BLACK FOREST YULE LOG CAKE
Soaked in sweet espresso and dusted in icing sugar snow!
If you’re a Christmas lover, like me, then you will know the true meaning of Christmas is what makes this season truly beautiful! Celebrating the unconditional love of God embodied through Jesus all those many years ago. A gift like no other as His Son was born to us, in Bethlehem. It's celebrating not only the birth of Christ but the birth of a hope, of an unending, unrelenting love that would prove greater than the world had ever known.
Celebrating Jesus’ birth tis’ the reason for the season!
On Christmas day we celebrate with friends, family and loved ones near and far! We celebrate the love that made a way and the love we share today!
Parties aside though, sometimes there is nothing better than sitting down after a long day (or a long morning for us mums!) and enjoying something totally decadent, filled with totally necessary calories and a cup of strong coffee. And, as you might be able to see, I couldn’t even wait for mine to set before I dived right in… I blame my dessert addiction...
I wanted to leave you with a recipe today that I believe represents this beautiful season! It’s so simple (like crazy easy!), so DELICIOUS, and insanely gorgeous… just look at the chocolate tree bark and ‘snow’ dusted berries!
This recipe is PERFECT if you have left holiday meal prep to the last minute but still want a show stopping dessert! It’s completely NO BAKE (Whaaaat!!) and is one of the best tasting ‘black forest’ cakes (untraditional as it may be) I have ever tried – even if I do say so myself!
With hints of espresso, silky sweet cream and rich chocolate, what could ever be better?!
It’s the perfect Christmas treat that you can whip up in minutes… no really, it only took me 20 minutes from start to finish! And no one will ever know you didn’t labour for hours in the kitchen to make this divine treat. Just a hint of creativity and a sprinkling of love, and you will be the bell of the Christmas ball!
I love recipes that look incredible with just the smallest effort; not only because it’s practical for the busy seasons in life, but also because it allows you to spend as much quality times with the ones you love, celebrating love together!
Oh, and for step by step photos for painting on the chocolate, scroll down!
So from me and my family to yours, Merry Christmas and God's greatest blessings over this beautiful season and all the ones to follow in the new year! Thank you all for your constant encouragement and support throughout this year, I am so excited for the future and everything sweet it will bring!
Gather The Following...
Now, Lets Begin!
Begin by preparing your coffee liquid. Stir 3 tsp of caramel flavoured instand coffee granuals into your boiling water, until coffee has completely dissolved. Allow this mixture to cool completely before using. (I like to pop mine into the freezer to cool it faster!)
Next, prepare your sweet cream! Place your tin of condensed milk, thickened cream and vanilla into a large bowl. Using an electric beater, beat on high until the mixture has thickened enough to form peaks - chill until needed.
When your coffee mixture is completely cooled, it’s time to layer your showstopper! Start by choosing a plate or cake board big enough to accommodate your cake (I selected a wooden chopping board to suit the woodland theme).
Place a fine layer of the sweet cream onto the base of the board to secure the first layer of cookies. Using a pastry brush, brush both sides of a cookie lightly with the coffee liquid and place onto the base layer of cream. Start with placing the first cookie in the centre of your board/plate, this will be the centre of your cake.
Repeat this process with each cookie, placing them in a ring pattern around the first centre cookie – the cookies together will resemble a flower each layer. You will need roughly 6 cookies per layer.
Once you have finished your first level of cookies, gently spread on another thin layer of cream over the entire layer of cookies, using a pallet knife or the back of a spoon.
Continue repeating this process and layering the cookies with cream until you have finished all of the packets. Reserving a few cookies to sprinkle around the outside of the cake.
Once you have finished layering your cake, spread the remaining cream around the entire cake, enclosing all of the cookies! Now, it doesn’t matter how rough this looks as the cake will be completely covered in chocolate - so do not worry (I repeat, do not worry) if it is not neat at all, in fact it makes the tree stump look more authentic if it isn’t!
Place your completed cake into the fridge and allow it to chill while you prepare your chocolate.
For your chocolate ‘tree bark’, begin by melting 350g of dark chocolate melts (I like to use compound chocolate for ease, but you can temper your chocolate if you prefer!). Once your chocolate is melted, spread it thin and evenly onto a large sheet of baking paper, reserving roughly ¼ cup. Place another sheet of baking paper onto the top of the chocolate, ensuring its completely covered and roll the entire sheet with the chocolate sandwiched in the middle into a log. Place the chocolate roll into the fridge to set completely.
Once the chocolate has set, remove it from the fridge and unroll the baking paper, allowing the chocolate to snap into shards. Place the shards all around the outside of the cake by pressing them gently into the cream to secure, overlapping and snapping them to size if needed.
With the remaining melted chocolate, use a pastry brush to lightly coat the chocolate shards on the cake (as pictured below). This will give the outside a ‘tree bark’ effect!
Once the cake is completed, crumble the left over biscuits around the base, top the cake with mixed berries and a dusting of icing sugar, and your masterpiece is complete! Keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve!
For the Coffee Liquid...
3 tsp Caramel Espresso Coffee*
1 ½ cups Boiling Water
For The Cake...
500ml Thickened Cream
1 tin Condensed Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 x 250g packets Choc Ripple Biscuits (reserve remaining 4 cookies for scattering)
You will also need...
350g Dark Compound Chocolate
*candy melts or compound dark chocolate, melted-use compound chocolate to make bark to stick on top
1 cup of fresh Forest Berries
Dusting of icing sugar