Chef's recipe Part 1: A taste of Birmingham
About the Chef Michael Chambers
Michael has worked with Millennium and Copthorne for the past year, and is currently developing new menus of exciting new food. With a background working in hotels across England, he really knows his stuff. Plus, he was the youngest ever head chef for TUI Travel, hitting France and Austria with his culinary skills. A football fan, Michael's love for Aston Villa almost rivals his penchant for a rare 32oz T-Bone steak.
This month we're not only celebrating all things local, we're getting in the Christmas spirit too. Michael Chambers, Head Chef of the Copthorne Hotel Birmingham, shows us how to make a super festive Yule Log with Cadbury's chocolate. And, what with Birmingham being the home of Cadbury's, we're sure it's going to be absolutely delicious.
Yule Christmas log with Cadburys chocolate
For the chocolate sponge
- 175g/6oz caster sugar
- 6 free-range eggs, separated
- 50g/2oz plain flour
- 175g/6oz Cadbury's chocolate, melted
For the filling
- 150g/5oz sweetened chestnut purée
- 150ml/5fl oz double cream
- 50g/2oz mascarpone
- 75g/3oz cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
- 2-3 tbsp icing sugar, for dusting
For the icing
- 100g/4oz icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 200ml double cream
- 150g/6oz Cadbury's chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- Line a 23x33cm Swiss roll tin with a sheet of greaseproof paper and brush the paper lightly with vegetable oil.
- Whisk the caster sugar and egg yolks together in a bowl until pale and thick. Stir in the flour until combined, and then stir in the melted chocolate.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.
- Gently fold a spoonful of the whisked egg whites into the chocolate mixture, using a large metal spoon, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites until just combined. (Do not over mix.)
- Carefully pour the cake batter into the prepared Swiss roll tin and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the cake has risen and springs back when a finger is pressed gently into the centre.
- When the cake is cooked, set it aside on a wire rack (still in the tin), to cool for at least two hours.
- When the cake is completely cool, run a butter knife around the inside edge of the tin to loosen the cake. Spread a tea towel out on a large chopping board. With one bold movement, turn the whole cake out onto the tea towel, then lift away the tin. Carefully peel away the greaseproof paper lining.
- Meanwhile, for the filling, carefully mix the chestnut purée, whipped cream and mascarpone in a bowl until well combined, then fold in the chopped chestnuts. Spread the filling all over the cake, leaving a 2cm border at the edge.
- Starting at the longest side of the cake, gently but firmly roll up the cake, as you would a Swiss roll, using the tea towel as a guide. Transfer the Swiss roll to a flat serving dish.
- For the icing, pour the cream into a small pan and bring gently to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Beat in the icing sugar until smooth. Leave to cool, then chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour until the mixture reaches a spreadable consistency.
- Cut a small diagonal slice from one end of the cake and spread a little icing over the straight end. Attach to one side of the larger cake. Place on a flat serving plate or cake board. Spread the remaining icing evenly over the cake until completely covered. Using a fork, mark 'bark' patterns in the icing and chill in the fridge until the icing has set, about 30 minutes.
- To serve, cut the Yule log into slices and dust with icing sugar.