Friday, 23 December 2016

Yule Log Cake

A very traditional, very pretty and very easy Christmas dessert. The Yule Log - a light and airy chocolate sponge with chocolate buttercream presented in a festive log shape.
Cassie Cakes Yule Log
These little reindeer are the essence of Christmas. Think about it/
One of the most satisfying thing to bake is something that is really easy but comes out looking quite complicated and impresses everyone very much. You get to sit back and say, "oh no, it really was very easy" but no one believes you and you look like a flipping baking juggernaut. This Yule Log is one of those things.
Cassie Cakes Yule Log

Like all good things, this cake has it origins in France with popularity in most French colonies such as French Canada and Belgium, and it's French name is bûche de Noël. If my French tutor ever comes back from wherever she went, maybe I'll be able to correctly pronounce that one day. Why would she leave me at Christmas time? It's like she went out to get some des clopes and never came back.

Here's a few process photos of the stages of the cake mix.
Cassie Cakes Yule Log

Cassie Cakes Yule Log

Cassie Cakes Yule Log

Cassie Cakes Yule Log

Anyway, the cake! It's a dream. Besides the separating of the eggs, it's all very straight forward. It's a simple thin sponge cake, a Swiss roll, if you will and you will have to if you want to make this so lets not get caught up in semantics. The sticking point is the roll component of the Swiss roll, since you've already got the Swiss part down. I saw you running nude from the sauna to the plunge pool so I know you do. Exhilarating.
Cassie Cakes Yule Log
They see me rollin'

Cassie Cakes Yule Log
A cake full of promise.
Cassie Cakes Yule Log
Taking form now...
Cassie Cakes Yule Log
Annndddd taaaaa...
But don't let the rolling intimidate you. I rolled it and I can't roll a thing to save me, not even des clopes. And any cracks that do appear in your roll, can be covered by luscious, forgiving buttercream.
Cassie Cakes Yule Log
Bake this deceptively easy cake and let is be the centrepiece of your Christmas table. Unless you're eating outside in Australia, where it is literately hotter than the devils asshole, in which case you might want to leave it somewhere cool until the big reveal. God this country is so hot.

Cassie Cakes Yule Log
A peaceful snowy landscape.
Sometimes I look forward to the nuclear winter that President Trump is sure to bring upon us all...anyway, MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

Cassie Cakes Yule Log
hey there little fella.

Yule Log Cake

Prep time: 20 mins, not including cooling time
Cooking time: 20 mins

Total time:  40 mins

Servings: 12 slices

Chocolate Sponge
6 eggs, separated
150 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup grams cocoa powder
Icing sugar to sieve over cake
Chocolate Buttercream
200g chocolate melts
250g icing sugar
250g butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg whites til thick and stiffened. Once egg whites have reached firm peak stage, sprinkle in 50g of the caster sugar and whisk until just combined.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, vanilla and the remaining caster sugar until the yolks change colour and become pale and thick. Sieve the cocoa powder over, then gently fold in.
  4. Add a large spoonful of egg whites into the yolk mix and fold. Add the remaining egg whites and fold through. Folding them in carefully to keep the air in the mix.
  5. Line a Swiss roll tin with baking paper with a few inches over hanging at the ends. Pour in the cake mixture and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Let the cake cool a little before turning it out onto another piece of baking paper. Cover loosely with a clean tea towel.
  6. In the meantime, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals and allow to cool. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add butter and vanilla. Beat until butter is paler in colour then add cooled chocolate and beat until smooth and combined.
  7. Trim the edges of the Swiss roll then spread ½ cup to 1 cup of buttercream on to the cake and spread in a thin layer, ensuring the buttercream is spread right to the edges.  
  8. Start rolling from the short side facing you, taking care to get a tight roll from the beginning, and roll up to the other side. Use the tension of the baking paper to press the roll, avoiding pressing your fingers in to the cake and leaving indents.
  9. Cut both ends at an angle, reserving the remnants, and place the Swiss roll on a board or long dish. Fashion the cut offs to make branches sticking off the main log. You may have to unroll and re-roll to the look right.
  10. Spread the remaining buttercream over the cake and use a skewer or fork tines to make indents in the buttercream, to look like bark.   
  11. Finally, dust the whole cake with a generous amount of icing sugar ‘snow’.

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