Italian Christmas Log
Tronchetto di Natale
A Christmas log recipe is originally a French creation known as ‘Buche de Noel’. But like many other brilliant ideas it has crossed over the border to Italy, where it is called ‘Tronchetto di Natale’ or ‘Rotolo alla Nutella’. Other versions include torrone and nougat in a kind of ice cream, so the dessert is indeed open to interpretation.
This Christmas log recipe contains a lot of custard cream and chocolate rolled up in a biscuit sponge to a spiralling sweetness.
For the sponge
120 g sugar
120 g flour
1 tsp vanilla sugar
For the filling
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
1 tbsp flour
300 ml milk
100 g butter
25 g powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
Grated zest of 1 orange
For the icing
200 g chocolate
2 tbsp butter
Separate the eggs in whites and yolks.
Whip the whites stiff with an electric mixer.
Beat egg yolks with sugar until all the sugar grains have dissolved.
Gradually add flour and vanilla sugar.
Fold the whites into the yolk, sugar and flour mixture.
Spread the batter in an even 1-2 cm layer on a sheet of baking paper.
Bake at 160 C/ 320F for 20 minutes.
Let the sponge cool a little before assembling the roll.
Meanwhile make the filling:
In a casserole beat egg, sugar, cocoa and flour.
Add milk and heat the custard over low heat while stirring (It burns easily)
While the custard cools, mix butter, powdered sugar, egg yolk and orange zest to a soft cream.
Mix butter cream and custard cream, spread the filling over the sponge and roll it up tightly.
Wrap the roll in cling film and leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Melt chocolate and butter in a water bath.
Cut uneven ends off the the Christmas log and cover with melted chocolate.