Friday, 14 November 2014

Baking with Baby 15 - Wishing Yule a Happy Dairy Free Christmas!

I don't get much chance to bake with the dairy free 'Baby' these days - not now she's started school.

However, one thing we have made time for is this:

Well not this specific one, exactly. This is the one we made for Christmas. Usually it just looks like this: 

Because 'Baby' just loves her 'Chocolate swirl cake'! And hey! Leave the top layer off a Yule Log and what do you find??

Why yes! A generously sized Swiss Roll!! 

And I happen to like my Swiss Rolls generous!

I discovered the original recipe last year, when I realised that 'Baby' was not going to be happy with a traditional Christmas Cake. Mind you, I didn't let that stop me! Oh no! I made this one (recipe here), but then I made her a Yule Log too - just for good measure, you understand!

Not sure were to start, with a Yule Log I used this recipe from Mary Berry. I don't mind admitting that she is my baking guru - her recipes do seem to work, even when they've been 'free fromed'. 

Being a fat less sponge, no butter is required, which is great for the dairy free, so all that remained for me to do, was switch the 'normal' flour for my normal flour - Doves gluten free! Oh and make a different topping, of course, as that one required double cream. I also left out the apricot jam. 

What I love about the basic method behind this recipe, is that it's simple - and fits in nicely with my baking motto - if it 'aint broke, don't fix it!

A  lot of people seem quite daunted by the idea of making Swiss roll, and I must admit, before I tried this recipe I actually expected to find it difficult, to fail. I was amazed, therefore,  to find out how quick and easy it was!

You start with eggs and sugar (the recipe calls for four large eggs, but I find four medium to large eggs work better) which you need to whisk for quite a bit, until they look like this:

Having started with just the eggs and sugar you can see below, you can see how much the mixer has fluffed up the egg and sugar.

As the mixture is very light and frothy at this stage. I was worried that having got so much air into the mixture I would lose all that air whilst the dried ingredients were mixed in. However, I found that it can take a fair bit of mixing to get the dried ingredients thoroughly incorporated into the mixture, but it didn't seem to hurt the end result, at all.

I often don't sift the flour (most recipes don't seem to really need it) but on this occasion I did, as it does seem to help.

The cooking time provided in the recipe is pretty spot on, I found - although I tend to give it the full ten minutes. You can tell it's cooked, not because it's golden (a bit of an editing mistake in the recipe, I think) but because you can smell the chocolate and if you give the sponge a firm press with your finger, the sponge bounces back.

Whilst the sponge is cooking, I make sure I have the baking parchment ready on the worktop. As soon as it's ready, I flip the sponge out, trim the edges and score a line at one end. Then I roll it up as soon as I can (you need asbestos fingers here) and leave the sponge to cool.

The trimmed edges make for great cook's perks ;)

Once the sponge has cooled down, I unroll it and slather it with Betty Crocker's Buttercream Style Chocolate Icing. I could make my own, but I honestly prefer Betty's!! I find it pretty hard to beat!! 

See here!

Please note this is Betty Crocker's 'Buttercream Style Icing'. Ingredients link here. Betty Crocker also make a Buttercream Icing in a very similar tub, so make sure you pick the right one at the supermarket! The 'Buttercream Style' icing is made without dairy or soya but 'may contain milk'. That said, as far as I know we have never had any problems with it and 'Baby' has been very sensitive to the slightest traces of milk. However, if you know different, let me know, as I hate to misinform!

Back to the cake making. After the icing has been spread (not too thick, or it oozes everywhere), the cake is rolled back up tightly once again.

Then, if it's just for us, we cut and eat it! :)

If it's for a special occasion (like Christmas) and we need a Yule Log, then, of course, another layer of butter cream is spread over the top and is marked with a fork - to give the appearance of bark!

Recently, for 'Baby's' birthday, our Yule Log made a great quick cake for sharing with her class at school. I made two, and stuck them together - just to make sure we had enough!

Hey presto! Birthday cake!

Sticking with the 'Frozen' theme she requested, a plastic Olaf stuck by the side and a quick dusting of this Sugar Sparkle Dust, from Asda, did the trick!

Picked this up on a whim, but I really like it!

You can use icing sugar, but this stuff glistens like real snow and doesn't tend to soak into the icing quite so much as the icing sugar does. Either way, leave the dusting until the last minute, if you can - for maximum effect!

Like so!

Have to say, the teacher seemed to enjoy the cake as did 'Baby's' classmates! Not bad for a dairy and gluten free cake eh??

Oh, and a final note: ignore the accompanying picture on the original recipe - it's clearly a stock photo related to some other recipe, and is a bit annoying - just because it's misleading!

For more of our baking adventures, check out the links on this page:

Baking with Baby

1 comment:

  1. Yum! That looks absolutely delicious. Must get on and make ours!!!