolate and cream to sit for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let the ganache cool to about room temperature, then transfer to a large bowl. Whip until lightened in color and thick enough to spread.
FOR THE BARK:
Take a large piece of parchment paper and spread a thin, even layer of melted chocolate. Roll the paper tightly and refrigerate.
To decorate the cake, use a large serrated knife to gently cut off a piece of the log about 3 inches in length. Make the cut with a slight diagonal.
Use some of the chocolate ganache to attache the small log to the side of the larger log. Spread the remaining chocolate ganache all over the cake.
Remove the rolled up chocolate in parchment paper from the fridge. Unroll the paper and the chocolate will break into bark pieces. Place the chocolate bark pieces in a non-uniform manner until the entire cake and branch is covered.
To make sugared cranberries and rosemary, add 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until sugar has melted. Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Spread 1/2 cup of sugar evenly on a shallow dish.
Dip cranberries and rosemary springs to the sugar water, then roll in the sugar. Let dry before adding to the cake. Use some of the clumps of sugar left behind to add “snow” to the cake.
Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.