Christmas baking – Yule Log

Well, this is a bit belated now, but here at last is the Yule Log I baked for Christmas. As I said in my post on them, I love the idea of Yule Logs, not least because they’re so cute and kitschy, and also because I love making Swiss Rolls, for reasons I can’t put my finger on. I made it after having whetted my appetite writing that post, but also because we had three small boys at our Christmas table and I didn’t think they would like Christmas cake.

2014-12-25 13.37.34I used a recipe from my Great British Bake-off cookbook which seemed pretty innocuous but actually turned out to be the least successful Swiss Roll I’ve ever made! I don’t think it was particularly the fault of the recipe, but it came out looking rather dry, and then cracked completely (as in ended up in several pieces) when I rolled it up. Fortunately all the chocolatey creamey goodness in the middle held it all together and also seemed to soften it all up again. It was certainly very popular with the boys and adults like, although I have to report that poor Munchkin never actually got to taste any because he was asleep by the time it came out on Christmas Day, and then his father had hoovered up the remains by the time I thought of offering him any. Ah well, he did ok for sweet treats over Christmas. I can also report that when this recipe says it’s child friendly, I’m pretty sure this means good to GIVE to children, not MAKE with them. Munchkin helped me with parts of it and it was pretty messy! Meringues, on the other hand, were a great success: he loved the ‘dolloping’ part and told his cousins that’s how he’d made them. He only got to eat one of those too ๐Ÿ˜‰

2015-01-14 14.21.23Still on the subject of Yule Logs, I was interested to see a picture of a French Buche de Noel in one of the several baking books I was given for Christmas (my family know me well ๐Ÿ™‚ ) It was in Claire Clark’s 80 Cakes from Around the World which, like Anna Weston’s The Global Bakery is a collection of recipes which highlights the variety of cakes baked in different places. The author is a professional baker and many of the recipes reflect that. It’s beautiful to look at but I’m not as tempted to actually make as many as I am from Anna’s book. Both things are certainly true of this Buche de Noel: can you imagine a cake further from my own Yule Log than this?! The author says that the top patissiers try to outdo each other making more and more innovative improvements to traditional cakes and here is an example! Am I being irreverent in saying that it reminds me of a (very classy) hedgehog?

It’s well past Twelfth Night now so I think that further Christmas baking tales will have to wait for another year. I leave you then with a couple more pictures of treats that graced our table last month.2014-12-24 14.27.19Our Christmas Cake – made with Nigella Lawson’s Jewelled Christmas Cupcake recipe from Feast and inexpertly but lovingly decorated by me

2014-12-18 13.36.54Another Nigella recipes – for Christmas pudding truffles (recipe can be found here). They both look like Christmas puddings and contain them as an ingredient. I made them for Munchkin’s nursery key worker for Christmas. They look cute; I felt that Christmas pudding IN a truffle was a bit odd, but hey, it was festive.

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