Monday, May 3, 2010

Yule Log

Doesn't this Yule Log look oh so yummy?!  I think it does with it's silly little mushrooms and down right yummy chocolatey goodness! 

Without getting too lengthy on an explanation (like I usually do), I will keep it short and sweet.  The yule log tradition started with the pagans.  I read a lot of different traditions and one is that a very large tree was brought into the house.  That tree was carefully picked to warm the house for the rest of the cold season.  The largest part of the tree was cut off and put in the hearth to burn.  That log would contain self confessional written notes and branches of the tree.  With the self confessions being burnt a new beginning was possible.  Some explanations included that the splinters of the previous tree would be used to start the fire at the present day.  There would be a big celebration and hopes that the yule log would burn until it was over. 

Now... how about a recipe!    

Yule Log

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sherry or milk
1 cup granulated sugar
5 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Powdered sugar

1. Grease and lightly flour a 15x10x1-inch jelly-roll pan; set aside. Stir together flour and salt; set side. Beat egg yolks and sherry with an electric mixer on high speed about 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, beating until sugar is almost dissolved.

2. Thoroughly wash beaters. In a very large bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium to high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add the remaining granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on medium to high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Fold 1 cup of the egg-white mixture into egg-yolk mixture. Fold egg-yolk mixture into remaining egg-white mixture. Fold in flour mixture; spread in prepared pan.

3. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately loosen edges of cake from pan. Turn cake out onto a towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Roll up warm cake and towel, jelly-roll style, starting from a short side. Cool on a rack.

4. Gently unroll cake. Spread Coffee-Cream Filling on cake to within 1 inch of the edges. Roll up cake without towel, jelly-roll style, starting from 1 of the short sides. Cut a 1-1/2-inch slice from 1 end of cake. Frost cake with Rich Chocolate Frosting. Place the slice on side of log to form a branch. Frost branch. Using the tines of a fork, score the cake lengthwise to resemble tree bark. Makes 10 servings.

Coffee-Cream Filling: Beat 1 cup whipping cream, 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar, and 1-1/2 teaspoons instant coffee crystals in a mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Makes about 2 cups.

Rich Chocolate Frosting: Heat and stir 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate and 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan until chocolate melts. Remove from heat; stir in 1-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/4 cup milk. Add 1-1/2 cups additional sifted powdered sugar and enough milk to make of spreading consistency (about 1 to 2 tablespoons). Makes about 1- 1/2 cups.

This recipe is courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens!

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