Celebrate Christmas with this chocolate yule log cake also called Bouche the Noel in French. A light sponge cake baked in a sheet pan the rolled to look like a log of wood. Often frosted with whipped cream to keep the dessert light but can also be frosted with buttercream or another frosting. This chocolate whipped cream frosting keeps the cake light as well as works towards enhancing the look of wood.
Grease and line a 15 x10 baking sheet pan with parchment paper making sure to cover the sides to the cake will release without breaking.
Separate the eggs - white in one bowl and yolks in another bowl.
Combine the flour with cocoa powder, salt, baking powder - set aside
Whip the egg whites with salt, cream of tartar for a minute before you start adding half the sugar gradually until almost stiff peaks - set aside
Whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar for two minutes
Add vanilla, cream, and sift in the flour mixture
For the egg whites into the yolk mixture
Pour into the prepared baking tray
Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes until the top is springy and set.
Remove it out from the oven and instantly transfer to a cooling rack (I simply drag the parchment from the sheet pan to the cooling rack)
Dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder or powdered sugar(this will prevent the cake from sticking to the parchment paper.
Use another pan and parchment paper to flip the cake over.
Now, carefully peel the top parchment paper - the one that cake was baked in.
Place a slightly damp kitchen towel or cheesecloth on the top of the cake. Roll the cake into a jelly roll. This prevents it from sticking when you unroll later.
I roll from the long side. But you can roll from the short side for more spirals.
Let cool in this rolled position until cooled completely (not in the fridge)
Melt the chocolate in a microwave or double boiler and cool completely but not set.
Whip the cream with powdered sugar until still peaks.
Add a little whipped cream to the melted cooled chocolate. Fold it well. Then add some more - fold it well again. Finally add the rest and combine well.
Tip - make sure the chocolate is cooled so it won't seize in the whipped cream. Adding a little whipped cream to the chocolate helps cool the chocolate further without it seizing. If don't slowly and carefully - you will have delicious chocolate whipped cream.
When cooled unroll the cake. Place it on a firm worktop or sheet pan.
Trim both the edges at an angle so they are tapering (this helps the finished cake rest on itself properly (optional)
Brush the cake with simple syrup.
Followed by the whipped chocolate cream
Firmly roll the cake back into a jelly roll.
Spread with more chocolate cream over the Swiss roll. Use a fork to make lines to look like wood.
Let set in the fridge for at least two hours. This helps cut pretty slices.