Bûche de Noël with Chocolate Caramel and Mulled Wine Plum Jam

Duration: 1 hour 30 mins

Serves: 8 – 10

A traditional British favourite for Christmas desserts is the classic Christmas pudding which had its origin in the medieval England. However one delicious show-stopper that can compete with this traditional pudding is the Bûche De Noël or the Christmas Yule Log. This light chocolatey sponge originated in France in the 19th Century and was inspired by the tradition of burning yule log during the 12 days of Christmas.

This year I decided to ditch the traditional pudding for the iconic roulade cake for the 4pm Christmas Day slump. And then I thought, why not add mulled wine plum jam to this chocolate treat for a naughty festive twist?

     Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 65g self-raising flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 250ml double cream
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp mulled wine plum jam (you could also use fig or berry jam)
  • 75g icing sugar + for dusting
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla flavouring
  • Hazelnuts, roughly chopped for decoration

 

     For caramel filling:

  • 50g granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 50ml water
  • 50ml double cream

 

     For ganache topping:

  • 125g Belgian chocolate chips
  • 125ml double cream

 

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Line a baking tray (approx 30cm x 20cm) with baking paper.
  • Separate the egg yolks and egg whites into separate bowls.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  • Gradually whisk in the icing sugar and then add the egg yolks one at a time. Continue whisking until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
  • Gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder and vanilla flavouring. Combine it well, but do not over mix.
  • Spoon the mixture into the lined tray and spread it evenly to the edges. Tap the tin on the counter few times to disperse any air bubbles.
  • Bake for 12-15 mins, or until it is cooked through evenly and springy to touch.
  • To assemble, have a board ready with baking paper and dust it with caster sugar evenly.
  • While the sponge is still warm, carefully flip it onto the sugared paper and remove the baking paper on top.
  • Spread a thick layer of jam over the sponge. 
  • Prepare the caramel filling by combining granulated sugar and salt with water in a saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 minutes, continuing to stir until it becomes a golden colour. Ensure it doesn’t burn.
  • Remove from the heat and immediately add the double cream. Stir until well combined, creamy in colour and quite runny. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool.
  • Whisk the double cream until stiff. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the flat sponge and then drizzle the caramel sauce on top.
  • Gently roll up the sponge from the shortest side inwards, using the baking paper to guide you. 
  • Cover it in parchment paper and chill in the fridge for 15 -20 mins until cool and firm.
  • While the sponge is cooling, make the ganache topping. Heat the double cream in a pan until it just begins to boil.
  • Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips, stirring until it has melted and thick enough to spread. Let it cool in the fridge for 15 mins.
  • Once cooled, spread the frosting over the rolled sponge, leaving the ends exposed. 
  • Create a log effect or bark like texture with a skewer.
  • Garnish with chopped hazelnuts and dusting of icing sugar.