With the holidays just around the corner we’re bringing out all kinds of amazing Christmas recipes in time for the festive season, but one of our favourites has to be the classic Yule Log – or bûche de Noël as it is also known. Read on and learn how to successfully make the best Christmas Yule Log with this delicious recipe.
Did you know that the Yule Log is actually European in origin, harking back to the days of paganism when the winter solstice was celebrated around December 21st? It began with the tradition of burning a log on the home fire for a prosperous year to follow and is noted in texts from at least the 17th century.
However, this wooden log eventually morphed into a similarly styled cake in 1879 when Charadot, a Parisian chef, designed a rolled cake of sponge and buttercream.
Tips and Tricks for Rolling Your Yule Log
There are very few types of cake that are meant to be rolled into a round shape, and it can sometimes end in disaster if you try to attempt this fairly easy dessert recipe it under the wrong circumstances. Luckily, we’ve found tried and tested techniques to create the perfect roll.
Firstly, understand that the cake needs to be rolled when it is still warm. If you let it cool first, it’s just going to crumble and break. So, to avoid a Christmas catastrophe, take the cake out of the oven and place it onto some parchment paper.
Leave it no more than 5 minutes before placing a tea towel over the top of it and begin to roll gently and evenly across the roulade.
Once cool, you can remove the towel and fill with the buttercream or chocolate cream filling to create a traditional white and brown contrast, or you can add to the sweetness and use a toffee cream centre or even maple and pecan.
You can even make an eye-popping creation with pink sponge and white frosting or use white frosting on a plain sponge cake filled with jam and buttercream, then decorate with desiccated coconut for a snowy scene. Why not customize your own Yule Log recipe?
TOP TIP: To stop it from sticking to the towel, give the cake a gentle dusting of icing sugar or caster sugar beforehand.
Decoration Ideas for a Yule Log
As a yule log is supposed to be a replica of a real wooden log, then the most traditional (and fun) way to decorate is by getting it as close to the real thing as possible.
This means you can whip up some thick chocolate frosting and apply with a fork all over to create a rough texture, with lines and swirls all adding to the bark appearance.
If you have access to a holly tree, you can add some leaves to the top to enhance this effect, along with some redcurrants to mimic the red holly berries, or even some pinecones. Give the whole cake a dusting of icing sugar and there you have it – a winter log left out in the snow!
You can even stick thick candles in the top of the yule log or add grated chocolate to the top of it to simulate peeling wood bark!
Can A Yule Log be Frozen?
Christmas can be a hectic time, so it’s good to get prepared in advance. A Yule Log will keep for 3 days in the fridge or can be frozen for up to one month before you intend to eat it. To defrost, simply place it on a cutting board at room temperature or in the fridge the night before.
Ricardo’s Delicious Yule Log Cake Recipe
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) baking powder
- 1 oz (28 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) cocoa powder
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) strong coffee sweetened with sugar
Mascarpone filling ingredients
- 1 cup (250 ml) mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) 35% whipping cream
- Icing sugar
Making the cake
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 200 °C (400 °F). Line a 43 X 30-cm (17 X 12-inch) baking sheet with parchment paper letting it hang slightly over both sides. Butter and flour the other sides.
- In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, gently melt the chocolate, butter, and cocoa powder. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
- In another bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture lightens and triples in volume, about 5 minutes. On low speed, add the dry ingredients. With a spatula, gently fold in the chocolate mixture.
- Spread the batter in the baking sheet. Bake for 6 to 7 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Right out of the oven, invert the cake onto a clean cloth. Remove the parchment paper and brush the cake with the coffee. Roll the still warm cake with the towel from the short side. Let cool completely.
Making the mascarpone cheese filling
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat the cheese, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Drizzle in the cream, beating until stiff peaks form.
- Unroll the cake and spread with the filling. Roll again.
- Just before serving, dust with icing sugar. If desired, garnish the log with mushroom-shaped meringues.
Click here for the full recipe!
Keep The Christmas Baking Spirit Going!
If you want to bake Christmas desserts like the greats and whip up sweet dessert recipes like the sumptuous Yule Log Recipe above, check out the full range of Ricardo products.
If this Christmas cake recipe has got you in the mood for more, why not discover more delicious holiday recipes sure to wow your family and friends! Or why not check out our huge selection of quality bakeware tools by clicking here.