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Thursday, 27 December 2012

(Attempt at) Gluten Free Yule Log

Hey, Jess today with what can only be called a work in progress post!

I've been gluten free for about four years now, which is four christmasses without all the nice christmassy things - mince pies, christmas cake, christmas pudding, cheese & crackers, ferrero rocher, gingerbread biscuits...the list goes on. But one thing I've really missed is yule log. Everybody loves that over indulgent, far too rich slice of chocolate cake and chocolate cream and chocolate topping when you've already eaten a week's worth of calories in one sitting and really can't manage any more. How could anyone enjoy a christmas without that sickly addition? So, despite having never made a gluten free swiss roll before, I decided I'd give it a shot this year so that I wouldn't miss out. It came out kind of 'rustic' as we shall call it, but it tasted nice all the same.

A lot of the gluten free recipes I found for chocolate yule log involved just eggs, chocolate and sugar. In my head, this was chocolate meringue, so I found a recipe that contained flour. But having made this recipe, I think I will be brave and try a eggs-and-sugar one next time (although I am spending my next christmas in New Zealand, so I may have to find another excuse to make a chocolate log cake before that..shame...). So anyway, by all means try this recipe, it may just be that I'm really bad at rolling swiss rolls. And I do think it would benefit from some xantham gum, I was just too lazy to buy any as per usual.

1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup gluten free flour blend
4 large eggs
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
(Your desired quantity of your favourite) Liqueur

The original recipe suggested to use a 9 1/4" x 14" x 1 pan to bake the cake in. I just used what was in my Mum's cupboard. It may well be that size, but I don't know for certain and I'm not getting a ruler out to check. But it needs to be square/rectangle shaped and be suitable for cooking a thin layer of cake, obviously. Anyway, line the pan with foil and preheat the oven to gas mark 6. 
Sift the caster sugar, flour, baking powder and cocoa together. This is probably where the xantham gum should be added too.
Beat the eggs, salt and vanilla in a food processor (or by hand if you're not lazy) for about 5 minutes. Gradually add the granulated sugar, then the flour-cocoa mix, folding and beating it all together until the dry ingredients are wet. Don't over mix it.
Pour the cake batter into the tin and bake. Now, the original recipe suggested 13 minutes, but mine was done in 10. So check it after 10, but leave for longer if it needs it. All ovens are different.
I'm not really sure why it looks kinda wrinkly, but it tastes nice anyway

Once baked, leave the cake to cool for about an hour or so. Once cool, dust the top with caster sugar and turn out onto a clean piece of foil, removing the original foil. Brush the cake with your chosen liqueur with a pastry brush. I used Cointreau, as christmas is a time for chocolate orange flavoured things (and my mum didn't have Baileys in - I know, christmas without Baileys hurt me too, but the Cointreau was actually amazing. Particularly when added to everything, ever). Let this soak in for a little while, i left it to soak whilst I made the filling for the cake...

Chocolate Fudge Buttercream
200g icing sugar
50g butter
2-3 tbsp cocoa powder
Some milk (or Baileys/Cointreau/both)

Melt butter in pan. Add cocoa powder and cook for a couple of minutes. Leave to cool. Slowly add icing sugar until everything is added together. Add a little bit of milk (or your desired liquid) slowly, and keep mixing until you eventually have a glossy, chocolate fudge cream.
Use a whisk to remove any icing sugar lumps if you have the patience...

 I haven't specified the amount of milk needed because these things just need to be added until they are ready, and despite following the other quantities to the gram you will still probably end up needing a different amount of liquid here. I added too much, then had to add more icing sugar, and then I ended up with waaaaaay too much Cointreau chocolate fudge buttercream (again, such a shame). So anyway, once you have a thick chocolate fudge, spread it over the cake, leaving a little gap at one end. 

And then roll it up like a swiss roll. I used cling film. But the cake broke. And it ended up with a big mush of chocolatey fudgey Cointreauey cakey goodness. Which tasted beautiful with a little icing sugar dusted on top. But didn't really look brilliant. As you can see. But my family enjoyed it, including my extremely picky brother, so I'm happy with the overall outcome. 

Now, no more chocolate cake recipes. Everyone is on a diet for the first month (or week, or day, or hour) of the year, so in the new year there will be some more healthy recipes to try!

Hope you had a lovely christmas and have a great new year :)

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