By Leigh O'Connor.
Chocolate and Christmas – a match made in heaven! Waking up
on Christmas morning with presents under the tree, a glass of bubbles in hand
and the thought of a traditional yule log as a decadent sweet treat.
A Nordic tradition and originally an entire tree, the yule
log was carefully chosen and brought into the house with great ceremony. The
largest end of the tree would be placed in the fire hearth and lit from the
remains of the previous year’s log, which was stored away and slowly fed into
the fire through the 12 days of Christmas.
The luscious log we enjoy today evolved from experimentation
by European cooks - inspired to turn a tradition into a dessert - by baking a
sponge cake in the form of a sweet roulade. This was then coated in creamy,
smooth chocolate, decorated with a bark-like texture from dragging a fork through
the icing and perched atop a cake, to resemble a chopped off branch.
From there, the chocolate Christmas tradition exploded into
a flurry of recipes celebrating the season – rum balls, chocolate logs and
cocktails all tried to outdo each other as festive favourites.
Great as presents for family and friends, but equally
delicious as naughty nibbles throughout the big day, chocolate is never far
from Christmas cheer.
Here are some suggestions to make 2017 a chocolate kind of
Chocolate indulgence destination Cocoa
Nib, located inside the Keith Tulloch Winery Complex in peaceful Pokolbin,
has Newcastle foodies flocking to the area for coveted creations, crafted from
the finest French ingredients.
Sharing their recipe for a Chocolate
Salami Log, Cocoa Nib brings to the table a yuletide treat full of fruity
flavour with dried figs, apricots, cherries and cranberries - mixed with
pistachios, almonds and hazelnuts - to create a slice with punch. Add dark
chocolate, golden syrup and crushed biscuits, and the result is a sensational
snack or great gift for someone special.
Macadamias and chocolate go hand in hand with good times and
family fun - try these Macadamia
Chocolate Crackles and watch them disappear in a cloud of crumbs and sea of
delighted faces. A festive take on regular crackles, add chopped red and green
glace cherries for an extra touch.
A lovingly decorated box of homemade Nutty
Chocolate Fudge makes an ideal pressie for
friends - this recipe is quick, easy and tastebud temptingly tantalising. Make
in advance and store in the fridge, ready to be boxed up and given with love to
those who have been nice – not naughty!
Snow globes are fascinating Christmas ornaments, shake them
and watch snowflakes float down over festive scenes, encased in glass
surrounds. Using imagination, mason jars, white chocolate and coconut truffles,
create these Snowmen
Globes by the cupcake queen, Elise Strachan as both a decoration and treat
to entice children to join in the celebrations.
From AGFG resident Chef, Shawn Sheather comes a creative
Christmas cocktail - Spirited
Rocky Road. Those who love traditional rocky road will drool over this
liquid creation, with a kick of bourbon and all the trimmings of toasted
coconut, ice cream, Turkish delight, marshmallows, nuts and of course
Eat, drink and be merry this Christmas, for more chocolate
recipes click here.