I'm familiar with the Yule Log cake, but this recipe from Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook for an Arctic Roll with a German flavor twist looks like a real show-stopper. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intimidated by the look of this, but Jamie Oliver has a knack for making something amazing with ease, so why not give it a try...
BLACK FOREST STYLE WITH CHOCOLATE SPONGE, KIRSCH, & CHERRIES
Here’s a wonderful Germanic nod to the classic Arctic roll of my childhood. It’s easy to make, even weeks before you need it, always fun and dramatic to tuck into, and great for feeding a crowd. Stick a sparkler in it, and you’re winning.
1 HOUR 15 MINUTES
unsalted butter, for greasing
3 large eggs
1/2 cup superfine sugar, plus extra for dusting
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup quality unsweetened cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
FILLING & TOPPING
1 pint quality chocolate ice cream
heaping 1/2 cup quality black cherry jam
1 3/4 oz blanched hazelnuts
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. For the sponge, grease a baking sheet (15 x 10 inches) with butter, line the bottom and sides with parchment paper, then lightly grease the paper.
By hand or with an electric mixer, beat the eggs and superfine sugar until pale, thick, and creamy. Sift in half the flour and cocoa, very gently fold them in using a large metal spoon, then repeat with the rest.
Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 10 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Meanwhile, soften your ice cream in the fridge.
Place a large sheet of parchment paper on top of a clean damp kitchen towel, and evenly sprinkle over a thin layer of superfine sugar from a height.
While it’s still hot and flexible, turn the sponge out onto the paper. Peel off and discard the baked piece of parchment. With one of the shortest sides in front of you, fold up the excess paper, then roll up the sponge with the paper inside (as it cools this will set the shape but prevent the sponge from cracking). Leave to cool.
For the fillings, finely grate the clementine zest into a bowl, squeeze in the juice, add a splash of kirsch and the jam, and mix well. Toast the hazelnuts in a dry pan until golden, then bash until fine. Whip the cream to soft peaks, then fold in the yogurt, vanilla bean paste, and sifted confectioner’s sugar.
To assemble, unroll the sponge so it’s flat, removing the paper.
Drizzle with kirsch, cover with a layer of cream, then dot over half the jam filling. Rustically spoon over the softened ice cream, leaving a 2-inch gap at one of the shorter ends, then dot over most of the remaining jam filling and most of the nuts.
Carefully reroll—if the filling starts to slip out, just push it back in. Wrap well in parchment and freeze overnight, or until needed.
Get your Arctic roll out of the freezer and into the fridge 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve. Carefully trim the ends to give you nice edges, then brush over the remaining jam filling, dust with cocoa, and scatter over the remaining nuts. I like to decorate it with shavings of dark chocolate, fresh cherries, and gold leaf, too!