How to make Yule Log Cake, a French Christmas dessert
For the cake | Yule log Cake
To prepare the Yule log cake, a French Christmas dessert, first heat the oven to 220°C (200° fan) gas 7. Grease a 22.5 x 32.5 cm Swiss roll tin and line with non-stick baking paper.
Cut a second piece of non-stick baking paper a little larger than the tin and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Set aside.
Place the sugar and eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk until very pale and light, using an electric whisk, until the beaters leave a trail on the surface.
Sift together the flour and cocoa powder and gently fold into the egg mixture.
Pour into the tin, tilting it so that it covers the whole surface.
Bake for 7-9 minutes until firm and springy to the touch.
Turn out the cooked sponge on to the sugared paper.
Peel away the lining paper and trim the edges.
Cover with a damp tea towel and cool completely.
For the filling | Yule log cake
Sprinkle the sponge with the brandy.
Whisk the cream until thick and stir in the chestnut puree.
Spread over the sponge and roll up from one long edge.
For the chocolate buttercream | Yule log cake
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering (not boiling) water.
Remove from the heat.
Heat the sugar and water in a pan over a low heat until the sugar dissolves.
Boil rapidly until syrupy.
Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and continue whisking whilst adding the sugar syrup in a steady stream.
Whisk until the mixture becomes thick, pale and cool, leaving a trail on the surface.
Beat the butter in a separate bowl until soft. Gradually beat in the egg mixture until thick and fluffy.
Stir in the cooled melted chocolate.
Slice a 7.5 cm piece from the Swiss roll and cut this small piece in half diagonally.
Use a little butter cream to attach these pieces to the sides of the roll, to represent branches.
To decorate | Yule log cake
Cover the log with the rest of the butter cream and press the grated chocolate on the top and sides of the cake.
Sift over the Yule log cake a little icing sugar just before serving.