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Snow capped yule log
A dark chocolate sponge makes an elegant partner for a ricotta-and-cream filling, sweetened with a little icing sugar, in this snazzy Swiss roll
Calorie controlled cooking spray 4 sprays
Egg, whole, raw 4 large, raw, separated, at room temperature
Dark Chocolate 100 g, approximately 70% cocoa
Plain White Flour 25 g
Cocoa Powder 15 g, unsweetened
Salt ½ teaspoons, fine
Cream of Tartar ⅛ teaspoons
Caster Sugar 4 tablespoons
Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoons, level
Icing Sugar 60 g
Ricotta Cheese 200 g
Light Double Cream 80 ml
Meringue Nests 1 individual, crushed
Tesco Peppermint Candy Canes 2 individual, roughly smashed
- Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas mark 5. Mist a 22cm x 28cm Swiss roll tin (see Cook’s tip) with cooking spray, and line it with baking paper, leaving a 5cm overhang on 2 sides. Coat the paper with cooking spray.
- Roughly chop 80g of the chocolate and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 20 seconds and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together in a large bowl, until foamy. Gradually add 2 tbsp caster sugar and beat until stiff peaks form (about 4 minutes). Set aside.
- In another large bowl, using an electric whisk on high speed, beat the egg yolks, the remaining 2 tbsp caster sugar and the vanilla extract for 4 minutes or so, or until the mixture is pale yellow and holds a ribbon shape if you lift the whisk.
- With a spatula, gently fold the melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture until just blended. Then, gently fold a third of the beaten egg white mixture into the bowl until no streaks of white remain. Fold in the remaining egg whites in two further additions.
- Spoon half of the flour mixture over the egg mixture and gently fold until just blended. Repeat with the rest of the flour mixture. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking tray and spread evenly. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the top of the cake springs back when lightly touched in the centre.
- Meanwhile, sift 2 tbsp icing sugar over a large clean tea towel on a flat surface. When the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven and immediately invert it on to the tea towel. Carefully peel the parchment paper off the cake and discard. Starting from one of the long sides, use the tea towel to gently lift the cake and start to roll it, pulling the tea towel away from the cake as you roll. Cool the rolled cake on a wire rack.
- While the cake cools, make the filling. In a large bowl, lightly whisk the Elmlea until soft peaks start to form (this may take 3-4 minutes). Whisk in the ricotta with the remaining 2 tbsp icing sugar until combined and thick.
- Carefully unroll the cooled cake, leaving it on the towel (don’t worry about any cracking). Spread with the filling, leaving a 3cm border on the long side opposite you. Reroll the cake and transfer to a serving plate. (You can leave it as one long log or cut off a ‘branch’, as we did above.)
- In a small microwaveable bowl, microwave the remaining chocolate on high for 20 seconds, then stir until smooth. Drizzle over the cake, sprinkle with the crushed meringue and candy canes. Slice into 12 to serve.