This is not a rapid and quick fix dessert. The quantities are in grams (it is a Romanian Christmas recipe, called "buturugi" in Romanian). I did not transform the quantities into ounces since most packages and scales have both listed. I would not recommend making this when you have very little time for it; however, I would say this is an amazing recipe, and it is worth the time and effort spent on it. This is one of the most popular desserts I have ever made. And while I am blogging about the things I made for the holidays, they are good all year around, and so feel free to call them something else and make them anytime!
The chocolate logs are made from two meringues stuck together with chocolate filling and then rolled through finely-grated walnuts.
You can make the meringues a day or two beforehand, or even more than that, and keep them in a ziploc bag in the freezer. In fact, I usually make a double portion since it is easier to make them with a stand mixer (rather than a hand mixer) which is more efficient with a bigger number of egg whites.
For one portion of yule logs you will need:
3 egg whites
200 grams powdered sugar
(If you make your own powdered sugar by putting granulated sugar in a grinder, add a teaspoon of cornstarch, since that is included in store-bought powdered sugar)
2 spoonfuls of lemon juice
Beat the egg whites first until they are fluffy then add the sugar little by little. Add the lemon juice and keep mixing it at the highest speed until the composition is thick. See the picture below.
You can take small quantities of the composition with a spoon and drop it on a nonstick baking tray previously buttered. Or, you can put the composition in a ziploc bag, close it and cut one of the corners by half an inch or less and make little merigues as seen in the picture below (you can use a little help if you have it - my son helped me here).
Bake the meringues at 240° F or 105°C for an hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave them there another half an hour or until they are cold. If you do not have an oven with a thermometer I would say bake them at the lowest setting with the oven door slightly open.
For the filling you will need:
2 sticks of butter ( 250 g ) at room temperature
200 g powdered sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon milk
A few drops of lemon juice
2 cups of finely grated walnuts
Mix the butter with the mixer until it is fluffy.
In a separate bowl mix (with a spoon) the sugar and the milk until it becomes a smooth mixture. Add more drops of milk if the sugar is not incorporated. Add the cocoa powder and keep stirring until all cocoa is covered and is wet. Then place the bowl with the mixture in the microwave oven for 5-10 seconds on high. Take it out and stir the composition. Keep doing this 3-4 times till the composition looks like a melted chocolate. It should be thick, and not running.
Leave it in a cold place to cool down to the room temperature. Then take portions of the chocolate with a spoon and add it to the butter, mixing it constantly with the mixer until it is finished. At the end, add a few drops of lemon juice which enhances the chocolaty taste. Now the filling is ready for use to assembly the yule logs.
Take one meringue in one hand and another one in the other hand and try to stick them together with the pointy sides towards one another. Press them against each other just slightly until you hear a cracking sound. Then hold them with one hand and with the other hand, using a butter knife, fill the space between them with the chocolate filling, rotating them until they look like a little cylinder that is white at the ends and black on the sides, to give them a shape of a yule log. When you are happy with the shape, roll it on the grated walnuts previously prepared on a large plate. Keep doing the same until you finish the meringues and/or filling. Ideally you should finish both of them in the same time.
Here is another picture of the end result.