Everyone loves to celebrate Christmas with log cakes (aka yule logs), and I am no exception. Last year was my first attempt in making a log cake – a chocolate genoise with peanut butter buttercream frosting, covered with a layer of chocolate meringue buttercream, which looks like this:
This year, I decided to bake a slightly different log cake – one that is less sinful but still has the appearance of a log cake. I happened to chance upon a very interesting recipe book, written by Junko. Junko creates these very pretty patterned swiss roll cakes, which I’ve linked at the bottom. I was amazed and totally inspired by her cakes, so I used Junko’s idea and baked a “wooden” log cake.
The white stripes are actually plain vanilla genoise. The brown parts – well I’m sure it’s pretty obvious – are chocolate genoise. I’m pretty pleased with the appearance of the genoise, it turned out pretty not bad for my first attempt 😉 The genoise was made using the separation of egg yolks and egg whites method, which was a new method for me. Sadly, the genoise didn’t turn out as soft as I would have wanted it to be, which is probably due to my lousy genoise making skills (will have to practise more!)
I used a very simple filling – Varlhona dark chocolate mousse, which all my friends liked. Overall, I will have to make improvements on the texture of the cake, but it is definitely a cake that I will be making more often, as it’s so much less sinful than normal log cakes! 😉
On to the step-by-step photos!
- Combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl.
- Beat with an electric mixer until thick and pale.
- Add in water and oil and beat it in.
- Add in vanilla extract / paste and beat it in as well.
- Sift in flour mixture and beat it in.
- Scoop a little egg yolk batter into a small bowl.
- Beat an egg white till stiff peaks formed.
- Fold in some egg whites into the small amount of egg yolk batter.
- Pipe the log pattern onto a baking sheet. Bake until the egg yolk batter has set.
- Sift in cocoa powder into the remaining egg yolk batter and beat it in.
- Beat remaining egg whites till stiff peaks formed
- Fold in the egg whites in 3 batches.
- Pour the batter over the baked egg yolk batter and bake till done.
- Make the chocolate mousse by folding some whipped cream into melted chocolate.
Fill the genoise with the chocolate mousse, roll, and serve!
I’m submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #26 – Creative Christmas Motif Bakes! hosted by Alan of Travellingfoodies.
Happy baking and have a Merry Christmas to all of you! Happy holidays! 🙂
- 3 egg yolks
- 30 grams caster sugar (2 tablespoons)
- 60 ml water (1/4 cup)
- 45 ml vegetable oil (2½ tablespoons)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract / vanilla paste
- 60 grams plus ½ teaspoon plain flour (1/2 cup plus ½ teaspoon)
- 10 grams plus 1 pinch corn flour (1 tablespoon plus 1 pinch)
- 10 grams cocoa powder (1½ tablespoons)
- 1 egg white
- 3 egg whites
- 30 grams caster sugar (2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon corn flour
- 100 ml cream, whipped till stiff peaks
- 50 grams dark chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature (or you can use a combination of dark and semi-sweet or milk or white)
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Butter a 10-inch baking pan and line the bottom and sides with baking parchment. Rub the baking parchment lightly with a layer of vegetable oil. Set the baking pan aside.
- Place the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until thick and pale. Add in water, vegetable oil and vanilla and beat it in. Sift in 60 grams of plain flour and 10 grams corn flour and beat it in till the batter is thick and leaves a trail when you lift up the beaters. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the egg yolk batter into a small bowl and fold in ½ teaspoon plain flour. Sift the cocoa powder into the large bowl of egg yolk batter and fold it in.
- Place the egg white in a clean, large bowl (dry and oil-free) and beat until the egg white is foamy. Add in the pinch of corn flour and beat until the egg white forms stiff peaks. Fold ⅔ of the egg whites into the small bowl of egg yolk batter. Fold the remaining egg white into the large bowl of egg yolk batter.
- Transfer the small bowl of egg yolk batter into a piping bag. Pipe a log design onto the baking parchment. Bake for 2 minutes until the batter has dried up slightly. Set aside on a wire rack.
- Place the egg whites in a large bowl (you can use the same bowl used to beat the egg white previously) . Beat with an electric mixer till foamy. Add in the sugar and corn flour and beat till stiff peaks formed. Fold the stiff egg whites into the egg yolk batter in 3 parts until no trace of egg whites is left.
- Transfer the batter onto the baking pan and spread it evenly. Rap the baking pan 2 to 3 times on the table counter to get rid of excess air bubbles. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the genoise bounced back slightly when touched or when a skewer inserted into the centre of the genoise comes out clean.
- Invert the genoise out onto a large baking sheet. Peel off the baking parchment and turn the genoise right side up. Roll up the genoise and leave it to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Fold the whipped cream into the melted and cooled chocolate.
- Unroll the genoise, spread it with chocolate mousse and roll it up. Refrigerate till the log cake is well-chilled. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
(The above link goes to a website where the blogger does a review of Junko's cookbook, the cookbook is in Japanese and no translation is available. I got mine when I was in Taiwan and it was a translated copy in Chinese. I've not seen an English copy around, if you know where to get it, do let me know!)