Holiday Yule log with House of BBQ Experts’ Cake Spice Mix and Rub
The holidays are all about the 4 Fs: “family”, “friends”, “fun”, and “food”. Indeed, this is the time of the year to celebrate, gather with our close ones, and enjoy life.
For me, desserts symbolize celebrations because they are a treat (how many times did I say that I shouldn’t eat a slice of cake, but did it anyway because… how can anyone resist that? 🙊) and they are the last dish served, sometimes a couple of hours after the main dish, making people spend more time together.
Hence, for the holidays this year, I decided to treat my family to a five-course BBQ meal and to bake a Yule log cake for dessert. Baking on the BBQ might seem intimidating, but believe me, there is nothing to fear: anything you can do in the oven, you can do on the BBQ! Also, although there are a lot of steps to this recipe, it is much easier to do than it seems, and if your kids are like mine, they will love to help you out with the decorations! 😊
For the cake:
- ¼ cup House of BBQ Experts’ Cake Spice Mix and Rub
- ⅓ cup milk
- ¾ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
- ¼ cup cacao powder (ideally Dutch processed)
- 1 pinch salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs, whites separated
- ¾ cup sugar (divided into ½ and ¼ cup)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
For the filling:
- 1 (250g) cream cheese package, softened to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3 cups icing sugar
For the ganache:
- ½ cup 35% cream
- 1 tablespoon House of BBQ Experts’ Cake Spice Mix and Rub
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
- 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
For the orange decorations:
- 1 orange, cut into approximately 0,5 cm thick slices
- House of BBQ Experts’ Cake Spice Mix and Rub to taste
- Preheat the BBQ to 350°F, and make sure to keep an indirect cooking zone. Line a 43 x 30 cm (17 x 12 inches) cookie sheet with a strip of parchment paper, letting it hang over two sides. Butter generously the parchment paper and the cookie sheet’s uncovered sides if necessary. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the Cake spice mix and rub with the milk. Once the Cake spice mix has dissolved, set aside.
- In another bowl, sift the flour, the cacao powder, the salt, and the baking soda. Mix, and set aside.
- In a third bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks are formed. Keep whisking and gradually add ½ cup of sugar. Once the peaks become stiff, set aside.
- In a fourth bowl, beat the butter and ¼ cup of sugar with an electric mixer. Add the egg yolks, the vanilla extract, and the orange liqueur.
- At low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the cakey-milk mix in the fourth bowl. Delicately fold the egg whites into the dough with a rubber spatula. Spread out evenly onto the cookie sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes on indirect heat or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. If the cookie sheet is larger than the indirect cooking zone, place another cookie sheet upside-down on the grate and lay down the cookie sheet with the cake mix over it. Do not overcook.
- Place parchment paper on a wire rack and dust it with approximately ½ tablespoon of sifted icing sugar. Once the cake is baked, dust the top of it with the rest of the icing sugar and flip it top-down onto the parchment paper. Leave the cookie sheet over the cake to keep it moist. Let completely cool to room temperature for approximately 1 hour.
- In a bowl, beat the cream cheese and the butter with an electric mixer. At low speed, gradually add the icing sugar and keep beating until the filling is smooth and creamy. Set aside and refrigerate.
- Preheat the BBQ with all of its heaters to their maximum temperature setting.
- In a small pot, mix the cream, the Cake spice mix and rub, and the orange liqueur. Bring to a simmer.
- In a bowl, pour the hot cream mix onto the chopped pieces of chocolate. Mix until the chocolate completely melts.
- For the ganache to thicken, let cool to room temperature for about 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
The orange decorations:
- Sprinkle to taste both sides of the orange slices with the Cake spice mix and rub.
- Grill over direct heat for 2 minutes on each side.
- Let cool over absorbent paper. Sponge up if necessary.
The layering of the log:
- Once the cake has cooled, flip the wire rack upside down, so the cake sits in the cookie sheet. Remove the parchment paper on top of the cake.
- Spread the filling uniformly over the cake’s surface.
- Delicately roll the cake’s large side with the help of the parchment paper.
- Present in a serving plate, with the end of the rolled-up part face down.
- Pour the ganache over the cake and let drip on the sides.
- Decorate with tree bark and the orange slices.
- Let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
- If the cake cracks, hide the imperfections with decorations.
- To make a layered cake instead of a Yule log, cut the cake into 3 pieces of equal size and spread the filling in between them.
- To personalize the cake even more, add chocolate decorations. To make them, melt some chocolate, pour it into a piping bag, and then create shapes onto parchment paper.
Now that you’re all set, I hope that you and your family will devour this Yule log in no time, but spend lots of quality time together. A wonderful holiday and BBQ season to all!