I know the recipe looks finicky, and I can’t promise it’s a doddle, but it works easily and you will soon find you are rolling chocolate logs without a care. In fact, if you have a lot of people coming round, and you can find a serving dish or board long enough, it might be worth making 2 cakes and sitting them end to end, to look like a really long log. But even if you’re making just one log, I advise at least a freestanding mixer or a hand-held electric whisk: I wouldn’t contemplate this by hand.
Now, it doesn’t look anything like a log when it is just a bald roulade, but once you’ve spread on the chocolate icing, made approximations of wood- markings on it (I use the sharp end of a corn-on-the-cob holder for this) and all, it does look quite impressive. I don’t go as far as the French, and make sugar mushrooms to adorn it: this is not only because I lack the talent, but also because a light snowfall of icing sugar is all this yule log really needs to complete its wintry perfection.
Recipe posted by Nigella