Yesterday was a full of crazy happenings in the kitchen… a chaos that took over much of the dining room as well! The reason....? It was my work Christmas party and this year we were cooking a gourmet meal ourselves, and yes you guessed it I was in charge of all the veg. Piles of peelings and sprout leaves adorned all surfaces.
In amongst all of that I was also determined to create a festive dessert that would both look and taste the part.
….Please enter the healthy Christmas Yule log, complete with a sprig of holly (I picked this from a hedge outside after having already taken the first few photos and felt it needed something more!)
The meal was a great success, with everyone eating seconds and even thirds. The only down side to this was that no-one really had much room for cake further on into the evening! However those that did have a slice gave it their seal of approval. I can also vouch for its ‘yummyness’ the second day in having eating a slice for breakfast ‘dessert’ today!
I used my chocolate frosting recipe with a little extra added coconut oil to create a slightly firmer frosting although that wasn’t really necessary. I had also planned on using a ‘healthy’ vanilla frosting for the centre, but I have to admit here that timing got a little crazy and amidst all the rushing around I had to resort to a more speedy traditional ‘butter icing’ made with vegan spread and icing sugar. I have included below the recipe I would have liked to have used but please note I have not yet been able to test this. Let me know how you get on if you do use it as I plan on trying it out very soon. You could also add a layer of sugar free fruit spread along with the vanilla frosting if you wanted to go all out!
Recipe: Chocolate Yule Log
For sponge roll:
- 10 1/2 oz. firm silken tofu
- 1/3 cup rapadura
- 1/3 cup agave syrup
- 1 tbs vinegar
- 1 tbs water
- 1 tbs vanilla extract
- 1 tbs ground flax mixed with 2tbs hot water (see egg replacer note below)
- 1 cup whole wheat spelt flour
- ¼ cup ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
For chocolate frosting:
The frosting is pretty much the same as this original recipe reprinted below for ease with an additional table spoon of coconut oil. Note- this recipe makes more than required for the cake (unless you frost very thickly!) so set aside for cupcakes or eat as a dessert, or I have even frozen it successfully.
- 350g (1 carton) firm silken tofu (I use Mori nu)
- 1 tsp melted coconut oil
- 60g cocoa powder
- 25g coconut flour
- 40g agave nectar
- 1/4 tsp stevia powder
- 1tbs vanilla extract
For vanilla centre:
- 2 cups cashews, soaked overnight
- 1/3 cup water (add more for a runnier frosting)
- 3 Medjool dates (soaked 1 hour)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Pinch salt
- 2 tbs agave plus a pinch of stevia (to taste)
To prepare the frosting and vanilla centre, blend all ingredients listed together in a powerful food processor (to handle the cashews) until a smooth consistency forms. Spoon each into bowls and set both aside, if too runny place in the fridge whilst preparing the sponge.
Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 10x15 inch pan with baking parchment.
For the sponge, in a food processor, mix tofu, rapadura, agave, vinegar, water, vanilla and flax mix (see note below). In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ground almonds, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour the blended tofu mixture into flour mixture; stir together thoroughly.
Note: In some recipes I noted that egg replacer was used instead of a ‘flax egg’. I don’t use egg replacer but this may help with the integrity of the finished sponge. If you decide to use egg replacer, in a small bowl, beat Egg Replacer and water together until soft peaks form and then fold into blended ingredients as the final step.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth batter evenly into pan; bake for 10-12 minutes.
(tricky part coming up!)
Take the cake from oven, loosen sides and carefully invert onto a tea towel or more baking parchment sprinkled with cocoa powder. Carefully peel off the waxed paper that it was baked on. Sprinkle cake with more cocoa powder. Fold one end of the towel over the short end of cake; carefully roll up the cake, with tea towel inside it, trying not to crack the cake. (Do this while the cake is hot.) Set rolled cake and towel aside on a rack to cool
. Note- my sponge split a bit but once frosted and assembled it was barely noticeable so don't worry if this happens!
To fill the roll, carefully unroll cake, leaving it on top of the tea towel. Spread cake evenly the vanilla frosting. Carefully roll cake up again as neatly as possible. If desired cut the end off cake and attach to the side of the roll as a ‘branch’.
Fully frost the cake and decorate with cooked cranberries (as I did originally) or holly!
Voila! It takes a little time…but it is worth the effort!
On a side note, I think my love of vegetables is now becoming a little renown….since this was my Secret Santa gift this year!