Chocolate log

Serve up a splendid Christmas treat with Michel Lemoine's classic French chocolate yule log filled with rich buttercream
By Michel Lemoine
Chocolate log
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus cooling
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the sponge:

  • 4 eggs
  • 125 g sugar
  • 125 g self-raising flour

For the buttercream:

  • 100 ml water
  • 20 g caster sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 400 g butter, softened
  • 200 g dark chocolate, melted in a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water

To garnish:

  • 2 sprigs mint leaves
  • 1 handfuls mixed berries
  • 1 dashes of icing sugar

Method

1. To make the sponge, preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar until white and fluffy. Sift the flour over the egg mixture and fold in the flour as you do so


2. Spread the mixture over a base-lined Swiss roll baking tray. Bake for 5 minutes until set. When cooked remove from the oven, trim the outsides and place a lightly damp cloth over. Roll up the sponge with the cloth and the parchment paper together and leave to cool.


3. To make the buttercream, put the sugar and water in a saucepan, bring to the boil and cook until the syrup reaches 121°C, measuring the heat of the sugar syrup with an electric thermometer.


4. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until white and fluffy. Pour the hot sugar syrup slowly into the whisked egg whites, whisking as you add it in. Add the butter in gradually, in little lumps, blending well.


5. When all the butter is added and well mixed, reserve one tablespoon of the buttercream in a small dish. Add the warm melted chocolate to the remaining butter mixture and mix well together.


6. To make the log, unwrap the sponge from the cloth and the paper. Spread some chocolate butter cream on one side, about 2-3 mm thick. Roll the sponge as tight as possible into a cylindrical shape.


7. Cut one edge of the log straight to give a clean cut. Then on the other side, cut the edge into an angle, placing this piece onto the top of the log to create a stump.


8. With a palette knife, spread the rest of the chocolate as smoothly as possible all over the log. With a fork, make a soft trace in the cream.


9. At each end of the log, smooth the chocolate cream with a warm palette knife. Add a small dot, about the size of a 2 penny coin, of the reserved buttercream, to each end. Smooth again with a warm palette and decorate with Christmas decorations, fresh fruit, mint leaves and sifted icing sugar.

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