Tag Archives: Christmas

Black Forest Yule Log

22 Dec

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Just in time for Christmas, this recipe is perfect for everyone who doesn’t like Christmas cake or Christmas pudding but still wants a deliciously festive sweet treat. The addition of the cherries makes this yule log seem extra decadent and luxurious, and tastes amazing. I will admit that I used a tin of cherries in this. If you really want to make your own filling, use a recipe such as this, but personally I think life is just too short and used this:

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This yule log went down a treat with my family, with the flourless cake meaning that it isn’t too rich and heavy to enjoy lots of it!

NB: although most of my recipes don’t require any specialist equipment, I wouldn’t attempt this recipe without an electric food mixer (I got one for £5 in Argos). This is because beating the egg whites takes a good ten minutes even with an electric mixer – without one, you’ll need muscles like Popeye!

Makes: obviously it depends how thick you cut your slices, but I got sixteen decent sized slices out of mine.

Cost per slice: again this obviously depends how many slices your yule log makes, but assuming you have sixteen it works out as £0.21 per slice (price based on Tesco Value ingredients).

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 1 can (400g) cherry pie filling
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

1) Preheat the oven to 180C.

2) Separate your eggs, doing them one at a time over a small bowl before adding them to your mixing bowl so that if one goes wrong you won’t ruin all the other whites – you need to make sure not to get any yolk at all in the whites, or the egg whites won’t hold their shape when you beat them. To separate the eggs break them over a bowl, and tip the yolk back and forth between the two halves of the shell so that the white falls out and only the yolk remains in the shell.

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3) Beat the egg whites until they are thick and beginning to hold their peaks.

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4) Still whisking, add 50g of caster sugar and continue whisking until the eggs hold their peaks but are not dry.

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5) In a separate bowl beat together the egg yolks and the rest of the caster sugar, until they have a thick, mousse-like consistency.

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6) Add the vanilla extract to the egg yolk mixture, and sieve over the cocoa powder before folding both in.

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7) Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture, about a quarter at a time. Fold carefully so that you don’t lose too much air from the mixture – you need it to keep the cake light and fluffy.

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8) Line a swiss roll tin (or deep baking tray) with greaseproof paper, folding it into the corners so that the cake stays rectangular, and pour in the mixture.

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9) Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.

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10) Sprinkle icing sugar over a large piece of greaseproof paper, and when the cake is cool enough to touch turn it out onto this – the icing sugar should stop it sticking.

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11) Spread the cherries over the cake. Spread the syrup right to the edges but keep the cherries fairly central – this ensures that every slice will have cherries in it.

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12) Roll up the log, trying to keep the roll nice and tight. It’s easier to roll it with your hands on the outside of the greaseproof paper. Don’t worry if any of it cracks or breaks – you can cover this up with icing. Trim the edges to make it neat.

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13) Make the icing by melting the chocolate over a pan of simmering water.

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14) Set aside the melted chocolate to cool a little, and cream together the icing sugar and butter.

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15) Add the melted chocolate to the buttercream, and beat in.

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16) Spread over the yule log, as evenly as possible.

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17) If your yule log is too long to fit on the board or plate you’re serving it on then trim to the right length.

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18) Cut the offcuts diagonally, and use to make a branch for your yule log.

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19) Cover this with icing as well, and make sure to hide the join.

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20) Serve dusted with icing sugar, to look like fallen snow.

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Chocolate Dynamite

17 Dec

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The perfect Christmas gift for anyone with a sweet tooth, think Hotel Chocolat slab but on a student budget.

It isn’t the cheapest recipe in the world, but cut up into pieces and packaged nicely it would make lovely Christmas presents which would cost far less than anything equivalent from a shop! I haven’t done a cost or how many this serves because obviously the cost depends on which fillings you want to use, and in my family this would probably serve one! I would definitely recommend using Tesco Value chocolate for this though – it’s only 30p per 100g bar, and once you’ve melted it and covered it in fruit and nuts it tastes just as luxurious as a high-end chocolate bar.

For this recipe you can play around with the ingredients to your heart’s content and it will still taste amazing. Freeze dried raspberries, almonds, toasted pecans, and various other toppings can be used in this, either instead of, or as well as, the ingredients I’ve used. I used a mixture of dark and milk chocolate to stop it being too sweet but also good for people who don’t like dark chocolate, but obviously you can change that around with that as you wish. The white chocolate isn’t essential if you don’t like it, but it does give a lovely Christmassy touch.

Tip: if you don’t like, or are allergic to, nuts then obviously you’ll need to leave them out of this recipe, in which case I would recommend adding another fruit as well as the cranberries, such as freeze dried raspberries, and maybe adding an extra crunchie bar to give a little extra crunch.

Ingredients:

  • 600g milk/dark chocolate
  • 100g white chocolate
  • 4 crunchie bars
  • 25 pistachio nuts
  • 25g dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp popping candy

Method:

1) Break the milk/dark chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.

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2) Whilst the chocolate is melting cover a baking tray with clingfilm.

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3) Chop the crunchies into small pieces and add to the melted chocolate.

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4) Pour the chocolate mixture onto the baking tray, making sure to spread it reasonably evenly.

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5) Chop the pistachios and add evenly to the chocolate.

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6) Add the dried cranberries and sprinkle popping candy over the top. If you wanted to, you could also make several small slabs instead of making one big one and breaking it into pieces.

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7) Melt the white chocolate and drizzle over the top. On my second attempt at this recipe I realised that it would probably work best to pipe the white chocolate on – I did this by putting it in a sandwich bag and cutting off the corner to make a small hole.

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8) Put in the fridge to set. It should take a couple of hours to harden completely.

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9) If you’ve made a big slab chop into pieces and wrap up for presents in cellophane with ribbon, or just eat it!

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