Before starting this Creamy Chocolate Yule Log recipe, make sure you have organised the necessary ingredients for the génoise sponge.
Combine the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl or in the stand mixer recipient.
Using a hand whisk, whip over a bain-marie.
The temperature should reach roughly 40°C.
Finish beating with an electric mixer until cooled down completely. If you do not have a food mixer, you can finish beating manually. The preparation is ready when doubled in volume.
Add the sifted flour...
... stirring gently with a rubber spatula or a skimmer in rotating motions.
Pour the preparation on a baking sheet (40 x 30cm) lined with greaseproof paper.
Spread with a cranked spatula...
... and bake at 180°C (gas 4) for approximately 15 minutes, until golden.
When cooked, take the sponge cake out of the oven.
For the chocolate cream: Organise all the necessary ingredients.
In a saucepan, slowly bring the milk and dark chocolate to a boil. Combine well with a whisk.
In the meantime, cook the sugar and water until the temperature, the use of a digital or laser thermometer is essential.
Crack the whole eggs in the stand mixer recipient (the eggs should be at room temperature).
Gradually pour the cooked sugar (121°C) over the eggs, while beating at low speed.
Increase to maximum speed and continue beating until cooled down completely. This operation should take about 10-15 minutes.
When the preparation is cold, add the softened butter. (Make sure the preparation has completely cooled down, since the butter will melt instead of keeping its soft consistency.)
Combine until the cream is smooth and homogeneous (no butter lumps should remain).
Add the milk and melted chocolate preparation.
Combine with the stand mixer...
... until the chocolate cream has a homogeneous consistency and colour.
Pour the cream into a piping bag. The use of a nozzle is not necessary.
Pipe some chocolate preparation at the bottom of a small yule log mould. I used a grooved plastic yule log mould.
Out of a sheet of chocolate made beforehand, cut strips of chocolate to the same dimension as the inside of the mould. (To make the chocolate sheet, temper 300 grams of couverture chocolate with Mycryo cocoa butter, then spread on a baking sheet lined with acetate. Let crystallize before cutting into strips.)
Place a chocolate strip on top of the mousse. Press for the chocolate to stick to the mousse.
Pipe a second layer of chocolate mousse. Even the surface.
Place a second chocolate strip. Press for the chocolate to stick to the mousse.
Pipe a final layer of chocolate mousse.
Even the surface with a palette knife.
Place one strip of génoise biscuit cut to the dimensions of the mould.
Press gently for the biscuit to stick. Cover with cling film and let set in the freezer for a few hours.
For the chocolate decorations: Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie at a temperature of 40°C.
When the chocolate has melted, remove the recipient from the bain-marie. Let the chocolate cool down to 35°C, stirring at regular intervals. To monitor the temperature, I recommend using a laser or digital thermometer.
Add the Mycryo cocoa butter (1%); for this recipe, we used 5g for 500g of dark couverture chocolate. The use of a digital kitchen scale is recommended for this operation.
Using a rubber spatula, thoroughly combine the Mycryo butter with the melted chocolate at a temperature of 35°C. The use of Mycryo cocoa butter ensures better results: the chocolate is properly set, is shiny, breaks in a neat pattern, melts in the mouth and easily comes away from the mould.
Once the chocolate reaches 33-34°C, it is said to be 'tempered'. This tempering technique, using Mycryo cocoa butter, is easy and straightforward. Set aside, making sure the chocolate does not cool down too much.
Using a thick acetate sheet, make a stencil. Using a box cutter, cut out shapes of your choice. I chose to draw star shapes in different sizes. Draw the patterns on a sheet of paper first, then place the acetate sheet on top and follow the drawings to cut.
Repeat the same operation on another sheet, this time drawing Santa Claus's sleigh to the length of the log. A box cutter is essential to make neat shapes.
Place the acetate sheet with the star patterns on top of another acetate sheet, which has been cut to a width of 10cm. Pour the chocolate...
... in a thin stream...
... and spread with a cranked spatula.
Gently remove the stencil.
Place the acetate sheet in a yule log mould. This will give a curved shape to the stars. Let crystallize at room temperature.
Repeat the same operation with the sleigh shapes, but do not place the sheets in a log mould. Make 2 sleighs per log portion. Adjust this number to how many portions you wish to serve. Place the acetate sheet with the sleigh patterns on top of another acetate sheet, then pour the tempered chocolate.
Spread with a cranked spatula.
Gently remove the stencil. Repeat the operation if you need to make more shapes.
Let the chocolate crystallize at room temperature.
When the log is frozen, take out of the freezer...
... and gently remove from the mould.
Divide the log into individual portions. Repeat the following steps to decorate each portion.
When the chocolate sleighs have crystallized...
... remove from the acetate sheet by lifting gently (take extra precaution as they break easily). Then spray with gold colouring.
Stick one sleigh on each side of the log portion.
Repeat the same operation with the chocolate stars. Remove from the acetate sheet by lifting gently (take extra precaution as they break easily)...
... and spray with gold or silver colouring. Alternatively: You can use a transfer sheet with the pattern of your choice to make printed chocolate stars.
Arrange the stars on each log portion...
... alternating between different sizes and colours...
... and making them overlap a little.
Add a few log ornaments, such as gift wraps.
As a final touch, sprinkle with edible gold flakes. Reserve in the fridge until ready to serve. This creamy chocolate log, with its crispy chocolate decorations, makes the perfect Christmas dessert for your special guests!