Wednesday 13th December 2017
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Serves 6
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

For the sponge:
6 whole eggs
150g caster sugar
120g white strong flour
80g cocoa powder
70g ground almond
½ teaspoon almond essence
30g extra bitter cocoa powder
50g melted butter, still warm

For the butter cream:
600g butter at room temperature
200g icing sugar
100g cocoa powder ‘extra brut’
¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground clove

For the filling:
100g chopped dried apricots
100g sultanas
80g chopped walnuts
150g caster sugar
200ml water
100ml dark rum
Pinch of ground clove
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Small pinch of ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon vanilla essence

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Recipe by Ivano de Serio, Head Chef of The Old Bakery

We include many delicious recipes in Lincolnshire Life throughout the year, courtesy of Ivano de Serio and I try my hand at many of them. For our Christmas issue I thought it would be fun to include his recipe for a classic festive treat but also go along to his cookery school at The Old Bakery Restaurant, Lincoln to receive some professional tuition.

I have included the recipe I made on the day for a luxurious Christmas Chocolate Log, and the step-by-step series of photographs were taken by photography student, Georgia Milner, from Robert Pattinson School, North Hykeham. Have a go yourself – the end result is stunning and is a perfect addition to any table over the festive period.

For the biscuit sponge, separate the egg yolks from the white, place the yolks in a bowl with the sugar and whisk until pale and light.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg white with a little salt until soft peaks form.

Add the sieved flour to the egg and sugar mix, pour in the melted butter and the ground almond and mix well; gently fold in the white.

Pour the cake mix into a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake at 160C for 12-14 minutes.

Roll the sponge still warm in a clean kitchen cloth and let it cool down completely.

To make the fruit and nut filling, place all the ingredients in a pan and cook on low for 2-3 minutes, let rest until completely cold and drain the fruit and nuts.

To make the butter cream, whisk all the ingredients together until smooth.

With the marinating liquids from the fruit filling, gently wet the sponge.

Spread 1/3 of the butter cream evenly over the sponge, add the fruits and roll.

Pass the rest of the butter cream in a piping bag with a star nozzle and cover the log.

To serve, dust some icing sugar and garnish with red currants.

One day courses for up to eight people can be booked, catering for everyone from the serious enthusiast to complete novices in the kitchen.

Recent themes have been Lincolnshire Fine Dining, British Fish and Seafood and British Game.

The day includes both practical and demonstration cookery and guests enjoy the food they have cooked with complimentary wine at the close of the day.

For further information about the courses call 01522 576057 or visit

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