For us, original starts on the forest floor. We gathered elm branches to find that perfect grain of bark for our Chocolate Yule Log.
Where does this tradition come from? We start foraging…
TWELVE DAYS OF YULETIDE
Burning a yule log is an ancient Nordic tradition, first recorded in 1184. The term Yule or Yuletide was a festival celebrating the winter solstice.
The festive party started by hauling in that ‘just right’ log from the forest floor to burn during the twelve days of Christmas. Pagan celebrations must have allowed for large dwellings, as this was not just a log, but a sizeable part of a tree! So big in fact, the remainder would be saved to burn the following year!
It was kept to ward off a ‘range of misfortunes, including toothaches, mildew, lightning, house fires, hail and chilblains’. Certainly multi-purpose in the days before local pharmacies.
‘THE MOCK’ LOG IF YOU’RE CORNISH
If you’re in Cornwall, you may be celebrating the folk custom ‘Chalking of the Mock’. A stick man is drawn on a log in chalk. The figure symbolises the end of the old, and beginning of the new. Some say it’s ‘old father time’.
FOR THE FRENCH, IT HAD TO BE WINE
How do you improve on the glowing glimmer and fragrant seasonal smell of a burning log fire? Well, the French forfeit some of their wine, sprinkling it over their yule logs prior to burning. The result is a more fragrant, smoky burn. Too good for the fire, we recommend keeping our Chateau Chocolat Vintage Red for clinking glasses.
NIGELLA TO THE BIKERS, VIA BERRY
From Nigella via the Hairy Bikers to Mary Berry, every chef has their own take on the traditional yule log cake. Fashioned in chocolate sponge with an icing filling, it will feature front and centre in many a Christmas spread. Nigella recommends scraping the two-pronged end of sweetcorn holders across fondant icing to create the bark texture.
But we went one step further.
IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS TODAY…
…you’re sure of a big surprise. Or a moderate, branch-sized surprise. We strode to great lengths (through an elm forest close the Welsh border) to forage for likely yule log candidates. It had to be authentic. Those ingrained grooves of bark, that ‘just right’ proportion.
A BRANCH BEAUTY PAGEANT
Not unlike a police line-up we photographed the best branches. Then singled out the ideal candidate. Real bark was 3D-scanned, to capture every lump, bump and crevice. Our chocolate sculptress angled the ends so it could release effortlessly from our chocolate mould. Count the contoured circles in the centre and you’ll even find a hidden HC logo.
A BITE EVEN BETTER THAN OUR BARK
Authentic, yes. Worthy of your table? Certainly. Fashioned in solid, sliceable, praline chocolate with a crispy bite.
Choose your favourite…
Milk Chocolate Yule Log 50% milk chocolate praline with hazelnuts and crisped rice.
New Dark Chocolate Yule Log 70% dark chocolate praline with almonds and hazelnuts, vegan-friendly.
AS REVIEWED BY METRO
12 great products you can add to a wheat free and dairy free Christmas buffet…
‘A Yule log like no other. Easily sliceable dark chocolate filled with nutty pralines, this is a real party pleaser, despite being completely dairy and wheat free.’
AS DESCRIBED BY OUR CHOCOLATE SCULPTRESS
‘Our vegan chocolatier made this version, it was a tongue- in-cheek tribute to the much-served ‘nut roast’ – we think ours is far tastier.’
ALSO AUTHENTIC – PASTRY CASES
Mince pies are like Marmite. You either love them, or hate them. This Christmas we celebrate the haters in our Alternative Mince Pies.
Our new recipes eschew dried fruits in favour of intensely treacly hazelnut praline and award winning creamy milk and caramel truffles. Our 40% milk pastry case was modelled, folded and perfected from a paper version, created by our in-house chocolate sculptress. See how they originated on her sketchpad.
YOUR YULE? PICTURES PLEASE…
Happy Yuletide, enjoy those winter walks!