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Thursday, 23 December 2010
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” - Charles Dickens
The first day of the holidays began today with a very full day around the house and the shops, for all the last minute shopping, chores and preparations for Christmas. The crowds were milling in the shopping centres once again and the traffic was quite horrendous. Nevertheless, it was quite good to feel the Christmas buzz in the air, hear the carols, admire the decorations in the streets and shops and finally feel that Christmas is here! This evening, having a quiet Christmas Eve at home with family, with a simple festive meal.
The day before Christmas can also be used for some last minute preparations for the Christmas feast tomorrow. I must admit that we generally have a very modest meal at Christmas, with some seafood to begin with, then typically a roast with some vegetables, and a dessert which is light and cool (the temperature maximum expected tomorrow is 27˚C). This is a very easy recipe for a Yule Log, which is made the previous day.
QUICK AND EASY YULE LOG Ingredients
1/2 cup icing sugar (with some additional for garnishing)
1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoons instant coffee powder
2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 250g package plain chocolate biscuits (e.g. Arnotts Choc Ripple)
Vanilla “mushroom” meringues (shop-bought) - optional for decoration
Chocolate shavings – optional for decoration
Glacé fruits – optional for decoration
Ground pistachio nuts – optional for decoration
Sift the icing sugar, cocoa powder, and coffee powder into a small bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat cream and vanilla in large bowl until soft peaks form. Add cocoa mixture, mix in well and beat until stiff peaks form.
Spread one side of one chocolate biscuit with a rounded teaspoonful cream mixture; top with another biscuit. Continue layering biscuits and cream for stack of five. Place stack on its side on long platter. Repeat making stacks with remaining biscuits and some of the cream; form log on platter by attaching stacks with the cream. Using a spatula, spread remaining mocha cream over outside of log to coat. Cover; chill at least 2 hours (better to prepare the previous day and keep chilled).
Place platter with yule log on work surface. Using fork, gently pull tines of fork along length of frosting on log to create design resembling tree bark. You may also pipe the cream around the log and use glacé fruit to make flowers. Sift powdered sugar over log to resemble snow, if desired. Arrange meringue “mushrooms” along sides of log if desired. Cut log on diagonal into thick slices. Serve immediately. Merry Christmas!
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.