Saturday, December 22, 2007

Yule Log with the Daring Bakers

Report from Day 1 of our first Daring Baker adventure

We started out by making butter cream on a Friday night. Whipping egg whites and sugar over simmering water turned out to be somewhat tricky, since either our thermometer was behaving oddly (wouldn't surprise me) or the temperature just wouldn't rise above the suggested 60°C. It just stayed. At 59°. Stupid meringue.
Anyhow, in the end I decided that 59° with the occasional visit at 60° had to be enough. The meringue had started to thicken. Since we don't have an American style stand mixer, I was planning to do the whipping by using a hand held electric mixer. Luckily, I realised that the food processor has a whisking attachment. So after heating the meringue, into the food processor it went. There it whisked for a rather long time, maybe 20 minutes before I dared to trust that it was cool enough to mix in butter. But it all seemed to work out fine. Possibly the cream is flat, as was threatened it would be if the meringue hadn't been hot enough, but we really won't know that since we haven't tried a correct version.

D. has had some ideas about how to flavour the cream (and all of the cake), so since we haven't bought the chocolate needed for that yet, I left the cream unflavoured except for some rum. But I had to fight to get any of what was left in the bowl after I put the cream into the fridge. So even unflavoured, it's decidedly tasty.

A couple of days later
We finished the log baking on the Sunday after this post was begun (which was on the Friday) but I haven't had time to complete my writeup until now (Thursday week after). If anything about this made me nervous it was the genoise. I'm not used to making cakes without baking powder. D. made a try with a genoise this spring, in a test batch for a cake he wanted to make, but it ended up rather flat and hard and for the final cake he ended up making my grandmother tried and true version of "sockerkaksbotten". But this actually ended up perfect, as far as I can tell. Since our small sheet pan is somewhat smaller than the jelly roll pan called for by the recipe, so we put a little into an extra pan to use for decoration. Then it was the time for flavouring the butter cream (this wasn't done on the Friday since we were out of chocolate, and the orange stuff wasn't made yet). We had settled on making the buttercream chocolate for the frosting, and to use buttercream for filling, but flavoured with milk chocolate and orange zest. The orange was caramelized during the Saturday, but it turned out a bit too caramelized and was actually rather hard on the Sunday. In the end we put it into an almond grinder... And it made for perfect bark in addition to go into the filling. Since we have no fireplace, we decided to make our log into a tree stump (more in accordance to the Swedish word for yule log).
Since my camera cable is still completely lost you'll have to make do with bad pictures taken with cell phone camera (at least, it has bluetooth). Did I say that I wrote Santa about getting a new camera for Christmas? (or rather, told everyone including my parents and D.) But for now, at least you can get an impression. Our stump was made by cutting the genoise in halves lengthwise and then rolling one of the halves (with filling). Then, covering the second half with filling, it was rolled onto the outside of the first part. The top was left unfrosted to resemble year rings of a tree, and the left-over genoise, which we purposely underbaked was crumbled, mixed with rum and covered with chocolate pieces which made a small, though rather tasty anthill companion to the stump. Finally we made a load of marzipan mushrooms. We only made half of the recipe for marzipan, but it still was a load of mushrooms. By now, most of the log is in the freezer, but the mushrooms were finished while waiting for dinner to cook.

All in all, the log ended up a bit buttery and heavy for our taste, but it was great fun to make. If I make it again, I will use other filling than buttercream. But I probably will make the genoise again, since I really appreciated the light consistency. And the feeling that we made it without using any baking powder what so ever, and it still turned out great....

Posting day now, and still no camera cable. The bad pictures are because of a bad cell phone camera. And I'll post right now, because tomorrow morning we're going north for Christmas...
Oh, and as soon as I get back, I'll hopefully be able to put links to the posted recipe and so on, but so far I don't know where to link to for this...

15 comments:

michelle said...

Beautiful! Great job!

marias23 said...

Hey there! I filled mine with seedless raspberry jam and iced with chocolate buttercream. It probably wasn't as rich as your yule log, but yours looks so delicious! Merry Christmas!

Gigi said...

Nicely done!

LizG said...

Great stuff on your first challenge, Lina. Welcome to DB!

Tartelette said...

Love how thick you made it look like! It looks great! Happy holidays to you and your family!

Susan said...

I love the orange zest idea. Great bark texture. Very well done first challenge!

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a lovely job on your yule log.

Happy Holidays!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Julius said...

Beautiful bûche de Noël!

Happy Christmas.

Julius from Occasional Baker

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Looks good to me! Great idea for the bark!

Claire said...

This really looks like a tree! Good job.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Congrats on your first DB challenge!! Looks like the cake came out great and you definitely worked hard to make it lovely!

Deborah said...

Wonderful job on your first challenge! It looks great!

lina said...

Thanks for all your nice comments!
I'm finally back from Christmas spent mostly without any internet connection what so ever, so now I get to look around at everybody elses logs.

Jen Yu said...

Nice job, I like the yule stump as much as the yule log! I think it's lovely. Happy new year!

jen at use real butter

Dolores said...

Congratulations and welcome! I wish my cell phone took pictures *half* that good. Happy New Year!