The Yule Log, or “bûche de Noël” is traditionally eaten to celebrate the joyful Yuletide Season. Unfortunately there is not much to celebrate this Christmas, bar the fact that it marks an end to this all-round shitbag of a year.
So, instead I’m calling this a You’ll log, and it’s to celebrate everything we will do when the world becomes less intolerable. Items may include: dancing like a sweaty sardine in a packed club basement, going to the cinema and coughing liberally at the emotional scenes, music festivals, pubs, pub chips, hugs, snogs. It’s a versatile log, and also vegan. Merry christmases to come!
For the sponge:
180ml aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
115 g icing sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp dairy-free yoghurt (I used soya)
115 g self-raising flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp caster sugar
For the filling:
240g tin of creme de marons (if you don’t have this you can use the same volume of pureed chestnuts + 2 tpsb icing sugar)
1 tbsp vegan cream (I used Elmea Plant double)
For the toppings:
275ml vegan double cream (Elmea Plant double cream or coconut cream both work)
1 tbsp icing sugar
50g melted dark chocolate
Optional: sprig of holly
Preheat oven to 180ºC and line a 20cm x 30cm baking tin with baking paper.
Combine the aquafaba and cream of tartar together in a bowl and whisk together until it reaches stiff peaks (about 4 minutes).
Gradually sift the icing sugar into the bowl, whisking in between adding until it’s all combined.
Then stir in the vanilla extract and soya yogurt
Sift in the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda and fold in gently (taking care not to lose too many bubbles!) Stop mixing when just combined.
Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking tin and bake for 10 minutes, or until the sponge is springy to the touch.
While she’s cooking, prepare a sheet of baking paper by sprinkling it with caster sugar.
When the sponge is done cooking, immediately flip it out onto the sugary baking paper and slowly peel off the lining.
While it is still hot, roll it out lengthways with the paper inside. Leave your big papery worm to cool.
In the mean time, prepare the filling by mixing together the cream and the chestnut puree (and sugar if your chestnuts are unsweetened).
Prepare the toppings by melting the chocolate and whipping the cream until thick (if it is not thick enough, add a teaspoon of cornflour or some vegan butter).
When the sponge is cool, unroll it carefully (don’t worry about a few cracks because we’re going to slather this baby with cream). Spread your filling all over the sponge and then re-roll, using the paper as a guide.
Move your slug onto a long plate or board to present and coat liberally with the whipped cream.
Then use a fork to drizzle over the melted chocolate in a loggish way. For the final embellishments, put a spring of holly or rosemary on the top.
Admire your stunning creation. Celebrate your achievement by pouring a glass of something nice and thinking about the Oxford vaccine.
I hope your Christmas (or whatever festival you celebrate!) is as good as it can be.