Sylvie’s Yule Log

From my December 2005 newsletter

I like decorating the tree with the collection of mismatched ornaments accumulated over the years, each with its own special memory. I love to bake the few special treats that have come to mean Christmas to my family—my mother-in-law’s Cinnamon Sticky Buns, my mother’s walnut bread, a variation of my mother’s Yule Log and ginger star cookies. And I love that Christmas is my family’s own holiday. Others are welcomed to visit, but we stay home.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Grease a 10 X 15 X 3/4” pan, then cover with a piece of wax paper that fits the bottom. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together. Using a mixer, beat the eggs in a bowl until thick and pale yellow. While continuing to mix, add the sugar gradually. Add the water and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients while beating at the lowest setting of the mixer. Spread the batter on the prepared pan. Bake 12 minutes. Immediately turn over a dishtowel sprinkled with cocoa. Remove the wax paper. Roll the cake, starting with the narrower side. Cool on a rack with the cake’s edge on the bottom.

Chocolate Cream Frosting

Mix 2 cups of whipping cream, 1/2 cup of cocoa and 1/4 cup of chocolate liqueur or strong, cold coffee. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Unroll the cake. Spread half the chocolate cream on the cake. Reroll the cake. Cut a small slice from one end of the cake. Garnish the top of the cake with the rest of the chocolate cream, saving a few dollops. Make “wood grain” on the “log” with a knife edge. Using the slice of reserved cake, make a couple of branch nubs and place on either side of the cake. Frost nubs with the leftover chocolate cream. Decorate with toasted almond slivers.

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