Yule Log

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! As part of our celebration I thought I'd give the classic yule log a try. I've never made it before but it used to be one of my favourite things about Christmas! The origins of the Yule log date back to midwinter festivals and it is suggested that people would select a large log and would then keep it burning anywhere between twleve hours and twelve days. If the log remained alight it would bring health, fruitfulness and productivity.
The recipe I used was by Mary Berry and it was featured on the Great British Bake Off Christmas special last week. You can find the recipe here.
This was really simple to make, it's just a chocolate sponge which is made by whipping up eggs and sugar until it's really pale and frothy. Flour and good quality cocoa powder was then folded in before pouring the mixture into a lined 33 x 23cm swiss roll tin. It's then only baked for around 8-10 minutes.
The secret to rolling the log so that it doesn't crack is to immediately turn it out onto baking paper, which is generously covered in icing sugar, whilst it is still hot. Then score a line one inch in from the long edge nearest to you and then roll the whole thing tightly with the parchment paper inside. Leave to cool completely. Once cool, the log can be unrolled and covered with whipped cream, then re-roll tightly using the baking paper to help. Eventually you shouuld end up with a neat roll with the join on the bottom.
To make a branch a quarter of the roll was sliced off on the diagonal and then placed up against the log. The whole thing is then covered in chocolate ganache, this can either be applied with a palette knife and then given the bark texture by running a fork over it, or alternatively the ganache can be piped on using a star nozzle which is what I did. The yule log is then finished with a sprinkling of icing sugar and some Christmas decorations.
I am entering my yule log into this month's Calendar Cakes hosted by Rachel at Dolly Bakes, along with me here at Laura Loves Cakes.
In addition this month's Classic French challenge by Jen from Blue Kitchen Bakes is the Yule Log, so I'm also entering it into her challenge.