Gingerbread Yule Log

Only a couple days left until the end of the decade! Can you believe it?? I’m so amazed by all the events that happened in this past decade, I just know the next one will be more amazing. 

The last week has been pretty slow at work which has been really nice. I’ve been able to finish wrapping presents for Christmas and finalizing all the menu’s for each family celebration. Everyone has likely already had their company holiday party, and now it’s time to celebrate with family! 

In the days leading up to the big day I wanted to share a great centerpiece type dessert, just in case you needed some sweet inspiration on what to make. Yule logs are so beautiful and it is truly why I like to make desserts. When they’re done right they steal the show in any meal. I’ve flavored this yule log with a gingerbread sponge cake and a creamy mascarpone filling. The top has been covered in meringue to mimic a snow covered log, but also contrasts nicely when cut open. The decorations are totally up to you but I love the way sugared cranberries look with fresh rosemary- almost like a garland with ornaments. This whole dessert takes only a couple hours to make and it is a lot easier than you’d think! To get the best results, I strongly recommend reading all the instructions before you begin to make it. It’ll help you understand how the whole thing will come together in the end. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!! 

Gingerbread Yule Log

Gingerbread Sponge

Eggs 4 (separated)

Sugar ¼ cup

Brown sugar ½ cup

Vanilla 1 tsp

Yogurt ¼ cup

Molasses ¼ cup

Cake flour 1 ¼ cup

Baking powder 1 tsp

Ginger 1 T

Cinnamon 1 tsp

Allspice ¼ tsp

Salt ¼ tsp

Mascarpone Filling

Mascarpone 1 8-ounce container (1 cup)

Cream 1 cup

Powdered sugar 1/3 cup

Vanilla ½ tsp

Meringue

Whites 3

Sugar 1 cup

Vanilla ½ tsp

Garnishes

Fresh Rosemary

Sugared Cranberries

Fresh cranberries ¼ cup

Simple syrup ½ cup

Sugar ½ cup

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 10×15 jelly roll pan with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip whites to stiff peaks. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

Place the yolks in the stand mixer and fit it with a paddle attachment. Turn on low speed. Add brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla. Combine all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add it to the stand mixer. Add yogurt and molasses. Scrape down sides as needed and mix until smooth.

Remove bowl from stand mixer and fold whipped whites into the cake mixture until smooth. Spread the cake batter onto prepared jelly roll pan evenly. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned and the cake springs back to the touch.

While the cake is baking prepare a kitchen towel with a heavy sprinkling of powdered sugar. Once the cake is done, immediately turn it out onto the kitchen towel. Leave the parchment paper on. Start from one end and roll the cake up into the towel. Allow the cake to cool in the towel for 1-2 hours at room temperature.

While the cake is cooling, make the sugared cranberries. Make ½ cup simply syrup by microwaving ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup water in the microwave. Let it cool slightly. Dunk each fresh cranberry into the simple syrup then into the sugar. Let it dry on a rack until ready to use. I only sugared a few cranberries as I like the contrast between sugared and not sugared in my final piece.

Once the cake is cooled, unravel it in the towel. Keep it in the towel and peel back the parchment paper.

Make the Mascarpone filling by combining all ingredients into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk until mixture has reached stiff peaks. Use an offset spatula to smooth all the filling onto the cake. Leave ½ inch of the sides around clear. Roll up the cake from one end to the other, and place the entire cake onto a serving tray. If the cake cracks during this process don’t worry- you’re just gonna cover it up with frosting anyway. Refrigerate the cake on it’s serving tray for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This will help marry your filling and cake and ensure its moistness.

To make the meringue, set up a double boiler with a comparable metal or glass bowl to top it. Place sugar and whites into the bowl and whisk over the double boiler until whites are warm and the sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on high until you reach stiff peaks. Add vanilla and whisk again to combine. Transfer 1/3 of the meringue into a piping bag.

To decorate, use an offset spatula to cover the entire cake in meringue. Smooth it out roughly as to mimic an actual log. Use the meringue in the piping back to help cover the ends. Smooth it out with a spoon or offset spatula. Use a fork and drag it a few times around the log. Once you’re happy with the design, use a blow torch to slightly torch the edges to highlight the features of your log. Use fresh rosemary, fresh cranberries, and sugared cranberries to decorate.

Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. This cake is best served the day it’s made but will last for 1-2 days if you want to make it in advance.

Gingerbread Yule Log

Saura Madani
Gingerbread sponge cake with Mascarpone filling and a toasted meringue outside
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

Gingerbread Sponge Cake

  • 4 eggs seperated
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Mascarpone Filling

  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Meringue

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Garnishes

  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup sugared cranberries

Sugared Cranberries

  • 1/4 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup simply syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 10x15 jelly roll pan
    with parchment paper.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip whites
    to stiff peaks. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  • Place the yolks in the stand mixer and fit it with a paddle
    attachment. Turn on low speed. Add brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla. Combine all
    the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add it to the stand mixer. Add yogurt
    and molasses. Scrape down sides as needed and mix until smooth.
  • Remove bowl from stand mixer and fold whipped whites into
    the cake mixture until smooth. Spread the cake batter onto prepared jelly roll
    pan evenly. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned and the
    cake springs back to the touch.
  • While the cake is baking prepare a kitchen towel with a
    heavy sprinkling of powdered sugar. Once the cake is done, immediately turn it
    out onto the kitchen towel. Leave the parchment paper on. Start from one end and
    roll the cake up into the towel. Allow the cake to cool in the towel for 1-2
    hours at room temperature.
  • While the cake is cooling, make the sugared cranberries.
    Make ½ cup simply syrup by microwaving ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup water in the microwave.
    Let it cool slightly. Dunk each fresh cranberry into the simple syrup then into
    the sugar. Let it dry on a rack until ready to use. I only sugared a few
    cranberries as I like the contrast between sugared and not sugared in my final
    piece.
  • Once the cake is cooled, unravel it in the towel. Keep it in
    the towel and peel back the parchment paper.
  • Make the Mascarpone filling by combining all ingredients
    into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk until mixture has reached
    stiff peaks. Use an offset spatula to smooth all the filling onto the cake.
    Leave ½ inch of the sides around clear. Roll up the cake from one end to the
    other, and place the entire cake onto a serving tray. If the cake cracks during
    this process don’t worry- you’re just gonna cover it up with frosting anyway. Refrigerate
    the cake on it’s serving tray for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This will help marry
    your filling and cake and ensure its moistness.
  • To make the meringue, set up a double boiler with a comparable
    metal or glass bowl to top it. Place sugar and whites into the bowl and whisk
    over the double boiler until whites are warm and the sugar has dissolved.
    Transfer to a mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on high until you reach stiff
    peaks. Add vanilla and whisk again to combine. Transfer 1/3 of the meringue
    into a piping bag.
  • To decorate, use an offset spatula to cover the entire cake
    in meringue. Smooth it out roughly as to mimic an actual log. Use the meringue
    in the piping back to help cover the ends. Smooth it out with a spoon or offset
    spatula. Use a fork and drag it a few times around the log. Once you’re happy
    with the design, use a blow torch to slightly torch the edges to highlight the features
    of your log. Use fresh rosemary, fresh cranberries, and sugared cranberries to
    decorate.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. This
    cake is best served the day it’s made but will last for 1-2 days if you want to
    make it in advance.

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