‘Tis the season to be jolly and unfortunately this happiness always seems to find it’s way straight to our bellies. No amount of yoga classes is enough to reverse this damage. Be it an onslaught of huge succulent turkeys, diabetes inducing candy canes, buffets galore and a plethora of sinful desserts beckoning towards us like sexy seductresses in a nightclub, there is absolutely no escape route. Above all, what would Christmas be without a giant and sumptuous Yule log cake on the table?
This Christmas treat, also known as Bûche De Noël is an elaborate piece of artistry, consisting of a chocolate filled Genovese sponge cake, rolled to form the shape of a tree bark and frosted masterfully with chocolate buttercream. The “log” is then decorated with delicate meringue mushrooms, leaves and even little sugar spiders.
At your next Christmas party, you will be able to impress guests with your bountiful knowledge of Christmas traditions as you espouse the history of the Yule log cake to all guests.
“But I don’t really care where it’s from. I just want to EAT the cake because it’s so good.”
Even if this handy bit of trivia fails to impress anyone, at least you know you are a tad more well informed now.
Haven’t you not been at least a tiny bit curious as to why everyone is copiously eating logs at Christmas?
The history of the Yule log cake goes back to Europe’s Iron Age, where ladies still wore corsets and and took knitting/basket weaving classes in a bid to ensnare hapless husbands. People would indulge in elaborate feasts to celebrate the end of the bitter winter season. A huge log was used to protect the house and its inhabitants, albeit like some ancient talisman. To celebrate the coming new year, people would “purify” the air, ridding it of the previous year’s events and they did so by burning logs. The smoke was said to have cleansing properties and log’s ashes reputed to have medicinal qualities.
The log cake was made trendy and fashionable in France again, where Parisan bakers saw the great commercial potential in the creation. As the custom of burning yule logs had fallen out of use, the yule log was made into a dessert for consumption and this tradition prevails till today.
If you ever suffer from those awkward silent moments at Christmas parties in future, at least you have something new to talk about now.
“Hey did you know how the log cake you’re eating now came about…”
If not you can simply cram your mouth with some luscious log cake and it’ll at least give you an excuse not to speak!