Wishing you a fabulous festive season. A little, simple Christmassy recipe: this yule log/bûche de Noël/Christmas roulade (however you choose to describe it) is easy and yet utterly divine. It is filled with chestnut cream and glacé cherries.
It’s also gluten free – simply by virtue of the recipe.
- Preparation: 25 minutes
- Cooking time: 30 minutes
- Two mixing bowls
- Electric whisk, stand mixer or balloon whisk
- Flexible spatula
- Measuring spoons, weighing scales
- 20cm x 30cm baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper
- Clean tea towel
- Rolling pin
Ingredients for the sponge
- Four (4) large egg whites
- 200g caster sugar
- 100g ground almonds
- 20g fine quality cocoa powder
- Pinch of vanilla powder or the seeds from half a vanilla pod
Ingredients for the filling
- 185ml of double (heavy) cream
- 30g chestnut puree
- 50g glacé cherries
- Prepare the baking tray by dotting on a bit of margarine or butter and laying over a sheet of greaseproof paper (the butter helps the paper adhere to the tray, so that it doesn’t move whilst you spread the sponge mixture)
- Turn your oven on to 170C (do not use the fan option)
- In one bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks (reserve the egg yolks for another recipe)
- In another bowl, combine the sugar, ground almonds, vanilla powder (or seeds) and cocoa powder. Swirl to combine
- Gently combine the dry mix into the meringue, a cupful at a time. Use the flexible spatula and fold in a figure of eight motion, in order to try and minimise the loss of volume. Don’t panic about how flattened it gets though: it’s impossible to combine egg white with other ingredients without some volume loss.
- Spread the sponge mixture over the prepared baking tray. Smooth it into the corners and try to get it as flat as possible.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 22-24 minutes.
- Sprinkle some water on to one side of the tea towel.
- Take out the sponge and immediately cover with the dampened tea towel and leave to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Now, with the tea towel still on top, place the rolling pin on one end and gently roll the sponge around the rolling pin. Don’t roll tightly – leave very loose. This helps minimise cracks when you come to roll after filling:
- Whilst the sponge is cooling a little to one side, whisk up the filling.
- Pour out the cream into a bowl, adding in the chestnut cream. Whip to a fairly stiff consistency.
- Roughly chop the cherries and stir into the cream.
- Unroll the sponge and spread the cream all over. Roll back up.
- Decorate with a sprinkling of icing sugar.