About the Recipe
If you haven't tried this Yule log recipe because you thought it required advanced baking and pastry skill, then get ready to buche up this Noel, since the techniques required are actually quite simple. This classic holiday dessert is a showstopper, but it's often better looking than it is tasting, which is not the case here, thanks to a simple-to-make, rich chocolate sponge cake, and mocha buttercream filling. Garnished here with meringue mushrooms and rosemary.
1 ⅔ cups powdered sugar
½ cup butter, at room temperature
1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
2 tablespoons coffee-flavoured liqueur
⅓ cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons melted butter
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature
⅔ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, or as needed
1 cup heavy cream, boiling-hot
1 (8 ounce) package dark chocolate chips
Step 1: Make buttercream filling: Whip powdered sugar, butter, cocoa powder, salt, and coffee liqueur together in the bowl of a stand mixer on high speed. Transfer to a separate bowl and add mascarpone cheese. Mix until combined; set aside. Clean and dry the bowl.
Step 2: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Step 3: Prepare a 13x18-inch rimmed sheet pan for the sponge cake: Brush a little melted butter over the sheet pan, then line the pan with parchment paper, and brush remaining melted butter on top.
Step 4: Combine cocoa powder, salt, and flour together in a bowl; whisk or sift to break up clumps.
Step 5: Place eggs in the clean bowl of your stand mixer. Add sugar and whip until fluffy, thick, and very light in colour. Add 1/2 of the cocoa powder mixture and vanilla extract; mix on low speed for a few seconds. Beat in remaining cocoa mixture on low for a few seconds. Switch to high speed; stop once mixture is moistened but not fully blended. Pull off the whisk attachment and whisk batter with it until evenly blended.
Step 6: Pour batter onto the prepared sheet pan and spread out with a spatula, leaving some room around the edges. Tap the pan on the counter to knock out the large bubbles.
Step 7: Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and edges start to pull away from the sides, 8 to 10 minutes.
Step 8: Dust a clean kitchen towel with enough powdered sugar to cover an area slightly larger than the sponge cake. Remove cake from the oven. Run a knife around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle some powdered sugar over the top. Run a spatula under the parchment paper to make sure it's not stuck to the pan.
Step 9: Quickly flip the pan on top of the sugared area to invert the cake. Remove parchment paper and dust cake with more powdered sugar. Gently roll cake up inside the towel; allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Step 10: Unroll cake and dollop buttercream filling on top, reserving some for later; spread to the edges. Roll cake up over the filling, using the towel to lift it if needed. Sprinkle more powdered sugar on top. Wrap log in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
Step 11: Make ganache frosting: Pour hot cream over chocolate chips in a bowl. Let sit for 1 minute. Whisk until chocolate melts to form the ganache.
Step 12: Make an angled cut 3 inches from one end of the log. Place log on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Apply some filling to the angled slice and attach it to one side. Spread a layer of ganache all over the cake, except for the swirls on the ends. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm up ganache.
Step 13: Carve lines into the ganache using the tip of a knife to create the appearance of tree bark. Refrigerate until completely chilled before serving. Dust with cocoa powder and powdered sugar.