29 December 2012

Recipe | t'is the season to (stuff yourself and) be merry!

I've never been a great cook, cooking's not one of my things. I don't whiz things up and make it look easy as cake. I can, however, whip up cake, if I've got a half-decent recipe and a half-decent frame of mind.

I had decided that this Christmas I was going to make a Yule log and, considering mama Siddalee is vegan (and that I have avoided spending any money whilst being at home this Christmas), I made a vegan log. Generally, the recipe uses ingredients most non-dairy households would have in their kitchen cupboards/fridge and it makes a super-yummy chocolate cake relatively quickly and easily.

Siddalee's Chocolate Yule Log

(/Buche de Noel de Siddalee if we're being French about it)

What you'll need:
200 g / 7 oz self raising flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
30 g / 1 oz drinking chocolate powder
75 g / 3 oz soft brown sugar
225 ml / 8 fl oz water
85 ml / 3 fl oz sunflower oil
25 g / 1 oz chocolate drops

150 g / 6 oz vegan margarine
350 g / 12 oz icing sugar
60 g / 2 oz drinking chocolate powder


1. Preheat oven to gas mark 4 / 175C / 350F
2. Sieve all of the dry ingredients for the cake in a bowl and stir
3. Measure water in jug, add oil and stir (looks so pretty! lava lamp time!)
4. Add liquid to dry ingredients a bit at a time, stirring thoroughly and 
making sure the liquid is fulling mixed in before adding more


5. Add chocolate drops and beat the mixture
6. Pour mixture into a shallow tray lined with non-stick baking paper
7. Put in the oven for about 10 minutes/until cooked!

8. Tip cake onto baking paper, cut a shallow line 1.5 inches in 
and roll tightly, using baking paper. Leave to cool
9. Put margarine in a bowl and beat until fluffy
10. Mix icing sugar and chocolate powder together and mix into
margarine until even and smooth
11. Unroll log and ice all over before rolling up tightly without
baking paper
12. Ice the outside of the log, smoothing all over before running 
knife along lightly to make uneven ridges
13. Sprinkle icing powder for snow!

Now, seeing as this recipe is for a plain ol' round chocolate cake, I had some issues. Namely that it broke into 5 identical pieces when I rolled it. In the end I went for a layered effect...I managed to smush some of the broken bits to get 3 layers of cake which I iced before icing the top. Also after an hour or so the icing powder soaked up some of the icing moisture and went a bit hard and brown which actually added to the log effect, but don't sprinkle until just before serving if you don't want this! Overall it was delish, super yummy and chocolate-y and absolutely smothered in chocolate icing, just how I like things.

I've used this recipe before for a chocolate sandwich cake, just split into two greased cake tins and use icing for middle and outside. Cook for about 20 mins. If you're doing just one big lump o' cake, as the recipe suggests, cook for about 40 mins. I've doubled the amount of icing because the original recipe didn't give enough either time! Hope you make and enjoy!

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