Sunday, December 23, 2007

TIMBER !! DB December Challenge

Our founders Ivonne of Cream Puffs In Venice and Lisa of La Mia Cucina decided to throw a log our way for the December Challenge. The blogging world is smoldering Yule Logs or Bûche de Noel! In the past weeks whisks have been whipping up a buttery storm to make frosting, ovens were spitting out genoise sheet cakes and chickens had a hard time keeping up with demand. And where did that leave me? Well, I was hiding in a dark corner, dreading the day that I had to make butter cream frosting... I still have a vivid memory of baking a last minute wedding cake. Shudder! It didn't help that our happy trio (Tanna, Ilva and me) was split due to travel and an already overflowing December month. It happened that I was on my own :: puts fist in mouth, scrunch up eyes:: So after a long bath, deep cleansing my hair, cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming the floor, reading Saturday's paper (hey, I know how to procrastinate!), I started by measuring out all ingredients and trying to decide with which part to start. Plenty egg yolks there because I used medium eggs and added an extra one.
Gosh I am sooooo organised...

Notice how my baking language became a mingle of Dutch and English?


Genoise: was a bit anxious about heating the eggs and sugar, but all went well and I had a perfect batter in minutes. Lined the baking sheet with waxed paper, and just finished smoothing the batter when my eyes fell on some print. It said -in German-: "this side down". Yeah right, and I was able to read it. Hmm, not very clever. Still I managed to unmold and tear away the paper without a hitch. Batter was a bit much for my square baking sheet resulting in a rather thick sheet and thus a little difficult to roll.


While the genoise was in the oven I started my first batch of buttercream frosting. The filling was going to be caramel flavoured. I used our Dutch soft brown sugar instead of granulated and added 1 tsp of caramel aroma and a dash of clementine syrup. Already had the butter out on a warm spot since morning and just gave it a quick microwave to make it even softer. Not melted but very soft. Turned out that both whipped meringue and butter had the ideal temperature to live happily ever after! No curdling!
No coincidence, I am that good! ::grins::

Immediately applied a generous layer of light brown buttercream on the cake and rolled it with the help of the slightly damp tea towel underneath. Wrapped in plastic it had a well deserved rest in the fridge. Another "must-do": merengue or marzipan mushrooms. Couldn't decide which ones I would make. Ehh. Oops and edited*!


And finally the assembly; cutting the cake's ends, piecing it together again to form a tree stump and swirling on the second batch of butter cream (I used melted chocolate as well as espresso powder and whisked that with 2 tbs of Mandarine Napoleon) frosting to resemble bark.



To see how many many other Daring Baker's survived this month's challenge please visit our Daring Bakers blogroll and click away!


Edit: due to unannounced but very welcome guests, merengue mushrooms making has been suspended! I hope I can squeeze in some time tomorrow, but since we're having a big dinner party at our house tomorrow night...let's just hope for a 24 hour day!


I'd like to take the opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Enjoy the days and your company!

47 comments:

  1. It looks fantastic! Way to go. I hope mine comes out half as well.

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  2. Looks wonderful! Here's to forgiving paper, cooperative buttercream, welcome guests, and 24-hour days. Happy holidays!

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  3. Sensational! The buttercream looks so good. I love all the decorations you placed on the log.

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  4. This looks great! Love the glossy buttercram.

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  5. Nice touch with the flavour of the frosting! Looks like you needn't have worried because everything turned out beautifully.

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  6. I like most the snow man and Santa Claus!
    Have festive holidays

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  7. Your log looks great and my daughter and I agreed that the snowmen and father christmas are obviously mushroom foraging. Merry Christmas

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  8. Great Job one your Yule Log! Have a happy holidays!

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  9. A lovley Yule Log. Job well done.

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  10. Happy Christmas Karen!

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  11. Great job! Love the little Santa and the snowman. Looks as if they're working hard on the log ;-)
    Merry christmas!

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  12. Wonderful! I love your log and the delicious way you did your buttercream!

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  13. There may not be mushrooms, but your decorations are adorable!

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  14. Looks great! Have a happy holiday!

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  15. So pretty! I love the way you decorated it.

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  16. Always enjoy your write ups!
    I missed our trio.
    So that's the way the damp tea towel is used.
    Love the little guys for decorations! I really enjoyed the marzipan mushrooms, think they were the fun part of this.
    I might try this again next year.

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  17. Great job- your log looks delicious!

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  18. They probably found the mushrooms, then ATE them all!

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  19. Well done! I love the Santa and snowman. The buttercream is so smooth and shiny! Merry Christas to you too!

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  20. Great job! Happy Christmas to you too!

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  21. Update on the shrooms: I don't think they're going to be found today... I'll send Santa some extra helpers and add a spruce here and there. Maybe throw in a truffle pig?

    Thanks for all your comments, so good to read!

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  22. Looks fantastic! Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. xx

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  23. I LOVE reading your posts, Karen! You crack me up!! :D

    Your log is simply gorgeous - I didn't even miss the fungus! hehee

    Happy holidays to you and yours, sweetie!

    xoxo

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  24. You make it sound remarkably easy - perhaps I gave up too soon (i.e., before beginning). Lovely log, and the marzipan santa must have taken you *ages*. :)

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  25. very beautiful yule log. The santa and snowman figurines make your yule log look very festive!

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  26. And you have a beautiful cake for your unexpected guests! Merry Christmas.

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  27. Great job. Beautiful color on the frosting.

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  28. I was scared too! haha. It looks wonderful even sans mushrooms :)

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  29. I've contemplated the Yule Log, but have not yet had the nerve. I'm impressed! If you do the mushrooms, be sure to let us have a look. Merry Christmas!

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  30. Karen,
    I saw a cooking show where they made a Yule Log and yours put theirs to shame!! Did you make the cute little figures? Loved the sax playing snowman!

    Merry Christmas!!

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  31. What great ideas you have for butter cream. It seems one can be daring with the stuff. Fun cake. Santa and Frosty seem really happy. Merry Christmas!

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  32. Those snowmen and santa decorations are so cute! =D

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  33. With or without the mushrooms, it's beautiful! Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a New Year filled with love and laughter.

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  34. Great log and I love the chocolate and tangerine combo of flavors...who needs mushrooms anyway. So glad that the buttercream behaved itself...see, you are awesome!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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  35. I love your bûche de Noël.

    Happy Holidays!

    Julius from Occasional Baker

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  36. Looks yummy... love the snowmen. great job.

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  37. But I really think that the snowmen are much prettier thanthe mushrooms!

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  38. Karen,

    Lis told me to come and read your post because it was so funny and it was! I especially loved your parchment paper experience. And that snowman is too cute! Happy Holidays!

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  39. Looks like the mushrooms didn't make it but what cute little snowmen you have taking their place!

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  40. What a cute log!! I love your snowmen!

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  41. Your log looks wonderful. It looks like you really had nothing to be scared of because it turned out so wonderfully!

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  42. A gorgeous and pretty looking log! Well done

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  43. I love your snowmen and Santa.. very cute :) Looking forward to seeing what the next DB challenge is..

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  44. Lovely! You ARE a Daring Baker, no? :) Great job on the yule log even without the mushrooms (but those were my favorite part!!). Happy new year!

    jen at use real butter

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  45. You are so funny! I just love reading your blogs and the Yule log turned out beautiful! Great pictures to boot! I loved your ideas for flavoring. . .and I think that this part of any Daring Baker challenge is the best part because everyone has such wonderfully different ways of looking at the same project. I am glad you found time to do this. . .procrastinating and all! =D
    Shandy @Pastry Heaven

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  46. Your cake turned out great! I love the little Santa and snowman decorations.

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