With Christmas just around the corner treat the family and friends to this easy Christmas Chocolate and Chestnut Log.
- 100 g walnuts
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 5 large free-range eggs
- 125 g caster sugar
- 25 g plain flour
- 25 g quality cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons marsala or sweet sherry
- 160 g dark chocolate (70%)
- 180 g icing sugar
- 180 g unsalted butter , (at room temperature)
- 150 ml double cream
- 150 ml sweetened chestnut purée
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4. Line a 26cm x 37cm swiss roll tin with baking paper, making sure it is higher than sides.
- Blitz the walnuts in a food processor until finely ground, then add the baking powder and a pinch of sea salt.
- Separate the eggs. Use an electric beater to whisk the egg whites to firm peaks. Gradually beat in half the sugar, till glossy.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until pale and thick. Gently fold in the walnut mixture, flour and cocoa. Using a large metal spoon, fold the egg white mixture into the nut mixture, a little at a time. Spoon into the tin and bake for 25 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean and the sponge is springy.
- While still warm, lay a sheet of baking paper over the sponge and flip it out of the tin. Peel off the tin lining and leave to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Drizzle the cake with the marsala and roll from the longest edge, the paper inside. Cover with a damp cloth.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Put the icing sugar in a food processor with the butter and blitz to cream. Add the slightly cooled chocolate and pulse till smooth. Place in a bowl and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Whisk the cream until just starting to peak and then gently stir in the chestnut purée.
- When the sponge is cool, unroll and spread with the cream, leave a 2cm border around the edge. Re-roll the cake, without the paper but using it as a guide.
- Spread the chocolate icing on top. Make a wood-effect with a fork, then dust with icing sugar.