Yule Log and Meringue Mushrooms




Ingredients

Yule Log ingredients:
1 recipe Angel Food Cake or 1 Angel Food Cake Mix
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup whipping cream
Chocolate Ganache (1 ¼ cup cream and 20 oz. dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Meringue mushrooms ingredients:
powdered sugar
silk or real holly sprigs for garnish

Directions

Chocolate roll:
Make Angel Food Cake recipe as directed, except very gently, fold cocoa into the batter, so as not to disturb the air beaten into the mixture. Pour into an 11x17” jelly roll pan that you’ve lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 8 – 10 minutes, or just until firm to the touch. While cake bakes, lay a clean tea-towel on the counter; dust with powdered sugar. Remove cake from oven and flip out onto towel; remove paper; gently roll starting from the short side. Place on rack and let cool.

Make this filling:
Whip cream until stiff and add 1 T. powdered sugar if desired. Refrigerate.

Chocolate Ganache:
Heat cream until almost boiling; remove from heat; add chocolate chips; let sit 5 min.; mix until smooth. Refrigerated until nearly firm; whip with a mixer. It will lighten in color.

Construct log:
Unroll the cake, spread whipped cream on the cake and gently re-roll. Place on a serving platter. At this point, you may cut a small diagonal piece off the cake and attach it to the side of the roll to represent a ‘branch’ on the log; frost entire log with Chocolate Ganache. Run a fork through the icing to roughen it up a bit. Keep refrigerated. Before serving, garnish with meringue mushrooms, silk or real holly (remove berries, if real) and dust it all with powdered sugar to represent snow.


Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on low speed of mixer until foamy. Start adding sugar, one tablespoon at a time, continually beating at high speed, until no sugar can be felt when rubbed between two fingers. Fold in vanilla. Place in a plastic baggie. Push meringue to corner, snip off corner and pipe onto a wax or parchment paper lined cookie sheet this way:

For Caps – squeeze out about an inch to an inch and a half dollop of meringue – it should be round, rather than pointy on top.

For Stems – squeeze out small (straight or curved) lines of meringue – one inch long and about 1/4” thick.

Recipe makes about 20 of each – make sure to leave space between each, as they expand while baking. Bake in a preheated 225° oven for 90 min. or until firm. Turn off oven and let remain for at least another hour.


To assemble mushrooms:

Caps – with a small paring knife, scrape the underside of the cap so it is no longer flat – more like a little cave. Use your finger and rub a bit of dry cocoa around the top and underneath part of each cap.

Attaching stems – make a glue of powdered sugar and a bit of water; glue one end of a stem and into the cavity you have scraped out of the cap; let dry. Store these in an airtight tin. Makes about 20