I know it is early to start talking about Christmas but as the nights get darker, the days shorter and it gets so much colder I start thinking about the festive season. So here we are with my first Christmas recipe for 2016, an indulgent salted caramel chocolate log. Christmas for me has always been about family, getting together and celebrating with everyone. For my family and I this always involves food, to us it is an important part of the season. My dad is German and my Mum is British so we have always mixed and matched traditions to suit, so when Wren Kitchens asked me to participate in Wren’s Christmas Kitchen I thought it was perfect for how we celebrate the season.
Dave is not a huge fan of Christmas pudding, like so many of my friends, so I tend to make a yule log for him every year. Usually I fill it with sweetened whipped cream but as I have been obsessed with salted caramel for a long, long time and thought it would be the perfect addition and twist to the usual Christmas log I make.
If you haven’t made caramel yourself before this is a great one to start with. My main 3 tips are:
- Keep the kids and pets away (for their safety and your sanity)
- Have everything prepared before you start heating anything – once it gets going it all happens pretty quickly
- Don’t stray from your pan, it may feel like its taking ages but again it will all happen quickly and you don’t want to miss it
You will have some salted caramel leftover, is this a bad thing? Not in my mind. You can drizzle some more on top if you fancy or swirl it into your favourite brownie mix.
I have filled the chocolate sponge with decadent clotted cream flavoured with salted caramel and all covered with a rich dark chocolate ganache. It’s pretty indulgent but do you know what it’s Christmas so its the time to be indulgent in my eyes. It is everything you want from a Christmas dessert; rich, indulgent and special. This really would be a great addition to any Christmas table. It may look like there are lots of steps but a lot of it can be done in advance and then you just need to roll it up on the day and devour the whole thing – if you don’t eat it all it will keep a couple of days but I would keep it in the fridge because of the clotted cream and let it come back to room temperature before eating.
Finally a big thank you to Becky from Becky’s Biscuit Bases and her boyfriend, Spencer, for being taste testers and helping me take some photos.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Log
- 4 Large Eggs
- 100g Caster Sugar
- 65g Self Raising Flour
- 40g Cocoa Powder
- 100g Caster Sugar
- 100g Light Muscovado Sugar
- 120g Unsalted Butter
- 185ml Double Cream
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt Flakes
Clotted Cream Filling
- 2 x 200g Tubs Clotted Cream
- 160g Salted Caramel (from above)
- 200g Dark Chocolate
- 200ml Double Cream
Sponge: Preheat your oven to 200°c Fan. Grease and line a 33x23cm swiss roll tin making sure you get into all the corners.
Next, using a hand mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar in a big bowl until pale and frothy, this usually takes a few minutes. Then sift in the flour and cocoa powder and using a thin edged spatula or big metal spoon very gently fold everything together until all the flour mix is evenly incorporated, try not to overwork it as you don’t want to disturb all the lovely bubbles too much.
Once evenly combined pour the mix into your prepared tin and spread it right into the corners. Put it in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until it is nicely risen and coming away from the edges slightly.
Whilst it is in the oven get a piece of baking paper bigger than your sponge, place it on the worktop and sprinkle it well with icing sugar. When the sponge is ready to be taken out the oven, place it on a cooling rack for a couple of minutes before turning it out upside down (so the paper from the tin is on top) onto the iced paper. Do this in one bold movement, it will still be very hot so be careful. Peel off the paper on top.
Now trim the edges (about .5 cm should do it just to take the crustier edges off) and score a line about 2.5cm away from a short edge. Start rolling from this edge with baking paper in the middle. Rolling it whilst warm will help prevent it from cracking. When its all rolled up sit it on the outside edge and leave it to cool.
Salted Caramel: Put both sugars and butter into a medium, wide saucepan and put it on a medium heat. Once the caramel starts bubbling let it continue to bubble for about 8 minutes, because of the brown sugar it will be harder to detect the right colour but keep an eye on it, you want it to be dark but not burnt, I find going by time and smell helps a great deal. Then take it off the heat and slowly begin to pour the cream in using a silicone spatula or whisk to mix it in then add the salt flakes mix it one last time and pour it into a heatproof bowl to cool.
Ganache: Chop the chocolate for the ganache finely and place into a bowl. Heat the cream until you can see bubbles around the edges then pour onto the chocolate, wait a few seconds and stir. The heat from the cream should melt all the chocolate so it is glossy and smooth. Set aside.
Filling: Scrape both tubs of clotted cream into a bowl and mix in 160g of the cooled caramel.
Assembly: To assemble the log unroll the sponge and spread the salted caramel clotted cream over the sponge, leaving a little space at the edges. The use another 100g of salted caramel to spread/ drizzle over the top of the clotted cream. Roll up the sponge and then spread the ganache over the top and sides of the log. Dust with a bit of ‘snow’ (icing sugar).