By Lisa Boykin Batts Times Life Editor
We have a new Christmas tradition at my house. This will be the third year I’ve made a delicious yule log from Debbi Baker Covington’s cookbook "Celebrate Everything!”
I like everything about this dessert. The spongy layer is light and tasty, the whipped cream is perfectly sweet and creamy, and the chocolate glaze is perfect. And it’s easy to make, really!
I was unsure about trying the cake at first. I had never really made roll cakes. But Debbi assured me it was easy and worth the effort.
I decided to cook my first yule log on Christmas morning two years ago. I know it sounds silly to make dessert on Christmas morning, but I wanted it perfectly fresh for the night’s special Christmas dinner.
The layer, cooked in a large jelly roll pan, is very simple to make. If you follow the instructions for preparing the pan with aluminum foil and cooking spray, you should have no trouble removing the cake from the pan and rolling it in a tea towel to cool.
While the cake is cooking or even cooling, you can prepare the whipped cream for the filling; it only takes a few minutes. Let it chill in the refrigerator until it’s time to use it.
Once the cake is completely cool, unroll it and remove the tea towel. Spread the whipped cream on the cake layer and roll up again. I usually have some whipped cream left over. If you use too much, it runs out the end of the cake.
Debbi’s recipe, which came from a French class at Fike High School, uses a different chocolate frosting or glaze. I use a favorite standby recipe that I also make for cakes and cupcakes at my house. It’s a very simple to make with ingredients I always have on hand: chocolate chips, butter, honey and vanilla extract.
Once the cake is made, it’s very tempting to slice it immediately, but don’t. It needs to be refrigerated to completely cool.
This cake is delicious just a few hours after it is made, but as it turns out, I didn’t have to make it the same day I wanted to serve it. We love it the next day and day after as well, if there’s any left!
If you’d like to order a copy of Debbi’s book, visit www.cateringbydebbicovington.com or purchase through Amazon.
The Wilson Woman’s Club has a new cookbook, and I will be writing about it soon. But for now, you can purchase it at Fine Prints, Ross McDaniel Salon and Embellishments. You can also leave a message at the Wilson Woman’s Club, 243-3742 and someone will get back with you.
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Yule LogFor the filling:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped pecans (I omit the pecans)
For the cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the thin chocolate icing:
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chill a deep bowl. Place whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla in bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until stiff. Fold in nuts if using. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. Can also make whipped cream while cake cooks or cools.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a jelly roll pan (151/2 x 101/2 x 1-inch) and line bottom with greased aluminum foil. Blend flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa, set aside. Beat eggs in large mixing bowl until very thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in sugar. Blend in water and vanilla on low speed. Slowly mix in dry ingredients just until batter is smooth. Pour into pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.
Loosen edges and immediately turn upside down on a tea towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Remove foil. While hot, roll cake and towel from narrow end. Cool on wire rack.
When completely cool, gently unroll cake and remove towel. Spread with whipped cream filling. Roll again and place on a serving platter, seam side down.
For chocolate glaze, pour chocolate chips and butter into microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir until chips are blended. Mix in honey and vanilla. Pour over cake and use a spoon or knife to cover and smooth.
Let cool in refrigerator before serving.
Serves 8 to 10.
Adapted from Debbi Covington’s "Celebrate Everything”