Jan 072013

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season and ate way too much. I know I did. Well, until I got the flu, and then I went a few days without eating much of anything, but that still didn’t cancel out all those days I stuffed my face.

This year I didn’t do any of my usual holiday baking. No Christmas cookies came out of my kitchen, and the kids didn’t even decorate gingerbread houses. Instead, we made a Yule log cake as our big treat. Actually, I ended up making 4 of them in total, but that’s because I botched one recipe by accidentally adding the wrong container of measured sugar, which was over twice the amount called for. I tried to make it work, but that one ended up in the trash can.

A Yule log starts off as a thin chocolate sheet cake baked in a jelly roll pan. Once it’s completely cooled, you spread the top with whipped cream, or your filling of choice, and then roll it up, which gives it a cylindrical log shape. The outside is usually iced with chocolate fudge frosting.

This type of cake is called a roulade, and the recipe I used is from Titli Nihaan. She’s awesome, by the way. If you haven’t checked out her YouTube videos, definitely make time to soon. Anyway, the good news is that this recipe is flourless and therefore gluten-free!

Since not everyone in our household tolerates dairy products, we put strawberry jam in the first log, coconut cream in the second, and I made some cream cheese frosting to go in the third log (I took that one to a party to share). All of them were delicious, but I think I liked the coconut cream filling the best. But then, I love that stuff.

Chocolate Yule Log Roulade CakeUnfortunately, I only have one picture, and this is of the first log we made–the one with strawberry filling. I forgot to take a photo of the sliced log, but here’s what it looks like after you’ve rolled it up, frosted the outside, and used a fork to make score lines to resemble bark, or something. Before serving, dust the whole thing with powdered sugar to look like snow.

In addition to multiple logs, I also baked a lot of cornbread, from scratch since the Pamela’s mix hasn’t been on sale lately. We love cornbread, so it never lasts long. For variety, and just to see how it would turn out, I baked some cornbread mini muffins. These are great for portion control, as cute little two-bite cornbread, but they’re easy to burn. I don’t mind crispy cornbread edges, but I think the general consensus at my house is to stick with the standard-size cornbread muffins. Maybe we’re just greedy.

I also made a couple of batches of gluten-free banana bread using the recipe on the back of my bag of Pamela’s Baking Mix. This was mostly due to me getting distracted and forgetting to do something with a couple of bunches of bananas until they were really ripe and needed to be used ASAP. But I actually really like the banana bread. I didn’t add in any nuts, hoping that would make my kids more likely to eat it, which didn’t work. But that’s cool. More for me! This banana bread is pretty rich, and a recipe makes one loaf and half a dozen muffins. Or, one loaf and two dozen mini muffins.

Oh, and the big news is I’ve found a gluten-free bread mix I REALLY like. It’s actually a french bread and pizza mix from Gluten-Free Pantry, but so far I’ve only made rolls and a loaf out of it. The loaf works really well as sandwich bread–better than that same brand’s sandwich bread mix, if you ask me. I managed to make toasted cheese and pickle sandwiches with it, and they were delicious.

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