Recipe: The Yule Log Cake
Makes 12 servingsFor the cake: 6 eggs, separated 1 cup sugar, divided 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon...
Makes 12 servings
For the cake:
6 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup flour
For the coffee buttercream:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 whole egg
3 egg yolks
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons strong coffee or espresso
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the chocolate bark:
12 ounces (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips or 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into bits
1/4 cup canola oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 11x17-inch jellyroll pan and line it with baker's parchment.
2. To make the cake. In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks with half the sugar and beat until light, then whisk in the melted butter and vanilla extract.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt until they hold soft peaks, then with the motor running, stream in the sugar and continue beating until the egg whites are quite stiff. Fold one-third of the egg whites and half of the flour into the yolk mixture, stirring just until lumps are gone. Add another third of the egg whites and the remainder of the flour and fold-in. Fold in the remaining egg whites.
4. Transfer the batter to the prepared jellyroll pan and bake until the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center, about 20 minutes. Remove from over and turn the cake upside down on a tray lined with additional baker's parchment. While it's still hot, roll it into a log shape with the baker's parchment. Allow the rolled-up cake to cool to room temperature while you make the buttercream.
5. To make the coffee buttercream. Stir the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring and let the syrup cook undisturbed until a bit of the syrup makes a soft ball when dropped into a cup of cold water, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the egg and egg yolks with the salt in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. With the motor running on low speed, stream in the hot syrup then the butter a little at a time. Continue mixing until the buttercream is smooth and spreadable.
6. When it has completely cooled, unroll the cake and spread half the buttercream over the cake and roll it back up without the parchment paper. Spread the remaining butter cream over the surface. Chill the filled cake while you make the chocolate bark.
7. Line an 11x17-inch jellyroll pan with single sheet of strong plastic wrap. Put the chocolate and oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and stir until the chocolate is just melted. Spread the melted chocolate mixture over the plastic wrap and chill until the chocolate is beginning to set, about 10 minutes. Lay the rolled-up cake on top of the chocolate covered plastic wrap and bring the wrap up and around to cover the cake in the chocolate. Keep the wrap in place, and refrigerate the cake, wrapped in chocolate for several hours or freeze it for up to a week. (If the cake has been frozen, let it thaw in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.).
8. At serving time, carefully peel away the plastic wrap to expose the chocolate bark. Cut one end off the cake and plant it on the side of the cake to represent a sawed-off limb.
Editor's Note: This dessert contains undercooked eggs in the buttercream. Undercooked eggs are not recommended for pregnant women, children, the elderly or anyone with immune deficiencies.
From Greg Atkinson
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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