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Yule Want this Infused Log

A fanciful iconic dessert brings extra holiday cheer

By James Distefano 

Few desserts signify the holiday season better than a yule log, but who actually applies the effort to make one? It’s less complicated than it looks.

Add some cannabis and you’ve just brought a little more holiday cheer to the plate. My goal is to impart a little confidence to demystify the techniques and preparation of the yule log. This version will give a nod to a healthier New Year by including more whole grains and less refined sugar. A gluten-free chiffon cake serves as the base. Before you hit the brakes, trust me, it will not only taste delicious but your guests will have no idea that it’s gluten-free.

Start with making your own gluten-free flour blend, which can be used in place of all-purpose flour for any recipe. The oat flour and sorghum provide a mild, earthy sweetness and complement the richness of the chocolate icing on the log. Both have enough personality that they won’t get lost in the mix. Overall, the mix, which also includes tapioca starch, flax meal and sweet rice flour (aka glutinous rice flour even though it has no gluten), is healthier than all-purpose flour. The flax meal, which helps provide the necessary structure and gelatinizing capabilities, is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, when we consume products made with whole grains versus refined grains, our bodies metabolize these ingredients more slowly, giving us more of a sense of satiety—and no spike in blood sugar. At the heart of any pastry production is a well-executed prep list with set deadlines.

Ready to get started? Get the recipe here.

Making the yule log in the steps will keep stress to a minimum. The following instructions are more detailed than what you may be accustomed to, but it will ensure the best results.

One week before baking: Make the chocolate bark and store in an airtight container or jar: Leftover bark can be warmed and drizzled over any frozen dessert. The coconut oil in the recipe will help harden the chocolate more quickly. This is a homemade “Magic Shell.”

A few days before baking: Put together the gluten-free flour blend and combine all the dry ingredients in a sealable plastic bag in the pantry. Pre-portion almond paste. Be sure to keep the portions well wrapped so they don’t dry out.

One day before baking: Combine the wet ingredients for the cake. Making a kit of dry and wet ingredients in advance may sound silly, but it’s a time- saving step in restaurants. The evening before baking Temper the butter and cream cheese for the frosting the night before by leaving them out on your kitchen counter. Ready-to-use softened butter is a time saver. Start the black pepper meringue mushrooms, which need to dry overnight in the oven at 200 F.

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