Chocolate and almond Christmas log

by - 10:06

Chocolate and almond Christmas log

Take all the Christmas sparkles. The expensive, the cheap and the so and so gifts. The festive songs that echoes everywhere. The at least apparent and always delusional consumerist joy. Now mix it all up and pull away, like someone seeing from above. Just like an anonymous observer watching the back and forth of people down the street. In the end, when you consciously squeeze all faces of the modern essence of Christmas, what remains is only people. The ones that matter and care. And the good excuse that brings them together again, around the good food, the good wine, the many stories shared.

And it was around this chocolate and almond Christmas log and other good foods that we gathered some of these people here at home last Saturday, for a rehearsal of the big party. In a few days we will do it all again, with the same will and filled heart. And what good it is to take in everything that is truly good and authentic and multiply it as many times as we want.

This cake is my version of the well-known French Buche de Noel but with a more stylized look, thinking of a party table.

The dough is soft and light, of Vianese inspiration, with the always perfect combination between chocolate and almonds.

An original cake for a special Christmas.

Ingredients: for 3 cakes with 12 cm in diameter

150 g of sugar
120 g unsalted butter
140 g of chocolate
60 g of flour
60 g ground almonds
4 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
For the ganache:

200 g chocolate
200 ml cream
For the filling:

200 g double cream
60 g caster sugar
For the chocolate tree bark:

200 g chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180º,  gas mark 4.

Butter 3 springform cake tins (12 cm diameter) and set aside.

To make the chocolate tree bark, melt the chocolate in a hot water bath. When it is melted, spread it in a thin layer on 2 sheets of parchment paper. Let cool and store in the freezer until needed. Then you only have to break the chocolate into rectangular pieces.
To make the cakes, in a pan melt the butter with the chocolate on a low heat, add the sugar and stir very well so that it dissolves a little. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove from the heat and add the ground almonds, vanilla and salt. Stir well and let it cool down completely.
Separate the yolks from the egg whites and beat until firm. Add the yolks, 1 by 1 to the batter beating between additions.

Fold the sifted flour with the baking powder to the chocolate mixture, alternately with the beaten whites.

Pour the mixture into the tins (up to 3/4) and bake for 30 minutes.

Take the cakes out of the oven. Wait 5 minutes, unmold and allow to cool in a cake rack.
Meanwhile, make the ganache, melting the chocolate and the cream in a water bath until melted. Stir well until shiny and set aside.

Beat the cream with the sugar until firm.

In a dish put 1 cake and cover it with the mixture of cream and cranberries. New cake, new layer of filling and last cake on top. Cover the whole cake with the ganache that has cooled down and become a little thicker. Cover the sides of the cake with large chocolate pieces resembling tree bark.

Serve decorated with red currants and icing sugar.

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