Christmas chocolate log with prunes and Armagnac

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Oxford Heron

Christmas chocolate log with prunes and Armagnac

Dear Lindsey,
I made this recipe and as the log tasted absolutely divine, I am making it again for Christmas day. I found rolling the log very challenging, and wonder if you can offer any tips.
First, can you please confirm that the aim is that the length of the log be the length of the tin (about 30 cm), not the width(20)?
Second, the cake rose during baking quite a lot (I used medium eggs, not small, as supermarkets don't seem to sell small eggs any more, I could only find medium or large). Having a tallish cake, and adding mousse and prune filling meant that I ended up with a thick rectangular structure which was impossible to roll without losing much of the filling from the sides when I lightly pressed it into a roll. I kept it rolled up in the baking parchment, in the hope that it would hold its shape, but when the paper was removed prior to serving, the roll reverted into a a flattish structure, basically a rectangle folded along its central long dimension. It was absolutely delicious. Do you have any tips for achieving a stable roll? Another fact was that I slightly overbaked the cake (30-35 minutes instead of 25) which made the cake shrink away from the tin, perhaps more than if I only baked for 20-25 min, thus making it probably even more difficult to roll.
I would be most grateful for any tips you may have about rolling. I didn't have any cracks and would not have minded them as Delia says, they would add to log authenticity! By the way, I used a Silverwood Swiss roll tin and re-usable lining and it was a real joy to turn the cake out so easily and clean/store everything with little effort.
All best wishes for Christmas and the New Year

Lindsey, Food Editor

Christmas Chocolate Log

Hello Oxford Heron,

For that recipe it is rolled along the longer edge so the finished roll is 30cm long however it can be rolled the other way if you prefer. It was rolled from the shorter edge in another version in Delia’s Happy Christmas book. The shorter length gives a nicer roll. And also in this version for black forest.

It is 6 large eggs in the cake. The small eggs are in the filling but 2 medium will be fine.

The rolling can be a bit of a fiddle (either way), especially as it is quite a thick sponge so I often make a layered Squidgy Chocolate Cake version. I make the same recipe as the Chestnut Log (which can be made with either 110g or 150g of sugar in the cake depending on how sweet you like it). Then I cut the sponge into 2 oblongs (15cm by 20cm) and top one half with the chocolate mousse then the prune mixture before topping of with the second layer of sponge and finishing with a dusting of icing sugar just before serving.

However I do understand the charm of the rolled log. The last one I rolled did crack but I was rolling it from the short end to make a 20cm log.

This link should take you to the cookery school which shows the squidgy chocolate cake being made if you want to take a look. This link will take you to cakes cookery school then you can scroll along underneath he video and choose lesson 8 – chocolate cakes (it has the picture if the squidgy chocolate cake with candles on in).

And here is the same squidgy chocolate cake recipe.

I hope that helps.

Best wishes and a very Happy Christmas and New Year to you too.


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