Many Christ­mas desserts in­clude dried fruit but my fam­ily won’t eat it. Can you give me a recipe for a fes­tive treat with no dried fruit in sight? 5.

Friday - - Leisure -

I have the same prob­lem; my sis­ter-in-law doesn’t eat any­thing with dried fruit, so I al­ways make al­ter­na­tives, like a choco­late log. The recipe be­low serves 12.

Cut a piece of parch­ment pa­per slightly larger than the sponge. Sprin­kle co­coa pow­der all over the pa­per and turn the sponge out on to it.

Fold the parch­ment pa­per over one edge and use it to roll up the sponge tightly, so that the parch­ment pa­per is in­side the rolled cake. Al­low to cool like this.

To pre­pare the ic­ing, place cream into a medium-sized non-stick pan and heat it up to just be­fore boil­ing point. Re­move from heat and add the choco­late pieces, stir­ring un­til they melt. Set aside to cool.

To as­sem­ble the log, whip the cream for the fill­ing un­til it forms stiff peaks. Un­roll the sponge cake and spread the cream evenly over the sponge. Add the berries be­fore care­fully rolling the sponge up again, from the same di­rec­tion as be­fore, only this time with­out the parch­ment pa­per. Don’t worry if some of the cream oozes out of the ends.

Once rolled, stir the ic­ing again be­fore spread­ing it over the cake lib­er­ally, cov­er­ing it from all sides. Lightly run a fork over the ic­ing to cre­ate a bark-like fin­ish. Then dust with ic­ing su­gar for a snow ef­fect and re­frig­er­ate. Re­move from the fridge an hour be­fore serv­ing.

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