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This Cheerwine-themed holiday dessert was inspired by Chef Chris Coleman’s mother-in-law who loves the chocolate cherry cordials you find in the grocery stores around Christmas. Coleman, from The Goodyear House and Old Town Kitchen & Cocktails, stuffs the log-shaped flourless chocolate cake with a Cheerwine mousse creating a light cake with an airy filling. And by using whipped cream instead of buttercream, he’s created an indulgent Yule log dessert without it being too heavy.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 6 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup Cheerwine Syrup

Filling

  • 1 teaspoon gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon Cheerwine (or 1 teaspoon of Cheerwine Syrup + 2 teaspoons water)
  • ⅓ cup Cheerwine Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup cream

Topping

  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons confectioners sugar
  • Cocoa powder, as needed for sifting
  • Chocolate shavings (optional garnish)
  • Cherries (optional garnish)

Instructions

For the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 9×13 pan with parchment or wax paper and spray a thin coat of non-stick spray over the pan.
  2. Combine egg yolks and half of the sugar in a stationary mixing bowl. Using the whisk attachment, beat until eggs are pale yellow and leave a ribbon when the whisk is raised. Alternatively, this can be done in a mixing bowl using an electric handheld mixer. Transfer the whipped eggs to a larger mixing bowl. Clean the mixing bowl and attachments thoroughly.
  3. Combine egg whites and the salt and whip until soft peaks form. With motor running, slowly add in the rest of the sugar and continue to beat until eggs are glossy and very stiff.
  4. Using a plastic spatula, fold half of the whites into the yolks until combined. Fold in the rest of the whites and fold in until no white streaks remain.
  5. Sift half the cocoa powder into the egg mixture, and fold in completely. Sift the other half of the cocoa in and fold in until uniform color is achieved. Pro Tip: The dry cocoa powder will cause the batter to seize and dry up around the edges. Continue to fold until it is all combined.
  6. Transfer batter to prepared tray and smooth to the edges. Bake at 375°F for 9 minutes, turn, and bake another 9 minutes (18 minutes total).
  7. Remove pan from oven and place on cooling rack. Cake should be firm, but springy. Allow to cool thoroughly in the pan to room temperature. Run a knife around the edge and flip out onto a sheet tray or work surface covered with parchment or wax paper.
  8. Using a brush, distribute the Cheerwine syrup evenly over the cake. Cake will absorb the syrup, so work quickly. Set the cake aside.

For the Filling

  1. Put Cheerwine in a microwave safe bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the top.
  2. Heat the Cheerwine Syrup, sugar, and vanilla in a small saucepan until hot, and then temper into the yolks; while whisking, pour a small amount of the hot syrup into the yolks to heat the yolks through without cooking. Slowly pour the warm yolks into the saucepan with the syrup and whisk continuously over medium heat until custard forms and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  3. Place softened gelatin in microwave and cook for 15 seconds. Whisk into the custard and allow to cool.
  4. Whip cream in a mixing bowl until stiff peaks form. Using a plastic spatula, fold half of the whipped cream into the cooled Cheerwine custard. Fold the rest of the cream in until no streaks are left.

Assembly

  1. Use the plastic spatula to spread the Cheerwine filling evenly over the cake edge to edge.
  2. Using the paper to help lift the cake, roll the cake up like a jelly roll, with the seam at the bottom. Place in the fridge for at least one hour, up to overnight (if storing overnight, wrap the cake completely in plastic wrap to keep from drying out).
  3. Make the topping: Combine cream and confectioners sugar in a mixing bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Use a plastic spatula to spread the topping over and around the cake. Sift cocoa powder over the cake to cover.
  4. Garnish with confectioners sugar, chocolate shavings, and whole cherries, if desired.

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