This year, our Christmas Yule Log will be elegant and fancy: a supremely moist and rich cake filled with lemon curd and covered with swirls of torched meringue!
For the lemon curd:
- 3/4 cup (18 cl) lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup (60g) caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (180g) white chocolate
For the sponge cake:
- 3 large eggs, white and yolk apart
- 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
- 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (30g) corn starch
For the syrup:
- 1 Tablespoon (15g) caster sugar
- 1 lemon, juice
For the Italian meringue:
- 1/2 cup (100ml) water
- 1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar
- 2 egg whites
- The day before: in a small saucepan, stir together lemon juice, zests, sugar and eggs, and warm on low-medium heat until the mixture thickens, stirring regularly. Melt white chocolate in water bath or in the microwave.
- Pour the lemon cream over the melted white chocolate in 3 additions using a rubber spatula, stirring vigorously. The curd must be smooth. Pour into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
- The day after, prepare the sponge cake: preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C) and line a baking tray with a 10″x14 3/8″ (240×365 mm) silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Beat the whites until almost fluffy and add sugar. Slowly incorporate yolks with a rubber spatula. Add corn starch and stir well.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet and smooth the surface. Bake for about 8 minutes. The sponge cake must be supple.
- Wait a few minutes until the sponge cake cool, then brush the lemon-sugar syrup on top evenly to moister the cake.
- Spread the lemon curd on top. Roll it lengthwise, then gently and slowly roll it up with the towel, that will prevent from sticking. Store in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
- In the meantime, prepare the Italian meringue: mix water and sugar in a small saucepan, and heat the syrup to 240°F (115°C) without stirring.*
- Beat the whites and when they are foamy but not yet firm. Very gradually stream the hot sugar syrup into your egg whites as they continue to whip on low to medium speed. Once you’ve added all of the syrup, increase the mixer speed to medium-high. Continue mixing until the meringue reaches stiff peaks.
- Remove the sponge cake from the refrigerator and cut the extremities. Cover immediately with the Italian meringue.** Use a tablespoon to make some swirls, or a piping bag to make even prettier swirls on your yule log.
- Gently brown with a hand held torch to create golden swirls.***
* You can also proceed without any thermometer, watching out the syrup until it forms large white bubbles. Plunge then a drop of syrup into a glass of cold water, a soft ball will form when the syrup is ready.
** You can store Italian meringue to the refrigerator for up to 30 minutes in the refrigerator before using.
*** If you don’t have a hand held torch (cooking torch), just bake your yule log in the oven over the grill position until the extremities start to golden. At this point, remove straight away, you don’t want your meringue to be brown on all parts. Good to know: the final aspect will not be as beautiful as the one you obtain when using a torch.