Yule Logs are a quick holiday classic, and with a simple roll and meringue make an impressive centerpiece with little decorating skill needed. Bake your cake, soak it in a simple syrup, roll it up with your favorite filling, from jam to lemon curd or chocolate mousse and chill while you make a pillowy meringue.
1cupall purpose flour
2Tbspcocoa powderoptional, but for a chocolate version
Pinchof either cream of tartar or a drop of lemon juice
All simply syrup
Preheat oven to 325F. Line a half sheet pan (also called a jellyroll pan) with a lightly sprinkling of sugar.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, yolks, vanilla and water. Sift the dry ingredients over the wet and whisk until smooth.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar to soft peak stage. Slowly add the remaining sugar until just before stiff peak stage.
Fold the egg whites into the batter in three stages. Pour into pan and bake for about 15 minutes at 325F.
Bring the water, vanilla and sugar to a boil and continue over low heat just until the sugar dissolves.
Fill a saucepan 1/3 of the way up with water and bring to a simmer. Place the egg whites and sugar in a KitchenAid bowl (or deep stainless steel bowl ready to use with a hand held mixer).
Place this bowl over the simmering water and whisk gently until the sugar dissolves in the egg whites (dip your fingers in and rub them- you'll know it's ready when you no longer feel the grit of the sugar).
Place the bowl on the mixer and with the whisk attachment, beat until all and pillowy. Add the vanilla and mix.
Place a piece of parchment paper on your work table. Trim the cake while it is inside the pan, then flip onto your table. Peel the parchment paper back.
Soak the cake with the simple syrup (and hey- add a touch of bourbon or any other fun flavor you want to imbibe the cake with)!
Spread your filling of choice- buttercream, lemon curd or even whipped cream or chocolate mousse. Roll up your cake and chill while you make the meringue.
Whip up your meringue and spoon over your cake. Torch!