contributed by Georges and Claude d'Arras, Le Bistro Du Beaujolais
For the cake:
4 eggs separated
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup white flour
1 oz. powdered sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling and frosting:
3/4 cup sugar
5 oz. unsalted butter
6 oz. dark, semi-sweet chocolate
3 egg yolks
Grease a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan and line bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
For the cake, beat egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture is white and frothy. Sift the flour and gently fold into beaten egg yolks using a spatula. Add the vanilla extract, mix quickly and thoroughly by hand, and set aside. The batter will be quite thick.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they form soft peaks (you can beat with an electric mixer instead of whisk). Add the powdered sugar, and whisk again until the egg whites are glossy and peaks are stand up firmly without being stiff. Gently fold 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the cake batter until well blended, then add remaining egg whites. Blend thoroughly but do not over-mix.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake in the middle of the oven at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until the cake is golden in color and your finger makes a slight indentation when you press the top. Before removing cake from the oven, moisten a clean kitchen towel and spread on table or work surface. Remove pan from oven, invert and turn the cake out onto the towel. Peel the parchment paper off and starting from one of the long sides, gently the cake up in the towel.
Allow to cool 30 minutes in the towel. While the cake is cooling, prepare the filling and frosting.
Melt the chocolate and butter in heavy, medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Shake the pan occasionally, and when the chocolate and butter are completely melted, remove from heat. Add sugar and whisk until completely combined. Let mixture cool to room temperature. When cool, whisk in the egg yolks until well blended. The mixture should have a thick, spreadable consistency.
Unroll the cake. Spread 3/4 of the chocolate filling over the cake, leaving about 1/8 of an inch 'margin' on each edge. Roll the cake back up and cut a diagonal 1 1/4 inch slice from each end.
Using a dab of filling like 'glue', attach these two slices to the top so the cake will have shape of a log with two 'knots'. Using the filling, generously frost the cake including the 'knots' and the ends. Let the cake rest for 15 minutes before decorating.
To finish, run the tines of a fork lengthwise through the icing over the top and sides. For the 'knots' and the ends, use the fork in a circular motion. Add green leaves make of almond paste tinted with food coloring, red candied or maraschino cherries, and if desired a meringue mushroom.