Since I’m not doing anything other than alternating between feeling sick (stupid head cold) and frantically pulling together Christmas (stupid Christmas)… and I haven’t been writing, or even thinking about writing — at all — you get my Yule Log recipe instead of a well-thought-out, writing-related post. YAY!
I love this Yule Log cake (also known as a Bûche de Noël). It’s chocolaty and pepperminty and frosty and I delight in the irony of a fire log that I have to store in the freezer. I’ve futzed with this recipe over the years, and finally have it how I like it. This will be the first year I’m not making it, because we have no plans for guests… and I really don’t want to be tempted to eat the whole thing myself. So you can make it, and then let me know how delicious and awesome it was, so I can live vicariously.
Yule Log Cake
1 batch Chocodoodles (recipe below – you will probably have some left over after making the cake)
3 3/4 c. heavy cream*
Crushed Candy Canes (about 5)
3/4 c. confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 c. cocoa powder
- Beat 1 1/2c. cream, 1/4 sugar, peppermint and vanilla extracts until soft peaks form. Fold in crushed candy canes.
- Assemble log by placing cookies together on end, sandwiching them together with peppermint cream. Make a long log, and then attach a couple of “bumps” on the side (see picture) Hint: I usually assemble my stacks on a foil-wrapped cutting board. It keeps things clean, and makes it easy to pop in and out of the freezer if needed. Work quickly and you won’t have much trouble.
- Pop this bad boy in the freezer for at least 5 hours. Hint: After an hour in the freezer, I usually cover the log with plastic wrap—do it too soon and it’s mess city.
- Beat remaining 2 1/4 c. cream with remaining 1/2 c. sugar and 1/2 c. cocoa until stiff peaks form. (This mixture should be a bit more firm than the filling was.)
- Slather the log with cocoa cream.
- Drag a fork all over the log to simulate tree bark, then freeze log for at least 3-4 hours (again, don’t cover it right away! In fact, I don’t cover it. Rather, I just prepare it 3 to 4 hours before we are planning to eat it.) Let it sit at room temp for 15-20 minutes before serving.
You can garnish the log any number of cute ways…spearmint “leaf” candies, powdered sugar “snow”, or little faux-mushrooms made with Hershey’s Kisses and nonpareil candies. The one in the photo is garnished with leaves clipped from my orange tree, powdered sugar and redhot candies.
* Depending on how big your chocodoodles are, or how big you make your cake, you may require more peppermint cream and/or cocoa cream. Having extra cream, sugar and cocoa powder around the house is never a bad thing, so plan to make extra!
1 cup butter
1.5 cups sugar
2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Blend in eggs. Stir in rest of ingredients until well mixed. Roll into small balls, about the size of a walnut. Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten each cookie slightly. Bake for 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Be careful not to overcook. Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies.