Sunday 21 December 2008

Yuletide Log

Christmas is almost upon us, and no matter how cynical you are about the modern Christmas and all of its clinical marketing and sales techniques, there is still something magical about this time of the year. The excitement in our house is crackling in the air, especially with a mischievous 3 year old desperate to open some presents that Santa has somehow already managed to place underneath our tree.

I can still remember feeling the presents when nobody was around in a nervous effort to work out what they were. And on more than one occasion, the Sellotape was peeled carefully aside in order to have a peek. I can only apologise to my family right now as I admit this unscrupulous crime after all of these years. But I reckon everybody has tried this once or twice.

I also can't recall an event in which all forms of nature are painted and decorated with such lavish attention. From a tinsel necked dog to a town street tree, few escape the Western gaudiness of our Christmas decorations. And in my opinion, the world is a much better place when we can forget about our earthly troubles and don the tack to such effect. My house is covered in the stuff - taste has no place at Christmas time.

No surprises, but it is the food that gets me excited. At no other time of the year can you indulge yourself so heavily and not have to be made to feel guilty in some way. The smells of Christmas food are unique and just the waft of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves brings back a thousand memories in one swift sniff. So enjoy this mainstay of the Yuletide season - it is a lot easier to make than you might first think - and don't forget to get the kids involved when making it. After all, Christmas should always be about our little ones. Happy Christmas readers x

Yuletide Log

3 eggs
Plain flour
Caster sugar
25g cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
250ml double cream
A splash of rum
1 tsp coffee granules dissolved in a little hot water
150g butter
200g 70% cocoa chocolate
Icing sugar to dust

1 – Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/GM4. Grease and line a small baking tray with baking paper.
2 – Weight the eggs in their shells. Then weight out the same quantity butter, sugar and flour. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs one by one then gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder and vanilla extract.
3 – Pour the sponge mixture into the baking tray and bake on the middle shelf for 10-15 mins until cooked. Allow to cool slightly.
4 – Place a piece of greaseproof paper onto your bench and tip the sponge out onto it. Peel off the baking paper then roll the sponge with the greaseproof inside. Leave to cool and shape.
5 – Melt the butter and chocolate in a pan then allow to cool and thicken. Whip the cream into soft peaks and fold in the coffee and rum. Unroll the sponge and spread with the cream. Roll back up without the greaseproof paper.
6 – Place onto a plate then spread on the chocolate butter with a palette knife, lifting off here and there to try to form a bark effect. Dust with icing sugar and decorate with holy.


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

A yule log is so festive at Christmas David. I imagine little Cery is beside herself. My daughter is 21 now but I still get excited about Christmas, baking and entertaining. Have a wonderful holiday season with your family!!! Cheers!!!

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

I hope you and your family have a great Christmas David! The log looks really tempting :)

Abitofafoodie said...

Such a cutie-pie! I hope that you and your family have a wonderful and magical Christmas, David. This yule log looks perfect!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Happy Christmas to you and the family. Hope you have a cracking one!

Don't tame the tack - Love that title!

Peter M said...

Christmas is all about the kids and would ya look at the smile on your daughter's face.

She'll always remember Daddy's Yule Log.

William Leigh said...

er...send me a piece of that right now! Looks amazing well done mate

Trig said...

Allspice, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, chestnut, nutmeg, clementine - I can smell it already. Here we go...

Chef Jeena said...

How festive and pretty.

I love a yule log and even the way you covered it with the frosting looks so good!

Have a great xmas David. :-)

Jan said...

Your Yuletide Log looks and sounds divine.

A very Happy Christmas to you and yours.

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