A twist on the traditional French bûche de Noël
OFM’s 20 best Christmas baking recipes in full
Dan Lepard’s pistachio halva chocolate roulade.
Dan Lepard’s pistachio halva chocolate roulade. Photograph: Dan Lepard
The trick to easily peeling pistachios is to blanch 100g shelled nuts in 500ml boiling water with two teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda for two minutes, then drain and rinse. The peel then slips off easily and the nuts turn a brilliant green colour.
For the pistachio genoise
eggs 3 (60g each), separated
caster sugar 80g
almond extract 2-3 drops
plain flour 80g
matcha powder 2 tsp (4g), or ½ tsp natural green colouring.
butter for the tray
pistachios 60g shelled, peeled and chopped
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For the chocolate halva honey filling
double cream 200g
caster sugar 20g
tahini 40g, stirred until creamy before measuring
dark chocolate 100g, about 60%-70% cocoa
halva 60g, chopped
For the white chocolate mascarpone cream
double cream 200g
caster sugar 30g
white chocolate 150g, broken into squares
vanilla extract 2 tsp
peeled pistachios chopped or slivered, to finish
For the pistachio genoise, cover a tray with non-stick baking paper and rub a little cold butter over it very lightly. This will very gently flavour the sponge as it bakes. Heat the oven to 160C/ gas mark 3.
In one bowl whisk the whites with roughly half the sugar until very soft peaks form, not stiff at all. In another bowl whisk the yolks with the remaining sugar until pale and creamy, then beat in the almond extract. Into a third bowl weigh the flour and matcha and stir together.
Very gently fold the yolks through the whites until barely combined, then sift in the flour and fold again very gently until just combined, a few streaks are fine. Dab a few spots of the batter directly onto the tray to fix the paper steadily, then pour the batter onto one end of the tray. Gently spread the batter evenly over the tray, sprinkle with pistachios and bake for about 12 minutes until just set. Remove from the oven, cool then cover well until ready.
For the chocolate halva honey filling, put 100g of the cream with the sugar, honey and tahini in a saucepan and heat until hot and the sugar melted. Remove from the heat, snap the chocolate into pieces and stir through until melted and barely warm.
When the chocolate mixture is cold, whip the remaining 100g cream until just slightly thickened then fold this gently through, a few streaks are fine, then pour this over the genoise and spread evenly. Sprinkle the halva over the top and leave 30 minutes to set.
Roll the genoise up snuggly, peeling it off the paper as you roll. Wrap and chill until you’re ready to decorate it: it’s totally fine in the fridge for a few days like this.
For the white chocolate mascarpone cream, put 100g of the cream with the sugar in a saucepan then stir until hot, but don’t boil it. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until melted through. Leave to cold, stirring occasionally.
Beat the mascarpone and vanilla until light and fluffy then fold this though the chocolate. Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold this through gently. Chill the mixture for 30 minutes then spread or pipe it over the roulade, and sprinkle with pistachios to finish.