So, here’s a recipe for a low-carb yule log (or bûche de Noël as we called it in France).
“Low-carb yule log” translated into French sounds like an oxymoron, putting two contradictory terms together, something like “working holidays”…
I totally agree with people saying that Christmas or birthdays are special occasions where you should indulge in ‘real’ full-fat desserts instead of trying to substitute traditional ingredients. However, I may sound picky, but I think we’re confronted with too many low-quality holiday treats during the whole season. They aren’t really worth it. Yes, I enjoy indulging in high-calorie desserts, but it better be some delicate thing made by a local pastry shop rather than some commercial glucose-syrup-palm-oil mix.
What I really like about this recipe: I finally came up with a protein sponge cake that’s ‘rollable’: I actually succeeded in gently rolling the sponge cake, peeling off the piece of parchment as I rolled, without the cake cracking too much or totally falling apart! This was my biggest achievement in the kitchen this week… It was a glorious moment with an imaginary round of applause as I looked at the cake roll I had just made.
So I’ll definitely keep this recipe to make a jelly roll cake using the same technique.
Ingredients for the cake:
Ingredients for the filling:
Ingredients for the icing:
– 1/2 banana
– 3 tbsp chocolate-flavored whey protein powder
– 4 tbsp water
A few words about the ingredients:
– The protein powder I used was a cheap mix of milk protein. It just said ‘milk protein’ on the package and it wasn’t that expensive: I think it was a mix of whey concentrate with a bit of casein, but definitely not an expensive pure whey isolate.
– I think using the 2 tbsp wheat flour is mandatory to get a cake you can roll. Gluten helps give enough elasticity.
– The ingredients for the filling and the icing can be changed with your own favorite protein mixes (using fat-free Greek yogurt, cottage cheese). If you have pure casein protein powder, it actually works better than whey for all kinds of icings and fillings.
1- Whip the 4 egg whites with 3 tbsp of protein powder and a pinch of salt until stiff. The mix should triple volume.
2- Beat 2 yolks until thick and light colored. Add the 1/2 mashed banana and beat again. Add flour and baking powder.
3- Gently fold egg whites/protein mix into the yolks/banana/flour mixture.
4- Put a piece of non-stick parchment paper on a large baking sheet. I didn’t spray any baking spray on it. But you might want to do so if you want to make sure the cake “flies out of it” once it’s baked.
5- Bake at 230 degrees Celsius until golden. Because the cake is so thin, it doesn’t take very long in the oven: 8 to 15 min. (15 min if like me you don’t pre-heat your oven). You don’t want to over-bake the cake to be able to roll it.
6- Take the cake out once it’s done and make the filling mixing all ingredients into a smooth paste using a hand mixer or a food processor. Spread the mix on the cake.
7- Roll the cake while it’s still lukewarm. Use a spatula to gently take the cake off out the parchment if necessary.
8- Make the mix for the icing and spread it on the roll.
9- Put the whole thing 90 minutes in the freezer. If you don’t put it in the freezer or if you only put it in the fridge to firm up, there’s a good probability that the cake won’t be firm enough for you to slice it without making a mess and tearing the whole thing apart. It doesn’t contain enough fat to firm up in the fridge. You need to put it in the freezer if you want to be able to slice it gracefully. (However, if you keep him longer than 90 minutes in the freezer, you’ll end up with a rock-hard yule log. In that case, remove it from the freezer 15-20 minutes before serving to make slicing easier.)
10- Sprinkle some cocoa on top before serving to make it look like a pseudo-dessert instead of some weird protein experiment of yours :)
This recipe make about 10 slices.
Nutrition facts per slice: 97 kcal, 8.2 g protein, 7.6 g carbs, 1.5 g sugar, 3.8 g fat, 2.1 g fiber.