Chocolate lovers rejoice! Samantha Saliba from Sam’s Sweet and Savoury shares her utterly delectable recipe for this local festive staple.
Some things in life are both naughty and nice and the traditional Maltese Christmas log is one of them! How ‘naughty’? that’s for you to decide, as Samantha also provides options to make a healthier version.
Picture the scene, Christmas bells ringing afar, you are cuddled under a woollen blanket in front of a crackling fireplace with a mug of steaming hot chocolate and a slice of a scrumptious Christmas log! The Maltese take on this classic seasonal dessert has a twist, instead of a soft sponge centre expect a nutty and biscuit crunch, encased with heavenly velvet chocolate.
Whether you are entertaining this December or looking for the perfect treat to take your loved ones (as Maltese etiquette goes) then this dessert is sure to hit the spot and spread festive cheer.
Admittedly, the Maltese Christmas log isn’t the healthiest of treats, so, in order to keep the Grinch at bay and enjoy an extra slice guilt-free, then here are some healthier ingredient switches. Otherwise, if you fancy the full chocolatey affair, then jump to the original recipe below and tuck in with merriment.
How to turn this recipe into a healthier one:
- Substitute a morning coffee packet with an equal amount of oat flour or else process your own oats to the desired flour consistency. Exchange the other morning coffee packet with oatmeal biscuits. Oats are a wholegrain and have plenty of benefits such as lowering cholesterol, aiding digestion and are a rich source of B vitamins, magnesium and iron.
- Make your own condensed milk. Add 1 cup of light coconut milk, 4 medjool dates and 1 tsp of vanilla essence. Boil and simmer in a saucepan on medium heat until creamy. Blend together and let it cool before use. The dates will give a naturally sweet taste without all the processed sugars.
- Instead of the chocolate chips, why not try some dried fruits? Dried cranberries are a perfect option for some added value of nutrients and antioxidants.
- Use equal amounts of rum in replacement to the baileys. Rum is made from molasses and is known to have some health benefits. However, we are quite sure this doesn’t imply that you should down a bottle!
- Cover your log with 80% or a higher percentage of dark chocolate for a higher cocoa to sugar ratio. Cocoa in it’s natural state has many health promoting properties.
Original Maltese Christmas log Recipe
- 2 x 150g packs of morning coffee biscuits
- 385ml condensed milk
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 100g hazelnuts
- 100g walnuts
- 100g almonds
- 50g chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp Baileys
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 150-200g melting milk chocolate
- Crush the morning coffee packets either in a food processor or roll them out with a rolling pin until it is crushed into a rough consistency. I prefer to crush mine just before it turns into a flour consistency, leaving some small biscuit pieces here and there. This will give your log a nice effect when slicing.
- Use a small processor to chop your nuts into large chunks.
- Mix all of the dry ingredients (biscuits, nuts, chocolate chips and cocoa powder) in a large bowl until a uniform mix is achieved.
- Add the wet ingredients in and combine for a sticky mixture.
- Place your mixture on a baking sheet in the form of a cylindrical log and wrap it up. Continue to press the log in the baking sheet to solidify it.
- Wrap the log in another layer of cling film and secure tightly to keep its log shape. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
- Take your log out the refrigerator. Melt your chocolate using a bain-marie technique, remove your log from the wrapping and spoon and brush your melted chocolate all over. Use a fork to give an authentic bark effect. Sprinkle your log with any décor you like.
- Once the chocolate has set, slice your Christmas log to serve.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas x
Recipe & Images: Samantha Saliba
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