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Easy Yule Log Cake Recipe
Yule Log Origin
The tradition of the yule log originated as a pagan festival and goes back thousands of years before Christianity. It is thought to have begun as a Norse mid-winter festival during which people honoured the god Odin. This festival was later adopted by Christians.
Among other things, Odin was the god of death and the festival was known as the "Feast of the Dead," but it was also connected with life and fertility. It was the custom of the people to go out into the snowy forest and cut down a large tree and drag it home. As they did this, they sang and asking the gods to bless their future crops and themselves with fertility.
At home they decorated the log with evergreens and holly (remember the Carol, "The Holly and the Ivy?) and then set it on fire. The log was thought to give the family magical protection and various customs endorsed this, some stories telling that they tried to keep it burning for twelve days, while others said it kept burning all year. More realistically, some kept a piece of the log and used it to light the next year's log.
The Yule Log traditions spread to much of the rest of Europe.
- In Britain: the log was cut in the woods and dragged home by oxen or horses.
- In France: it was made as a log-shaped cake that was then sprinkled with alcohol and set on fire at the table.
As the world expanded, the tradition spread to many other countries.
- In America: The Yule Log was either a real log that was burnt, or a small log that was decorated and placed on the mantlepiece.
- In Australia: The Yule Log has usually been of the edible variety.
A Yule Log Cake Recipe
By now, it is too late to make the traditional Christmas Cake with the dried fruits recipe, as it needs to be made about six weeks before Christmas, the same as the Christmas Pudding with its dried fruit and suet. Making it so long beforehand allows the flavours to mature and it is useful as it is made well ahead and helps to reduce that last minute rush.
Also, these days there seem to be a growing number of people who do not enjoy the traditional Christmas fruit-cake. A Yule Log Cake recipe seems to be the answer. This recipe is simple, does not require any cooking apart from melting the chocolate in the microwave oven, and it only needs to be made a couple of days before Christmas.
However, the basic recipe can be made a couple of weeks further ahead and only takes a few minutes to prepare. Then the cake, wrapped in foil, can be put in the freezer until it needs to be decorated. Ideal and always popular!
Rate This Easy Recipe
- 1 250 g packet Chocolate Ripple Biscuits, or similar
- ½ pint/ 600 mls thickened cream, beaten until it forms a shape
- 1 dessertspoon castor sugar, or icing sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 100 g block dark cooking chocolate, broken into pieces
- Add vanilla and castor sugar to cream; mix lightly. Spread a good length of kitchen foil on bench or counter.
- Spread a biscuit with the cream mixture, place another on top. Continue until you have 4 or 5 in a small tower.
- Place tower horizontally on foil and continue adding creamed biscuits to log. When log is required length you can eat the rest of the biscuits!
- Cover log with cream, tilting it on the foil so it is completely covered.
- Wrap foil around biscuits, keeping log shape. Refrigerate overnight to allow cream to soften biscuits. Cover and refrigerate remaining cream mixture.
- Melt chocolate pieces in a basin in microwave for 1 minute. Stir and repeat until chocolate is melted.
- Unwrap log onto serving plate. Mix chocolate into cream mixture; and spread over log.
- Decorate with grated chocolate. Desiccated coconut and holly or other decoration could be added.
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