Celebrate the festive period in style with this luxurious show-stopping Christmas red velvet buche de noël. This Yule log is a great alternative to a Christmas cake, with a rich and indulgent taste and packed with boozy cranberries for an extra special treat.
- Heat 100g (3 1/2oz) sugar and 300ml (1/2pt) water in a pan over a low heat, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the cranberries and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Drain and then transfer to a bowl. Cover with the liqueur. Chill until needed.
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line a 23 x 33cm (9 x 13in) Swiss roll tin. In a bowl, beat the butter and remaining 100g (3 1/2oz) sugar with an electic whisk, until fluffy, then gradually beat in the egg yolks.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt into a separate bowl. In a jug, combine the buttermilk, vanilla extract, vinegar and food colouring.
- Fold in a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, followed by a third of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat until you have used up all the ingredients.
- In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold them into the cake mixture.
- Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the sponge is springy to the touch and just coming away from the sides of the tin.
- Dust a large sheet of baking paper with caster sugar. Turn out the bûche onto the sugar and peel off the lining paper. Lightly score a line about 1cm (1/2in) from one of the shorter ends, being careful not to cut through the sponge, then roll it up. Leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. In a bowl, whisk the cream cheese, mascarpone, butter and icing sugar. Whisk in the melted chocolate and 2 tbsp of the cranberry soaking liquid, until smooth.
- Unroll the sponge and spread with a third of the icing, then roll it back up and put on a serving plate. Using a palette knife, spread the top and sides of the bûche with the remaining icing.
- Drain the cranberries and arrange over the bûche. Decorate with sugar snowflakes (if using) and an extra dusting of caster sugar. Serve.
Get ahead: Fill the sponge up to 4 hours before serving, leave at room temperature, but somewhere cool.
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This indulgent Christmas dessert is even more delicious when paired with this elegant, sweet and fruity dessert Sémillon wine by finest*.