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Chocolate Yule Log

Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active time 20 mins
Total time 1 hr, 50 mins
Yield

Serves 10 (serving size: 1 slice)

We’ve managed to transform naughty numbers into nice with this incredibly rich dark-chocolate sponge cake filled with a delicate, yogurt-lightened whipped cream. We cut sugar in half, letting the intensity of the chocolate in the sponge cake shine—go ahead and splurge on a higher-quality bar for this recipe. The thick, creamy texture of Greek yogurt complements the whipped cream quite perfectly, with a fraction of the sat fat and calories. Skip the powdered sugar dusting, and use fresh raspberries, mini pinecones, fresh pine needles, or even fresh mint to decorate. Add 1⁄4 teaspoon peppermint extract to the whipped cream filling for a cool, minty kick.

Ingredients

Cake:

  • Baking spray with flour
  • 2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
  • 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 ounce whole-wheat pastry flour (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa (such as Hershey's Special Dark), divided
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Filling:

  • 2/3 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 7 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Nutrition Information

  • calories 182
  • fat 10.1 g
  • satfat 5.4 g
  • monofat 2 g
  • polyfat 0.6 g
  • protein 6 g
  • carbohydrate 20 g
  • fiber 2 g
  • cholesterol 108 mg
  • iron 2 mg
  • sodium 142 mg
  • calcium 37 mg
  • sugars 14 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 13 g

How to Make It

  1. To prepare cake, preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a 10- x 15-inch rimmed baking sheet with baking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Coat paper with baking spray.

  2. Microwave coffee and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 30 to 45 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds, until smooth. Let stand 10 minutes.

  3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Whisk together flour, salt, and 1/4 cup cocoa in a small bowl. Beat egg yolks, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, about 6 minutes. Gently fold coffee mixture into egg yolk mixture until almost combined but still streaky.

  4. Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a medium bowl with mixer on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high, and beat until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Add remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and beat just until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. (Do not overbeat.) Stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into yolk mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture until almost combined but still streaky. Sift half of flour mixture over egg mixture; gently fold until dry ingredients are just moistened, and repeat with remaining half of flour mixture. Pour batter evenly into prepared pan, and gently spread to edges, taking care not to deflate batter.

  5. Bake 8 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched in the center. Sprinkle a clean dish towel with remaining 2 tablespoons cocoa. Run an offset spatula or knife around sides of pan to loosen cake; immediately invert onto prepared towel. Starting at 1 short side, gently roll up parchment, warm cake, and towel together. Cool completely on wire rack, about 45 minutes.

  6. To prepare filling, beat yogurt, cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla with a mixer on medium speed until thickened, about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar; increase speed to medium-high, and beat until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.

  7. To assemble cake, gently unroll cake; peel off and discard parchment, and remove towel. (Cake may crack slightly as you unroll.) Spread filling over cake, leaving a 1-inch border around edges. Starting at short side, reroll cake; place, seam side down, on a platter. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Cut cake into 10 slices.