There was a time when the Yule Log or Buche de Noel was ever present at many a festive gathering. Sadly, it appears to have fallen out of favour a little in recent years but should be there right next to a Gingerbread House and a steaming mug of mulled wine.
Cake (made from Anita’s Organic Chocolate Cake Mix)
1 cup non-dairy or regular milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder; or seeds from 1 vanilla pod)
3/4 cup sunflower oil
1 cup cold coffee
1 bag Anita’s Organic Chocolate Cake Mix
1/2 cup non-dairy or regular shortening
1/2 cup non-dairy or regular butter
2 1/2 cups Anita’s Organic Icing Sugar
1/2 cup Anita’s Organic Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp vanilla powder (or 1 tsp extract)
2 to 4 tbsp. non-dairy milk
Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Lightly oil and line with parchment paper, a jelly roll pan. We used a 17 1/4 x 11 1/2 x 1 inch pan.
To Make The Cake:
In a large bowl mix the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar together and allow to curdle for a few minutes. Add the oil; vanilla; cold coffee and stir. Add the entire bag of chocolate cake mix and fold in gently until fully mixed. Pour the mixture into the jelly roll pan and bake for 18 to 22 minutes until a skewer/toothpick inserted comes out clean. (If you do not wish to make this cake non-dairy please feel free to follow the instructions on the back of the cake mix package). Set cake aside to cool slightly (for about 10 minutes).
While still a little warm, generously dust the top of the cake with icing sugar. Run a palette knife around the edge of the cake pan to loosen the cake from the sides. Place a large (or a couple of smaller ones) clean, lint free tea towels over the top of the cake. Lay a large board or cookie tray over the top and flip the cake over. Peel off the parchment paper and roll the cake (with the tea towels still in place) up from the short end. Leave to cool fully in this rolled shape while you prepare the filling and frosting.
To Make The frosting:
In a stand mixer with a balloon attachment, whisk the non-dairy (or regular) butter & shortening together until light and fluffy. In a large bowl sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder together. With the mixer on a low speed slowly add half a cup of the icing sugar/cocoa mixture until fully incorporated. Alternate between adding a tablespoon of the milk and half a cup of icing sugar until all the icing sugar is mixed in. Add the vanilla and a little more milk if needed and then whisk for approximately 7 minutes on high speed until soft and fluffy.
To Assemble The Yule Log:
When fully cooled, gently unwrap the rolled-up cake. It may have cracked a little or even broken in places but don’t worry. Spread some of the frosting very gently over the cake, making sure to save plenty for decorating the outside. Roll the cake slowly and carefully from the short end. Place the cake very carefully on its serving plate. Slice one of the ends off the cake on an angle to form the ‘branch’. Attach the ‘branch’ to the rest of the cake with some of the chocolate frosting. Cover the entire cake with the rest of the chocolate frosting, using the frosting to hide any breakages or cracks. Use a spatula to make marks through the frosting to create the log look. Dust generously with icing sugar. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note – for a lighter version, gently sweetened whipped coconut cream or whipped dairy cream can be used as the filling instead of the frosting.