Fanny always has a Swiss Roll panel lurking about for such emergencies, but even if you don't they are super easy to do in a hurry. For this very special Chocolate Log a very special Chocolate Swiss Roll is recommended, but not essential. Any Swiss Roll will do, but if you do fancy Chocolate, Fanny simply replaces a tablespoon of flour in her recipe with a tablespoon of sweetened drinking chocolate. Not cocoa powder. She does have a much more involved, flourless recipe that she will share later in the course, but for now ordinary drinking chocolate it is! Then, as every Swiss Roll before, sugar is heated in the oven, added to whizzed up eggs and whipped until voluminous and strong.
The nasty neighbours would barely notice you were away for long as the Swiss Roll panels only takes 9 minutes to bake. Johnnie will have just gotten part way through a very interesting story and they will barely hear you clatter around in the kitchen to get things sorted as they will be faking laughter and fascination, so clatter away.
For this Yuletide treat, Fanny fancies it up even more with a chocca-mocha buttercream filling and topping. No nosey neighbour will be expecting that! They'll smell the coffee brewing and as Johnnie pours it expertly for them they will simply have no idea what is to come...
Fannys buttercream is made quickly by beating the butter, adding icing sugar and an egg yolk, beating again before adding the chosen flavour - softened chocolate chips and reduced, syrup like fresh coffee. You could add anything you like. The buttercream is simply spread on the inside of the panel, with the sides cut off to ensure it rolls properly, and then slathered all over roughly. Little stumps are fashioned from the off-cuts and stuck on. The illusion of bark is created with little stick, Fanny recommends an orange stick but all I have to hand is a cocktail one. A final flourish of thickly dusted icing sugar and voila, the Chocca Mocha Bûche de Noël is ready to present to guests, who will ooo and aah and wonder how on earth you've managed to produce such a thing as if from nowhere. As you wave them goodbye with a cheerful 'Merry Christmas' you'll hear them whisper in wonderment to each other 'Did you see Fannys Bûche? Amazing, so much flavour and sensational to look at'... Merry Christmas everyone, from Fanny and from me!