20 December 2012

Buche de Noel

The chocolate yule log is traditionally offered as an alternative to Christmas Cake.  Whilst I love Christmas Cake, I would never knowingly turn down a deliciously chocolatey yule log and very obligingly made one this year upon request.

It just happened that the day before my mum suggested we had one, I'd watched the 'Great British Bake-Off' Christmas masterclass and seen Mary Berry's rich, cream filled buche de noel.  I had to make it.

This is the second chocolate log I've made this month, but Mary Berry's offering was infinitely more delicious than its predecessor and even after stuffing myself at Christmas dinner, I have just polished off the remaining log, straight from the tupperware box.

My only problem was that despite following the icing instructions to the t, I ran out of icing halfway down piping the cake on one side so I couldn't ice over the ends as Mary does on the tv show.  I was really annoyed by this and can't work out what went wrong?  Luckily a large ornamental poinsettia was on hand to cover up the bald spot....

Mary Berry's Buche de Noel
4 large eggs
100 g caster sugar
65 g self-raising flour
40 g cocoa powder
300 ml double cream, whipped to fill

Chocolate ganache
300 ml double cream
300 g dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks

1) Preheat the oven to 200C and grease and line a swiss roll tin; sized 33x23cm.
2) To make the sponge cream the eggs and sugar until pale, light and frothy.
3) Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and carefully fold through using a cold metal spoon until just mixed; be gentle and aware that you do not beat the air from the mixture.
4) Pour into the tin and bake for 8-10 minutes.
5) Whilst the cake is in the oven, cut a piece of baking parchment bigger than the size of the sponge and dust it with icing sugar; turn out the cooked sponge onto this, and remove the paper lining the bottom of the sponge.
6) Carefully roll the sponge up tightly; cutting a 'score' 1 inch into the sponge, across the width of it allows for easier rolling.  Allow the cake to cool all rolled up.
7) To make the icing heat the cream until you can just keep your finger in it; add the chocolate, and stir well until melted and combined.  Keep this mix in the fridge to cool for at least an hour as it needs to thicken well before use.

To assemble the cake when cooled, unroll the sponge and spread the whipped cream on top; re-roll tightly.  If you want to have a branch, cut a quarter of the cake from the end at a diagonal, placing it at the side of the cake.
You can either coat the cake with a knife and decorate with a fork to make it look like a log, or pipe the icing on using a star shaped nozzle, which does look lovely!
Dust with icing sugar and eat!

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