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Christmas Special – Festive Chocolate Log, BBC Good Food January 2010

December 27, 2009

I wanted to make a special edition of the Saturday Baking Challenge and with the festive season well and truly upon us it seemed most prudent to go for that epitome of Christmas treats – the chocolate yule log. One problem had always struck me with the traditional versions however was the sheer amount of sugar and fat in the recipe.

I know Christmas is the season to not really care about all that and say bah humbug to the diet but when I came across this recipe for chocolate log that promised to be just as tasty but half the fat I thought there would be no harm in trying it out.

This was my first experience of creating my own sponge and that electric whisk I’d bought earlier in the year really came into its own this week as the recipe called for a full 8 minutes of solid whisking! Cripes.

After baking in the oven it was time for the breath holding shenanigans of flipping the tin over to release the sponge and rolling up the sponge. Worried that it might crack and relieved when it did no such thing, the cake rolled up beautifully and was left to sit for a few hours.

Making the icing for the cake was also easy, mix some low fat mascarpone with low fat quark (2 different types of cream cheese for the uninitiated, which was surprisingly easy to find even our teeny tiny local Sainsbury’s) with a smidgeon of coffee, a generous amount of cocoa powder and a not too diabetic coma inducing amount of 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate.

The next part required the most (artistic skill). Unroll the cake again (Carefully), spread the inside with icing, re-roll and cover the top and side with the icing. I was going for the traditional bark look and kept aside some melted chocolate to drizzle over the top. You can either go crazy here or keep it simple. Finish with a sprig or two of (fake or real if you’re lucky) holly and voila, you’re done.

Taste tests confirmed that this was just as delicious as any other chocolate log I’ve had in the past, albeit a different, more cheesecakey type taste with a hint of coffee for added flavour (you can leave out the coffee if you like, but as a non-coffee drinker I still liked it).

Difficulty level: 3/5 Some intricate rolling, un-rolling and re-rolling are involved making this not as simple as other recipes.

Recipe amendments: None, if you can’t find low fat mascarpone, standard will suffice but will up the calorie content.

Taste: 4/5

Chance of remake: 3/5 A seasonal treat rather than everyday nibble, this still stands a good chance of being remade this time next year.

This week’s recipe can be found in the January 2010 edition of BBC Good Food magazine or visit the BBC Good Food website to find the low-fat chocolate log recipe.

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