The traditional yule log is a chocolate sponge rolled up with cream and chocolate ganache. It is decorated to look like a log which represents the traditional log that is burned during the holidays. You can shake it up by creating a white chocolate and cranberry yule log or add a hint of orange, or a liqueur yule log or with black forest gateau flavours.
This traditional fruit cake is a mixture of dried fruits, such as raisins, cherries and sultanas, that have been soaked in some sort of alcohol, normally brandy, before being covered in a layer of marzipan and icing sugar, with a beautifully decorated finish.
This recipe can be adapted to give it a unique signature flavour, such as a spiced orange and cranberry cake, a chocolate fruit cake, soaked in whisky or port, a Christmas cake that is stuffed with a variety of different nuts. For a fresher, more contemporary twist, try Christmas cake with dried tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango or passionfruit.
Sugar, Spice & All Things Nice
Colder weather always makes me think about spices like, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves as well as chestnuts and hazelnuts. These can be incorporated into Christmas bakes to give a depth of flavour and of course, texture. Try a cinnamon and ginger gingerbread house, spiced apple strudel with toasted nuts to add texture, spiced date sticky toffee pudding, ginger, cinnamon and orange Christmas cookies or a Christmas tiramisu with roasted caramelised hazelnuts on top.
Chocolate still tops the list as an indulgent treat, but with consumers now looking for more indulgent options, whether single origin chocolate, dark chocolate paired with fruit or white chocolate. For those not keen on Christmas dried fruit and spices, chocolate can be used in some really special Christmas cakes and desserts such as chocolate panettone, white chocolate & cranberry yule log, chocolate brandy snaps, chocolate truffles or pistachio and chocolate fudge. Or maybe chocolate fondants, a chocolate and ginger gingerbread house or a chocolate take on Christmas cake, to be enjoyed with a drink of orange hot chocolate.
The traditional flavours of dried fruits and spices are being given a modern twist with the addition of something new, such as sea salted caramel, cranberry and orange or a variety of different alcohol-soaked fruits such as vine fruits, cranberries and clementines. There are some really innovative mince pie offerings as well as hybrid versions available this Christmas such as sticky toffee pudding mine pies and even mince pie ‘Biscakes’ featuring the creamy, salty caramel flavour of the moment.
This is a must for Christmas! I absolutely love mulled wine, and it is easy to combine it into bakes for a great Christmassy flavour such as a mulled wine cupcake, or mulled wine-soaked pear cake, or a mulled wine trifle.