By Tetemui Temui

A sweet Starlight Celebration dessert popular in Gridania.
This cylindrical cake is made to resemble one of the Black Shroud’s many sacred trees.

Starlight season has finally arrived! I hope you’re enjoying this wonderful season. Remember, this festivity is meant to be shared with the ones you love and care for, regardless of whether in the end it’s only yourself! In our quick-paced world, self-care is becoming more and more relevant. Plus, you don’t need to share your cake or Netflix account with anybody else.

While the starlight log might seem intimidating, it really isn’t. Bake cake, slather whipped cream on, roll it up, douse in chocolate, and voilà. As an added bonus, you don’t need to separate eggs in this recipe!

Preparation time: approx. 4 hours (including cooling times)
You will need:

Sponge:
4 eggs
20 g (1/5 cup) high gluten flour (if you’re in the USA, you can replace with all-purpose flour)
40 g (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
130 g (3/4 cup) sugar
2 Tb milk
2 Tb oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp vinegar

Filling:
200 g (1 cup) whipping/heavy cream
1 Tb cinnamon
30 g sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Ganache (chocolate):
300 g (10 oz) chocolate, cut to pieces (min. 60% cocoa)
150 g (5 oz) heavy cream
+ some powdered sugar for decorative purposes.

Measure the ingredients for your ganache precisely. The ratio of cream and chocolate is important!

We will first prepare the ganache: Put your cream in a tall and microwave-proof jug. Bring the cream to a boil in your microwave (at 700W it takes about 1-2 minutes). Alternatively, you can put the cream in a small pot and bring it to a boil and remove from heat. Add the chocolate pieces, wait for about 1 minute, and then stir the mixture until it starts to get dark and glossy. Mmmmmh, chocolate. Time to taste it. So good. Maybe taste again…? After you hopefully restrained yourself from eating it all up, put the ganache in the fridge to let it cool. Ideally, you prepare the ganache in the morning and bake the cake in the afternoon. If the ganache becomes too hard, you can still nuke it at low heat in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it.

Preheat the oven to 170° C (approx. 350 F). Grease and line a square pan with parchment paper. I really don’t know sizes here; the amount of batter is enough to fill one half of a German standard baking tray.

Measure the flour in a bowl, add in the baking powder, soda and salt and mix. Set the flour aside. Get your kitchen machine out (or hand mixer) and beat the living hell out of those poor 4 eggs. After about 2 minutes, they’ll start to become pale and frothy. Add in the sugar and keep whipping until you have those miracle off-white clouds you could dance on all day after drinking too many cocktails.

In a separate measuring jug, mix the milk, oil, vanilla extract and vinegar together. Carefully add the liquids to your white clouds and whisk until incorporated. Sift the flour over the clouds and fold the flour into the mixture. Pour the batter into your pan and bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

While it is baking, lay out a clean dish cloth on your table and sift a little bit powdered sugar on it. As soon as your cake is done, flip it out of the pan and onto the dish cloth. Remove the parchment paper. Trim the edges with a serrated knife and dust the top with powdered sugar as well. Roll the cake tightly with the dish cloth and let it cool while wrapped.

Time to make the filling! It’s actually quite simple, and if you’re reaaaaaaaaaally lazy, you can just thaw some whipped cream and slather it on to your cake. I prefer to whip it up since I can add different flavors into it, such as cinnamon (yes!) or even add a few drops of rum or whiskey (even more yes!). Anyway, just mix all the ingredients for the filling together and whip it until it’s quite stiff, but not yet butter.

Once the cake is cool, carefully unroll it. Spread your whipped cream on it and carefully re-roll. Using your serrated knife, cut the edges on both sides and eat (or discard, but why not eat it instead?). Cut a larger chunk from the back and stack it on the top.

Take out your ganache, give it a stir to make sure it’s not too stiff. Plaster the ganache all over your cake roll, leaving out the cut ends to reveal the roll pattern. It doesn’t have to be smooth or picture-perfect, we’re imitating a log here! Wait until the ganache has hardened a bit on the cake. Using a fork, carve log-like patterns into the ganache. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add a few fondant or marzipan decorations to it such as mushrooms or leaves. Dust the cake with some powdered sugar. Enjoy!