The Yule log is a traditional feature of most winter solstice celebrations. In addition to making one you can burn in your fireplace, why not whip together a tasty chocolate one for dessert? This super-easy recipe uses a boxed cake mix as its base, and can be put together ahead of time for your Yule celebration dinner. Chill overnight for easy slicing the next day.
- 1 box chocolate cake mix, along with ingredients as called for
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp. instant coffee granules
- 1 stick butter
- 16 oz. semi-sweet baker's chocolate
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- Spearmint leaf jelly candies
- Cinammon red hots
- Mini marshmellows & chocolate kisses (optional)
Prepare the cake mix according to the instructions on the box. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, pour the batter out onto the paper, and spread until it reaches the edges. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until cake is firm and springy - be sure you don't overbake it!
Allow cake to cool in pan for ten minutes, then invert it onto a cloth towel dusted with powdered sugar. Peel off the parchment paper. Roll the cake up inside the cloth towel, starting with one of the short sides. Let the rolled-up cake cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cake cools, mix up the filling. This particular blend is a coffee-flavored variety that I adapted from a tiramasu recipe, but you can replce the coffee with cocoa if you prefer more chocolate. Blend the whipping cream, powdered sugar and coffee granules together to form the filling. Chill until thick and firm. After the cake has completely cooled, gently unroll the cake from the towel. Remove the towel, and spread the filling over one side of the cake, stopping about a half inch from the edge. Roll the cake back up -- this should be easy, since it cooled in a rolled-up form. Place the cake on a serving platter and allow to chill for a couple of hours.
To make the frosting, melt the butter in a double boiler and then add the chocolate. Once the chocolate has all melted, stir in the heavy cream. Let the icing sit at room temperature until it's a little thick. Spread on the cake, covering the entire roll, and then drag a fork through the icing to create a bark-like appearance on your log.
Add a couple of spearmint leaves and red hots to form clusters of holly on the log. If you'd like to add "mushrooms" to your log, stick a toothpick through a miniature marshmellow, and then poke it into the flat side of a chocolate kiss. Snip off the pointy part of the kiss, and you'll have a small mushroom. Use the toothpick to stick these on top of your log.
If you're not going to serve immediately, wrap the cake in loose plastic and refrigerate overnight. Allow the cake to sit out for about an hour before slicing.