I’m a butter lover. Look deep inside my fridge and you’ll find nearly half a shelf devoted to butter in all shapes and sizes. There’s European style butter, unsalted butter, and salted butter. There’s store brand butter, local butter, and French fleur de sel butter. Each of these has a purpose, a place in my life, whether it’s perfecting a piece of toast, creaming with sugar for chocolate chip cookies, or melting atop a sirloin steak. No doubt about it, I’m a butter girl, and proud of it.
So when the Challenge Dairy butter PR agency contacted me to complement me on my noodle kugel recipe and invite me to participate in holiday recipe contest using their butter, I was happy to sign on. They assigned me to the dessert category. A few weeks later, I received a nice refrigerated shipment of Challenge Dairy butter (European Style and regular unsalted), jars of Spice Islands Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg, and a few cooking utensils. And then I began brainstorming on the perfect holiday dessert recipe.
Challenge Dairy Butter is only available in the West right now, but they do have an amazing sweepstakes going on through December 31to win a trip for a family of four for 7 days and 6 nights at the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch just North of Yellowstone National State Park. Right about now a seven day vacation sounds pretty great, especially such a luxurious one worth $17,000!
In addition to being a butter lover, I’m also a master procrastinator. And so it wasn’t until today, with just 10 days left to go until Christmas eve, that I got to work on my recipe. Every year, for our big Christmas eve feast, my sisters and I prepare some yule tide logs. But I didn’t want to showcase just any old recipe for this challenge. I wanted something new, something a little different, something a little exotic. So I varied our traditional dessert a bit, and created this Mexican chocolate Yule Tide Log.
This is definitely an adult dessert, a symphony of dark chocolate and lightly sweetened mascarpone. The cake is a very light jelly roll (gateau roule), made light and fluffy by beaten egg whites and egg yolks. And the chocolate is a traditional ganache jazzed up with some cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. I added a little butter to increase its shine. To keep the chocolate from being too overpowering, I paired it with a layer of mascarpone. The cake looks elegant, and even though it is intensely chocolaty, it is also light, the perfect conclusion to a big meal.
Mexican Chocolate Yule Tide Log
Ingredients: For the Jelly Roll Cake
1/4 cups of sugar
5/8 cups of flour
1 1/2 TBSPs of butter
3 egg whites
4 egg yolks
1 extra TBSP of sugar
For the Fillings:
8 oz of semisweet chocolate
1 cup of heavy cream
1 TBSP of cinnamon
1 pinch of nutmeg
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
one package of 8 3/4 oz of mascarpone
1/2 cups of sugar
To make jelly roll cake:
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Melt the butter in microwave.
- Beat the egg yolks and the sugar together at medium speed until creamy and pale yellow. At least 5 minutes. Stop the beaters and incorporate the flour with a spatula, mixing until just barely incorporated.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff. About halfway through, throw in the extra tablespoon of sugar to help the egg whites hold their stiffness.
- Simultaneously pour the egg whites and the butter on the egg yolk mixture. Mix it all together very delicately, to preserve as much of the air as possible while still incorporating everything.
- Spread the batter in a large rectangle on a silpat or a sheet of wax paper atop a cookie sheet. You don’t need your dough to be more than 1/2 inch thick.
- Cook for 7 minutes, making sure you don’t burn the cake.
- Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
To make ganache and mascarpone fillings:
- Chop up your chocolate into little chunks.
- Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a medium saucepan.
- Turn the heat off and pour in the chocolate, stirring until completely melted and gorgeous. Add in the butter, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Divide the ganache in half. Place half in the fridge for 5 minutes to cool and stiffen. Keep the other half in the saucepan.
- Pour the mascarpone and sugar into a bowl, beat for 2-3 minutes on medium speed.
- Remove the chilled half from the fridge. Beat for 3 to 5 minutes to thicken.
To assemble yule tide log:
- Carefully detach the jelly roll from the silpat or wax paper.
- Spread the whipped chilled ganache over the entire surface.
- Cover the ganache with the sweetened mascarpone.
- Carefully roll the cake up and transfer to a serving platter.
- Pour the ganache still in the saucepan on top as a shiny chocolate glaze.
- Cake can be served immediately, or kept chilled overnight. The ganache will set over time, especially if kept in the fridge.