Chocolate and Espresso Yule Log with Whisky Mascarpone Filling

Yield: Serves 10



½ cup cake flour, sifted, plus more for dusting pan

5 large eggs, separated, room temperature for 30 minutes

1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract

½ cup plus 2 Tbs granulated sugar, divided

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp cream of tartar

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 Tbs icing sugar

Espresso Syrup:

½ cup (120 mL) espresso or strong black coffee

2 Tbs sugar

1 Tbs (15 mL) whisky


225 g mascarpone cheese, room temperature

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

2 Tbs (30 mL) whisky

½ cup (120 mL) heavy cream, chilled


340 g dark chocolate (at least 60%) finely chopped

¾ cup (180 mL) heavy cream

2 Tbs (30 mL) corn syrup

Icing sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F with rack in middle.
  2. Butter a 15x10 rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan, line bottom and sides with parchment. Butter paper and dust with sifted cake flour, knocking off excess.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attached, beat egg yolks, vanilla and ½ cup sugar until thick and pale, and mixture forms ribbons that take 2 seconds to dissolve – about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Sift half of flour over yolks and fold in gently. Sift and fold in remaining flour. Gently pour mixture into a large bowl.
  5. Wash mixing bowl and whisk in hot soapy water and dry thoroughly. Beat whites with salt and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Beat in 2 Tbs of sugar, ½ Tbs at a time, until stiff.
  6. Fold ¼ of whites into yolk mixture then fold in rest, gently but thoroughly. In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter and ½ cup of cake batter until combined. Stir this back into cake batter, gently and thoroughly.
  7. Spread cake batter evenly on prepared pan and tap a few times on counter to release air bubbles. Bake 7-10 minutes, until cake springs back when gently pressed. Sift top of hot cake with 2 Tbs icing sugar and cover with a clean tea towel and another baking sheet.
  8. Using oven mitts, carefully hold cake and baking sheet together and flip the cake onto the baking sheet. Now you can carefully peel off parchment paper. Using the tea towel as an aid, have the longest side facing you and gently roll the cake up in the towel, jellyroll style. Let cool on a rack.
  9. Syrup:
  10. In a small saucepan, combine espresso and sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce to just under ¼ cup. Remove from heat. Stir in whisky and let cool.
  11. Filling:
  12. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the mascarpone, sugar, cinnamon and whisky on medium speed until creamy. Scrape into a medium bowl.
  13. Wash and dry the mixing bowl then beat the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.
  14. Ganache:
  15. Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat cream just until it comes to a boil. Pour over chocolate, cover with plastic wrap and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  16. Stir slowly until smooth, then stir in corn syrup. Chill until spreadable, stirring a couple of times, about 15 minutes.
  17. Assembly:
  18. Carefully unroll cake on a baking sheet, keeping it on the tea towel. Have the long edge of the cake nearest you.
  19. Cover cake evenly with espresso syrup and spread the mascarpone filling over cake, leaving 1 cm border all around.
  20. Starting with long side nearest you, carefully roll up cake (without the towel) and place it seam side down on baking sheet.
  21. Use a mini offset spatula to cover log in ganache, giving a tree trunk texture. Cut off a diagonal slice from each end and carefully transfer yule log onto a platter, or carefully cut log in half and arrange on a platter. Note: I find rinsing knife under hot water before each slice works best.
  22. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

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