Isn’t it funny how we spend weeks in the run up to Christmas cleaning the house from top to bottom, dusting the cobwebs off serving dishes and decorating like it’s going out of fashion, in preparation for our visitors.
Christmas eve is the perfect picture of beauty. Presents neatly stacked under the tree, flickering lights from the outdoor decorations, blowing softly in the wind. Stockings hung above the fireplace…
And the small one, excitedly looking out of the window and up to the sky hopping for a secret glimpse of the arrival of the man himself. But then…
Morning comes… and with it the chaotic lingering mess. All those earlier efforts lost in one fell swoop.
Wrapping paper, ribbons, tags and empty toy boxes strewn everywhere. Every corner now full of Transformers, Avengers, Skylander Giants and the small one’s latest craze – Trash packs – You get the picture.
And this is the mess my house will be until well into the New Year. So why do I not mind now? I’m not really sure. What I do know is the small one has only just got his Santa toys and all his beautiful gifts from family.
Slightly overwhelmed, he needs time to sort through and play with all his new presents, but also because I need time to think where I can find an empty shelf or crate to accommodate all his new toys.
So while I’m winding down from the hustle and bustle of the last few days, enjoying this free time with my precious small one. And before the resolutions for the New Year take me over, time me thinks, to put the feet up and have just a little more cake.
White chocolate yule log
Serves 6 • Baking time: 10-15 minutes
100g castor sugar
100g self-raising flour
4 medium eggs
100g white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon Bailey’s
Icing sugar to dust
1. Preheat the oven to 200c/gas mark 6/180c(fan). Grease and line a (29.5cm x 19.5cm) baking tray.
2. Whisk the eggs and sugar for about 10 minutes until light and creamy. Mix in the vanilla essence.
3. Fold in the four and chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
4. Meanwhile spread a piece of grease proof paper (bigger than the baking tray) over a damp tea cloth and sprinkle with castor sugar.
5. When the sponge is baked, turn it out onto the prepared paper and cut off the edges (these can be used to make trifle). Starting with the end nearest to you, carefully roll the sponge away from you. Leave to cool on a wire tray.
6. Whip the cream and add the Bailey’s to it. When the sponge is cool, unroll and spread with cream and chopped strawberries and roll up again. Dust with icing sugar before serving.