A Yule Log Cake for Christmas

Chocolate Yule Log Cake

I'm not doing my usual baking for Christmas this year---no Lottie Lane fruitcake, no Miss Lucy's coconut cake. no pecan pies.  Cookies (probably homemade) and ice cream were to be our dessert this year, but then I saw this recipe for a Chocolate Yule Log Cake.  One of the cooking blogs that I follow is the Joy of Baking Blog By Stephanie Jaworski.  She recently posted a recipe for this Yule Log, and I thought I just had to try it.  Yesterday my friend Boguska came over for a visit, and she helped me make this cake.  It is much easier if there are two people working on it in concert.

First it is necessary to make a chocolate sponge cake that can be rolled into a log.  Batter is spread on parchment paper in a baking pan and baked until set.  The top of the cake is dusted with confectioner's sugar  and the cake is inverted on a clean dish towel.  Remove the parchment paper and sprinkle with sugar (the powdered sugar prevents the cake from sticking to the towel).  Gently roll up the cake in the dish towel and place on a wire rack to cool.
Cake is inverted on a clean towel and the parchment paper is removed.
Sprinkle the top with sugar so it won't stick to the towel when rolled up.
Cool rolled up cake on a rack.  Rolling it at this stage sets the shape of the cake. 

Meanwhile make the chocolate Ganache frosting.  This will take a while so that it will cool enough to spread on the cake.

Make the chocolate whipped cream to spread on the cake.
Chocolate whipped cream.
Spread the whipped cream with an offset spatula.
Roll the cake into a log. 

Finally, once the Ganache is cool enough spread on the cake.  You can rake the tines of a fork along the top of the frosting to give an appearance of a log.
Ready to store in fridge. 

This can be stored from 4 to 5 days in the fridge.  I like a dessert that can be made ahead.

Just before serving remove the cake from the fridge, dust the top with powdered sugar (for snow) and serve.
Sprinkle with sugar before serving---looks like snow on the log.
The end shows the "growth rings" of the log.

You can make chocolate truffles from any of the leftover chocolate frosting.  Form into small balls and roll in powdered sugar or chopped nuts.  Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks.

Truffles made from left over ganache frosting. 
I'm looking forward to experimenting with this in the future.  I can envision a filling of Nutella, or maybe a coconut cream filling or a white cake with lemon filling.  I'm learning!

Check out the recipe here.