This past weekend, I made a flourless Yule Log Cake to take to a Winter Solstice gathering we attend each year. Made with eggs, but no flour - grain or otherwise, this cake is dark and rich and delicious, and allows those who are gluten or grain free to enjoy a bit of holiday pastry. I've been bringing this for three years now, so I think I can officially declare it my tradition.
For the event I took this to, I made two - in the past only a few people were able to share a taste. But for a family sized dessert, one is perfect! With the addition of some cherries in syrup, it takes on a delicious Black Forest Cake taste.
(makes one roll up)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup dark cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange liqueur (or zest of one orange)
Coconut oil to grease pan
Cocoa powder for dusting
For whipped cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or orange liqueur
Eggs should be at room temperature.
Cut a section of parchment paper to fit into a jelly roll pan. Grease paper with coconut oil, then dust with cocoa powder.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Make cake layer:
Separate eggs, putting whites into the bowl of a stand mixer, and the yolks into another large bowl.
To egg whites, add cream of tartar and 2 tablespoons sugar, and mix on medium until soft peaks form.
While the whites are mixing, add to egg yolks remaining sugar, salt, cocoa, vanilla extract and orange liqueur, and beat by hand with a whisk until well blended and thick.
When whites are beat to soft peaks, turn off stand mixer and fold whites gently into chocolate mixture by hand, so that they are combined - do not over mix or you'll flatten out the air you just put into the egg whites!
Once combined, gently spread mixture over prepared parchment paper in jelly roll pan. Bake on center rack for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on raised rack.
While the cake is cooking, wash stand mixer bowl and attachments.
Make whipped cream:
In stand mixer bowl, combine heavy cream, sugar and extract or liqueur. Whip until thickened and soft peaks form (but not so long it turns into butter!).
Putting it together:
Gently spread whipped cream evenly over the cake layer.
Using parchment paper to assist, carefully roll up the cake, pulling away the paper as you go.
If you work carefully, it shouldn't crack, but if it does just remember - you're making a Yule log, and logs sometimes have cracks!
Once it is fully rolled up, remove the parchment paper. The cake is sturdy enough to move to a serving plate. Once plated, slice off ends to make it pretty. Sprinkle with a dusting of confectioner's sugar, if desired.
(and then eat those ends, because how else can you know if it's good??)
Cherry pie filling tastes wonderful with this - I put some in a separate dish for those that want it.
A slice of cake topped with 3-4 cherries in syrup looks and tastes delicious.
You could also spread out a layer of cherry, cranberry, strawberry or raspberry filling on top of whipped cream before rolling it up - keep it thin or it will be too thick to roll!
Some meringue mushrooms would look adorable with the log on the plate - one of these years, I'll get ambitious enough to make some.
You could also decorate with some candied fruit or sugared cranberries - the possibilities are endless!
Enjoy, and Glad Yule to you all!
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