When asked about his family’s holiday food traditions, George Stanchfield of Bryantville reported that his holiday table is not complete without this all-chocolate version of the classic French yule log. A Julia Child recipe was once the starting point of this creation; over the years, George has worked to simplify the steps and reduce his time investment without compromising quality. edible South Shore & South Coast is indebted to him for sharing the product of his labors.

A three-quarter-scale version of George’s recipe will fill your 13” x 17” rimmed baking sheet if you don’t happen to have on hand the odder size he calls for.

Cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 eggs
  • 1⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 20” x 15” rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Coat parchment with nonstick spray or butter.

Stir together flour, ½ cup cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl with a wire whisk.

In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat eggs, sugar, and coffee until light and fluffy. Carefully add melted butter and beat until just combined. At low speed, add dry ingredients to egg mixture in 1⁄2-cup increments until just combined and streak-free. Do not overmix.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until it just springs back to the touch. Do not overbake.

Remove cake from oven and allow to cool in pan for 8 to 10 minutes. Spread a clean dishtowel on the counter. Sift the remaining 1 tablespoon cocoa in an even, very light coating on the surface of the cake using a sieve. Use a small knife to make sure that the margins of the cake are free of the pan and parchment, then quickly invert pan onto towel. Carefully peel back the parchment.

Starting on the long side, gently and slowly roll the cake into the towel. Place on a wire rack, cake seam down. Allow to cool completely thus, while you make the filling and frosting (recipes below).

To fill, unroll cake, and spread cooled ganache filling evenly over. Re-roll (excluding towel), wrap airtight, and chill for two hours.

Halve or trim chilled cake to suit your serving platter(s). Place cake on wire rack. Drizzle tepid ganache frosting over cake, using about ⅔ of the mixture. Spread the frosting for complete coverage.

As the unused ganache frosting continues to cool, it will thicken further. After about 30 minutes, you should be able to apply and trowel it to achieve a bark-like textured effect.

Plate cakes, dust with powdered sugar, or otherwise decorate to your heart’s content, and serve.

Whipped Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Place chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl.

Heat cream in saucepan until it just comes to a boil. Remove from heat immediately and pour over the chocolate.

Allow to cool completely. Beat 2 to 3 minutes until light and creamy. Use at room temperature.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1½ cups heavy cream

Place chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl.

Heat cream in saucepan until it just comes to a boil.

Pour over chocolate and stir until smooth. Set aside until cool.

Serves 8 to 10.