Here is the recipe we’ll be working from for December 12th’s Bakehouse Live Yule Log class!
This recipe is an adventure so come ready to play and make a huge mess in the kitchen.
It’s a great idea to print out the recipe, read through it, and have all of your ingredients measured out before class begins. We’ve got a lot of moving pieces in this Saturday’s class so we’ll do our best to stay organized. Proper prep is key.
The cake for our Yule Log is a chocolate sponge cake.
We’ll bake it in a particular pan. The pan is important.
You’ll need a rimmed half sheet pan greased, lined with parchment, and greased again.
A half sheet pan measures 12×18-inches. And when I say 12, here’s how I’m measuring it.
Other essentials for this recipe are:
• a wire rack that fits inside the half sheet pan.
• a clean, mostly lint-free kitchen towel.
• hand beaters or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
• an offset spatula.
• a sifter. Mine is small though any size will do.
(As you might expect you’ll need bowls and spatulas and such, but you’ll read through the recipe and figure out what’s best from your kitchen. I just wanted to how you the few things I think are essential to the success of this cake.)
We’ll make whipped cream to fill and top the Yule Log. For the decorations, I’ll leave you with options. Pictured above are sugared fresh cranberries. On the finished cake above is melted chocolate bark. Fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme are nice. Add any festive candies you like. Crushed pistachios are delicious.
We’ll make the cake together (high-five!) but feel free to decorate it however you enjoy.
For the Cake:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder for dusting
For the Filling and Frosting:
- 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 1/3 cup (35 grams) powdered sugar
- pinch of kosher salt
- vanilla extract, almond extract, or peppermint extract (optional)
- coarsely chopped pistachios or instant coffee or sprinkles (optional)
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
Optional toppings and decorations:
- 1 cup chocolate chips melted with 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- fresh rosemary or fresh thyme
- chocolate frosting
- fresh edible flowers
- holiday candy
- shredded coconut
- For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-by-18- inch rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and spray the parchment. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer with a whisk attachment, or in a medium bowl with electric hand beaters, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until frothy. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 2 minutes.
- In a separate medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. In a separate medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the vanilla. Beat with a whisk until thick and creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the melted butter and coffee until combined.
- Add the flour mixture to the yolk mixture and whisk until well combined. Fold 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the batter until no streaks remain. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites in thirds until combined.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, gently spreading the batter so it fills the corners of the pan with an offset spatula. Give the pan a little shimmy to try and make the batter as even as possible across the pan. Bake until the top just starts to spring back when gently pressed, 10 to 12 minutes (the top might still feel a little tacky but that’s normal). Try not overbake or the cake will crack. Allow the cake to rest for 5 minutes. Use the offset spatula to gently loosen the edges of the cake from the pan.
- In a small bowl stir together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Transfer to a sifter. Place a clean dish towel on a large wire rack. Dust with half of the powdered sugar mixture. Turn the powdered towel over onto the top of the cake and gently place the rack on top of the towel on top of the cake. Gently invert and carefully remove the parchment. Dust the top with the remaining powdered sugar mixture.
- Starting at one of the short side sides, use the towel to tightly roll up the cake with the towel inside. Position the cake seam-side down and let cool completely.
- To make the whipped cream, in a small bowl combine gelatin and cold water. Let stand until thick and set.
- Microwave gelatin mixture until it dissolves into a liquid. It should only take a few seconds. Allow to cool slightly but not set. It if sets, we’ll microwave it again.
- Place the cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a medium with electric hand beaters and whip the cream until it just begins to thicken. Slowly beat in the liquid gelatine. Increase the mixer and whip the cream until stiff.
- To assemble the cake, carefully unroll the cooled cake and spread evenly with half of the filling, leaving a 1/4-inch border on all sides. The filling should be about 1/2-inch thick. Re-roll the cake, using the towel to help you.
- Slice 2-3 inches off one end of the cake on a diagonal and set it next to the cake like a split log. Use the offset spatula to coat the outside of the log with whipped cream. Chill.
- To make the cranberries, in a small saucepan combine sugar and water. Cook over medium heat until the sugar just dissolves. Cool the mixture to warm room temperature before adding the cranberries. Coat the berries then toss in granulated sugar Allow to dry on a wire rack.
- To make the chocolate bark, melt chocolate and coconut oil. Using an offset spatula, spread very thing across a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze until set then use your hands to break into long shards.
- Decorate the cake with cranberries, chocolate shards, fresh herbs, or candies.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You’ll notice gelatin in our whipped cream filling and topping. Adding gelatin to whipped cream helps stabilize it, making it more sturdy as a filling and topping. It give the cake a longer life in the refrigerator, too. If you’re opposed to using the gelatin, no problem – you can leave it out, just serve this cake within a day of assembling.