I used the Cupcake Jemma recipe from Sally Dells: https://youtu.be/TfTA1ZHd7J4
1. Prepare a Swiss roll tin or baking tray – see link for the size Sally uses. Mine was slightly smaller. Grease, line and grease again! See also her useful tip for lining the tin.
2. Preheat the oven to 190C/ 170Fan /gas 5/ 375F.
3. Whisk 6 UK large egg whites (whole eggs will weigh roughly 60g each) with a pinch of cream of tartar to soft peaks. Add 30g caster sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks. Unless you’re very hench you’ll need an electric whisk.
4. Using the same whisk, beat 6 UK large egg yolks with 120g sugar, a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract until ribbon stage (you can see ribbon like structures in the batter). Sift in 50g good quality cocoa powder (in the UK we have Dutch processed as standard and I love Green and Blacks cocoa).
5. Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture in thirds, with a metal spoon.
6. Bake on the middle shelf for approx 10 mins. The cake should be springy to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 2-3 minutes. Don’t worry about it shrinking a little. It’ll still be very light.
7. Put a clean tea towel then a large piece of baking paper on a work surface. Flip the cake decisively on to this. Put another large piece of baking paper on top. Roll the cake up from the shorter edge. Leave to cool completely until it’s room temperature.
8. While it’s cooling, deal with the cream and ganache! Beat 150ml double cream with 1 tsp icing sugar. When it’s mostly thickened, whisk in 1 tsp brandy/berry liquer/ Kahlua/ liqeur of choice! Chill until needed.
9. In a large bowl, melt 100g 50% cocoa solids chocolate and 100g butter (we enjoyed it with salted butter). (Bain marie or microwave gently.) (My chocolate was only 35% so I added a tsp cocoa.) Stir until no lumps remain. Add 100-150ml double cream. Chill. When cool, beat until thickened. You could use the same whisk as before, unwashed, as it’s only had some cream on it.
10. When the cake is definitely room temperature, gently and carefully unroll it and remove parchment from the top. Spread with the cream using an offset palette knife. Roll up and place on a serving dish. Ice with the ganache. Gently drag a fork through the top of the icing if you want to make bark! Dust with icing sugar and decorate as wanted. (We used edible glitter and fondant holly.)
Suggested recipes for vegans
Chocolate log with chestnut buttercream https://www.thevegspace.co.uk/vegan-chocolate-yule-log/
Chocolate log bizarrely (maybe brilliantly?) made with squash puree https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/droetker/recipes/vegan-yule-log.html
Nigella’s Luscious Gingerbread! https://www.nigella.com/recipes/luscious-vegan-gingerbread