The Great Australian Bake Off

https://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/24768/chestnut-and-chocolate-yule-log

LifestyleFOOD.com.au

Made with milk chocolate truffles, chestnut puree and dark chocolate ganache, this incredible recipe is sure to impress.

Ingredients

  • For the Chocolate Sponge

  • 4 eggs

  • 100g caster sugar

  • 65g self raising flour

  • 40g Dutch cocoa powder, extra for dusting at the end

  • For the White Chocolate Mousse Filling

  • 100g chestnuts, chopped if fresh

  • 600ml thickened cream

  • 300g white chocolate

  • 1 gold leaf of gelatine

  • Chestnut Purée (to be spread onto sponge)

  • 200gm fresh chestnuts, in shell

  • Water, as needed

  • 2½ cups milk

  • 1 vanilla bean

  • ¼ cup of caster sugar

  • 3 tablespoons of Cognac

  • For the Dark Chocolate Ganache

  • 500g dark 70% couverture chocolate

  • 500ml thickened cream

  • For Decorating

  • 250g gum paste

  • Red fondant

  • For Meringue to make Decorative Mushrooms

  • 2 egg whites

  • ½ cup of caster sugar

  • 1 vanilla bean

  • 100g dark chocolate (Lindt) to assemble

  • Milk Chocolate Truffles (little pine cones for decorations)

  • 200g cocoa nibs to roll truffles in

  • 300g milk cooking chocolate

  • 80ml thickened cream

  • 1 tablespoon of hazelnut liqueur

  • 200g flaked almonds

  • Gel colours and powdered colours for decorating

Method

  • For the Sponge:

  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius / gas mark 6. Lightly grease a 33 × 23 centimetre base measure Swiss roll tin, and line with non-stick paper or baking parchment, pushing it into the corners.

  • 2.

    For the sponge, whisk the eggs and sugar using an electric hand whisk in a large bowl until the mixture is pale in colour, light and frothy. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and carefully cut and fold together, using a metal spoon, until all the cocoa and flour are incorporated into the egg mixture. (Be careful not to beat any of the air out of the mixture.)

  • 3.

    Pour into the lined tin and spread evenly out into the corners. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes until pale golden and the sides are shrinking away from the edge of the tin.

  • 4.

    While the cake is still warm roll so that it cools in shape and avoids cracking.

  • For the Chestnut Purée:

  • 1.

    Peel the chestnuts and place on a roasting tray. Roast chestnuts for around 10 minutes until dark golden.

  • 2.

    Remove excess skin and shells.

  • 3.

    In a saucepan place the milk, vanilla and chestnuts and simmer.

  • 4.

    Add the sugar and dissolve.

  • 5.

    Put mix into food processor and blend with brandy.

  • 6.

    Pass mix through fine sieve to get the purée.

  • For the Ganache:

  • 1.

    Chop chocolate into small pieces so that it melts easily, place into heatproof bowl.

  • 2.

    Heat cream in saucepan on a low-medium heat until bubbles begin to appear then remove and pour over chocolate.

  • 3.

    Whisk until really smooth.

  • 4.

    Allow to rest for a couple of minutes.

  • For the White Chocolate Filling:

  • 1.

    Soak gelatine in cold water and set aside.

  • 2.

    Take 100ml of the cream and heat with gelatine to dissolve.

  • 3.

    Finely chop the white chocolate and then pour over the hot cream. Whisk until combined and smooth.

  • 4.

    Whip cream to soft peaks and then fold in cooled white chocolate.

  • 5.

    Coarsely chop chestnuts and fold in.

  • 6.

    Refrigerate to set.

  • For Meringue to Make Decorative Mushrooms:

  • 1.

    Whip egg whites until soft peaks form in an electric mixer with whisk attachment.

  • 2.

    Gradually add the sugar and finish with the vanilla.

  • 3.

    Line baking trays with grease proof paper.

  • 4.

    Pipe shapes for stalks of mushrooms.

  • 5.

    Pipe shapes for tops of mushrooms.

  • 6.

    Bake the meringues at 100 degrees celsius until dry and crisp (around 50 mins) open door of the oven to cool and prevent cracking.

  • 7.

    Join together with melted dark chocolate.

  • 8.

    Using red modelling paste turn some of the mushrooms into toadstools by adding red spots.

  • 9.

    Set aside for decoration.

  • For Milk Chocolate Truffles (to resemble little pine cones):

  • 1.

    Finely chop the chocolate and place in heatproof bowl.

  • 2.

    Heat the cream until simmering and add hazelnut liqueur.

  • 3.

    Pour over milk chocolate and stir to melt.

  • 4.

    Leave to set in the fridge.

  • 5.

    Once set take teaspoons of ganache and roll into balls. Then roll in cocoa nibs.

  • 6.

    Take other truffles and stick flaked almonds in to form the spikes of a pine cone.

  • 7.

    Set aside until presentation.

  • Assembly:

  • 1.

    Take the sponge and unroll. Spread a thick layer of the chestnut purée followed by the white chocolate mousse.

  • 2.

    Roll the Swiss roll as tight as possible.

  • 3.

    Cut 1/3 of the roll off and position to form the branch of the log on serving board.

  • 4.

    Taking the star nozzle and the chocolate ganache that has set in the fridge pipe the ridges of the bark all over the Swiss roll, entirely enclosing it.

  • 5.

    Take chocolate bark and place over the log.

  • 6.

    Arrange chocolate soil around the log.

  • 7.

    Make leaves from fondant and assemble mushrooms.

  • 8.

    Take chocolate truffles and place around the log to look like pine cones.

  • 9.

    Dust log with dark cocoa.

  • 10.

    Decorate with leaves and mushrooms.

  • 11.

    Finish with a little icing sugar.

Notes

This recipe has not been edited or tested by the Bake Off Food Department.

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