August: Potlucks!

August Theme: Potlucks. What do you take with you?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Chocolate Roll-up Cake

This one is great for birthdays or for Christmas. I've been making them every Christmas ever since I learned how in a French class. You can mix it in the blender, mixing the eggs until they are foamy and then adding everything else. It is a lot easier, but the results aren't quite the same. Here's the Yule Log we made this Christmas.

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake Roll/Buche de Noel (Yule Log)

4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 375. Line a jelly roll pan with foil (or you can fold up the sides of a piece of foil to about 11x16x1 and place it on a cookie sheet if you don’t have one) and grease and flour generously. Beat egg whites until foamy, then gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Beat egg yolks with vanilla on high speed about 3 minutes, and then gradually add 1/3 cup sugar, beating 2 more minutes. Combine dry ingredients and add to the egg yolks, alternating with the water. Fold into the egg whites. Spread into the foil-lined pan and bake 12-15 minutes, or until top springs back when lightly touched. Invert the pan onto a kitchen towel that has been sprinkled with powdered sugar. Quickly and carefully remove the foil and roll the cake up in the towel. Roll from a long end if you want more small servings and from a short end if you want less and bigger servings. Don’t give up if the cake breaks a little; you can often repair it with frosting. Allow the cake to cool before filling. Fill with softened ice cream, pudding, frosting, or the following filling. Leave a couple of inches at the end unfilled and roll it up, placing the cake seam side down on serving dish. Glaze or frost and refrigerate (freeze immediately if it is filled with ice cream!).
For a traditional French Christmas dessert, decorate the cake with chocolate frosting and use a fork to score the frosting to look like bark. Then, sift powdered sugar over the top to look like snow and decorate with holly leaves. You can even cut off a piece and reattach it with frosting to look like a forked branch. You can get really creative with the fillings and frostings and make it a treat for any occasion.

Beat 1 cup heavy whipping cream until slightly thickened. Add 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/4 cup finely crushed candy cane, peppermint candies (or 1/2 tsp mint extract). Add a few drops red food coloring. Beat until stiff.

Melt 2 Tbl. butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add 2 Tbl. cocoa and 2 Tbl. water, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Do not boil. Remove from heat and blend in 1 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Drizzle over filled cake.

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