Gingerbread Yule Log with Coffee Cream
- SERVINGS: 12
The café au lait-colored filling for this spiced cake is shingled onto the outside of the log for a barklike effect.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablepoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon instant espress granules
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup superfine sugar
- 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
- Pinch of cream of tartar
Coffee Cream Filling
- 4 teaspoons instant espresso granules
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 15-by-10-inch jelly-roll pan and line it with wax paper.
- In a small bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cocoa, nutmeg and cloves. Whisk well. In a cup, dissolve the instant espresso granules in the vanilla.
- Separate the eggs into two bowls; the bowl for the whites must be completely free of grease. beat the yolks on medium high speed and gradually add 1/3 cup of the superfine sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat, scraping down the bowl once, until the mixture is thick, stiff and pale, about 4 minutes. Using a large rubber spatula, stir in the molasses, dissolved espresso and the flour mixture.
- Wash and dry the beaters. Beat the whites on medium high speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until the mixture whitens. Beat in the remaining 1/3 cup superfine sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until the whites are stiff but not dry.
- Using a large rubber spatula, fold the beaten whites into the yolk mixture in 3 additions. Pour the batter into the prepared pan; use the spatula to gently level the batter and nudge it into the corners. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Let cool on a rack.
- In a medium bowl, dissolve the instant espresso granules in the vanilla. Beat in the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. In another bowl, beat the heavy cream until it holds soft peaks; fold it into the coffee cream.
- Turn the cake out onto a sheet of wax paper; peel the wax paper off the cake. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the cake and flip it so it is right side up again. Remove the wax paper. Evenly spread 2 1/4 cups of the coffee cream on the cake and roll up tightly, starting at a long edge; roll the plastic wrap around it. Chill the cake, seam side down, for at least 10 minutes. Chill the extra cream as well.
- Transfer the cake to a platter and remove the plastic wrap. Spread a thin layer of coffee cream over the entire log. Apply the remaining cream with a palette knife in thick strokes to resemble bark. Refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 6 hours before serving.