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Luxury Log

Image of Luxury Log
Ingredients

4 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
125 g (5 oz) caster sugar
75 g (3 oz) plain flour, sifted
90 g (3 oz) cocoa powder, sifted
75 g (3 oz) granulated sugar
150 g (6 oz) butter, cubed
250 g (9 oz) plain chocolate
1.3 kg (2 lb 14 oz) white almond paste Icing sugar, to dust
13 fresh holly leaves
Edible silver food paint
Gold lustre powder

Details

Serves: 8


Method

1. Grease and line a 33 x 23 cm (13 x 9 inch) Swiss roll tin. Whisk together the 4 eggs and 100 g (4 oz) of the caster sugar in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, until the mixture is pale and the whisk leaves a trail when lifted. Remove from the heat. Fold in the flour and 25 g (1 oz) of the cocoa. Pour into the tin. Place in a preheated oven, 190˚C (375˚F), Gas Mark 5, for 15 minutes, until well risen and slightly shrunk from the sides of the tin. Turn the cake out on to a clean damp tea towel sprinkled with the remaining caster sugar. Put a piece of greaseproof paper on top of the cake and then roll it up loosely. Leave to cool on a wire rack.


2. To make the buttercream: dissolve the granulated sugar with 3 tablespoons (45 ml) water over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Bring to the boil and boil without stirring for 5 minutes, until the mix-ture reaches 110˚C (225˚F) on a sugar thermometer or until a drop of syrup forms a thread when pulled between your thumb and forefinger (drop it on to a saucer first). Remove from the heat. Whisk the 2 egg yolks until pale and thick. Gradually whisk in the sugar syrup and continue whisking until cool. Gradually whisk in the butter until smooth. Melt 50 g (2 oz) of the plain and chocolate and whisk it in to the sugar syrup mixture until thick. Chill until firm.


3. Knead 15 g ( oz) of the cocoa into 450 g (1 lb) of the almond paste. Roll out 275 g (10 oz) on a surface dusted with icing sugar and use to cover a dampened 30 cm (12 inch) round cake board. Trim the edges and knead the trimmings back into the cocoa / almond paste. Unroll the Swiss roll and remove the paper. Spread half of the buttercream to within 1 cm ( inch) of the edge of the cake and roll up. Cut a 2.5 cm (1 inch) slice and a large diagonal slice for the branch. Position on the cake board.


4. Roll out 100 g (4 oz) of the remaining cocoa/almond paste to a 15 x 5 cm (6 x 2 inch) rectangle. Repeat with 100 g (4 oz) of the white almond paste. Lay the brown rectangle on top of the white one and roll up tightly from the short end. Cut into 4 slices. Knead the remaining cocoa/almond paste into 450 g (1 lb) of white almond paste with enough cocoa powder to give a mottled, tree bark effect.


5. Spread the remaining buttercream over the log. Mould the spiralled almond paste 'wood rings' to fit the log ends and position on the cake. Thinly roll out the mottled almond paste and cut strips of 'bark' shapes. Lay the pieces on the cake, overlapping the edges. Press gently into the buttercream. Melt 50 g (2 oz) of the plain chocolate. Using a small plain nozzle, pipe a wood effect on the bark.


6. Wash and thoroughly dry the holly leaves. Melt 100 g (4 oz) of the plain chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Using a paint brush, coat the underside of each leaf with the chocolate. Put the painted leaves, chocolate side uppermost, on a wire rack and chill until set. Make large and small ivy leaf templates from cardboard. Knead 25 g (1 oz) of the cocoa into 225 g (8 oz) of white almond paste. Thinly roll out 50 g (2 oz) of the dark almond paste and cut out 8-10 ivy leaves. Score the leaf veins. Repeat, using the remaining 50 g (2 oz) of white almond paste.


7. With the remaining 150 g (6 oz) of dark almond paste, mould 3 pine cones; press the rounded end of a piping nozzle over each. Melt the remaining 25 g (1 oz) of plain chocolate. Using a small plain nozzle, pipe veins on to the white almond paste ivy leaves. Carefully peel the holly leaves away from the chocolate. Using a fine brush and silver food paint, paint silver veins on to the leaves. Before the paint dries, dust with a little icing sugar. Arrange the holly and ivy leaves on the log and the pine cones on the cake board. Dust the board with the remaining cocoa. Sprinkle a little gold lustre powder over the cake and leaves.

PREPARATION TIME: 30 MINUTES, PLUS DECORATING TIME
COOKING TIME: 15 MINUTES
OVEN TEMPERATURE: 190˚C (375˚F), GAS MARK 5

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