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Christmas Chocolate Log

This a plain, simple old fashioned cake.
It is our cake for Christmas Eve and tree decorating. It doesn’t have to look perfect and it won’t have time too anyway. If drinking chocolate makes the icing too sweet swap some of it for cocoa powder.

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2011 to you all.

Swiss roll
3 eggs
75g caster sugar
75g sifted plain flour

Line a Swiss roll tin with baking parchment and set the oven to GM5 / 180˚C.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until very pale, then gently fold in the flour.
Spread the mixture on to the prepared Swiss roll tin and bake for about 15 minutes.
While the cake is baking lay a clean tea towel on the counter.
When the cake is done it should be golden brown on top and spring back when poked with a finger.
Turn the cake out onto a clean tea towel and roll it up from one of the narrow ends. Leave to cool on a wire rack

Chocolate Icing
100g soft butter
100g icing sugar
100g drinking chocolate powder
2 tbs warm water
1 dsp extra icing sugar for dusting

Put the butter, sugar and drinking chocolate powder in to a bowl and slowly start to mix with an electric mixer. Add the first spoonful of water and whisk a bit faster and then the second spoonful. Keep whisking until the icing is pale and fluffy.
Unroll the cold Swiss roll and spread with a third of the icing and roll up again.
Cut a 5 cm slice off the roll at an angle and place it at the side of the roll to create a branch.
Put the roll on a serving plate and cover with the remaining icing.
Decorate using a fork to make rough bark like ridges on the roll and in circles on the ends like tree rings.
Use the extra dessertspoon of icing sugar and a sieve to dust the top of the log with some snowy icing sugar.


Crab Custards

This is just a quick recipe as promised. It could be used as a Christmas dinner starter. Make it the day before, and let the custards return to room temperature before serving with a wedge of lemon.

200g crab meat
1 egg
2 egg yolks
250mls cream
50g grated Parmesan
pinch of salt & black pepper

Set the oven to GM3/ 170˚C and boil a kettle of water. Butter some small ramekins, this amount should do about 4—6 depending on size.
Put the ingredients into a bowl and whisk them together.
Spoon the mixture into the ramekins and put them into a roasting tin. Pour boiling water into the roasting tin so that it comes two thirds of the way up the ramekins. Place the tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 40 minutes. They are cooked when a skewer comes out clean when pushed into the centre. Take them out of the oven and let cool. They are best served at room temperature.


Frost Yesterday!

I took this photo yesterday too, but wasn't sure how to get it on to the blog with some text. I have now worked it out.