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  • Writer's pictureLisa Nell

Chocolate Hazelnut Yule Log

I have always been a little bit scared of Swiss rolls, especially after past experiences of perfectly baked sponges which just break as soon as you try to roll them. That was until I learned the three secrets to a perfect Swiss roll...

  1. Have the right Swiss roll tin so your sponge bakes evenly but is still soft yet sturdy enough to manipulate.

  2. Be confident and roll up your sponge while it is just out of the oven, still warm. To do this I placed a clean piece of parchment on my work surface before placing the cooked, warm sponge on top and rolling the paper in with the sponge. This latter part is really important.

  3. Leave the sponge to cool while rolled up, and while you make the filling. I put mine in the fridge for a few minutes to help cool it down.

For this recipe you need a Swiss roll tin. If you don't have one, use a baking tray sized 25cm x 35cm, lined with baking paper.

Pre-heat your oven to 180ºc Fan.


For the sponge:

4 Large Eggs (separated into whites and yolks)

75g Icing Sugar

75g Self-Raising Flour

2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder

2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

For the filling:

1 Jar of Hazelnut Spread [or make your own with 175g blanched hazelnuts, 175g dark chocolate and 50g unsalted butter]

300ml Double Cream

1 Tbsp Icing Sugar

Handful of Cocktail Cherries (chopped into quarters) & Juice

For the frosting:

150g Dark Chocolate

150g Unsalted Butter

150g Icing Sugar

For Decoration:

Chopped Hazelnuts

Icing Sugar

How I made my Chocolate Hazelnut Yule Log:

  1. First make the sponge. Separate the eggs, and whisk the whites with a pinch of salt until they are at stiff peak stage. Gradually, whisk in the icing sugar, and then add the egg yolks one-by-one. You should have a lovely glossy, pale and light mixture. Sift in the flour and the cocoa powder, add in the vanilla, and fold in carefully with a large metal spoon to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.

  2. Spoon the batter into the tray evenly and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. At the same time I added a handful of whole hazelnuts to a separate tray in the bottom of the oven to roast at the same time.

  3. While the sponge is hot, turn it out of the baking tray confidently onto a large, clean piece of baking paper on your baking surface. Peel off and discard the baked piece of baking paper. Then, roll the sponge with the clean paper inside. This helps to set the shape and avoids any cracks. Put aside to cool. I put mine in the fridge for a few minutes.

  4. Make your filling. Whisk the cream and icing sugar together to soft peaks.

  5. Next, chopped your toasted hazelnuts.

  6. Once your sponge is cool, carefully unroll it and spread the hazelnut chocolate filling over the whole sponge, to the edges. Then spread over the cream. You can add a layer of cherries across the edge closest to you and sprinkle some of the cherry juice over the filling. Carefully, but confidently roll up the sponge as tight as you can.

  7. Cut 1/4 of your sponge off - this will be your branch, and place it at an angle to the main sponge. Place a smidgen of buttercream on your chosen serving board and carefully place the sponges on top, securing in place.

  8. Liberally smother your Swiss roll with the buttercream. Use a fork or palette knife to get creative with your decoration, then finally add the hazelnuts and a sprinkling of icing sugar.

  9. Goes well with a lovely cup of tea!

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