Yule logs were not always desserts but were rather once actual trees that were brought into the homes of Christmas observers and then burned over the following twelve days of Christmas, luckily though we have chocolate log cakes that will not last even twelve hours within our homes. When most people imagine a Yule log their mind springs to dessert and rightfully so, however the thoughts that wandered into the minds of Sir Holiday staff was rather why do we serve them during Christmasand what started this whole tradition anyway? With so much intense questions and so little cake to be eaten it is obvious we should skip straight to the history and await the splendor of the Christmas lunch while reading all about the history of the Yule log.
A Yule log for those of you who have not yet tasted the deliciousness of this creation is a chocolate sponge cake that is rolled into a spiral, filled with buttercream icing and decorated with elements to make it look more tree like. Examples of decorations that you could find on a Yule log could include sugar that has been spun into cobwebs, fake mushrooms made out of either icing, meringue, chocolate or perhaps cherries to symbolize the fruit traditionally found on trees. Yule logs can trace their origins all the way to the Celts; during the time of the winter solstice the Celtic people would gather to celebrate the harvest and the coming year. In the midst of these festivities they would find logs, decorate the logs with pieces of holly or ivy and burn them, the ashes that were generated from the fires of these logs would then be collected by the community. The community would use these ashes for safeguarding against evil spirits, bad omens and dark forces, as well as using the ashes for healing and caring for the sick in their community.
However, when Christmas became a far more steadfast holiday the burning of trees was a lot harder, as people tended to celebrate Christmas with their families. The challenges presented to people were that their fireplaces were a lot smaller, often too small for logs but they were able to make a cake. The first real evidence of a Yule log cake being baked for this season is from the 1600’s; meringue and marzipan would have been used to decorate the cake and sponge cakes still would have been the base for the Yule log. So Christmas cakes would have been rather similar to the one we see today. When Yule logs really came into their own was during the 1800’s, they owe their popularity to the French really, a number of bakers in Paris started to experiment with the cakes and began to elevate them to new heights. The cakes became more extravagant, more flavorful and far more decorated than previously before, leading to them becoming a key staple for the Christmas’s of many upper class families and so the trend lives on.
For all your holiday information and more visit Sir Holiday today.
French Yule log:
Modern Yule log:
Comments will be approved before showing up.