8 December 2012

Chocolate Log 2012

I'm fully aware that I made a Chocolate Log last year, but it was so nice that I just had to make it again, and also so that my family could enjoy it (last year I made one for my student house's Christmas dinner).

I used last year's recipe, but noticed that I had not yet realised just how much butter is involved in good Swiss meringue buttercream, so I'd ended up with a runny but delicious version. This year, since I've got both Swiss and French buttercream under my belt now I thought I'd do it properly. I had four egg yolks in the fridge because we had a family gathering on Wednesday and I ate and drank far too much, so for the past couple of days I've been having scrambled egg whites for breakfast (totally delicious and totally angelic). French buttercream uses egg yolks, so I made a batch and added some cocoa powder.

Chocolate French buttercream is just delicious! It tastes just like the stuff you get in M&S swiss rolls, so I was pleased with my discovery. I made the same ganache as last year, using milk instead of plain.

Just as last year, the Chocolate Log was very well recieved (less than half is left and it's only been on the table for a couple of hours), and I get the feeling it will be requested again before the Christmas season is over.

For the sponge:

  • 6 Eggs, Separated
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 50g Cocoa Powder
For the chocolate French buttercream
  • 150g Butter
  • 20g Cocoa Powder
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 60g Caster Sugar
For the chocolate ganache
  • 200g Milk Chocolate
  • 150g Double Cream

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan and line a baking tray or roasting tin with parchment paper.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together until thickened, then whisk the egg whites to soft peaks.
  • To make the sponge, Fold the yolk mixture and cocoa powder into the egg whites, pour into the tin/baking tray and bake for 20 mins.
  • Place a sheet of baking parchment over the top of the sponge, place an upside down cooling rack on top and carefully flip everything over so that the sponge turns out of the tin/tray. Carefully peel off the top layer of parchment and leave the sponge to cool.
  • To make the ganache, melt the chocolate and double cream together, then leave for a few hours to set.
  • Make the French buttercream by placing the yolks and sugar in a bowl over a pan of hot water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. 

  • Put the pan over a medium heat and whisk the egg yolks until the sugar has dissolved (cautiously dip your fingers into the yolks and rub them together to find out - if you feel grains the sugar has not yet dissolved.)
  • As soon as the sugar has dissolved, remove the bowl from the heat and pour into a clean mixing bowl. Whisk until the yolks have doubled in height.
  • Make sure the butter is at room temperature and cut it into manageable chunks. Add it, a chunk at a time, to the yolks before whisking it in. You should end up with a soft and shiny buttercream that holds its shape.
  • Finally, whisk in the cocoa powder.
  • Spread the buttercream over the sponge and use the parchment to help with rolling it up. When the ganache has set, spread it over the top and use a fork to make wood markings on it. Dust with icing sugar.

You'll be pleased to know that even with full fat ingredients, this is less calorific than your standard cake. For more low calorie bakes and tips on baking healthily, check out Healthy(ish) Baking.

Jen at Blue Kitchen Bakes runs a monthly challenge called Classic French. This month's challenge is to bake a Buche De Noel, which is the French version of a chocolate log. I'm hence entering this into her challenge.


1 comment:

  1. This looks fantastic and well done you for mastering French buttercream, I haven't tried it yet. Thanks for entering Classic French :)


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