Meringue Yule log

Wishing you a fabulous festive season. A little, simple Christmassy recipe: this yule log/bûche de Noël/Christmas roulade (however you choose to describe it) is easy and yet utterly divine. It is filled with chestnut cream and glacé cherries.

It’s also gluten free – simply by virtue of the recipe.

Notes

  • Preparation: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

Equipment

  • Two mixing bowls
  • Electric whisk, stand mixer or balloon whisk
  • Flexible spatula
  • Measuring spoons, weighing scales
  • 20cm x 30cm baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper
  • Clean tea towel
  • Rolling pin

Ingredients for the sponge

  • Four (4) large egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 20g fine quality cocoa powder
  • Pinch of vanilla powder or the seeds from half a vanilla pod

Ingredients for the filling

  • 185ml of double (heavy) cream
  • 30g chestnut puree
  • 50g glacé cherries

Method

  1. Prepare the baking tray by dotting on a bit of margarine or butter and laying over a sheet of greaseproof paper (the butter helps the paper adhere to the tray, so that it doesn’t move whilst you spread the sponge mixture)
  2. Turn your oven on to 170C (do not use the fan option)
  3. In one bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks (reserve the egg yolks for another recipe)
  4. In another bowl, combine the sugar, ground almonds, vanilla powder (or seeds) and cocoa powder. Swirl to combine
  5. Gently combine the dry mix into the meringue, a cupful at a time. Use the flexible spatula and fold in a figure of eight motion, in order to try and minimise the loss of volume. Don’t panic about how flattened it gets though: it’s impossible to combine egg white with other ingredients without some volume loss.
  6. Spread the sponge mixture over the prepared baking tray. Smooth it into the corners and try to get it as flat as possible.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for about 22-24 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle some water on to one side of the tea towel.
  9. Take out the sponge and immediately cover with the dampened tea towel and leave to cool for about 5 minutes.
  10. Now, with the tea towel still on top, place the rolling pin on one end and gently roll the sponge around the rolling pin. Don’t roll tightly – leave very loose. This helps minimise cracks when you come to roll after filling:
  11. Whilst the sponge is cooling a little to one side, whisk up the filling.
  12. Pour out the cream into a bowl, adding in the chestnut cream. Whip to a fairly stiff consistency.
  13. Roughly chop the cherries and stir into the cream.
  14. Unroll the sponge and spread the cream all over. Roll back up.
  15. Decorate with a sprinkling of icing sugar.

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