Grownup Swiss Cake Roll (Okay, Okay, Yule Log)

I know, I know, my tastes should have matured, but I think most people have a soft spot in their hearts for the junk food of their childhoods—and Little Debbie's Swiss Cake Rolls are one of those foods for me. So when I was looking through an old Martha Stewart Holiday Magazine and saw the Yule Log, that's what I thought of. But it's not just bigger—the recipe appeals to a grownup palette, too.

The cake layer was easy to make—it's almost like an angel food cake, except that you also beat the egg yolks and use them, too. But it calls for very little dry ingredients, and in a large jelly roll pan, it bakes quickly.

I've seen a few other people (like Nicole of Thrifty Decorating) do cake rolls recently, and they recommend rolling the cake up while it cools. So here's my cooling cake.

Once the cake was cool, I made the white chocolate mousse filling. I don't like white chocolate, but I followed the recipe. (WAYWARD ALERT: READ ON BEFORE YOU RUSH OFF TO MAKE THIS!)

Maybe I didn't let it set up enough, but the disaster came right after I spread the cooled white chocolate mousse on the cooled, unrolled cake. The mousse layer was at least as thick as (and probably thicker than) my cake. And it was a lot less solid.

I had done my best and followed the directions (and I know from experience, I forget things in the fridge at critical moments, so I couldn't just leave it there and hope to get back to it at the right time). So I started to roll it up.

And instead of rolling up along with the cake as a layer of tasty goodness, the mousse just slid down the cake.

I tried to roll it faster, and the cake flopped all over. It unrolled what I'd done, and deposited all the mousse in the middle of the cake.

I rolled it even faster, and I heard this odd "slop plop lop" sound, but I couldn't stop what I was doing when I was so close to making progress. The roll was less of a spiral roll and more of a tube by the time I gave up.

And then I discovered the source of the sound effects:

You can also see how sad and flat and rolled-like-a-scroll my yule log was. I decided I'd already put so much effort into it, I had to see it through. So I squeezed it as tight as I could, embracing the slop, and secured it inside the parchment paper and a kitchen towel. I let it chill in the fridge until I was ready to face it again.

This time, instead of Martha's white frosting, I decided to go with a dark chocolate glaze (yum!). I sawed off the ends of the log and made up this glaze from How to Cook Everything (this recipe has been halved):
  • 1/4 c + 2 Tbsp powdered baking cocoa
  • 3 Tbsp butter, cut into bits
  • 1/4 c cream
  • 1/4 c + 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • teeny pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (I skipped this)

Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over low heat. (I recommend using a heat-safe spatula for stirring.) As the butter melts, it goes from a powder with chunks to an almost buttercream consistency to a smooth glaze. Pour it over the chilled cake and it's beautiful!

I think you'd be safe with halving the white chocolate mousse recipe. (Deliciously Noted, whose links helped me find the recipe online, agrees that the filling is too much.) Also, the print version of my recipe had an error the instructions 1 1/4 c cream whipped in step 4, instead of 1 3/4), but honestly, I don't think that made the difference. And knowing that reducing it by 20% still didn't help—yeah, halve it.

What kind of yule logs or cake rolls do you make?


Brave Brooke said...

That looks way yum!

Tracy said...

I had to chuckle at your misfortune, only because I KNOW this would happen to me.
I would eat it anyway, sugar is sugar right, teehee.
In the end it looked great and I am sure tasted even better :)

Jordan McCollum said...

Thanks, Brooke and Tracy.

And please laugh, Tracy. As exasperating as it was at the time, I wanted this to be funny.

Sugar is sugar and chocolate is chocolate, so yes, I did sample this (one of the end pieces I cut off). But we gave the log itself to our neighbors, who thought it was delicious.

Love Sweet Love said...

That looks DEvine-slight mishap and all!!!

Unknown said...

LOL at the stuff on the floor, that would so be me:) It looks wonderful though and sounds tasty.

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