Hairy Bikers' chocolate yule log
Prep time:(including icing)
Cooking time:(plus cooling and chilling time)
Skill level: Bit of effort
The Hairy Bikers' yule log recipe is a family favourite, perfect for Christmas Day. The Hairy Bikers' make great comforting Christmas recipes and this chocolate log is no exception. Yule log is an alternative Christmas pudding or can be made as a Christmas Eve treat - no-one will be able to resist! This recipe will take around 55 mins to prepare and make and serves between 8-10 people. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Dust with icing sugar before you dish up your yule log for a really lovely snowy-effect. You could also make festive fondant toppers to decorate with too. How about a Nativity scene? Or Santa's grotto complete with reindeer? The kids will love it!
- Soft butter for greasing
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 150g caster sugar
- 50g cocoa powder
Icing and filling
- 200g plain, dark chocolate, broken into squares
- 200g icing sugar
- 200g butter, room temperature
- 2 tbsp Camp chicory and coffee essence
- Fresh holly leaves or leaves made from ready-to-roll coloured icing
- Icing sugar or desiccated coconut
Decorating the yule log with desiccated coconut gives it an extra Christmassy look
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line a 23 x 33cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment, grease with a little butter and set aside.
- Put the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk with an electric beater until thick and creamy. Sift the cocoa powder over the egg mixture and whisk in thoroughly. Wash and dry the beaters and whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold a third of the egg whites into the cocoa mixture, then gently fold in the rest until evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into the tin and spread gently with a spatula. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until well risen and beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
- Remove the cake from the oven, loosen the edges with a round-bladed knife and leave to stand for a few minutes. Place a piece of baking parchment on the work surface, turn the cake onto the parchment and leave it to cool completely – 30–40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the icing. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, but do not allow it to set. Put the icing sugar in a food processor, add the butter and blitz until smooth. Add the coffee essence and 2 tablespoons of melted chocolate, then blend until smooth. Make sure the chocolate is cool, or it will melt the butter.
- Take just over half the icing mixture out of the processor and put it in a bowl to use for the filling. With the motor running, slowly add the remaining chocolate to the icing mixture in the processor and blend until smooth. This will be used for icing the cake.
- When the cake is cool, trim off the crusty edges. Using a palette knife or spatula, spread the filling over the cake, taking it right to the edges. Starting at one of the long sides, gently roll up the sponge, keeping the first roll fairly tight so it forms a good spiral shape. Spread the icing evenly over the cake and drag a fork through it to resemble the ridges on the bark of a tree.
- Chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the icing to set. Decorate with sifted icing sugar.
This recipe is taken from The Hairy Bikers’ 12 Days of Christmas, which is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £20.00.