I always wonder what is the fascination with a dressed-up Swiss roll. Well, today I have my answer. A Yule log cake symbolises the oldest tradition of burning a Yule log during Christmas. Mind you, this burning of Yule log is huge, spanning for days to weeks. And there would be a huge celebration during this time. That was as Christmassy as you could get at those times. Fast forward to today, this tradition of burning the Yule log is only represented by a meager chocolate cake - the Chocolate Yule Log Cake or Buche de Noel.
This cake is traditionally a chocolate sponge roll layered with cream and decorated to look like a log. Nowadays, this Yule log cake comes in all flavours and colours, with different frosting to match. The bottom line is to get it to look like a log (else it would not be a Yule log, would it?). Making a chocolate Yule log cake is not as difficult as it seems. All you need are some basic knowledge in making a Swiss roll and a little bit of talent in cake decoration, just a little bit. Unlike conventional cakes, you are allowed to frost your cake sloppily. In fact, you are required to frost this cake sloppily (but artfully) to emulate the looks of a bark.
In this post, I will emphasize more on assembling and decorating the cake as we have already established how to make a chocolate Swiss roll in the previous post. If you are too lazy to bake, you could always buy a good quality Swiss roll for this purpose. But I always feel a sense of achievement when I am able to complete a recipe from scratch. This is my first time making a chocolate Yule log cake. As I wanted a different feel than just the normal chocolate frosting, I used chocolate shards instead. Does it look more real? I am pretty please visually although overall, it really ought to be more refined. The good that comes out of this is that I could present a doable homecook version to all of you who would like to DIY your own Chocolate Yule log cake.
There are basically 4 components in this recipe:
Chocolate Yule Log Cake 巧克力树桐蛋糕
1. Chocolate Swiss Roll
Making the Swiss roll is the major part. It forms a large part of the log. I have with me here a fool-proof recipe that makes a soft and moist chocolate roll. You could find out all about it here.
Once we have handled the roll, prepare all the other components...
2. Chocolate shards
60 g baking chocolate
1. Melt chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals. Stir thoroughly at each interval until chocolate is completely melted and becomes runny.
2. Apply evenly on a piece of baking paper. Sandwich the chocolate with another piece of baking paper, removing all air bubbles caught in the middle. Roll the piece of paper into a log. As I want my shards to be narrower, I made my log smaller.
3. Put on pan/plate and refrigerate until needed. To make the shards, just open up the paper. Use immediately before the shards melt and lose shape.
3. Chocolate buttercreamI just wanted a to apply a thin layer of buttercream outside the roll so that the shards could stick to the roll.
5 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
10 tbsp icing sugar
1 drop of vanilla extract
1. Whisk butter until soft.
2. Add icing sugar and continue to whisk until pale and fluffy.
3. Add in the rest of the ingredients and whisk well.
4. Decorative Ornaments
I used fondant to make a sitting Santa, some mushrooms and a snowman. Admittedly, it looked amateurish but I am just glad it came out in one piece. If you would like to skip this, I would suggest some store-bought Christmas trees, cranberries or pine cones.
Assembling the Chocolate Yule Log Cake
1. Prepare chocolate shards, buttercream and decorations in advance.
2. Apply buttercream around the Swiss roll.
3. Stick chocolate shards horizontally all around buttercream to emulate tree barks.
4. Add on decorative ornaments.
5. Dust with a little icing sugar.
Have a Blessed Christmas!
Find out about my Christmas surprise cake here: