A lip smacking chocolate log isn’t just for Christmas. It’s also a great cake to mark both St Valentine’s Day and ten years of blogging. This celebratory chocolate log is a brilliant way to share the love. It looks a bit special and is made from rich dark chocolate, seasonal blood oranges and red strawberry jam. In honour of the occasion, I also have ten favourite chocolate recipes from some awesome food blogging buddies.
Chocolate Log Blog
My very first post was called Cut the Chocolate Log. It wasn’t a recipe post, just an introduction to my blog, Chocolate Log Blog, as was. Ten years on, I finally have a chocolate log to cut. I like to do things dreckly.
A chocolate log may look like something that should be wheeled out at Christmas. Indeed this one would make an excellent yule log for festive occasions. Look carefully, however and you’ll see some birds nesting on my log: it’s a spring chocolate log. In my book, a chocolate log makes for a good celebration cake at any time of the year.
Blood Orange Chocolate Log
This chocolate log is a light chocolate sponge, flavoured with seasonal blood oranges. It’s filled with homemade strawberry jam and is covered with an orange flavoured dark chocolate ganache. It’s delicious. Roll out the roulade.
Yes, this chocolate log is a bit fiddly to make and no my rolling abilities haven’t improved much over the years. But this is one fabulous cake and it’s well worth making. The flavour is robust and the cake’s not overly sweet. The chocolate ganache is rich and unctuous and the orange notes shine through. Despite the wholemeal spelt flour, the chocolate roll is wonderfully spongy.
I’ve a few tips for you that you can find below, but for the full recipe you’ll need to scroll to the bottom of the post. Please do let me know if you try it and what changes, if any, you made to it.
WARNING If you feel tempted to eat the ivy, please don’t. It’s poisonous and is used in the photos for decorative reasons only.
Five Tips for Successful Rolling
- Add a little water to the sponge mixture, it helps make it more pliable.
- Ensure you have the right size baking tin so that the sponge isn’t too thick to roll.
- Don’t over bake the sponge as this will make it more likely to break.
- Cover with a damp tea towel whilst the sponge is cooling after baking, so it doesn’t dry out.
- If the sponge does break up a bit, tell no-one and cover with ganache or buttercream and no-one will be any the wiser.
Prefer a Cream Filling?
It’s fine to use cream as the filling instead of the jam, or even as well as the jam. The chocolate log, however, will need to be eaten within a couple of days of making it. It will also be a bit more difficult to roll as the cream is more likely to squidge out of the sides.
Don’t Like Dark Chocolate Ganache?
If you prefer something sweeter and less rich, you can easily swap milk chocolate for the dark chocolate. Other options include a chocolate cream cheese icing as in this fudge cake recipe or a classic chocolate buttercream as in this chocolate layer cake. Although if you use this last one, you might want to leave out the coffee.
Hate Orange Chocolate?
Leaving the orange out of this recipe won’t hurt it at all. You can use vanilla as a flavouring instead and just swap water for the orange juice in the ganache. Alternatively you could use coffee and turn it into a mocha chocolate log.
Ten Favourite Chocolate Recipes
To mark my ten years of chocolate blogging, I asked some of my old chocolate blogging buddies from We Should Cocoa days for their favourite chocolate recipe. There’s also one from me. Of course, it’s terribly difficult to pick a favourite from a whole host of chocolate recipes. Most of us, however, have one that stands out just a little bit from the others for one reason or another. So crucially, I wanted to know why my friends had chosen the one they did.
Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen says: “I’ve chosen this fresh mint chocolate cake because it bring together my two loves, baking and gardening. It’s a very popular cake and just bursting with fresh minty flavour which combines so well with the rich chocolate cake.”
From Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary, we have the best gluten-free crème egg brownies recipe. “This is, hands’ down, the best brownie recipe I have ever made, and my readers are always telling me the same too. It’s so nice to get their positive feedback – it’s one of the main reasons I still blog after 7 years!”
Lucy from Baking Queen 74 reckons this chocolate peanut butter cornflake slice is “simple yet delicious. It doesn’t take long to make and looks so effective.”
This recipe for how to make your own chocolate bar from scratch may not be my favourite to eat, but it’s the one I feel most proud of. I really didn’t think it was possible to make chocolate at home unless you had all sorts of fancy equipment. But all you really need, it turns out, is a decent blender.
Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe chose hedgehog. “Narrowing it down to my favourite means putting aside all the quirky recipes and going to a childhood recipe I really love. I chose a made-over version of a loved hedgehog slice. It was always at cake sales and fetes when I was a child and my mum made it heaps. This version is improved with condensed milk (which makes everything taste amazing) and then made more adult with dark chocolate rather than cocoa.”
This gorgeous plate of mixed berry and chocolate popovers comes from Karen of Lavender and Lovage. She says: “I’m feeling a little nostalgic and with Choclette’s 10th Blog Anniversary came lovely memories of so many blogging challenges such as Tea Time Treats, Random Recipes and the very tasty and delicious We Should Cocoa.”
From Dom of Belleau Kitchen, we have chocolate-box brownies and just in time for Valentine’s Day too. “I mean, this is my all time favourite chocolate recipe. Its just so simple and quick to make and is quite impressive.”
Kate from the Gluten Free Alchemist had a good think about her favourite chocolate recipe and concluded it was a tricky one. “But I think it would have to be my coffee-intense mocha roulade, because it tastes incredible and combines my two loves…. chocolate and coffee. It has the most amazing coffee hit against light chocolate sponge and never fails to impress when served at dinner parties…. a true show-stopper.”
It’s double chocolate chip cookies from Corina of Searching for Spice. “My family love homemade cookies and these double chocolate chip cookies are one of our favourite recipes. They’re perfect as an after school snack and I also like to freeze the cookie dough so I can bake a few at short notice.”
Jac from Tinned Tomatoes was one of the very first people to comment on my blog way back when. She wasn’t able to pick a favourite when I asked, so I’ve done the choosing for her. The photo of this chocolate pear cake has lived with me ever since I first saw it, nearly eight years ago. It just looks so very fudgy.
As it happened Jac of Tinned Tomatoes managed to get me her favourite in the nick of time. So she gets two of hers instead of one. Its this indulgent vegan chocolate cake with whipped coconut cream. “I love this chocolate cake as it is indulgent, but easy to make, with a shot of coffee to bring out the rich chocolate flavour.”
I’m linking my blood orange chocolate log up to #BakingCrumbs with Apply To Face Blog, #CookOnceEatTwice with Searching for Spice, #BakeOfTheWeek with Mummy Mishaps, #LoveCake with JibberJabberUK and #CookBlogShare with Everyday Healthy Recipes.
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this blood orange chocolate log, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share photos on your preferred social media site and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.
Blood Orange Chocolate Log. PIN IT.
Blood Orange Chocolate Log – The Recipe
Blood Orange Chocolate Log
- 2 eggs (medium to large)
- 2 oz golden caster sugar
- pinch of sea or rock salt (I used Himalayan pink rock salt)
- 1 orange (I used a blood orange) - zested & juiced
- 1 dessertspoon warm water
- 1 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
- wholemeal spelt flour made up to 2 oz with the cocoa powder
- 3 heaped tbsp strawberry jam
- 100 g dark chocolate (I used 72%)
- 1 tsp runny honey
- 50 ml double cream
- Turn the oven on and set it to 190℃ (375℉, Gas 5). Line a 20 x 30 cm tin with baking paper.
- Whisk the eggs, sugar, salt and orange zest together with electric beaters until the mixture has tripled in volume and is thick, pale and almost mouse-like. This takes around 5 minutes on high speed. You can do it by hand, but it will require some elbow grease and take longer.
- Fold in the warm water with a large metal spoon, then sieve in the flour and cocoa powder. Fold in carefully, so that you don't loose too much air, until everything is just combined.
- Scrape the mixture into the tin, then spread it with a knife until it's filled the corners and is even. Bake in the middle of the oven for 8 minutes, or until well risen and springy to the touch.
- Place the tin on a wire rack. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to cool.
- Whilst the sponge is cooling, break the chocolate into a bowl. Add the honey and 25 ml of the orange juice. Place over a pan of hot, but not boiling, water. Leave for a few minutes until the chocolate has mostly melted. Remove from the heat.
- Bring the cream to a near boil in a small pan, then pour over the chocolate. Stir from the inside out until everything is melted, smooth and combined. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
- Turn the cooled sponge out onto a clean piece of baking paper and peel off the original piece.
- Add a teaspoonful or two of the orange juice to the strawberry jam and stir to make it a good spreading consistency. Be careful it doesn't become too runny.
- Spread this over the sponge, making sure you leave a small gap around the edges, so that it doesn't all squidge out when rolled.
- Using the baking paper to aid you, carefully roll the sponge up lengthways.
- Spread the ganache roughly over the roll, so that it resembles tree bark. Leave the ends clear. If you prefer, you can use a fork to roughen the surface up.
- Leave for an hour or so for the ganache to set.