So for Christmas this year, I didn't really end up doing much baking! That's what is great about being at my parents house surrounded by keen bakers! One sister whipped up our tropical pineapple Trifle for Christmas day dessert, another one made up some mango and ginger syllabubs, along with some homemade mince pies too! and since I'm now 8 months pregnant I was quite happy to sit back and let it all happen, although I couldn't resist whipping up some mint magic bars with ghiradelli mint choc chips my sis had received from America and also a batch of lime curd!
However, that was pretty restrained for me! So by the time I got to my in laws I knew I wanted to make a fancy Christmas dessert...and there had been plenty of hints dropped about how they were expecting some baked goods from me so I didn't want to disappoint! Being the huge peanut butter lovers they are, I decided to experiment with a peanut butter and chocolate yule log after the success of my coconut and chocolate yule log last Christmas.
I made a whipped peanut butter cream filling which worked perfectly with the rich chocolate-y frosting on the outside of the log, and the icing on the cake was a whole bundle of mini Reese's peanut butter cups that my sister attached to my prezzie this year! It was a great alternative to the traditional yule log...whilst still remaining festively fun!
Since my trusty Kitchenaid has been at my sister's flat in London ever since we were in Canada, I have been pretty lost without it! I jumped at the chance of testing out this Tefal mixer to see if it was up to the job of baking such a complex dessert!
The first thing that struck me was just how light it was! I'm used to my beast of a Kitchenaid which is so heavy to lug around! (hence why it was still in London because there was no way my sister could have carried it on the tube to bring it back to me!) but to cart this around with us over the Christmas period was super easy! It's lightness made me question whether it was going to be sturdy enough to cope with the bake I had planned...but it managed every step with ease.
It creamed the butter and sugar like a dream, with just a few scrapings down the side to incorporate it altogether, and it was so efficient in whipping the cream that I turned my back for a second and the cream was done!
Despite having reduced power from what I'm used to with my Kitchenaid it did exactly what I needed it to do, and coped with every stage of my baking brilliantly! When I had it on the fourth speed setting, it did sound a bit like it was going to take off! but aside from that it worked like a dream and considering it's only £99 I'd say you get your money's worth for sure.
The mixing bowl isn't huge, so if you're planning to do large batches of baking like double batches of cupcakes or triple layer cakes then it might not be the mixer for you but for everyday baking it's certainly a cheaper alternative to the higher spec models out there and works just as well!
Argos have large ranges of Tefal appliances available to buy here.
So if you're a peanut butter lover, then save this recipe away for next Christmas - it's a crowd pleaser for sure!
Chocolate & Peanut Butter Yule Log:
From Cupcake Crazy Gem
For the cake:
170g caster sugar
140g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
For the filling:
284ml double cream
6 tbsp smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp condensed milk (optional)
3 tbsp condensed milk (optional)
40g caster sugar
For the frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups icing/powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp milk
14 mini Reese's peanut butter cups
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
Grease and line a swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
Beat the eggs and sieved sugar together with an electric whisk for about 8 minutes until thick and creamy.
Mix the flour, cocoa and baking powder together, then sift into the egg mixture. Fold in very carefully, the pour into the tin. Now tip the tin from side to side to spread the mixture into the corners. Bake for 16-18 minutes.
Lay a sheet of baking parchment on the work surface. When the cake is ready, tip it onto the parchment, peel off the lining paper, then roll the cake up from the longest edge with the paper inside. Leave to cool.
Whip the double cream until peaks form. Add in the peanut butter and the sugar until stiff peaks form. At this point I underestimated the strength of the mixer and over whipped the cream slightly, so I added the condensed milk to give a creamier texture. If you keep an eye on your cream you shouldn't need to do this.
Once completely cool, unravel the cake and spread the peanut butter cream over the top.
Then, roll the log back up again and refrigerate whilst making the chocolate frosting.
Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Sieve sugar and cocoa powder into the mixing bowl 1 cup at a time. On low speed, mix the ingredients until they come together. Increase mixer to medium, and add the vanilla extract and milk and mix until incorporated. Increase mixer to high speed and beat for 3 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Take the log out of the fridge, and spread the frosting on thickly using a palette knife. Use a fork to mark the frosting to give the effect of tree bark. Go around in a circle to make knots. Sprinkle with chopped Reese's peanut butter cups to finish off your peanut butter creation!
Eat and enjoy!