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Mary Berry’s Bûche de Noël (Yule Log)

Mary Berry's version of the French Christmas classic, the Bûche de Noël (Yule Log), is flavoured with chestnut, coffee and chocolate.

From the book

Introduction

This is a version of a French Christmas log, which is suitable for serving as a dessert or with coffee.

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Ingredients

For the unfilled Chocolate Swiss Roll:
4 large eggs
115g (4oz) caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
65g (2½oz) self-raising flour
40g (1½oz) cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
For the filling:
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
2 tbsp hot milk
225g (8oz) unsweetened chestnut purée
2 tbsp brandy
55g (2oz) caster sugar
For the topping:
150ml (¼ pint) pouring double cream, whipped
300 ml (½ pint) pouring double cream, whipped cocoa powder, for dusting

Essential kit

You will need: a 33 x 23cm (13 x 9in) Swiss roll tin.

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Method

First make the Chocolate Swiss Roll. Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7. Grease a 33 x 23cm (13 x 9in) Swiss roll tin and line with non-stick baking paper.

Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until the mixture is light and frothy and the whisk leaves a trail when lifted out. Sift the flour and cocoa into the mixture, carefully folding them in at the same time. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and give it a gentle shake so that the mixture finds its own level, making sure that it spreads evenly into the corners.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the sponge begins to shrink from the sides of the tin.

While the cake is cooking, place a piece of baking paper a little bigger than the size of the tin on a work surface and sprinkle it with caster sugar. Invert the cake straight from the oven on to the sugared paper. Quickly loosen the paper on the bottom of the cake and peel it off. Trim the edges of the sponge with a sharp knife and make a score mark 2.5cm (1in) in from one shorter edge, being careful not to cut right through. Roll the cake firmly from the scored end, with the paper inside, and leave to cool.

While it is cooling, make the filling. Dissolve the coffee in the hot milk. Sieve the chestnut purée into a bowl and beat in the coffee mixture, brandy and sugar until the mixture is smooth. Fold the whipped cream into the chestnut purée mixture.

Carefully unroll the chocolate Swiss roll. Remove the paper and spread the chestnut filling all over the cake, then re-roll. Cut a small slice off at an angle from one of the ends of the roll, then place the roll on a serving plate or board and attach the slice to look like a branch.

Spread the whipped cream over the cake to cover completely, using a small palette knife in long strokes to give the bark effect. Dust lightly with cocoa and decorate with Christmassy decorations of your choice.

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From the book: Mary Berry’s Baking Bible (2023 Edition)

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