Chocolate Hazelnut Yule Log [SCD, GAPS]

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I made this Chocolate Hazelnut Yule Log for church potluck in December; there are about 8 other people (besides the 6 in my family) in my small church also following an scd/gaps diet, which makes potlucks a joy. This dessert turned out to be a little more effort than I had envisioned, but it made it worth it to share it with others (adults!) who appreciate the quality and effort behind such a delicious treat.

So give the recipe already, right? Here you go:

There are 4 parts to this log: the chocolate cake, a pudding filling with coconut and hazelnuts folded into it, a topping of caramel, and a frosting of Creme Fraiche and honey.

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Chocolate Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt in saucepan on stove:
1/4 stick butter
4 Tb cocoa
1 Tb water
Combine in food processor with s blade:
1.5 packed cups almond flour
2 Tb coconut flour
1/4 tsp Real salt
3/4 tsp soda
2 tsp cinnamon
To the dry mixture, add:
Cocoa/butter mixture from stove
2 large eggs
1/4 cup scd yogurt (homemade yogurt fermented 24 hours)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup honey
1/2 dropper stevia liquid (I used English Toffee flavor)
Pulse until smooth, scoop batter out into a greased baking paper in a sheet cake (jelly roll) pan. Use a piece of seran to flatten/squish the batter to an even thickness across the pan, about 1/2 in thick. Remove Seran and bake until fork comes out clean, 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before rolling into a log.

(Because it will smell fabulous, and you/your kids can’t help yourselves, trim uneven edges off, and munch on the scraps.)

Hazelnut Filling
1/2 cup honey
1 stick butter
1/4 tsp salt (more if butter Unsalted)
Melt this together in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. When it begins to simmer, add:
1 cup almond milk (or coconut milk)
Meanwhile (don’t you love that I said ‘meanwhile’ while you are stirring constantly?), separate:
3 egg yolks (or 4 if small yolks)
from their whites into a glass bowl (save the whites for adding to another recipe). Whisk the yolks slightly, and when hot mixture is simmering, add half of it to bowl with egg yolks, whisk then pour back into the rest of mixture and whisk until yolks cook/mixture coats a spoon.
Remove from stove and stir in:
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 Tb rum, hazelnut flavoring, or vanilla

Allow to cool until not runny, then spread on top of chocolate cake layer. Then carefully roll the cake lengthwise and place on your serving platter.

Caramel Topping
Use this recipe for Caramel. Allow to cool about an hour before drizzling over the top of the yule log.

Craime Fraiche Frosting

This requires homemade Craime Fraiche (whipping cream cultured with yogurt starter for 24 hours).

1 pint Craime Fraiche, chilled
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup honey (approximately)

Using handheld electric beaters, whip cream until it thickens just as when making whipped cream. Add vanilla, then slowly add honey until all combined and light and firm peaks form.

Frost over top of Yule log. Garnish with more chopped hazelnuts.

Enjoy!

A Chinook Book Birthday

Last spring I purchased a Chinook Book* -a green version of an Entertainment Book- for my area (Portland) and realized that the coupons expired on Oct. 31. Since my birthday is the 30th, a plan immediately formed in my head: spend an entire day shopping at organic and eco-friendly shops, and redeem as many coupons as possible. Or least as many as affordable.

So the morning of my birthday, which fell on a Saturday this year, my husband and I set out for the city, baby in tow. (Our three older children were watched by our dear friends Keith and Sandy.) I had clipped out the coupons which I wanted to redeem and charted a course. My rule for the day (which I broke once) was that all the places we shopped would be with a coupon/discount.

1st Stop: Joann Fabrics

OK, so this wasn’t a Chinook Book coupon, but I happened to have two 40% off coupons, and took the opportunity without kids to stop in a choose 2 cuts of flannel to make into PJs for Christmas.

2nd Stop: EcoCarWash (SE Portland)

The coupon was for a free wash…I think their soaps are non-toxic, and water is recycled. Clean van, good to go.

3rd Stop: Bob’s Red Mill

Yes, the flagship store. Smells heavenly even before you walk inside…Heiko checked out the breakfast menu with a 1/2 price coupon, while I stocked up from their bulk section on a few baking items I needed: tapioca flour (for GF baking), baking powder, yeast (non GMO), etc. I used the Buy One Get One Free coupon on two 25 lb bags of tapioca flour, and a $.75 coupon on the yeast. Then I sat with Heiko (french toast and fried eggs) and had a gluten-free marionberry scone, while we showed off the baby to an elderly lady sitting near by.

4th Stop: The Healthy Bread Store (right across the street!)

I ran in while Heiko did a drive by (it was raining) and bought 2 loaves of day old Good Seed Bread (“say no to bread on drugs”) with a 2 for the price of 1 coupon.

5th Stop: Drive through Ladd’s Addition Neighborhood

Admired the rose gardens and gorgeous fall leaves.

6th Stop: Artichoke Music (Hawthorne)

Again a drive by for Heiko, while I went in a bought a rosin for my daughter’s violin practice; hers had broken. Used the 25% off coupon. Store with many beautiful folk instruments.

7th Stop: North Portland Wellness Center (North Portland)

It was now pouring, so we sat in the car for a bit while I fed the baby, then ducked into the Center, which is in a nicely restored Craftsman. I chose two scented handmade soaps with 2 coupons for free soap…mmm, the citrus scent smells so nice in my bathroom!

8th Stop: The Meadow

Here‘s where I broke my rule: I had no coupons for The Meadow. However, it had recently been recommended to me as a great place to get good sea salt. And what a selection!

The Meadow has over 150 different kinds of sea salt from around the world; this is the largest collection of salts in the world to their knowledge. We sampled several, chose an economical grey salt for multipurpose cooking, and splurged on a bar of dark chocolate and a small bottle of flake salt for sprinkling.

Besides salt and chocolate, The Meadow sells only two other wares: wine and flowers. Salt, Chocolate, Wine, Flowers…somehow it all goes together, doesn’t it? As we checked out, I asked if they give birthday discounts (perhaps I wouldn’t have to break my rule…). No, but she she gave me a flower instead. How sweet! Love this shop.

9th Stop: Laughing Planet

Hungry for lunch, we walked 2 doors down to Laughing Planet, where the staff was having a scary costume contest (ugh…the one thing I don’t like about this time of year). But the Draper Valley roasted chicken burrito (Heiko) and bowl (me) were delicious and hit the spot. We sat by the window and watch a friendly old dog in the courtyard while other patrons admired our baby. Oh yeah, we used the 20% off 2 entrees coupon, and left the coupon for 2 smoothies for another patron.

10th Stop: Pharmaca (NW Portland)

Heiko strolled the baby while I chose eyeliner and lipliner pencils to replace the ones I’ve used up. Jane Iradale and Dr. Haushka brands respectively were the colors I liked best (after much debate), and I used the $5 off $20 purchase coupon.

11th Stop: Pottery Barn

After a parking change to avoid being ticketed, we browsed through Pottery Barn, an icon of eclectic and cozy decorating. I didn’t have a coupon for this store, but I had a gift card, which is even more fun. However, after browsing, I decided I’d rather wait for the after Christmas sale to redeem my gift.

12th Stop: Restoration Hardware (across the street)

And of course we always have to stop in here when in NW Portland: Heiko loves to look at all their do-dads and stocking stuffers. However, this year was a disappointment, as they have seriously cut down on the kitsch. And their looks has changed too: the sage walls and cream trim have been replaced with grey walls, ceiling, everything. Cool at first, and then the drab begins to feel depressing.

13th Stop: Anna Bananas

Of course there are several coffee shops right on 23rd Ave, but we went a couple streets over to get our late afternoon lattes at this place, since we had a 2 for 1 coupon with them. The Milky Way has almond and caramel syrups…yum.

14th Stop: Estate Sale

Lattes in hand, we ventured back into a few 23rd Ave. boutiques, then followed the hand written sign half a block to an estate sale. Found a great flat basket for gathering herbs (was told it is called a trug) for a few bucks (OK, no coupon, but it was still a great deal).

15th Stop: What’s Upstairs

Nice resale shop with a boutique feel on the top level of shops. The lady was kind to stay open a little longer while I tried on a cute top (25% off coupon).

16th Stop: Wild Wood Restaurant

White-linen restaurant with food that’s too gourmet for my husband (we had that discussion). He had the steak and I the quail; lovely flavors in sauces, veggies, and meat, on plates too large for the food (part of the definition of gourmet). Of course we used the 2 for 1 coupon for our entrees.

17th Stop: New Seasons Market

Heiko dropped me at the door to collect our free organic french baguettes and hand stuffed sausages (apple chicken feta, which was good, and Bratwurst, which was also good but still nothing like a true Bratwurst in Germany). 4 coupons redeemed.

18th Stop: Home

Where 3 happy children in pajamas greeted me with birthday cards, and we all sat down to dark chocolate cake (GF) sprinkled with flake salt before sending the children to bed and playing pinochle with Keith and Sandy. Even though they beat us, it was still a fun ending to a great day!

*The Chinook Book offers some great money saving coupons. It costs $20, and I saved more than that in the first two purchases I made with coupons this spring (items I was purchasing anyway).