Inspired by Nigel Slater’s recipe for a chocolate hazelnut slice, I’m not sure old Nige’ would approve seeing as he says yule logs (or bûche de Noël to use the cheffy French term) are something he has “never been able to take seriously.”
But this is a serious cake. For those who take the idea of a festive calorie blow out very seriously indeed. It contains best part of a whole jar of nutella. And a rather alarming quantity of sugar. But what the heck, it is Christmas after all.
* I am entering my Nutella Yule Log into Blue Kitchen Bakes Classic French Challenge as the theme for December is the Bûche de Noël and also into the Tea Time Treats Challenge (co-hosted by Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked) as this month’s theme is ‘chocolate.’
Nutella Yule Log
For the cake:
- 6 eggs, separated
- 150g caster sugar
- 50g cocoa powder
For the frangelico syrup:
- 50ml frangelico
- 50ml water
- 50g caster sugar
For the hazelnut praline:
- 100g hazelnuts
- 100g caster sugar
For the nutella icing:
- 200g butter, softened
- 200g icing sugar
- 21/2 tbsp sour cream or creme fraiche
- 275g nutella
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Line a swiss roll tin with baking paper.
2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until pale, thick and creamy. Sieve the cocoa powder and fold into the yolk mixture.
3. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold a third of the egg white into the yolk mixture, then repeat in two further additions, taking care not to knock the air out of the whites.
4. Pour the cake mixture into the lined tin and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Whilst the cake is in the oven, lay a clean tea-towel on your work surface, cover with a sheet of baking paper and sprinkle with a little caster sugar. Once the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and flip it out on to the sugar covered paper. Remove the lining paper and starting from the shortest end, roll the cake and the sugar lined paper up together tightly. The paper will stop the surfaces of the cake sticking together. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
6. For the syrup, heat the frangelico, water and sugar together in a small pan until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside.
7. For the praline, toast the hazelnuts in a small pan until golden. Remove and set aside. Pour the sugar into the pan and cook over a medium heat until the sugar starts to dissolve and turns a deep amber colour. Do not stir the sugar as this may cause the caramel to crystallise. Once the caramel is ready, remove from the heat and stir through the nuts. Pour onto a silicone mat and spread into a single layer as best you can. Leave to cool then blitz two-thirds of the praline to course crumbs in a food processor.
8. For the icing, beat the butter and icing sugar together until pale and smooth. Stir through the sour cream and nutella and beat again, briefly, until evenly incorporated.
9. Unroll the cooled cake on to the tea-towel and brush with the frangelico syrup. Spread the cake with about a third of the nutella icing, leaving a 1cm gap around the edges. Sprinkle with the praline crumbs then, using the towel and paper as a guide, roll the cake back up.
10. Transfer to a platter and spread the rest of the icing over the outside of the cake with a palette knife. Drag the prongs of a fork through the icing for a bark effect. Top with the reserved caramel coated nuts and dust with icing sugar if you like.