CLASSIC YULE LOG:
Siena loves making this every year. It might be even prettier with dusted icing sugar on
top to represent snow.
Preheat oven to 350° F (175 degrees C). Grease a 15x10-inch pan. Line with waxed paper. Grease paper. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Beat together sugar and egg yolks at high speed until light and fluffy. At low speed, alternately beat milk and flour mixture into egg mixture. Using clean beaters, beat egg whites at high speed until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. Fold one third of beaten whites into batter. Fold in remaining whites. Spread batter in prepared pan; smooth top. Bake cake at 350° F (175° C) until set, 12 minutes.
Dust a clean cloth with confectioners' sugar. Turn cake out onto prepared cloth. Remove waxed paper. Starting with the long side closest to the counter edge, roll up cake, jelly-roll style. Transfer, seam-side down, to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.
Unroll cake; remove cloth. Make a cut parallel to (and 4 inches from) one of the short sides of the cake. Then cut this 4" x 10" piece in half so you now have two 4" x 5" pieces. Spread whipped cream over three cake pieces to within 1 inch of edges. Re-roll larger cake into a log, and the two smaller pieces into small 'branches.' Place large log, seam-side down, on serving plate. Cut each of the 2 'branches' in half with a diagonal cut, and place against the log, diagonal side towards the centre/log, and the blunt end 'out.'
To prepare frosting, in a small saucepan, bring heavy cream, melted chocolate, and butter to a boil over medium heat, stirring vigorously until blended. Remove from heat. Let stand until set. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. When cool, you could dust with icing sugar along the top of the log for 'snow.' Garnish with holly leaves and berries, or fir boughs.
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