Simple, step-by-step instructions for how to make this real show-stopper of a yule log recipe, courtesy of The Dorchester's pastry chef Nicolas Grosse.

There’s nothing quite like a Christmas cake as part of the festive spread. But how often does it get finished before the yule log?

That’s right. Never. If you bake the perfect Christmas cake, and have a large family, you might just see the end of it by January 2nd. But we’ve never known a yule log that wasn’t all gone by lunchtime on Boxing Day.

In other words, if you make this delicious recipe – which comes from the Dorchester’s pastry chef Nicolas Grosse – don’t expect it to last long!

N.B. It’s a long recipe, but deceptively simple – each of the elements is straightforward to make, and it’s simple to put together at the end.

The Dorchester’s Yule Log recipe

Serves 12

Ingredients

For the chestnut cake

  • 255g chestnut paste
  • 95g chestnut purée
  • 160g whole eggs
  • 85g rapeseed oil
  • 20g cornstarch
  • 95g egg whites
  • 30g sugar

For the cherry jam

  • 250g cherry purée
  • 2.5g pectin nh
  • 25g sugar

For the confit cherries

  • 5.5g butter
  • 135g frozen Morello cherries
  • 75g Amarena cherries
  • 0.5g Fleur de sel
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 0.5g vanilla seeds
  • 5g brown sugar
  • 0.75g pectin nh
  • Zest of half a lime

For the pastry cream

  • 500g milk
  • 120g egg yolks
  • 100g sugar
  • 25g custard powder
  • 25g flour

For the chestnut cream

  • 360g chestnut cream
  • 450g chestnut paste (unsweetened)
  • 450g pastry cream (see method above)
  • 270g butter (softened)
  • 90g Grand Marnier
  • 270g whipping cream

Method

 

For the chestnut cake

Preheat the oven at 180°C.

Blend the chestnut purée, chestnut paste and the whole eggs with a mixer until a homogeneous consistency is reached. Then, add the rapeseed oil and cornstarch to the mix.

Whip the egg whites with the sugar to medium peaks. Carefully add the whipped egg whites.

Pour the mix on the baking tray, and bake for 10 minutes at 180°C.

Remove from the oven and put the biscuit on a cooling rack.

For the cherry jam

Mix the sugar and pectin.

Warm up the cherry purée to 40°C. Add the sugar and pectin mix and bring to a boil for 20 seconds.

Remove from the heat and pour the mix into a bowl, cover with cling film and set aside.

For the confit cherries

Warm up the butter in a pan with half of the brown sugar. Then, add the frozen Morello cherries and cook for 8 minutes.

Add the Amarena cherries and cook for 5 further minutes. After that, add the salt, the lime zest, the lime juice and the vanilla seeds.

Cook the mix very slowly for 10 minutes.

Mix the remaining brown sugar with the pectin, then add the brown sugar and pectin mix to the pan.

Bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mix into a bowl. Cover with cling film and set aside.

For the pastry cream

In a large bowl, mix the egg yolks, sugar, custard powder and flour.

Bring the milk to a boil. Remove from the heat. Pour half of it in the mixing bowl. Put the mix back in the pan and bring the mix back to a boil.

Gently boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the mix in a bowl. Cover with cling film and set aside.

For the chestnut cream

Whip the whipping cream to medium peaks. Set aside in the fridge.

Mix the chestnut cream and the chestnut paste. Slowly add the resulting chestnut mix to the pastry cream, then add the Grand Marnier.

Add the softened butter and mix.

Finally, add the whipped cream and mix until you reach a mousse consistency, then split it in half. Half will be used for the filling, the remainder will go on the outside.

Putting it all together

Place the cake on a large sheet of baking parchment, and spread some cherry jam over. Dot the jam with some confit cherries – the pieces will add some texture to the log. Finish with a layer of chestnut cream.

Roll from the long side, straight across to the other side. Cut the ends to have a clean finish and place the roll on a dish.

Spread the yule log with the remaining chestnut cream, creating some texture along the log using a fork or a skewer.

Dust the log with icing sugar for a snow effect, then decorate to your liking with edible items such as meringues, candied chestnuts and Amerana cherries.