Tag Archives: xmas

Keep rolling

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Every Winter I tell myself I am going to make a Chocolate log.

For the past few Decembers I have been doing thorough research to ascertain what constitutes the perfect log (it’s a hard life, right?)

For me, it’s good old Cadburys that leaves the rest trailing behind, it’s that combination of buttercream and the chocolate sauce wrapped up in a fluffy sponge with a crispy shell that wins it for me.

Looking at various recipes, most seemed to be filled with fresh cream and covered in ganache.
Or covered and filled with ganache. Personally I find ganache a bit heavy, and felt double ganache would be sickly.
I decided to help me recreate some of that Cadburys goodness I would go for a eatmebythespoon chocolate buttercream filling smothered over a layer of chocolate sauce. The log itself will be covered with ganache. I did entertain the idea of then covering this with some melted chocolate to give it that chocolate shell, but considering how much chocolate it would already have, I decided to go with the ‘healthier option’ and left it out.

For sponge I used this recipe, I thought the muscavado sugar would give it a great caramally undertone. The sponge was easier to make than I thought, it is extremely light and fluffy, and was so much better than I was expecting for a fat free sponge.

Part of my reason for not making a Chocolate Log until now is I am scared of Swiss Rolls. Not eating them, clearly, but making. I have nightmares of my roll splitting. Of over or under beating the eggs whites and being left with a rubbery, chewy cake mat like thing. But I beat my rolling demons, just!

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While my rolled roll was cooling, I made the buttercream.
Whisk 170g of unsalted butter at room temp until nice and smooth, gradually sieve in 200g of icing sugar; mixing in with the a spoon before using your electric whisk. I find this stops the icing sugar from spreading over every kitchen surface. Once all the icing sugar is in add 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence/extract. Then whisk. And whisk some more. The more you whisk the fluffier your icing will be. I usually aim for about 5mins.
Then add 150g melted a cooled dark chocolate. I use Bournville or store own brand, I find the high cocoa content chocolate too rich (Waitrose Dark Belgian chocolate is divine, and cheaper than Bournville, which is probably why it was out of stock).
This buttercream really is amazing, you will be eating the left overs with a spoon (and luckily there will be definitely be left overs).

For the ganache I heated 300ml of double cream until it was just boiling, then poured this over a mixture of 150g milk and 150g dark chocolate. I find it too rich with just dark chocolate. Mix until smooth. It will thicken as it cools. Once cooled leave in the fridge until needed.
These quantities made far too much ganache, probably 2/3 would suffice.

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To assemble I unrolled my roll, and spread a thin layer of ganache (I wanted to use chocolate spread but didn’t have any), on top of this a layer of buttercream. I think I got a bit excited with the buttercream, mainly as I didn’t want any left over (as good as it tastes it’s not really good for you apparently).
I then sprinkled some grated chocolate over the buttercream to give it a crunch.
Due to overloading with buttercream made it difficult to roll back, plus my baking paper stuck to the sponge. So my nightmare came true, rolly split 😦 From the pictures you can also see it’s more Arctic roll looking than Swiss roll.

All was not lost as I covered him with a layer of ganache. Place baking paper just tucked under the edges of the roll so any ganache dripping doesn’t leave a mess (I didn’t do this, it was an afterthought unfortunately).
Once slightly firm I used a fork to etch tree bark patterns and swirls.

To give my roll that wintery effect I dusted with icing sugar.

Done.

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This was a HUGE roll. It was cut into 12 generous slices. It would make a beautiful dessert for any special occasional, at any time of the year.

It tasted amazing. It looked amazing

High fives all round.

Next time (and I’m sure there will be many next times) I would use a larger tin to make the sponge to get more rolls. I will definitely use less buttercream inside. Some recipes say to use a sugar syrup to brush the sponge, I think I would try that with a cherry or raspberry syrup and put the cherries/raspberries on top of the buttercream.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year..

I love winter

I love the chilly,frosty mornings

The naked trees showing off their physique

Snow

Hibernation

Pretty Christmas lights and the gorgeous shop fronts filled with enticing delights

Gloves/mittens and fingerglovemitten hybrids

Snow

Christmas movies

Walking through quiet foggy roads

Did I mention snow?

The holiday season is upon us (earlier and earlier so it would seem) when the supermarkets stock their shelves with yummy Xmas treats, gorgeous gingerbread houses, panatonne, stollen,mince pies, Yule logs and mouthwatering continental biscuits.

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One of my favourites are ‘Zimtsterne’, German cinnamon star cookies. They are a macaroon type biscuit with a smooth,crunchy meringue topping. The warming cinnamon with the crunchy sugar is a definite winter winner.

After seeing a recipe for them in the December Goodfood magazine I decided I had to make them. I had a look at a few other recipes online, they all seemed pretty similar, and this recipe yielded the least.

To make the dough was fairly easy, I was slightly concerned about over/under whisking the egg whites, but I think I got the right balance.

The instructions said to roll the dough between two pieces of greaseproof paper, this sounded abit fiddly to me, so I placed the dough to chill for a while and used plenty of icing sugar and didn’t have any issues.
The stickiness of the dough did help when cutting the stars out as they stuck inside the cutter and were easily pushed out onto my tray.

For the topping I piped it on to keep it tidy and though this would be the easiest way. In total I made about 45 stars (I probably could have made about 10 more if I didn’t eat so much dough, it’s divine!)

After about 12mins I took them out, I was disappointed to see the topping of a few of them had cracked. But on the whole they looked pretty good.

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Taste wise, the biscuits themselves were very nice, a soft yet slightly crunchy consistency,but could have done with more cinnamon, if I remake these I would add 1-2 teaspoons more.

The topping had a nice crunch, but possibly I put too thick a layer as they were still soft underneath. Next time I would brush it on with a pastry brush. Or possibly in the shop bought versions I’ve tried they use royal icing?

They went down very nicely with my cinnamon flavoured coffee the next day … And the flavours of the cinnamon and ginger were slightly stronger 🙂

Keep an eye out for more season bakes 🙂