Monday, January 11, 2016

You'll Love This Log

Before Christmas, Cathy Mere asked (on Facebook) what we were having for dessert for Christmas dinner this year.  There were many replies to her question, and so I posted that we would be having cookies and Yule Log.  Some people asked about the Yule Log and I told them that I would post a picture of it.  Well, the picture did not get posted and so I thought I would write a blog entry about it. 

The Yule Log has a long history.  It was once a custom to burn a Yule log at Winter Solstice.  Often it would be a whole tree with the trunk stuck in the fireplace with the tree hanging into the room.  "Yule" was the  name of the Winter Solstice festivities in Scandinavia way back in medieval times.   A more detailed description of the history can be found here: History of Yule Log.  Over the years, people turned to Christianity but many continued the custom of burning a Yule Log. Sometime someone must have decided that instead of burning some huge log and smoking up the might be tastier to bake a cake in the shape of the Yule Log.

My sister, Linda, can bake or cook anything and always with yummy results. Everything is made from scratch...Linda refuses to use prepared food. Her Yule Log is an example.  It has become a family tradition.  I have a few pictures and videos that show how she makes it.    She starts by baking a very thin cake...the same kind as in making a jelly roll cake.  After that she fills it with whipped cream, rolls it and puts it in the refrigerator to cool.  While it is cooling she makes chocolate ganache and meringue mushrooms.  The videos will show some of these steps.

I am not sure what recipe Linda uses to make the ganache, but here is one that you can use if you decide to make a Yule Log. Ganache Recipe

Making the ganache.
 The meringue mushrooms are such fun.  Here is a video that shows how Linda makes them.

Here is a finished meringue mushroom. Linda sprinkles cocoa on them to give them a "woodsy" look.

Linda cuts the roll into three pieces.  Two are very small that she uses as knots on the log.

Here is what the Yule Log looks like after it has been rolled.  There is sweetened whipped cream inside.

This video shows Linda spreading the ganache on the Yule Log and explaining a little about her process of making the Yule Log.

After the ganache has been spread on the Yule Log it is put in the refrigerator to chill and set.  Next is to make the ganache look like bark.


The next step is to put mushrooms on the Yule Log.


This last video was made a few years ago when Linda , with her grandson Cooper's help, finished the Yule Log.  It shows a fun time as Cooper explains to his father how he helped his grandma make the mushrooms.  He made most of them!  It also shows that Linda had time that year to put holly berries and leaves on the Yule Log.  

It is fun to have such holiday traditions and I am lucky that my sister makes sure we have memories like these.  She always prepares our Christmas Eve dinner making sure there is something for everyone's taste. We are a family of finicky that is a difficult task. ( Oops, Ray just read this and claims that being omnivorous puts him out of the finicky group.)  This group of finicky eaters (and one who eats anything) all look forward to having a piece of the Yule Log to finish off another yummy dinner.  Thank you, Linda!

This year's Yule Log...without the holly leaves and berries.

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