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Chocolate & Brandy Log

This cake is popular at Christmas and it’s well worth making one because it tastes and looks so much better than a bought one. Usually it is made with a whisked sponge mixture but I’ve made it easier with a one-stage mix and a standard butter icing. You can have fun in decorating it in the way you choose. You will need a swiss roll tin measuring 30 x 23cm (12 x 9 in) and non-stick baking paper.


Cake base

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 50g (2oz) butter or margarine
  • 110g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 110g (4oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 level teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon hot water

Butter icing

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 110g (4oz) butter
  • 225g (8oz) icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoons brandy (optional)


Cake: mix together the cocoa and boiling water.

Heat the oven to Gas 5 / 190C. Line the tin with non-stick baking paper.

In a large mixing bowl soften the butter with the blended cocoa.. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and add the eggs.

Whisk all together for one minute, add the hot water and whisk briefly again.

Spread the mixture in the tin and bake for approximately 10 – 15 minutes or until firm to a fingertip touch.

Cool 2 – 3 minutes in the tin then turn out onto a piece of non-stick paper.

Remove the lining paper carefully and cover with a damp teatowel and leave for a further 2 minutes.

Trim the crusts from the edges with a long sharp knife, cut halfway through one inch from a short end, fold this over and roll up with a fresh piece of paper inside, finishing with the end underneath. Leave to go cold.

Butter icing: Mix together the cocoa and boiling water. Cream together the butter and icing sugar then the cool cocoa with the brandy if used.

Unroll the cake (don’t worry if it cracks, the butter icing will hold it together) spread with half the butter icing and re-roll.

Coat the cake with the remaining butter icing, using a palette knife dipped in very hot water, smooth it and then mark wavy lines to resemble bark. Smooth the ends

Optional decorations

With either melted white chocolate or white icing pipe rings on the ends, smooth part of the top and pipe an inscription. Add either marzipan holly leaves and berries or an artificial decoration. of your choice. Note: instead of spreading the butter icing, it can be piped using a piping bag and star tube.

Posted in Recipes on Dec 01, 2010