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Log Cake Recipe - Serbian Panj Torta

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Radmila Milivojevic and her Serbian Log Cake.

Radmila Milivojevic and her Serbian Log Cake.

© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Log cakes are common throughout Europe, especially for Christmas. But Radmila Milivojevic of Chesterton, Ind., also makes her Serbian version -- panj torta -- for other special occasions like Easter and slava. Read about Milivojevic's Christmas memories in Serbia and view these step-by-step instructions for how to assemble a log cake.

Makes 12 servings of Serbian Log Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • Sponge Cake:
  • 10 large eggs, separated
  • 10 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground (not chopped) walnuts
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • .
  • Filling:
  • 2 cups ground (not chopped) walnuts
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) softened butter
  • .
  • Frosting:
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) softened butter

Preparation:

  1. For the sponge cake: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 15"x10" jellyroll pan with parchment paper. In a stand mixer or large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick and lemon colored. Add 1/2 cup ground walnuts and lemon zest and mix well.

  2. In a separate bowl, combine baking powder and flour and add to egg yolk mixture. In a clean, greasefree bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Add a dollop of egg whites to the flour mixture and stir to lighten. Then carefully fold in remaining whites, trying not to deflate them.

  3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 20-30 minutes or until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan. Let cool 5 minutes. Invert onto a sheet of parchment paper that has been dusted with granulated sugar. Remove the parchment paper the sponge cake was baked on. Roll the cake from the long side along with the sugar-dusted parchment into a cylinder and let cool completely.

  4. For the filling: In a medium saucepan, cook 2 cups ground walnuts, 5 tablespoons milk, 1/2 cup sugar and cocoa powder until sugar dissolves and mixture is cohesive. Cool slightly and beat in 8 ounces softened butter.

  5. Assembling the log cake: Unroll the sponge cake and spread with 3/4 of the filling. Reroll into a tight cylinder. Cut off the two ends diagonally and, using the remaining filling, attach to opposite sides of the log to resemble branches.

  6. For the Frosting: In a double boiler or microwave oven, melt the chocolate chips and 5 tablespoons milk. Beat in 8 ounces softened butter. Cool slightly. Frost the entire log cake and, using the tines of a fork or a knife, create lines in the frosting to resemble bark. Sprinkle with coconut for a snow effect or dyed-green coconut to look like grass for Easter or other occasions.
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