Chocolate Chestnut Christmas Roll Cake

This minimalist yule log roll cake is simple and sophisticated, with a faux wood-grain effect baked right into the light chocolate sponge cake, and a cloud-like chestnut whipped cream filling. We’ve given the traditional European yule log cake a far-East twist, using a Japanese cake design technique to give the cake a unique wood-grain look, […]

This minimalist yule log roll cake is simple and sophisticated, with a faux wood-grain effect baked right into the light chocolate sponge cake, and a cloud-like chestnut whipped cream filling.

We’ve given the traditional European yule log cake a far-East twist, using a Japanese cake design technique to give the cake a unique wood-grain look, no fussy frosting required.

Sliced Chocolate Chestnut Christmas Cake Roll, dusted with sugar, Christmas lights and ornaments blurred in the background

Yule Log cakes in general can be rather fussy, with fancy layers of frosting and meringue mushrooms and sugared cranberries and other decor that take hours to create. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we’ll call this Japanese-style roll cake the minimalist’s yule log: with a wood-grain design baked right into the cake itself, and a simple dusting of powdered sugar as the finishing touch.

It’s a perfect option for lazy bakers and frosting haters, and for those who like their desserts a little less sweet.

The cake itself is a light cocoa sponge cake baked with a darker chocolate wood grain pattern (the color contrast necessary here, which is why I didn’t make the cake too dark). The filling is a lightly sweetened whipped cream infused with chestnut creme and a splash of amaretto liqueur. It’s a delicious and festive flavor combination that tastes like the holidays without being so in your face about it (like, ahem, peppermint or gingerbread flavors).

Closeup slices of Chocolate Chestnut Christmas Cake Roll, showing the perfect spiral of filling and the wood grain texture

Chestnut spread, also called chestnut creme or creme de marron, is made from pureed candied chestnuts. We first tried this nutty spread in France (it’s amazing on crepes), and promptly found a few cans at a local market to bring home with us. I’m not sure why chestnut creme hasn’t made its way to the US, since chestnut trees grow so abundantly here. Luckily, you can get it online pretty readily or make it yourself from fresh chestnuts.

Chestnut creme is most often used in the classic French dessert called a Mont Blanc, and, actually, this cake could probably also be called a Mont Blanc bûche de Noël because of the similarity in flavor profiles (namely, chestnut cream and whipped cream).

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Chocolate, Rye & Amaretto Yule Log

Thanks to Doves Farm for sponsoring this post Every year for Christmas I make the Christmas Day dessert and, for the past few years, I’ve ended up making some kind of yule log. It’s such a great cake to have for festive celebrations – there are so many flavour combos you can do with the cake, filling and glaze, and so many ways to decorate it. I stick with the same roll cake recipe from my mum’s family cookbook and just adapt it differently each time. This year I’ve made things a bit fancier & sophisticated by using Doves Farm Organic Wholemeal Rye Flour (available from Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and dovesfarm.co.uk) and a touch of cocoa in the sponge. The rye flour really helps to create the softest sponge and highlights the earthy nuttiness of the cocoa powder too. Doves Farm is the UK’s #1 organic flour brand (Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 21 April 2019) who produce a range of amazing flours, from traditional types like plain white and self-raising, to their ancient grains range which includes rye and spelt. To add extra layers of chocolatey-ness I included melted dark chocolate in the whipped cream filling which is also spiked […]

The post Chocolate, Rye & Amaretto Yule Log appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

Thanks to Doves Farm for sponsoring this post

Every year for Christmas I make the Christmas Day dessert and, for the past few years, I’ve ended up making some kind of yule log. It’s such a great cake to have for festive celebrations – there are so many flavour combos you can do with the cake, filling and glaze, and so many ways to decorate it. I stick with the same roll cake recipe from my mum’s family cookbook and just adapt it differently each time.

This year I’ve made things a bit fancier & sophisticated by using Doves Farm Organic Wholemeal Rye Flour (available from Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and dovesfarm.co.uk) and a touch of cocoa in the sponge. The rye flour really helps to create the softest sponge and highlights the earthy nuttiness of the cocoa powder too. Doves Farm is the UK’s #1 organic flour brand (Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 21 April 2019) who produce a range of amazing flours, from traditional types like plain white and self-raising, to their ancient grains range which includes rye and spelt.

To add extra layers of chocolatey-ness I included melted dark chocolate in the whipped cream filling which is also spiked with Amaretto for that boozy hit. If you’re serving it to kids though, feel free to replace the alcohol with some brewed, cooled coffee with a touch of almond extract.

The most satisfying part about making this cake is the glaze – just a simple milk chocolate ganache – which you get to pour over the cake, enrobing it in a shiny, glistening coat. I decorated this with flaked almonds, some snowflake sprinkles and edible gold dust but a simpler option is to fork through the ganache (once set) in long streaks to give it a ‘tree bark’ texture and then dust lightly with icing sugar ‘snow’. It always looks so festive and fun when decorated like that I think!

Chocolate, Rye & Amaretto Yule Log

Chocolate, Rye & Amaretto Yule Log

Yield: serves 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 200ml double cream
  • 30g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), melted
  • 4 tbsp Amaretto

Ganache:

  • 100ml double cream
  • 100g milk chocolate, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking tin (or baking tray with high sides) and line with a piece of baking paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar using electric beaters until pale, fluffy and tripled in volume.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the rye flour, white flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Stir with a fork or whisk to remove any lumps. Add this all to the bowl of beaten eggs and fold together gently using a spatula until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and spread out gently into an even layer. Bake for 12-15 minutes until puffed and pale on top. Run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake from the tin as needed.
  5. Dust a clean tea towel with icing sugar and flip the cooked cake out onto it. Trim off the very edges of the cake (they’re crusty so don’t roll well) using a pair of scissors or a sharp knife. Gently peel away the baking paper then, starting at a short edge, roll the cake up with the tea towel (almost as if the tea towel is the filling of the cake). Leave the rolled cake seam side down to cool completely at room temperature.
  6. Once the cake has cooled, make the filling by whipping the cream until billowy but still forming soft peaks. Fold in the melted chocolate (make sure it has cooled a bit before folding in) followed by the amaretto.
  7. Make the ganache by heating the cream in a small pot until gently steaming. Place the chopped milk chocolate into a small heatproof bowl and pour the steaming cream over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes so the chocolate can melt then stir together until completely smooth. Set aside at room temperature so it can thicken slightly – you want it to be the texture of a thick glaze so it’s still pourable but not super runny.
  8. Carefully unroll the cooled cake and spread the filling all over the surface of the cake. Re-roll the cake and place onto a wire rack set over a baking tray.
  9. Pour the cooled ganache over the cake and leave so that the excess glaze drips off onto the tray below. Once the glaze has stopped dripping, use a metal spatula to transfer the cake to a serving platter. You can serve it now or chill for up to 24 hours before serving.

The post Chocolate, Rye & Amaretto Yule Log appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

Lemon-Almond Snack Cake

This summer, for our vacation, we did our usual road trip, with stops to visit various friends in France, with a delicious detour to Spain. We always look forward to visiting our French friends who have a home in Burgundy, and not just for all the Chablis, jambon persillé, Dijon mustard and gougères. (Oh, and they also have a pool…) But since they live abroad,…

This summer, for our vacation, we did our usual road trip, with stops to visit various friends in France, with a delicious detour to Spain. We always look forward to visiting our French friends who have a home in Burgundy, and not just for all the Chablis, jambon persillé, Dijon mustard and gougères. (Oh, and they also have a pool…) But since they live abroad, we don’t get to see them all that often. This year, two members of their family were celebrating milestone birthdays and a party was planned for nearly sixty friends and family members in their honor.

For the party, we got to work. The first day of prep, everyone was sort of doing whatever they thought needed doing, until a former restaurant cook (me) realized we needed someone to make a prep list, and we all sat down together to map out our plans.

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