A classic Yule Log was something that was on my baking list for Christmas this year. Since we are at home for the holiday season, we have a lot of free time in hand. If baking something new excites you, then you should definitely make a Yule Log for Christmas.
This classic Yule Log Cake is a tender chocolate sponge cake filled with mascarpone whipped cream and covered with whipped chocolate ganache! It’s decorated with sugared cranberries and rosemary for a lovely rustic and Christmas-y look!
It’s a delicious festive treat that makes the perfect centrepiece on your holiday dessert table and is almost too pretty to eat. I’m so glad to have accomplished this and I have a wonderful recipe to share with you.
For The Cake
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
4 tbsp. salted butter, melted
6 large eggs, separated
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 c. strong brewed coffee, at room temperature
1/4 c. powdered sugar
Mascarpone Whipped Cream Filling
8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
For The Ganache
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 c. heavy cream
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 17×12 inch jelly roll sheet pan with parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper sticks up at least an inch above the sides of the pan on all sides. You’ll use the parchment paper later to lift the cake out of the pan and roll it up.
Whisk the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, use a mixer to whisk the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt on medium-high speed until frothy. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 2 minutes.
In a separate large bowl, combine the egg yolks, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the vanilla. Beat on high speed 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 beat on low speed until well combined. Fold a spoonful of the beaten egg whites into the batter until no streaks remain. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until combined.
Spread the cake batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Place a clean dish towel on a large wire rack. Dust with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. While the cake is still hot, loosen the edges from the pan, then turn out the cake onto the towel; carefully remove the parchment. Dust the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar.
Starting at one of the long sides, use the towel to tightly roll up the cake with the towel inside. Position the cake seam-side down and let cool for about 1 hour.
For the filling:
Add the mascarpone cheese to the whipped cream and whip until stiff peaks form. It will happen fairly quickly.
Carefully unroll the cooled cake and spread evenly with the filling, leaving a 1/4- to 1/2-inch border on all sides.
Wrap it up in plastic wrap with the seam side down and refrigerate for at least an hour to firm up.
For The Ganache
Put the chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the heavy cream and corn syrup to a simmer in a saucepan, then pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let thicken at room temperature until spreadable, about 2 hours.
Unwrap the cake on a cutting board. Cut off one-fourth of the cake on a sharp diagonal for the branch. Position the branch against the remaining cake roll on a platter. Cover the cake with the frosting using an offset spatula, then drag a fork through the frosting to create a bark-like texture.
Decorate with sugared cranberries and rosemary, if desired.
Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.