Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Triple Chocolate and Chestnut Yule Log



Chestnut Yule Log with Penguin Robin and Holly Fondant Decorations

Slice of Chestnut Yule Log with Penguin Robin and Holly Fondant Decorations


Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you all had a great stress-free day :) I had a bit of a baking marathon, baking dishes for my family as well as my boyfriend's. So don't be surprised that my next few (or several!) posts will be about the dishes I made.

First up is my yule log - a chocolate Swiss roll, which I filled with a sweetened chestnut puree and a chestnut white chocolate mousse. I covered the cake with a whipped milk/dark chocolate ganache, as I didn't want the cake to be overly bitter. 

I finally added some fondant decorations to my cake to give it a festive flavour.

The recipe was surprisingly straightforward - don't be put off by the fatless sponge - if you follow my instructions it will work I promise! This cake is suitable for children and adults so is perfect as a treat between Christmas and New Year's.

Makes 1 Yule log (serves 10-12)

Ingredients:

For the sponge:

  • 4 eggs
  • 100g light soft brown sugar
  • 65g self raising flour
  • 40g good quality cocoa powder


For the chestnut puree:

  • 100g vacuum packed cooked chestnuts
  • 120ml (1 cup) milk
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


For the chestnut white chocolate mousse:

  • 100g vacuum packed cooked chestnuts, chopped
  • 300ml double cream
  • 150g white chocolate
  • 1/2 sheet of gelatine


For the chocolate ganache:

  • 300ml double cream
  • 150g milk chocolate
  • 100g dark chocolate (55% cocoa solids)
  • Pinch of sea salt


To finish:

  • Blocks of fondant icing (I used green, red, black, yellow and white)

Method:

For the sponge:

1. Preheat the oven to 200c (180c fan)/400f/gas mark 6. Grease and line the base of a 33 x 20cm baking tray (with at least 1cm in depth).

2. Use an electric whisk to whisk the eggs with the brown sugar until the mixture has at least doubled in volume, and has lightened in colour and a ribbon of mixture forms when the whisk is lifted from the bowl (about 5 minutes).

3. Carefully sift in the flour and cocoa powder, and then use a big metal spoon to cut and fold the flour into the mixture. Try to knock as little air out of the mixture as possible. As soon as no more lumps of flour are visible, stop folding.

4. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 6-8 minutes until the cake is slightly springy to the touch. 

5. Carefully take the sponge out of the tray onto a clean tea towel, leaving the greaseproof paper on (and touching the towel). With the long end towards you, roll the sponge up, rolling the towel with the sponge. Leave the sponge to cool rolled up. 

For the puree:

1. Place all of the ingredients for the puree into a medium saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved, then leave simmering for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool.

2. Use a food processor or blender to blitz the mixture until smooth. 

For the chestnut and white chocolate mousse:

1. Finely chop the white chocolate and set aside. Meanwhile soak the gelatine in cold water until it is clear and soft (about 5 minutes).

2. Bring 50ml (3 tbsp) of the double cream and the soaked gelatine to a boil in a saucepan. Take the saucepan off the heat and pour in the chopped white chocolate. Beat until the white chocolate has melted and set aside to cool. 

3. Whisk the remaining 250ml double cream until soft peaks form (when the whisk is lifted out of the cream a peak forms that topples over at the tip). Fold the white chocolate mixture into the whisked double cream.

4. Fold in the chopped chestnuts and set aside.

For the chocolate ganache:

1. Finely chop the milk and dark chocolate. Meanwhile bring the cream to the boil in a saucepan. 

2. Once boiling, take the pan off the heat and pour in the chopped chocolate and salt. Beat until smooth then set aside to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until the ganache looks spreadable (about half an hour). 

3. Take out of the fridge, and leave at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Use an electric whisk to whip the ganache until is has thickened and holds it's shape when piped.

4. Spoon into a piping bag lined with an open star nozzle (I used a Wilton 1M nozzle), and set aside until needed.

To assemble:

1. Unroll the cooled sponge. Spread the chestnut puree evenly onto the sponge, leaving a 1/2cm gap around the edges.

2. Spread on the chestnut and white chocolate ganache, and smooth evenly onto the sponge, again leaving a 1/2cm gap around the edges.

3. Roll the sponge back up, peeling away the greaseproof paper so that none is in the sponge. After rolling, turn so that the seam (where the ends of the sponge meet at the end of the roll) is underneath.

4. Cut a third of the cake off and position to form a branch on the rest of the cake.

5. Pipe lines of ganache on the cake to resemble the wood. Pipe spirals on the end to resemble the ends of the log.

6. Make decorations out of the fondant icing. To make the holly leaves, I used a small leaf fondant cutter and green fondant icing. For the berries I simply rolled small amounts of red fondant into balls.

For the robin, I dyed the white fondant brown (using concentrated ivory food colouring), then decorated with a red belly and yellow beak and feet. 

For the penguin I used black fondant for the head and body, white fondant for the belly and face, yellow fondant for the feet and beak, and more black fondant for the eyes and wings.

7. Enjoy!!


Chestnut Yule Log with Penguin Robin and Holly Fondant Decorations

Slice of Chestnut Yule Log with Penguin Robin and Holly Fondant Decorations

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