Disneyland’s Chocolate and Coffee Yule Log

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Ready to throw calorie caution to the wind and bake up a truly magical dessert with your kids?

My family and I were recently invited to Disneyland and California Adventure for a special event for parenting bloggers, and a wonderful Disney pastry chef taught us how to make this yummy dessert. What a fun demonstration! It takes some time, but it’s a great family project for a weekend afternoon during the holidays.

Silly me, I was so busy looking at the chef’s finished yule log that I forgot to take a picture of it to share with you! But this photo shows a similar finished log. There are lots of ways to decorate it and add your own touches.

This recipe makes one 15-inch yule log.

Kahlúa Simple Syrup

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

3 tablespoons Kahlúa Liqueur

Biscuit Roulade

1/2 cup pastry flour or all-purpose flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted

1/4 cup cocoa, sifted

4 egg yolks, room temperature

1 cup sugar, divided

4 egg whites, room temperature

Coffee Buttercream

1 cup water, divided

3 tablespoons coffee grinds

1 cup fine granulated sugar

5 large egg whites, room temperature

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cold and cubed

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache

11 ounces dark chocolate (58% cacao)

1 tablespoon butter

2 teaspoons honey

1 cup heavy whipping cream

For Kahlúa Simple Syrup:

  1. Place the granulated sugar and water in a small sauce pan over medium heat and whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and add the Kahlúa.
  2. Stir to combine and allow syrup to cool completely.

For Biscuit Roulade:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º F.  Butter and flour a 15x10x1-inch jelly-roll pan.  Line bottom with parchment paper.  Butter and flour parchment paper also.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and cocoa in a small mixing bowl, set aside.
  3. Beat egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes, or until thick and lemon colored.  Gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating on high speed till the sugar is dissolved.  Thoroughly wash and dry the beaters.
  4. Beat egg whites in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes, or until soft peaks form.  Slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, beating on medium speed till stiff peaks form.
  5. Carefully fold egg yolk mixture into the egg whites, using a rubber spatula.  Once all the egg yolk mixture has been incorporated, sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg mixture and fold in gently just to combine.
  6. Spread batter evenly into the prepared jelly-roll pan.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched near the center.
  7. Lay out a clean, thin cotton kitchen towel on a work surface; dust with confectioners’ sugar on the top, set aside.
  8. Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, loosen the edges of the cake from the pan using a knife.
  9. Turn cake out onto the sugared kitchen towel, parchment paper side up. Carefully pull off the parchment paper.

10.  Fold towel over the longest side of the cake and roll up the cake with the towel inside.

11.  Cool on a rack with the seam side down.

For Coffee Buttercream:

  1. Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat.  Remove from heat and add coffee grinds; allow to steep for 5 minutes.  Strain through a coffee filter into a small bowl and set coffee concentrate aside.
  2. Mix the remaining 1/2 cup of water and sugar in a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat.  Clip a candy thermometer to the pan and heat to 240º, soft-ball stage (18-20 minutes).  Keep the edge of the saucepan clean by brushing it with a pastry brush moistened with water as needed.
  3. Once the temperature reaches 240º, remove the candy thermometer and remove from heat.
  4. Beat egg whites in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes, or until soft peaks form.  Gradually pour the hot mixture in a thin stream over the whites while continuing to beat the mixture for 2-3 minutes.  Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed and continue to beat until a meringue forms.
  5. Add the butter all at once, and beat on medium speed until incorporated.  Increase speed to high and continue beating for 8-10 minutes, or until smooth and shiny. Add vanilla extract and coffee concentrate, mix for one minute until combined.  Set aside.

For Chocolate Ganache:

  1. Place the chocolate, butter, and honey in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat the whipping cream in a small saucepan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until it begins to boil.  Remove from heat and pour cream into the chocolate mixture.  Whisk until smooth.
  3. Set aside and allow the ganache to come to room temperature.

To Assemble:

  1. Unroll cake, remove towel.  Using a pastry brush, “baste” the cake with the Kahlúa simple syrup.
  2. Evenly spread the coffee buttercream over cake to within 1 inch of the edges.  Re-roll the cake to form the “log.”  Place, seam-side down, on a serving platter.
  3. Spread the chocolate ganache over the top and sides of the cake.
  4. Score ganache with the tines of a fork to resemble the bark on a log.
  5. Decorate as desired and refrigerate for an hour to let the ganache set.

Cook’s Notes:

Make sure you butter and flour the parchment paper after putting it on the jelly-roll pan.  This will make it easier to remove the paper from the cake when cooked.

Always thoroughly clean and dry your electric mixer beaters before using them for another procedure—especially when working with egg whites.  If the beaters have any residue or water on them, the egg whites will not form as needed.

You can decorate the Yule Log with meringue mushrooms, flowers, and leaves.

Have you made a yule log before? I’d love to hear about it in comments. Happy baking!

And for info on Disneyland and California Adventure at the holidays, check out my post.

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