I made a Yule Log cake a couple of years ago and while it was good, but it wasn’t Cake Wall of Honor good (see below.) This years just might be. It has chocolate Swiss roll with whipped cream filling, glazed and sugared cranberries and rosemary, merengue mushrooms (not majic) and a dusting of confectioners sugar.
The recipe was cloned from a number of online suggestions. I took the parts I wanted and left the rest. Sorry I can’t reference them all, I didn’t keep notes.
Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake
INGREDIENTS Cake • 4 large eggs, separated • 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar • 1/3 cup (65g) packed light or dark brown sugar • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) strong brewed coffee • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted (see note) • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract • 1/2 cup (62g) all-purpose flour • 3 Tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder • 1 teaspoon baking powder • 1/4 teaspoon salt Vanilla Whipped Cream • 1 cup (240ml) cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream • 3 Tablespoons (38g) granulated sugar or confectioners’ sugar • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 12×17 inch baking pan (Half sheet) with nonstick spray or grease with butter, so the parchment paper sticks. Then line it with parchment paper so the cake seamlessly releases. Spray or grease the parchment paper too. We want an extremely nonstick surface for this cake roll. Place the stand mixer bowl and whip into the freezer
Make the cake: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl on high speed for 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks, brown sugar, and vanilla extract together until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Sift the flour, 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together into a large bowl bowl. Pour the melted butter, coffee, and egg yolk mixture over the dry ingredients. Beat everything together on medium speed until completely combined. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold in the egg whites until completely combined. Avoid over-mixing and deflating those whites. Batter will be very light.
Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. It will be a very thin layer. Tap the pan fairly hard on the counter to smooth out the top. Bake for 10 minutes or until the top of the cake gently springs back when touched with your finger. Do NOT over-bake.
Roll the cake: As the cake bakes, place a piece of parchment paper flat on the counter. Sprinkle with a light coating of confectioners sugar. Once the cake comes out of the oven, immediately invert it onto the parchment paper. Peel off the parchment paper that was on the bottom of the cake as it baked, then dust the recently exposed cake with more confectioners sugar. Starting with the narrow end, slowly and gently roll the cake up with the parchment. The cake will be warm. Allow the cake to cool completely rolled up in the parchment. Place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
Remove the cake roll from the refrigerator and allow to sit on the counter for a few minutes to warm up as you prepare the whipped cream.
Make the whipped cream:
Remove the mixer bowl and whisk from the freezer, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until medium to stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.
Gently unroll the cake. Dollop the whipped cream on top, and carefully spread, leaving about a 1/2 inch border around the cake. Gently roll the cake back up, without the parchment/towel this time. Diagonally cut about 4” off the end of the log and position along one side.
Set aside in the refrigerator as you prepare the ganache.
Heat cream to near boiling
Pour over chocolate and let sit until chocolate softens
Beat with a spoon until blended and shiny. It won’t be pretty at first but will eventually come together into a uniform shiny chocolate.
Before the ganache firmest to frosting consistency use some to “glue” the branch on the log and fill in any cracks
When the ganache is a spreading consistency spread over the cake
Before completely set, use the tip of a knife to striate the ganache to resemble bark. Do not be to careful. It will look more natural if it imperfect. That’s my story, and I am sticking to it.
To make sugared cranberries and rosemary,
add 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until sugar has melted. Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.
Spread 1/2 cup of sugar evenly on a shallow dish.
Dip cranberries and rosemary springs to the sugar water, then roll in the sugar.
Have you ever see contestants on GBBO struggle making a Swiss roll? For those unfortunate few readers unfamiliar with this cake, it is a thin sheet cake rolled tight, usually with some filling inside.
Follow this method and you too could be a contender!.
INGREDIENTS • 4 large eggs, separated and at room temperature • ¼ (32g) cup confectioners sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting • 1 tsp vanilla extract • Dash of salt • 2 (25g) Tbl granulated sugar • ¾ (96g) cup cake flour • ½ c raspberry jam
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the bottom of a 15-x-10-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Leave the sides unlined and undressed.
Place the egg yolks and confectioners sugar in a large bowl and whip until the yolks have doubled in volume and hold a ribbon. This takes about 4 minutes. Whip in the vanilla.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg whites with the salt first on low speed until foamy, then increase the speed to high and pour in the granulated sugar, whipping until the whites hold a medium peak.
Sift half of the flour into the yolk mixture and fold in without deflating the eggs, then fold in half of the whipped egg whites. Repeat with the remaining flour, and fold in the balance of the whites until evenly incorporated. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, taking the time to ensure the batter is level.
Bake the cake for about 12 minutes, until the cake springs back when gently pressed in the center. It will only lightly brown. Do NOT over-bake. Cool the cake for about 2 minutes on a cooling rack, then loosen the sides with a spatula. I found using the spatula and pushing straight down on the edges worked very well.
Sift a layer of confectioners sugar over the surface of the cake and cover with a clean towel. Place a second pan of about the same size as the jelly roll pan over the towel and flip the cake, removing the pan it was baked in. Peel off the parchment paper and dust this surface with icing sugar. Roll the cake up from the 10-inch side with the towel and let it cool completely (cooling it rolled sets its “memory” so the cake won’t crack once filled and re-rolled.)
Stir the raspberry jam to soften. Unroll the cake and spread an even layer of jam over the cake. Don’t use too much jam. The ½ cup should be plenty. Leave and inch on the last part of the cake uncoated with jam. The jam will squeeze along as you roll and will eventually coat the last edge. Roll the cake back up again, if desired, dust the top with confectioners sugar. Cover and store at room temperature until ready to serve.
The cake can be prepared up to a day in advance and stored, wrapped and unrefrigerated.
I need an Independence Day themed dessert for a party this weekend. I started out with a red, white and blue mousse cake. The blue was to be blueberry mousse. As you may know, blueberries are not chucked full of flavor, so having made the blueberry mousse, (it tasted mostly like whipped cream) I looked elsewhere for inspiration.
I don’t know how it came to mind, but a berry trifle with red berries, whipped cream and blueberries sounded perfect for a cool, light summer dessert. As one of the kids at the party is allergic to strawberries I used raspberries as the red. (The fact raspberries are my fav, didn’t enter into the decision.) I wanted something more substantial than simple whipped cream so I decided on Creme Diplomat. This creme is basically cream patisserie and whipped cream. I fortified each with cornstarch to help it retain is structure longer.
Rather than lady fingers or simple cubes of white or vanilla cake I settled on a sliced Swiss roll with raspberry filling. (Prettier). I never made a Swiss roll before, but had lots of advice and examples from watching years of GBBO.
By coincidence, I made raspberry jam last week and had plenty to use for this project. I sliced the cool, filled Swiss roll into 14 pieces. (Note the nice tight swirl pattern. GBBO contestants always struggle with this.) The bottom and sides of the bowl were lined with the slices, then extra jam was forced into any openings between, or on top of the slices.
Creme Diplomat is essentially 1:1 cream patisserie and whipped cream. It resulted in a light, cool and perfect for a summer dessert. QC loved it, said it wasn’t overly sweet but delicious. 😄
I am experimenting with a new backdrop for many of my pictures. I am using the dark background in this post. Let me know what you think.
• ½ c sugar • ¼ c corn starch • Pinch salt • 2 c whole milk • 4 egg yolks • 2 Tbl butter • 2 cups heavy cream, cold • 2 Tbl granulated sugar
Whisk eggs and milk together and add to all other ingredients (except vanilla) to a medium saucepan.
Bring to boil whisking constantly
Cook until thickened (it’s ok if it looks lumpy)
Sieve lumpy mixture into a bowl and add 1 tsp vanilla, mix thoroughly
When incorporated, cover with plastic directly on the cream and cool about an hour.
Whip the cold heavy cream and granulated sugar to medium peaks.
Fold a few spoonfuls of the custard into the cream. Gradually fold the rest of the custard in 2 or 3 additions, being careful to not knock the air out.