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1 cup dark chocolate chips
6 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tbsp Grand Marnier

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter or oil a 10 x 15 inch jellyroll pan.

Line the bottom lengthwise with a piece of waxed or parchment paper that extends up the short sides one inch.

Melt chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat until it’s almost thoroughly melted.

Remove from heat and stir until the remaining chocolate is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Beat egg yolks with an electric mixer until pale and creamy.

Add sugar gradually, and continue to beat until yolks are pale and ribbony.

Gently stir the chocolate into the yolk mixture.

In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites with salt until they hold stiff peaks.

Stir 1/4 of egg white mixture into the chocolate-yolk mixture to lighten it.

Fold the remaining whites into the cake batter in three additions.

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until cake layer feels dry (but very soft) to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. It will still seem a little under-baked.

Transfer to a cooling rack and cover the top with two lightly damp paper towels for 10 minutes.

Gently remove towels and discard; it’s ok if they have a bit of cake stuck to them.

Sift one tablespoon cocoa over the top of the cake and cover the cake with a thin tea or flour sack towel that is a little longer than the pan.

Place the back of a baking sheet or another cooling rack over the towel and flip the cake onto it.

Gently peel back the parchment or waxed paper that lined the pan and discard.

Sift the remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder over the top of the cake.

Using the towel underneath to help lift and roll the cake, roll the cake from short end to short end with the towel inside.

Let cool completely, encased in its towel.

Once cool, beat heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until it holds stiff peaks.

Get your serving plate ready and place it near your cake roll.

Gently unroll chocolate cake.

Spread whipped cream filling evenly over cake.

Gently use towel once again to re-roll cake.

Place on serving platter, seam side down.

Spread ganache over log and with a fork make the tree bark texture.

Sprinkle powder sugar on top  and decorate as desired.


Dark Chocolate Ganache
4 tbsp unsalted butter
16 oz dark chocolate chips
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups heavy cream

In a 1-quart saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat, swirling every few seconds, until melted about 5 minutes.

Add the chocolate and kosher salt to metal bowl.

Bring the cream to a boil in the same pot over medium heat, and then pour over the chocolate and butter.

Let stand 2 minutes, and then whisk until smooth.

Cool at room temperature, stirring every 15 minutes, until thickened and spreadable, about 1-2 hours depending on thickness desired.