So this is definately a not so healthy recipe. I figure there are the gluten free, low sugar varieties but as an initial attempt at this Christmas malarky I thought I would stick to traditional ingredients like sugar, cream and wheat flour. That's the clue anyway for those who are into substituting ingredients for healthier alternatives. I did use 70% dark chocolate for the frosting/bark and actually was surprised at how little flour was required.
As usual I battle it out with a hand mixer but if you are more sane and opt for an electric mixer you'll get your recipe together more speedily. From that I hope you have grasped that this recipe is all about mixing. Mixing the Swiss roll ingredients, mixing the frosting / bark ingredients and mixing the thickened cream / filling ingredients into whipped cream.
Also keeping the ingredients cool after mixing will mean they all hold together better ie. the cream inside the Swiss roll will stay inside the cake more easily the cooler and hence thicker it is.
On that note here is the Super Easy and Festive Yule Log Recipe...
4 large eggs
1/2 cup of caster sugar
1/2 cup of self raising flour
1/2 cup of cacao powder
Chocolate Frosting Ingredients:
100ml thickened cream
100g dark chocolate
Cream Filling Ingredient:
300ml thickened cream
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
2. Canola spray a tin, best to use a Swiss roll tin which is 33cmx23cm and to line with baking paper.
3. Whisk the eggs and sugar until it is thick, pale and doubled in size. I like to hand whisk but this took about 30 minutes so if you are pressed for time or just a normal person use an electric mixer.
4. Slowly add the flour and cocoa to the mixture through a siv, gently folded ingredients together with a large metal spoon.
5. Pour mixture into the tin and bake for 10 minutes.
6. Once the sponge cake is remoced from oven tip onto a sheet of baking paper dusted with icing sugar. Then, roll the cake up into a Swiss roll shape and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
7. Warm the frosting cream (100ml) on a low-medium heat. Just as it starts to bubble remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it has melted. Leave to cool.
8. Whip the cream (300ml) for the filling. I use a hand whisk (it took about 15 minutes), or you could use an electric whisk orrrrr you could simply buy canned whipped cream. Suit yourself. You want the cream to be as thick as possible without it splitting. Once the cream is thick refridgerate for 10 minues. The cooler it is the more likely it will stay inside the swiss roll.
9. Gently unroll the sponge cake, remove the baking paper, spead the whipped cream evenly onto one side of the cake, re-roll and refridgerate for 10 minutes.
10. Cut a piece of the cake from one end and place to the side of the remaining sponge to make a branch shape.
11. Evenly spread the chocolate frosting (chocolate and cream mixture) over the top of the cake and refridgerate for 10 minutes. Then remove from fridge, score it with a fork to make the bark texture and put back in the fridge for a hour to set..
12. Then it's time to decorate... if you're so inclined. I've dusted with icing sugar for a snow effect, also you could add some holly or something christmassy like that. Then keep in the fridge.
I've been cooking this recipe for years. And even though the quantities change every time the general ingredients stay the same. It really depends on what your taste is aswell for things like garlic... I tend to go a bit overboard so that's to your discretion.
That said this is and has remained my favourite pesto recipe, Italy included.
Note. Also since I went to the effort of making the pesto I actually made fresh pasta aswell (not featured in pic). Keep posted for that recipe.
Garlic - I use one whole clove
Basil - 1 large bunch
Pine Nuts - a good handful
Parmesan - I use the dried kind as it adds saltiness, about 3 tablespoons
Olive Oil - about 2 tablespoons
1. Lightly dry bake the pine nuts until they are golden brown. Keep an eye on them because they can burn pretty quickly.
2. Remove leaves from the basil. Rinse with water.
3. Remove skin from garlic and chop finely. Then you can either lightly fry or add to the recipe raw.
4. Combine the garlic, basil, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil in a blender until a paste is formed. You can add more olive oil or water as required to get the required consistency.
And that's it. Pretty simple recipe this one and a good way of getting in some greens. Can add to pasta or rice dishes or use as a dip.
This super easy recipe is a keeper. Besides being easy you have the confidence knowing what ingredients are going in and what ingredients are left out like preservatives. And to top it off it tastes better, in my opinion, than store bought butters, although I realise that may be contentious. So here it is my basic One Ingredient Home Made Butter Recipe... although obviously there are many other ingredients you may like to add, but I'll get to that later.
500ml thickened cream
Whisk cream until it turns to butter.
So there are a few variables in this method. There is the electric whisk verses the hand whisk. I like a bit of a challenge so I go for the hand whisk. This method takes around 15 minutes so I turn on the tv or put in the headphones, change hands periodically and get on with it. Alternatively get out the electric whisk and reduce your prep time.
The first stage will be whipped cream. Keep going past this stage and the cream will change consistency again and if you keep going it will eventually all clump together. Then I usually just get my hands in, squeeze the butter into a ball, thereby getting out the remaining butter milk.... and that's it.
Not only do you have freshly made, preservative free butter, but you will also have about a cup of butter milk, great for buttermilk pancakes just as an idea.
Now there are a few other ingredients you may wish to add to this recipe. Number one is salt. I usually add sea salt to the recipe. Other ingredients you might like to add include roasted garlic, chilli oil or truffle oil. I once had a vegemite butter too that was amazing. You add the extra ingredients after whisking.
Then you either store in the fridge if you are a regular butter person or you could roll into a log, wrap in plastic cling film and leave in the freeze to use as you require.
This super yummy and super pretty recipe is, I'm afraid, a bit naughty. It's got a half cup of sugar per two layers. I wanted this cake to be tall so I repeated the recipe. I also added whipped cream (200ml whipped with one teaspoon of caster sugar) and sliced strawberries to serve. But as you can imagine you could go and add whatever kind of extra flavours or toppings you're into. Go and get creative.
Cake Ingredients (per two layers, i.e. one sponge split in two):
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup of caster sugar
1. Preheat oven to 180 Celcius / 350 Fahrenheit.
2. Beat eggs and sugar until the mixture is thick and creamy, about 5 minutes on an electric mixer or 10 minutes with a hand mixer.
3. Gently fold the flour into the egg mixture with a large metal spoon.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
5. Allow to cool before removing from baking tray.
6. Allow to cool completely on rack before adding cream or icing etc.
Made with whole mandarins, this yummy mandarin loaf recipe is gluten free and dairy free, making for a healthy alternative to your regular cake...
2/3 cup of caster sugar
3 cups almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1. Preheat oven to 170 Celcius / 340 Fahrenheit.
2. Canola spray the tray and line with baking paper.
3. Cover the 3 mandarins with cold water and bring to the boil for 15 minutes on medium heat.
4. Drain and then repeat step 3.
5. Drain and leave to cool.
6. Roughly cut the mandarins, remove the pips and blend.
7. Mix the sugar and eggs until thick and pale, about 5 minutes with electric mixer or 10 minutes with a hand whisk.
8. Gently fold through the almond meal, mandarin mix and baking powder together with the egg & sugar mixture with a large metal spoon.
9. Poor into the baking tray and place in oven for 1 hour. The cake is ready when a fork comes out without many crumbs sticking. Allow to cool before removing the cake from the baking tray.
A twist on the regular flourless chocolate cake, this recipe uses 85% dark chocolate, and a bundt tray which requires a lower heat and longer cooking time.
180g dark chocolate (75% cocoa or more), I also added another 100g of melted dark chocolate to serve
2 cups almond meal
1/3 cup of black coffee
100g coconut oil, or like 4 decent tablespoons
3/4 cups caster sugar, or sweetener substitute
2 tablespoons of cacao
1. Preheat oven to 160 Celcius / 320 Fahrenheit. Canola spray the bundt tray.
2. On low-medium heat melt down the chocolate and coconut oil with the coffee and cacao powder. Keep stirring to avoid the mixture sticking to the bottom or overheating.
3. Once all the ingredients are melted and combined, remove from the heat. If the mixture isn't super smooth not to worry, as long as it's not burnt it will still taste good.
4. Separate eggs.
5. Beat egg yolks with sugar until thick and creamy, five minutes in an electric or 10 minutes if you're gangster and are using a hand whisk.
6. Beat egg whites separately until they have doubled in size and foamy soft peaks form, mixing times about the same as for egg yolks and sugar.
7. Gently stir in the almond meal, chocolate mixture and egg-yolk mixture with a large metal spoon, then add egg-white mixture in two parts.
8. Pour into bundt tray and bake for 1 hour.
9. Spike the cake with a fork and if it comes out pretty much clean you're done.
10. Leave to cool in the tray.
11. Serve and top with melted dark chocolate or whatever extras you're keen on, like cream, ice cream or berries.
Experimenting with some cake ideas. This brownie cakey goodness is super yummy as well as being gluten free. I used home made almond meal as the flour replacement. The recipe does contain 3/4 cup of sugar but I think I might give it another try next time with a sugar replacement.
We served with a combo of mascarpone and double cream but it would be just as good served with berries or other fruit or on its own.
50 g cacao or cocoa
1/2 cup hot water
3/4 cup caster sugar
150g coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
100g double cream
1 teaspoon sugar
strawberries to serve
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Grease and line tin with baking paper.
Combine cocoa or cacao with hot water.
Mix sugar, coconut oil and eggs for a few minutes or until thick and creamy.
Blend almonds until they are in a bread crumb like consistency then mix with baking powder and salt.
Mix cocoa mixture with egg mixture. Then stir through the almond meal mixture until combined.
Pour complete mixture into the tray and bake for about 40 minutes or until the outside is fairly firm.
Remove from oven and allow to cool in tray for 15 minutes then for an hour on a wire rack.
Mix double cream until thick and creamy and stir through the mascarpone and sugar to serve with strawberries.
Want an easy and fairly healthy snack...? This is one to keep everyone happy. Gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy-free (with alternative ingredients) and real fruit, these muffins are yum and satisfying.
3 cups of oats
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup melted butter, or coconut oil
1 cup milk, or milk substitute
1 cup of raspberries
1 cup / 100g of dark chocolate broken into pieces (I use 85% cocoa)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
Spray muffin tin with canola oil or line with baking paper.
Blitz oats to make an almost powder form.
Combine oat flour and baking powder.
Mix egg, milk, coconut oil and honey in a separate bowl.
Pour the wet ingredients in with the wet and gently combine.
Then gently stir in raspberries and chocolate, divide evenly into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Serve warm or cool. Store in an airtight container.
This recipe is crazy easy. Really it's the 3 ingredient home made chocolate with whatever ingredients you have and would like to add. Almonds and walnuts were two nuts I had in the pantry so I used those but any seeds or dried fruit, whatever you're into just add when the melted chocolate is in the tray. I like to activate the nuts by dry roasting them to enhance the flavour.
The recipe is also dairy free and refined sugar free depending on how you view honey. Or you can add a sweetener substitute if this your preference too.
4 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
4 tablespoons of cacao powder or cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of honey or a sweetener substitute
A handful of almonds
A handful of walnuts
Roughly chop the walnuts and almonds and dry roast in a pan on medium high. Roast for a couple of minutes. Stay close, stirring occasionally and watch when they are lightly brown to take off heat. Be careful because they can burn very quickly so shouldn't be left unattended.
Combine the coconut oil, cacao and honey and place in a tray lined with baking paper.
Add the almonds and walnuts to the chocolate mixture and place in freezer until firm, approximately an hour. Also store in the freezer so that the coconut oil stays in solid form. Remove from freezer a couple of minutes before eating so it's not too firm.
This recipe started with a bag of apples that weren't in the best condition. They looked good but were a flowery texture so I decided instead of wasting a whole bag of apples I would upcycle. And it just happens to be the first month of winter here in the Southern Hemisphere so a hot dessert is welcome.
This recipe is super easy and yum... bit of added sugar but alls good in moderation.
6-8 apples... I had 6 large apples to use. So 8 smaller apples would be fine, also we made the pie quite thin so if you prefer more filling then obviously increase your apple content.
1/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
frozen puff pastry sheets
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
Melt butter over medium heat.
While the pan is heating up peel and core all of the apples and slice thinly. If your cutting skills are on the slow side you can do this step first and squeeze lemon on the apples to stop them from browning in the air.
Add sugar, apples and cinnamon to the pan and cook for 10 minutes or until the apples have softened. Then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Spray tray with canola spray.
Line the bottom and sides of your tray with a layer of puff pastry. On top of this add a layer of baking paper and a cup of uncooked rice. This is to keep an even surface during baking. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes or until the pastry has firmed up. Then remove the baking paper and rice and allow to cool. Leave the oven on.
Pour apple mixture over the pastry base. Add lattice / puff pastry lid to the pie and cook for 20 minutes or until lid is golden brown.
Remove from oven.
Writer of healthy recipes with simple instructions.