Every country has its own canons and traditions, which most of the locals adhere to, and the New Year and Christmas holidays are not an exception.
We are used to the fact that the symbol of the New Year and Christmas is the Christmas tree, decorated with toys, tangerines and Santa Claus, but in Europe they look at this issue a little differently. Known in many countries - the Christmas log - a delicious and incredibly sweet dessert, which managed to become national in France and Italy.
Such an unusual symbol has gained tremendous spread throughout the world, a tasty biscuit roll dough personifies the fireproof log, which was taken from the festive family hearth.
In order to make it look as festive as possible, it is generously decorated with decor, and sometimes even decorated with real edible figures of Santa Claus or Christmas reindeer.
Where did such a seemingly strange symbol come from? You may not even realize that before the 18th century it was not accepted to install the Christmas tree in honor of the New Year.
It turns out that most European nations used the most commonly log, which differed from all the others only in its size - it had to be very large, because in some countries the Christmas log had to burn all twelve days and nights.
This ritual was held on Christmas Eve or New Year, the head of the family had to prepare the symbol of the holiday - they brought it into the house, they read a prayer over it, cut out a cross, poured it with wine and honey, sprinkled it with grain, and then sent it to the hearth, where it was set on fire. It was believed that the longer the Christmas log burned, the better, this indicated the well-being of the family in the coming year.
Ashes from under such a Christmas log were preserved, people were convinced that it possessed healing properties, was able to increase the fertility of the lands and protect the house from the invasion of evil spirits.
But starting from the 19th century, the tradition of burning logs ceased to exist, it was replaced by a new, more relevant and “tasty” idea: the French pastry chef Pierre Lacama proposed the now well-known dessert Bush de Noel, the Christmas log.
Now this sweetness is like a cake, it resembles a log that once burned in a Christmas fireplace on a holy night. In order to prepare a dessert for the Christmas log, it is not necessary to delve into the subtleties of the invention of the French pastry chef, it can be made in the form of simple baking, the main thing is its traditional decoration.
Of course, there are difficult variations of multi-layered desserts that can be decorated with the most intricate drawings and figures, but if you want to try for the first time to do such a thing, then it’s better to put aside complex recipes for now.
Interestingly, the tradition of baking and eating a Christmas log took root very much in France, this festive tasting has already become annual on the Cote d'Azur. In the eyes of a large public, such a dessert is prepared, which is then eaten together conscientiously with wine, hot chocolate and songs.
Christmas log recipe
As you have probably guessed, there are a lot of very different recipes for the Christmas log, for every taste, culinary abilities and wallet. We will bring to your attention the classic recipe for a French dessert.
Traditional Christmas log
For the test you will need:
- flour - 50 g,
- butter - 100 g,
- eggs - 4 pcs.,
- icing sugar - 60 g,
- white cheese or cheese mass - 80 g (20% fat),
- ground hazelnut - 60 g,
- ground almonds - 60 g,
- sugar - 60 g,
- dark chocolate - 50 g,
- white cheese or cheese mass - 100 g,
- icing sugar - 30 g,
- egg - 1 pc.,
- gelatin - 10 g,
- ground hazelnut - 10 g,
- Cognac - 1 tbsp. spoons
- sour cream- 100 ml.
- Almonds - 60 g,
- Milk 75 ml
- dark chocolate - 125 g,
- sour cream - 75 g,
- sugar syrup - 125 g
Let's start with the preparation of the test. To do this, set the oven to preheat to a temperature of 175 °. Then we will prepare a water bath in which we will melt the dark chocolate necessary for the dough. In a separate container, mix sugar for glazing, butter and vanilla (to taste) with a mixer.
Separate the yolks from the proteins and add them to the beaten mixture, continue to beat. Then pour the same melted chocolate and white cheese. In a separate bowl, mix the ground hazelnut, almonds and flour, and then add them to the total weight of the dough.
Proteins from eggs are whipped separately along with a pinch of salt until a fluffy foam is formed, after which we add sugar to it. Gently mix the prepared mixture for the test and whipped proteins, while constantly stirring with a mixer.
The baking dish of logs is greased with grease, and then we pour the prepared biscuit dough into it. Send the form to the oven, where the log should be baked for an hour. When it is ready, it must be cooled without removing it from the mold.
Now proceed to the filling. To do this, mix egg yolks, 20 g of sugar for glazing and white cheese. Gelatin soaked in advance, as written on the instructions to it.
Preheat the cognac in advance, in which we dissolve the prepared gelatin. The resulting mixture is poured to beaten yolks and cheese. Now separately beat the egg whites with the remaining sugar into a lush foam, and then gradually add them to the prepared mass.
Sour cream should be whipped in a separate bowl, then add ground hazelnut into it, and then pour it all into a mixture. Mix all the ingredients together again - the cream is ready!
When the dough has cooled, it must be removed from the mold, and then cut into three cake layers. We carefully lubricate the two lower layers with the prepared cream, combine all the components of the “log”. Now there is the most creative moment - to decorate our dessert.
To do this, bring to a boil chocolate mixed with sour cream, sugar syrup and sour cream. Then, the resulting mass should be allowed to cool, then cover the log with the prepared glaze. The final stage - lay out almonds, cut into stripes.
The traditional dessert for Christmas - the sweet log - is almost completely ready, it remains only to let it stand and cool for several hours.
Of course, the stage of decorating the Christmas log is the most interesting, because here you can roam the fantasy. The most skillful housewives seek to maximize the similarity of a sweet dessert with a real Christmas log from the hearth: using cream or glaze, they draw bark, twigs and slits, and for colorful things they add Christmas symbols - inscriptions, spruce twigs or whole figures of Santa Claus.
By the way, the cream, which is soaked biscuit, can also be very different - someone prefers caramel and cream, and someone like chocolate or adding berries.
As we said, there are many recipes, each of them is interesting and attractive in its own way for a real hostess.
- Eggs 6 Pieces
- Chocolate cake mix 1 Piece
- Water 0.5 Cups
- Sugar 1 Art. spoon
- Icing Sugar 100 Grams
- Chocolate Chips 170–200 Grams
- Corn syrup 1 Art. spoon
- Vanilla 1/4 Teaspoon
Beat the eggs in the mixer bowl, beat about 5 minutes until a fluffy mass is formed, add the mixture for the muffins, pour in water and vegetable oil. Beat the mass at low speed for 30 seconds, then at medium speed for another 1 minute.
Pour the dough on a baking sheet, covered with parchment and send to the oven preheated to 175-180 degrees, bake for 15 minutes.
Cover the towel with foil or parchment, take out the form with the biscuit and put it on a towel, sprinkle with sugar and roll up the roll. Do this slowly so that the biscuit does not crack. Leave the roll for 1 hour to cool.
In a bowl, pour 0.5 cups of cream, send in a microwave for 1-1.5 minutes, then take out a bowl and put chopped chocolate and corn syrup into it, stir and leave for 3 minutes. Add vanilla and send for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Whip the cream with a glass of powdered sugar until strong peaks form.
Gently unfold the towel, brush the biscuit with butter and wrap the roll back. Put the roll on parchment or cling film, apply chocolate icing over the entire surface, and after a few minutes, spread the tines of a fork around the roll, painting the waves.
Leave the finished cake for another 30 minutes and then put in the fridge for a couple of hours.
How to make a dough for chocolate logs
- We start with the chocolate cake dough. Beat eggs, add sugar and vanilla sugar. We work as a mixer for at least 10 minutes, we achieve a noticeable increase in the volume of egg mass and whitening.
- Mix flour with cocoa powder and baking powder in a separate container. Sifting, add parts of the mixture of dry ingredients to the eggs. Carefully mix from the bottom up, bringing the dough to the most uniform consistency and uniform coloring in chocolate color.
- Pour the viscous mixture on a baking tray covered with parchment. Send the billet to a hot oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes. The optimum temperature is 200 degrees. It is important not to overdry the cake, otherwise it may break when folded!