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Yule Log Cake


  • Author: Kaity farrell
  • Prep Time: 1 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 43 minutes
  • Yield: 8-12 servings 1x

Description

A winter woodland cake full of magic and whimsy!

Adapted from recipes by Mary Berry and Makinze Gore


Scale

Ingredients

Chocolate Sponge Cake:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 65 g (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour
  • 20 g (2 1/2 tablespoons) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 20 g (2 1/2 tablespoons) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Ricotta Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 56 g (1/2 stick or 2 oz.) salted butter or plant butter, at room temp
  • 85 g (3 oz.) cream cheese, at room temp
  • 85 g (3 oz.) strained ricotta
  • 120 g (1 cup) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • grated zest from 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Coconut Milk Ganache:

  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz.) coconut milk (homemade or canned, not the drinking beverage variety)
  • 212g or 7.5 oz. dark chocolate (70-72% cacao), about 1 cup when chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (25 g or 0.9 oz) sweetener such as sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Decorations:

  • matcha
  • orange zest
  • mushroom cookies
  • sliced almonds
  • chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
  • powdered sugar
  • whole nuts
  • fresh greenery (non-edible) or edible herbs like rosemary or mint

Equipment:


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F/175˚C. Grease a half sheet pan and line it with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper.
  2. Separate egg whites and yolks.
  3. Whip egg whites in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until foamy, about 3-4 minutes, then add 25 g (2 tablespoons) of the sugar and continue whipping until they form stiff peaks, about 3-4 more minutes. Set them aside.
  4. In a separate bowl beat egg yolks until they turn pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Then add the remaining 75 g of sugar and beat until they leave a ribbon that holds for 3 seconds before melting back into the mixture, about 4-5 more minutes.
  5. Add oil and vanilla to the egg yolk mixture and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute.
  6. Sift flour, cocoa powders, and baking powder into the bowl with the egg yolk mixture. add the kosher salt then mix to incorporate everything, about 1 minute.
  7. Fold the egg whites into the batter in 3 batches. You may lose some of the air during the first folding because the batter is stiff. Once the first 1/3 of the egg whites are fully incorporated, fold the remaining batches more gently, being careful not to over mix, or the egg whites will deflate.
  8. Spread the batter into the half sheet pan with a small offset spatula, making sure to get it all the way into the corners in one even layer.
  9. Bake for 8 minutes at 350˚F/175˚C until the cake springs back and the edges start to come away from the sides. Be careful not to over bake the cake because it is so thin.
  10. Remove the cake from the oven and run a knife around the edges.
  11. While the cake is still warm dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar in one even layer. Lay a kitchen towel over the top of the cake followed by an inverted cooling rack. Now grab the sides of the pan and cooling rack tightly (use pot holders if it is too hot to touch) and flip them over so that the cooling rack is on the bottom and the sheet pan is now inverted on top. Remove the sheet pan then peel off the parchment paper and dust the now exposed bottom of the cake with powdered sugar.
  12. Starting from a short side of the cake fold the edge of the kitchen towel over the edge of the cake then roll the cake so that the kitchen towel gets rolled up with the cake. Let it cool to room temperature in the towel.
  13. Make the filling while the cake cools. Cream softened butter in a mixer, about 1 minute then beat in the cream cheese and strained ricotta until incorporated for about 1 minute.
  14. Add sifted powdered sugar, cinnamon, orange zest, vanilla extract, and salt and mix until thick and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  15. When the cake is cooled, unroll it and spread the filling over the cake in one even layer. Roll it back up using the kitchen towel to help guide it. Keep it wrapped in the kitchen towel and move it onto a sheet pan then refrigerate the cake to let the filling set, at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Cover the sheet pan with plastic wrap if refrigerating overnight.
  16. Make the ganache while the cake chills. Chop the chocolate into small pieces.
  17. Heat the coconut milk and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the milk just starts to bubble on the edges. Don’t let it boil. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth and glossy.
  18. Pour the warm ganache into the bowl of a stand mixer or a mixing bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the ganache and refrigerate until the ganache is firm, about 2 hours or up to overnight. I just refrigerate it for the same amount of time as the cake.
  19. Once the ganache is firm whip it with a balloon whisk attachment until it is fluffy and smooth, like frosting.
  20. To frost the cake, unwrap it from the towel. Transfer the cake to a cake stand or whatever you will use to serve it before decorating it because it will be hard to move after it is decorated.
  21. Cut a small piece of the log at a diagonal and move it to the side to create a branch if you want, or leave it as a straight log.
  22. Spread the ganache evenly over the cake with an offset spatula and use a fork to create the texture of the bark by dragging it in organic lines over the surface of the ganache.
  23. Decorate the cake with matcha dust and orange zest to mimic lichen. Stick sliced almonds into the cake to mimic wood fungi. Add sugar cookie mushrooms and spread chocolate wafer/oreo cookie crumbs around the cake to mimic soil. Add greenery or herbs and whatever else you’d like to use as decorations.
  24. Slice to serve. Keep refrigerated and enjoy within 3 days.
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