Chocolate Christmas Log with White Chocolate Buttercream

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Christmas is not the time for watching your waistline, or your calorie intake. That’s what January is for. Christmas is a time to eat all of the naughty things that you wouldn’t normally eat. If you want two slices of cake, do it!! That’s what I think anyway, I’ll be good next month, I promise.

Case in point: The Chocolate Log. Calorific, but festive, it’s a must at Christmas time. You can serve it as a dessert with a nice splodge of cream, but I’ve been enjoying it with a cuppa in front of the TV! Totally luxurious and unnecessary. Oops!

Unbelieveably, I’ve never made a chocolate log. This classic, Christmas treat was a first for me! But I had some family around for dinner a couple of nights ago and wanted to make something nice and Christmassy for pudding. As I’d never made one of these before I thought I’d give it a go. It was so easy to make and so yummy to eat. Plus the ganache recipe makes quite a lot so I *may* have spread an extra layer on my slice of cake. Hey, if you can’t do it at Christmas, when can you?!

Talking about food-related naughtiness, we had our December WI meeting last night, which mainly consisted of lots of eating, drinking and singing. I’ll be posting about it in the next couple of days, along with some photos and the recipe for my contribution to the evening, Gingerbread Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting.

Onto today’s recipe. Don’t be put off by the length of this recipe – it’s a doddle. This is a Queen Mary Berry recipe, adapted slightly by me, as I’m not a huge fan of the usual whipped cream filling so I used some white chocolate buttercream which I had left over from my cupcakes. Divine!

Ingredients

For the cake

4 large eggs
100g caster sugar
65g self raising flour
40g cocoa powder

For the ganache

300ml double cream
300g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces

For the white chocolate buttercream filling

55g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g icing sugar, sifted
75g white chocolate, melted then cooled slightly
A drop of milk, if necessary

Method

— Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Grease and line a 33x23cm baking tin.

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— Make the cake. I used my KitchenAid with the whisk attachment but you can use an electric whisk. Whisk the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale and frothy. This will take a few minutes to reach the correct consistency. Be patient!

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— Sift in the flour and cocoa powder then fold into the mixture, being careful not to knock too much air out of the eggs.

— Pour into the baking tray. Make sure the mixture is even and pushed into the corners. Bake for 8-10 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.

— Take a piece of grease proof paper, slightly bigger than your tin, and sprinkle generously with icing sugar. Turn out your cake onto the sugared paper and peel off the paper it has been baked in. Score a line along one of the shorter sides, about an inch in. Using the paper, tightly roll the cake, keeping the paper inside. Leave to cool completely on the outer edge, with the paper still inside.

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— Whilst the cake is cooling, make the ganache. Heat your cream in a pan until it’s just hot enough to put your finger in. Take off the heat and pour in your chocolate. Stir it until all the chocolate is melted. Then put it in the fridge for at least half an hour so it’s firm enough to pipe or spread.

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— Next, make the buttercream. Melt the white chocolate (it’s totally lazy but I use the microwave for this in 20-30 second bursts). Leave to cool slightly. Beat your butter in the KitchenAid/with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Next add your icing sugar, half at a time and beat until incorporated. Finally, pour in your white chocolate and continue to mix on a medium speed for at least 3-4 minutes to get a really nice, light buttercream. Add a drop of milk if the mixture is a little too dry.

— Your cake should be cooled by now. Uncurl it and remove the paper. Don’t worry if the outside is cracked, it doesn’t matter. It’ll be covered by the ganache. Thickly spread the buttercream over the inside over the sponge, then tightly re-roll. Transfer the cake to a serving plate, then ice with your ganache. You could either pipe it on with a thick nozzle and piping bag, or, like me, just smear it on with a palette knife and then mark it with a fork to look like wood.

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— Sprinkle with a dusting of icing sugar and you’re done! Sit back and bask in your amazing baker-ness. Smugly take pictures and upload to Instagram/Facebook. Don’t let anybody else have the end with double amounts of ganache – that’s just for you.

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