Time: 1 hr 30 mins (preparation + cooking time and decoration)
Along with Christmas pudding and cake, chocolate roulade – or, yule log – is one of the best-loved Christmas desserts and a real showstopper at any meal. Our recipe, from our Hillier Development Chef, includes fruity chunks of pear with rich chocolate for a deliciously decadent roulade.
For the roulade
- 6 eggs
- 175g dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids)
- 175g caster sugar
- 2 rounded tablespoons of cocoa powder
For the filling
- 250ml double cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 tinned pear halves in syrup, drained
- 3 pieces preserved ginger in syrup
For the ganache
- 200g dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids)
- 200ml double cream
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- Chocolate holly leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a lightly greased 33cm x 23cm shallow baking tin with baking parchment, snipping the corners of the paper to create a neat finish.
2. Separate the egg yolks and whites into two large bowls.
3. Melt the chopped chocolate by placing in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Do not let the water boil. Once completely melted, remove from the heat and put to one side to cool a little.
4. Add the sugar to the egg yolks. Whisk until thick and creamy, then gently mix in the melted chocolate.
5. Whisk the egg whites until stiff (make sure whisk attachments are clean). Do not over mix, they should not be dry. Fold the whisked egg whites into the chocolate and egg yolk mixture using a large metal spoon. Start with one large spoonful to loosen then gently add the rest. Sift in the cocoa powder and carefully fold this through.
6. Pour into the baking tin and cook for about 20 minutes, until slightly firm to touch. Put to one side for a couple of hours to cool.
7. When ready to assemble, whip the double cream with the vanilla until ‘floppy’. Dice the pears and finely chop the preserved ginger.
8. Lay a piece of parchment on a work surface and tip the roulade onto it. Remove the parchment that lined the baking tin if still sticking to the roulade. Spread on the cream, leaving a 2cm border around the edge. Scatter on the diced pear and ginger.
9. Starting from the shorter end, shape into a tight roll, using the paper to help you. Place on the serving platter.
10. To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream and sugar until just before boiling and stir into the chocolate. Keep stirring until it thickens and cools.
11. While still warm, spread in swirls onto the roulade to cover. Allow to cool.
12. Decorate with the chocolate holly leaves and sprigs of redcurrants and – as it’s Christmas – finish with a sprinkle of edible glitter!
Ingredients from your own garden
Use the leaves from your holly bushes as a mould to make your chocolate holly leaf decorations