December 24th – Hot Tree Publishing


Let’s welcome Becky from Hot Tree Publishing (my brilliant publisher)! Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post.

The Magic of Christmas

Since a child, it’s been a tradition to make a yule log, something I did with my parents, and a task I loved wholeheartedly. I’ve tried desperately to keep this tradition alive with my own son, not quite realising the “tiny” difference a simple thing like location would have on the creation of said yumminess.

Growing up in England, I’m used to Christmas in winter, therefore baking and of course melting chocolate on the hob, with the task of pouring the delicious goodness before it sets. It’s funny how a few thousand miles can flip that small dilemma on its head.

Having lived in Queensland, Australia for over six years, our summer Christmas really does involve barbeques and swimming rather than a turkey and huddling around the fire. This ultimately makes melting chocolate a breeze, but setting the darn thing a logistical nightmare.

Over the years, our creations are somewhat… interesting. When chocolate drips so fast, little stays attached, so it’s always a race to get the log in the fridge as quickly as possible. We’ve happily realised, though, that the norm includes hands, arms, and faces regularly covered in chocolatey goodness and have learned to roll with the heat. Though one year we did try it with frosting rather than chocolate as it was 106˚ F! Christmas just would not be the same without this traditional delicious treat on our Christmas table.

Enjoy the recipe below and have an amazing holiday!


CEO Hot Tree Publishing


Ingredients from:

For the cake

3 eggs

85g golden caster sugar

85g plain flour (less 2 tbsp)

2 tbsp cocoa powder

½ tsp baking powder

For the filling & icing

50g butter

140g dark chocolate, broken into squares

1 tbsp golden syrup

284ml pot double cream

200g icing sugar, sifted

2-3 extra-strong mint, crushed (optional)

icing sugar and holly sprigs to decorate – ensure you remove the berries before serving



  1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Grease and line a 23 x 32cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment. Beat the eggs and sugar together with an electric whisk for about 8 mins until thick and creamy.
  2. Mix the flour, cocoa and baking powder together, then sift onto the egg mixture. Fold in very carefully, then pour into the tin. Now tip the tin from side to side to spread the mixture into the corners. Bake for 10 mins.
  3. Lay a sheet of baking parchment on the work surface. When the cake is ready, tip it onto the parchment, peel off the lining paper, then roll the cake up from its longest edge with the paper inside. Leave to cool.
  4. To make the icing, melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Take from the heat and stir in the syrup and 5 tbsp cream. Beat in the icing sugar until smooth. Whisk the remaining cream until it holds its shape. Unravel the cake, spread the cream over the top, scatter over the crushed mints, if using, then carefully roll up again into a log.
  5. Cut a thick diagonal slice from one end of the log. Lift the log on to a plate, then arrange the slice on the side with the diagonal cut against the cake to make a branch.
  6. Spread the icing over the log and branch (don’t cover the ends), then use a fork to mark the icing to give the effect of tree bark. Scatter with unsifted icing sugar to resemble snow, and decorate with holly.

Hot Tree Publishing opened its doors in 2015 with an aspiration to bring quality fiction to the world of readers. With the initial focus on romance and a wide spread of romance sub-genres, we envision opening up to alternative genres in the near future.

Firmly seated in the industry as a leading editing provider to independent authors and small publishing houses, Hot Tree Publishing is the sister company to Hot Tree Editing, founded in 2012. Having established in-house editing and promotions, plus having a well-respected market presence, Hot Tree Publishing endeavors to be a leader in bringing quality stories to the world of readers.

Want to know more? Head over to to look for your next 5* read and to check out the submissions process.

The Massive Giveaway with loads of Prizes.