Clementine-Speculoos: Ginger Biscuit Christmas Log Cake | Grapevine Magazine
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Clementine-Speculoos: Ginger Biscuit Christmas Log Cake

Prep time: 1h 40 min
chilling time: 30 min
Difficulty: medium
Cannot be frozen

Ingredients:
For the speculoos biscuits:
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
1 medium egg
1 tbsp water
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

For the log cake sponge:
cooking spray
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cold water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 pinch ground black pepper

For the filling:
3 clementines
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 - 4 tbsp candied ginger, in syrup, drained and chopped
3 tbsp candied orange peel, chopped

For the biscuit icing:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
4 tbsp candied orange peel, chopped

Method:
1. For the speculoos biscuits: Cream together butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the molasses, egg, and water.

2. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a separate bowl and then add it to creamed mixture in three parts, beating well in between additions until you have a smooth, soft dough.

3. Shape the dough into a disc and wrap in clingfilm. Chill for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160° fan) | 350F | gas 4. Grease and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

5. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the speculoos dough to approximately 0.75 cm | 0.333" thickness. Working freehand with a small paring knife or using a Christmas tree-shaped cutter, cut out tree shapes from the dough.

6. Space them apart on the cookie sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes until dry to the touch, set, and starting to colour at the edges. Remove to cooling racks to cool. Keep the oven on.

7. For the log cake sponge: Lightly coat a 27 cm | 11" x 37 cm | 15" jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and coat with more cooking spray.

8. Beat together the eggs, sugar, water, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl until thick and pale, about 6-8 minutes.

9. Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices, and pepper, cutting and folding with a metal spoon until you have a light batter with no visible streaks of flour or spices.

10. Spoon into the prepared pan. Rap the pan on a surface to help settle the batter before baking for about 15-20 minutes until golden, risen, and springy to the touch; a toothpick should come out clean from its center.

11. Remove from the oven and immediately invert the sponge onto a clean, damp dish towel. Peel away the parchment paper before rolling the sponge in the towel, into a tight roulade shape. Set aside.

12. For the filling: Finely grate the zest from the clementines into a mixing bowl. Cut them in half and juice into the bowl, mixing the juice with the zest. Add the butter and beat well until smooth and creamy, 3 minutes.

13. Add the confectioners' sugar in three parts, beating well between additions, until you have a smooth, orange-colored buttercream. Divide into two bowls.

14. Fold the chopped candied ginger and candied orange peel into one bowl of buttercream. Set the bowls to one side.

15. For the biscuit icing: Place the confectioners' sugar in a bowl. Stir in hot water, 2 tsp at a time, until you have a thick, spreadable icing.

16. Spread the icing over the tops of the speculoos biscuits. Top with chopped candied orange peel and leave to set.

17. To assemble the log cake, unroll the sponge from the towel. Spread the candied ginger and candied orange peel buttercream on top, pushing it to the edges with a damp palette knife. Roll into a tight log and place on a serving platter.

18. Spread the plain buttercream over the sponge with the palette knife. Decorate the top with the iced tree biscuits before slicing and serving.



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