So here we are at the last post of the year. Christmas is almost upon us & everyone is coming to me this year. I found out when my younger sister asked me if it was Ok if one more joined us for lunch (her holiday plans fell through). I was like " Of course! Wait. Why is she asking me?....."
But I'm looking forward to having them all over and will actually get a Christmas tree for once. Just hope that a certain black cat can be trusted not to attack it on a daily basis.
So, on with the recipe and I think its a good one! It Certainly didn't last long in my family, which is always a good sign (especially with my sisters who seem to have a strong aversion to anything with a "gluten free" tag.)
Not everyone likes Christmas cake or Christmas pudding (my brother is the one in our family who will eat it and he's in Spain this year) So this is a yummy, Christmassy alternative. It's not as difficult as you may think, but always looks quite impressive. The great thing about making a yule log is that it doesn't matter if it cracks or falls apart - in fact all the better if it does - it will look even more like a gnarly piece of log! just have fun with it and don't worry about getting it perfect. It will taste delicious no matter what.
I've made it with two alternative fillings. The one at the top is covered and filled with buttercream , the one below is dairy free, filled with coconut cream and covered with dairy free icing.
125g plain gluten free flour ( I used Dove's farm)
130g caster sugar
4 large eggs
3 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
1 level teaspoon baking powder
150g unsalted butter
225g icing sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
DAIRY FREE FILLING
200g of coconut cream or coconut yogurt ( I used Coyo)
100g dairy free spread
150g icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 Preheat the oven to 180c
2 Beat all the sponge ingredients together until you get a smooth batter
3 spread the mix onto a sheet of paper, about 1 - 1.5cm thick, in a kind of rectangle shape (it doesn't need to be too exact)
4 bake in the oven for 15 minutes. I know I've said it a million times, but all ovens vary, so keep an eye on it - your oven may take 10 minutes. you want it firm, but springy to the touch.
5 lay another sheet of baking paper on a clean work surface. when the cake is cooked, flip onto the paper and peel off the lining paper it cooked on.
6 roll up the sponge (from its longest side - with the second piece of paper inside) into a tube shape. leave to cool. when cool, unroll the log
To make the buttercream icing shown at the top of the page
1 Beat the icing sugar, unsalted butter & cocoa together. you may need a little water if the mixture is too stiff (or to take it up a notch, a spoonful or two of brandy)
2 when the sponge is cool, unwrap it. Spread some of the icing over the flat surface and roll it up again (not in the paper this time).
3 cut a thick, diagonal piece off the log and place it at the side of the log (to make a branch, see main picture).
4 cover the log with the rest of the buttercream. Use a fork to make a "bark" pattern. dust with icing sugar for a snow effect and decorate with Holly.
To make the dairy free version.
Spread the coconut cream over the flat surface instead of the icing and roll the log up (not with the paper this time).
Beat the dairy free spread, the icing sugar and the cocoa together to make the icing. Don't use any water for this one - the consistency of the icing won't be thick enough. Spread the icing over the top of the log, use a fork to make a bark pattern, and dust with icing sugar for a snow effect.
Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2017 to each and every one of you!
Just to clarify, This is a Christmas tree at the Royal Albert Hall in London, not mine!