Triple Chocolate Swiss Roll #CakeSliceBakers
Because it's Christmas and we've been making European Cakes, I decided to decorate this Swiss Roll as an "oh so European" Yule Log. Yule Logs are a Christmas tradition across the Continent as cakes and as actual logs. You can find the tradition in Belgium, Switzerland, France, the UK, and my personal favorite iteration: Spain.
I'd actually kind of like to start this tradition with my kids, but they'd need to be old enough to 1) appreciate the silliness, and 2) understand that most people here...don't have this tradition.
I can just imagine the phone calls from confused teachers.
This is not that kind of Yule Log, though.
It's a chocolate genoise sponge cleverly soaked with a liquid-y milk chocolate ganache, and filled and frosted with a white chocolate whipped cream.
I added sugared cranberries and meringue mushrooms to fancy it up a bit. The cranberries were a great addition, providing a nice contrasting tang and crunch. And the mushrooms also gave the cake a fun textural element. A dusting of cocoa powder and some sugar that I tossed with a drop of green food coloring ("moss" on the log) finished off the look.
I had extra meringue, so I piped some trees, snowflakes, and this little guy:
|I had intended to have a second gnome, but this one sort of leaned over and cracked. He looks like he needs to lay off the eggnog and make better life choices.|
The recipe for the white chocolate whipped cream called for my old nemesis: mascarpone cheese. I have had a lot of difficulty with it in several other cakes from this book, and I fully expected it to flip me the bird one final time--but Christmas came early this year! I scrapped the written directions and melted the white chocolate, softened the mascarpone in the microwave, and stirred them together. I then whipped the cream, sugar and vanilla, and gently folded in the warm mascarpone mixture. No curdling! Woo hoo!
I didn't have any dark cocoa powder, so I used regular. Next time, I'll either use the dark chocolate powder the author called for, or dark chocolate in the ganache to make it a little chocolatey-er. But it worked out this time because my bunch here are not big dark chocolate eaters anyway, and I was making it for them.
I asked my kids what their favorite part of the cake was, and they said the green sugar "moss." (?)
They said it was all good, though ;)
If you are looking for something special for your Christmas dessert, give this Triple Chocolate Swiss Yule Log a try!
Merry Christmas from my family to yours! Here's to another year of fun in baking!
Triple Chocolate Swiss Roll (Yule Log Edition)
(adapted slightly from The European Cake Cookbook by Tatyana Nesteruk)
1 c granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 c flour
1/4 c dark cocoa powder
1/2 c powdered sugar (for sprinkling on the tea towel to roll)
Milk Chocolate Ganache:
1/2 c milk chocolate chips
1/2 c heavy cream
White Chocolate Whipped Cream:
2 c cold heavy cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 c melted white chocolate chips
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper, making sure to grease the sides as well.
2. Whisk the granulated sugar and eggs together in a stand mixer until very fluffy and pale--7 or 8 minutes. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder.
3. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture gently and a bit at a time. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, making sure that it evenly reaches all the edges. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top of the cake bounces back slightly when touched.
4. Immediately after taking out of the oven, turn the cake out on to a clean tea towel sprinkled with the powdered sugar. Use the towel to roll the cake into a log, and allow to cool completely (about 1 hour).
Ganache Cake Soak:
5. Heat the heavy cream until it is steaming. Place the milk chocolate chips in a bowl, and pour the hot cream over. Let it sit for a couple of minutes without stirring in order to melt the chips. Stir until smooth and the cream is incorporated. The ganache will be very runny--and it's supposed to be.
6. Unroll the cooled cake, and pour the ganache over the top--giving the ganache time to soak in and making sure it reaches to the edges.
White Chocolate Whipped Cream (my modified directions, to prevent getting on Santa's Naughty List by saying bad words when it curdles)
7. Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments until smooth--stirring after each burst of heating.
8. Heat the mascarpone in the microwave until very soft (parts may be liquefied). Stir in to the melted chocolate chips.
9. In a stand mixer, whisk the cold cream, sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the melted chocolate/mascarponed mixture. **Mine was fine without any more re-whisking. Depending on how hot your chocolate is, you might need to whisk it again BRIEFLY. But be warned. This stuff curdles with literally one too many stirs).**
10. Spread 2/3 of the white chocolate whipped cream on to the ganache-soaked sponge in an even layer.
11. Roll the cake back up the way it cooled, and set it on a tray. (If you'd like your Yule Log to have a branch, cut about 2 inches off of one end at an angle. Position the cut piece on the side of the main cake and attach with cream.) Spread the remainder of the cream over the outside, and run a fork gently over the surface to form a bark pattern. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
12. Dust the cake with cocoa powder and garnish as desired.