Chocolate + Nutella + whipped cream all rolled into a chocolate cake and frosted with chocolate ganache. Excerpted from What to Bake & How to Bake It by Jane Hornby. Reproduced by permission of Phaidon.
Essential Ingredient Chocolate
Prep Time 35minutes
Cook Time 15minutes
Total Time 50minutes
Author Aimee - reprinted from What to Bake and How to Bake It with permission
For the Cake
3/4packed cuplight brown sugar
1/2cupgood-quality cocoa powderplus 2 tbsp for rolling
For the Filling
7ozbittersweet chocolate60% cocoa solids
2 1/2cupsheavy cream
confectioners' sugarto dust
Grease the base and sides of a 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pan or rimmed baking sheet, then line the base with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F. Put the eggs and the sugar in a large bowl and whisk with an electric mixer at medium speed until thick, mousse-like, and doubled in volume. It will take 5 minutes or so.
Mix the flour, salt, and cocoa in a bowl, then sift them over the whisked eggs. Fold them in using a large metal spoon or spatula, cutting and lifting rather than stirring. This will preserve the air bubbles trapped inside the batter. It might take longer than you expect to get the batter to an almost even brown.
Holding the bowl just above the prepared baking pan (pouring from a great height will knock the bubbles flat), pour in the cake batter. Tilt the pan slowly from side to side, letting the batter run into the corners.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cake has risen all over and the sides are shrinking away from the edge of the pan. It's best to loosen the cake away from the pan carefully with an icing spatula now, in case it has stuck a little.
Spread a large sheet of parchment paper on the work surface, then sift the 2 tablespoons cocoa powder over it. Flip the cake onto this sheet, remove the pan, then cover the cake with a clean dish towel and let cool. The cloth will trap moisture as the cake cools, helping it stay soft and moist.
Make the filling. Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Heat 1-1/4 cups of the cream in a pan until it bubbles at the edges. Take off the heat and stir in the chocolate, Nutella, and vanilla. Let it melt until smooth, then set aside until it has cooled completely, but is still fairly liquid. This is your ganache.
Pour the rest of the whole cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk. Add 1/2 cup of the chocolate ganache. Beat on high until very thick.
When the cake has cooled completely, remove the dish towel, then carefully peel off the parchment paper, Trim about 1/2 inch off each edge with a serrated knife. Score a line in the cake about 1 inch in from the nearest long end.
Spread the filling over the cake, the roll it up from the scored end. Use the paper to help make a tight roll. At this point I find that it helps to pop the roll into the freezer for about 15 minutes on a tray. The filling is soft, as is the cake!
Roll the cake onto a clean piece of parchment. Cut about 4 inches off one end, at an angle. Transfer the large piece to a serving plate, then nestle the shorter one against it to make a branch. Spread the remaining ganache all over, adding plenty of texture with the knife. If the ganache is so thin that it is seeping down the sides, refrigerate until it is the consistency of whipped frosting.
Chill yule log for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before eating and dust with confectioners' sugar to serve.