Dark Chocolate Buche de Noel

This classic cake is light and airy, and it's filled with fluffy chocolate icing. This dessert is an impressive finish to any holiday dinner.

1/4 cup milk 50 mL
2 tbsp butter 25 mL
3/4 cup sifted cake-and-pastry flour 175 mL
1 tsp baking powder 5 mL
1/4 tsp salt 1 mL
5 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar 175 mL
1 tbsp icing sugar 15 mL

1 cup butter, softened 250 mL
1/3 cup whipping cream 75 mL
2 tsp vanilla 10 mL
2 cups icing sugar 500 mL
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled 125 g

Chocolate Bark:
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped 250 g

Line 15- x 10-inch (40x25cm) rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In bowl over saucepan of simmering water, heat milk with butter until
melted. Remove pan from heat, leaving bowl on top to keep warm enough that
finger can remain in bowl for no longer than 10 seconds.

In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

Separate yolks and whites of 3 of the eggs into separate bowls. Beat egg
whites until foamy; beat in 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the granulated sugar, about
1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, until soft peaks form.

Beat egg yolks and remaining eggs and granulated sugar until thick enough
that batter leaves ribbons on surface when beaters are lifted, about 5
minutes. Fold in one-third of the whites; fold in remaining whites. Sift
flour mixture over top; fold in. Pour in milk mixture; fold in just until
blended. Spread in prepared pan.

Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven until golden and cake springs back
when lightly touched, about 12 minutes. Loosen edges with knife; place
floured-dusted tea towel over cake. Top with tray larger than pan. Invert
and lift off pan. Starting at corner, peel off paper. Starting at short
side, roll up cake in towel; let cool on rack. (Make-ahead: Store in
airtight container for up to 24 hours.)

Icing: In bowl and with electric beaters, beat butter until fluffy;
gradually beat in cream then vanilla. Beat in sugar, 1 cup (250 mL) at a
time. Beat in chocolate until fluffy and smooth.

Chocolate Bark: Line 15- x 10- inch (40x25cm) rimmed baking sheet with
parchment paper; set aside.

In bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate, stirring
occasionally. Pour onto prepared baking sheet, spreading to scant 1/8-inch (3mm) thickness. Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes. Break or tear
chocolate into about 3- x 1- inch (8 x 2.5cm) pieces. Arrange in single
layer on tray; cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.
(Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 48 hours.)

Unroll cake; spread with 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) of the icing. Reroll without
towel; place, seam side down, on flat serving platter. Spread remaining
icing all over log. Arrange chocolate bark over log. Refrigerate until cold. Dust bark with icing sugar.

Servings: 12