and that’s a wrap…

So the Holidays are now officially behind us, and it was fun and happy and busy, and although I can’t say that I have emerged well rested, I have come out the other side with a broad smile. (And I want to tell you about my chocolate log.)

Just that buzz in the kitchen and all over the house. Brothers and sisters who live far apart year round, finding time to sit down and chat. Catch up on their news, personal and professional.

Dogs are happy to be stroked by so many people. Gifts were exchanged, champagne was popped and then of course the shared meals.

There are a few pleasures to beat that of laying a big table for those you love, and sharing a good meal. During the holidays nobody is in a hurry, and mealtimes are flexible, with conversations continuing as we move through courses.

It’s also a time to revisit some favorite recipes, and in the days after Christmas I had a request for a chocolate log. So here is how it went, and the recipe I use. Not saying it is perfect, certainly not saying it matches the work of a true pastry cook, but I can assure you that it didn’t stay long enough on the plate for me to get any pictures!

To make this chocolate log I use a baking sheet measuring 13×9″ ( 32x23cm) and line it with lightly greased baking paper.

I like to use a chocolate mousse for the filling of this log, and I use the recipe that I’ve previously given here. I either make a full batch of chocolate mousse and pop half into individual serving pots, or just make half the batch for the chocolate log.

My ingredients for this cake are:

6 large eggs

5 oz (150g) sugar

2 oz (50g) cocoa powder

One small espresso of coffee & the same volume of rum, mixed and cooled

One portion of chocolate mousse

15cl /1 cup of whipping cream

Once the mousse is made it’s time to make the swiss roll base. Separate the eggs into two large mixing bowls. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until slightly pale but not stiff. Add the sifted cocoa powder and mix thoroughly. Wash the whisk thoroughly and beat the egg whites until they form soft shapes and won’t slide in the bowl when tipped.

Incorporate the egg whites into the chocolate mix, then pour or spoon onto your parchment paper and pop into the warm over for about 20 minutes, or until the sponge mix is ​​cooked through. While it is baking, you can whip the cream and set it aside.

Remove the baking tin from the oven, let cool a little and then reverse onto another length of parchment. Once the cake has cooled completely, spoon the coffee and rum mix over the sponge without getting it too wet. This will give a slightly flavored tiramisu to your logs, and keep it moist.

Now spoon your chocolate mousse over the full surface of the sponge, followed by half the whipped cream.

Using the parchment paper to help you, gently roll up the cake without pressing too hard. Once fully rolled, fold the ends of the paper and pop into the fridge for an hour or more.

Before serving, remove the parchment paper from the roll and place on your serving dish. Spread your whipping cream across the log, and decorate as you wish. Here I just use rolls of black chocolate, but often I also sprinkle with dark cocoa powder and add a couple of holly leaves for decoration.

Bring to the table, serve thin slices and receive looks of admiration and wild applause with good grace!