My family was invited to a neighbor’s house for a holiday dinner celebration way back when. Being the gracious party guest and home cook that she is, my mother offered to contribute a dessert to the feast. She wouldn’t have even considered picking up a pre-made cake or pie from the grocery store. And where a classic apple pie or cheesecake would have sufficed, she dared to recreate a Good Housekeeping magazine’s recipe for a festive Yule Log. Props to you, Mom!
One Saturday morning, there we are in the kitchen together, starting with the critical and also temperamental sheet sponge cake that would form the log. I tell you, executing a perfect cake like this to form into a roll is a hallmark accomplishment for anyone. You might as well plan on making two sheets just in case one cracks during the nerve-wracking rolling, cooling slightly, unrolling, filling, and re-rolling process. Are you holding your breath yet? Without going to much further detail, here is a similar recipe for your temptation.
Ok, cake done! By the way, we filled it with a thick whipped cream mixed with fresh raspberries. Then comes the fun step of cutting a biased end of the cake and positioning it along the log to represent a knobby section of the log. Next up is the chocolate ganache frosting, into which you can streak with the tines of a fork to look more like bark then sprinkle with a dusting of powdered sugar.
What forest is complete without a few mushrooms? Ever the perfectionist and one with an eye for detail, my mom whipped up a batch of meringue, piped it into large dots and short sticks on a baking sheet, then baked until dry to the touch. After cooling, insert short sticks into the bottom of each round dot to form a stemmed mushroom. Then place around your yule log to complete your festive forest.
Good luck baking this holiday treat. Your family and friends are sure to be impressed. Happy Yule Y’all!