Our Vegan Heaven on a Festive Plate

Rocco Forte Hotels

Perhaps previously overlooked at the traditional Christmas table, vegans are warmly welcomed at our festive feast this year.

Come along, one and all, to the dessert table where Mathew Sherry, Head Chef at Number One at The Balmoral, and pastry chef Sonia Celtia Salerani have added a citrus twist to the traditional Bûche de Noël or Yule log. With flavours inspired by fresh produce, fresh clementines are artfully laid on a comforting base of velvety dark chocolate. Put on your plant-based chef’s hat and add a vegan twist to your Christmas feast this year with a sumptuous treat that’ll impress all of your party guests.

Vegan Bûche de Noël

To serve four people.  


  • Large mixing bowl
  • Hand blender / food processor
  • Ice cream maker
  • 30cm baking tray

Ingredients for vegan sponge 

  • 135g light brown sugar 
  • 130g sunflower oil 
  • 175g plain flour 
  • 40g cornstarch
  • 15g baking powder 
  • 20g cocoa powder 
  • 1 clementine zested 
  • 150g soy milk 

Ingredients for the clementine topping

  • 160g soy milk 
  • 50g caster sugar 
  • 10 ml water 
  • 2 clementine zest and juice 

Ingredients for the chocolate ganache 

  • 700g silken tofu 
  • 400g quality dark chocolate callets or small pieces

Ingredients for the orange sorbet 

  • 500g clementine juice 
  • 135g caster sugar 
  • 30g dry glucose 
  • 2.5g guar gum or other plant-based stabiliser 
  • 240g water 

Methodology for the cake and clementine topping

  • Begin by mixing the sugar and sunflower oil in a large bowl. Sieve all the other dry ingredients together and add them to the sugar and oil mixture. 
  • Then add the clementine zest and pour in the soy milk to create a smooth batter. 
  • Pour the mixture into a lined baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at a fan speed of 175 C° for 15 minutes. 
  • In the meantime, make your clementine topping by bringing the soy milk, sugar, water, clementine zest and juice as mentioned above, to a boil. 
  • Then check the sponge cake with a cake tester, to ensure it is fully cooked through.
  • Transfer it to a cooling rack and brush with the clementine topping and reserve for later.

Methodology for the chocolate ganache

  • Bring the soy milk to a boil and pour it onto the chocolate and blitz using a hand blender.
  • Then add the silken tofu and blitz again until the mixture is well combined and smooth.

Methodology for the orange sorbet

  • Add water to the dry ingredients and bring to a boil. 
  • Remove from heat and use a hand blender to mix in the clementine juice until the mixture is smooth.
  • Transfer to an ice cream maker and churn until it comes together and is set.
  • Remove from the machine and reserve in the freezer until serving.

The assembly 

  • Now that the soaked sponge is at room temperature, place it carefully on a large piece of baking paper. 
  • Take a third of the ganache and spread evenly over the top of the sponge.
  • Using the greaseproof paper to help, carefully roll the sponge into a tube and transfer to a suitable tray and refrigerate for at least two hours until it sets. 
  • Once set, spread the remaining ganache carefully over the sponge “log”. This doesn't have to be too exact as the sweeping motions created from a spatula will help create the texture of tree bark. 
  • After it is fully covered, using a fork or fine toothpick, carefully scratch the wood effect into the ganache. 
  • Once complete and you are happy with the result, return the dish back to the fridge for a final set and reserve until ready to eat.

Time to serve

  • Cut the log to desired portion sizes and serve with a large scoop of the clementine sorbet.
  • For an extra seasonal touch, you can also dust it with a touch of icing sugar to give it a snowy effect.


Try this plant-based Bûche de Noël at home or join us for a meal at Number One and sample this innovative sweet treat in addition to other vegan favourites on our menu. To book, get in touch with numberone@roccofortehotels.com or phone +44 131 557 6727.

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