Mascarpone, Cherry and chocolate Yule Log
One of the best times of the year for those with a sweet tooth is Christmas, without a doubt. We can find a very wide and varied assortment, so it is totally impossible not to feel satisfied. I include myself because I have a sweet tooth.
When it comes to serving desserts during these days, there is a classic that never fails and with which we will always be very well, the famous Yule Log. This dessert has many advantages, starting from the fact that it is a very simple preparation to carry out, which allows us to prepare it in advance and, in addition, it is very versatile. Not to mention that we can transport it to friends or family knowing that it will arrive in perfect condition.
In my case I leave you a mascarpone cream and cherry filling, but you can change it for another if you wish; pastry cream, Chantilly, cream with cocoa, coffee (I made one some years ago), caramel, nougat … The option that you like. The decoration is very simple and colorful, it will give us little work. Something that is very important during these days, especially if we have to prepare dinners or meals at home.
Origin of Yule log, Christmas dessert.
The origin of this elaboration goes back to the pre-Christian tradition in which they burned a large log of wood, preferably from fruit trees, to celebrate the winter solstice. The fire would enliven the energy to start the new year, thus warding off the darkness that could haunt our lives.
To perform this ritual, specific steps had to be followed. The log had to be lit by the eldest or youngest member of the family and, in some occasions, it is carried out with ashes from the previous year’s burnt log. It must burn for at least 3 days and during this period it must be watered with wine, oil or water.
This peculiar custom was recovered by the Catholic Church and incorporated into Christmas rituals.
In the 19th century, with the arrival of stoves in homes, the tradition was modified and the log was replaced by a dessert that simulated it, thus giving rise to the Christmas log.
In this post I tell you in depth more about the origin of this peculiar cake.
Mascarpone, Cherry and chocolate Yule Log recipe
- 120 g cake/pastry flour
- 20 g cornstarch
- 5 large eggs (egg whitas and yolks separated)
- 150 g sugar
- 60 g whole milk
- 80 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 5 g baking powder
- pinch of salt
MASCARPONE AND CHERRY CREAM:
- 200 g mascarpone cheese, cold
- 200 fat/heavy cream, cold
- 90 g cherry jam
- few drops cherry extract
- 4-5 candied cherries, chopped
- 200 g pure dark chocolate
- 135 g fat/heavy cream
- fresh currants
- rosemary sprigs, dill, fresh carrot stems/leaves...
- pinecones and candles (optional)
- golden sprinkles with Christmas motives
MATERIAL WE WILL NEED:
- rectangular baking pan 25 x 38 x 2.5 cm
- curved spatula
- stand mixer
Prepare sponge cake.
- Preheat the oven to 355ºF/180ºC with heat up and down.
- Line a 25 x 38 x 2.5 cm rectangular baking pan with baking paper and set aside. To help the paper stick to the baking paper, grease the pan with a little butter or mold released spray.
- Sift the flour together with the cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Set aside.
- Beat the egg yolks with the milk and the melted and cooled butter.
Add the flour mixture to the yolk mixture. Mix until homogenized and set aside.
- Whip the egg whites, and when they start to foam, begin to add the sugar little by little until all of it is added. We will beat, increasing the speed gradually without reaching the maximum, until we obtain a soft peaks meringue. We should not whip the egg whites to obtain a firm and dry meringue.
- Once we have the meringue ready, begin to incorporate it to the mixture of yolks and flour that we prepared previously. We will do it in batches and with smooth and enveloping movements.
Pour the mixture in the baking pan and bake.
- Pour the mixture into the baking pan and smooth the surface with a spatula or scraper.
- Place in the oven at medium high and bake for 17-18 minutes.
- Remove, unmold and let cool on a wire rack.
Prepare mascarpone and cherry cream.
- The cream must be at least 24 hours in the fridge.
- The bowl where we whip the cream must be cold. I recommend using an aluminum bowl and put it in the freezer for 20 minutes before whipping the cream.
- Pour the jam together with the mascarpone cheese in the bowl of the KitchenAId and mix with the whisk.
- Add the cream and mix again with the whisk at medium high speed.
- Beat until you obtain a thick cream. Be careful not to over beat or we will make butter.
- Transfer the cream to a bowl, cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate until ready to use.
Prepare the sponge cake for rolling.
- Carefully remove the baking paper and prepare a new one.
- Cut the ends of the cake to obtain a "clean" result.
- Spread the mascarpone and cherry cream over the surface with the help of a spatula. We must have more filling in the part of the cake that we will begin to roll. And, as we advance arranging the filling towards the part that will be the final part of the rolling, we will reduce the thickness of the filling. In this way we will avoid that when we roll it up, we will have an excess of cream in the final area.
- Place chopped candied cherries on top of the cherry and mascarpone cream.
- Carefully roll it up on itself. Once it is rolled up, stretch the paper and use the scraper to adjust and tighten the roll.
- Roll up in the baking paper, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until the next day.
Prepare chocolate ganache.
- Chop dark chocolate and set aside.
- In a saucepan add the cream, place over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil.
- Remove from the heat, add the chopped chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes.
- With the help of a whisk, mix until a homogeneous and silky texture is achieved.
- Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool.
- Once it has cooled, store in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. The consistency should be spreadable, but not hard. If we let it cool too much, it will take too much consistency and we will not be able to spread it on the yule log.
Cover with the chocolate ganache.
- Cut off the ends of the cake to give it a "cleaner" finish. In my case I cut a little more to be able to adjust it to the tray I was going to use to serve it.
- With the help of a spatula, cover the whole yule log with the chocolate ganache.
- Try to be careful when covering the lower part, trying to do it as well as possible.
- As you spread the ganache on the surface, it will solidify. If you wish, you can grate the surface with the help of a fork to give more texture to the log. In my case I gave texture with the help of the spatula.
Decorate the yule log.
- Place fresh currants, dill leaves and carrot stalks (to simulate the leaves) on the log. You can use rosemary if you wish.
- We can also place some pineapple if we wish and some golden sprinkles with Christmas motives.
- Prick some candles on the surface and light them.
- We must be very careful when integrating the meringue into the batter to avoid lowering it and obtaining a very fluid dough which, in addition, will not have such a fluffy result.
- If this baking sheet is not available, we can pour the dough with the help of a piping bag on a perforated tray, previously lined with baking paper. I made it this way in this post.
- It is not necessary to roll the sponge cake once baked. The result is a very elastic sponge cake that will allow us to roll it without fear of cracking.
- If we wish, we can soak the cake with a little syrup, even with a light touch of rum.
- The filling is completely optional, you can adapt it to your taste.
- Keep an eye on the ganache when refrigerating it to achieve the right consistency to cover the log. If left too long, it may harden too much.
- The chocolate coating will help preserve the moistness and tenderness of the cake.
- We can keep it refrigerated for 2-3 days.
I am sure that this Mascarpone, Cherry and Chocolate Yule Log will be a dessert that will undoubtedly surprise your friends and family. A great option to end a lunch, dinner or even to enjoy in the middle of the afternoon.
What I liked most about the final result is its presentation, I wanted to simulate the decorative logs that are placed in the centerpieces. I thought it would be a different idea to what we are used to when we prepare a yule log.
I hope you dare to prepare it and let me know how it turned out.
Lots of love,