So, this past month I joined a group of online people called The Daring Bakers.
Daring Bakers are a group of people online who tackle one recipe a month, then blog about it all on the same day. Here is more detailed information about how it began if you are interested in it http://daringbakersblogroll.blogspot.com/2007/07/welcome.html.
So, what was December’s Challenge you say? It was a Yule Log!
(Mine isn’t the prettiest, but I think it’s pretty good for my first Daring Baker’s Challenge. 🙂
We made a genoise, buttercream frosting and either marzipan or meringue mushrooms.
I made the genoise first. It was a little tedious whisking the eggs over the boiling water, but I made it. I whipped it up in my mixer, put it in the oven and waited for it to be done. I had read if you roll the log as soon as it comes out of the oven, then unroll it, it won’t crack when you try to roll it after it has been filled. So, I did that. Did it help? I don’t think so, you be the judge though….
But don’t worry, I didn’t throw in the towel just yet. On to the buttercream frosting… I decided not to use the coffee flavoring, so I needed something to make my buttercream brown. So I bought some food coloring…. except I left it at work…. ooops, so after a quick trip to my office to get the food coloring I was ready to go! More whisking of eggs over water? seriously…. (I guess I should’ve read through the recipe first, I just looked at the ingredients, lol). So, the buttercream went well, no incidents, everything is how it’s suppossed to be…. so far….. yay!
Next Marzipan. Hmm, almond paste? I don’t think they sell that in my town, or I can’t find it at least, so I used the recipe for almond paste…. (maybe I should have looked harder in the stores…) As I’m making the recipe for almond paste, I’m noticing it calls for a food processor, oops, don’t have one of those, BUT I do have a blender, surely it’s the same concept…. so off I go making my almond paste. I don’t really know what it’s suppossed to look like, but it seems to be working… next to turn the almond paste into marzipan…. hmm, this is really really really runny, quick how do I fix it! So, I just kept adding more and more “blended” almonds, then lots of powedered sugar, and finally some flour. Yay, the flour worked! Now, it’s more sticky and less runny… hmm, how will it taste though… oh well, we’ll worry about that later.
So, after looking at other people’s marzipan mushrooms, I realized that a food processor and blender apparently cannont be interchanged… most people’s marzipan is white and smooth, where mine is full of brown chucks (almond skin perhaps…) But, thankfully we were making mushrooms with the marzipan, so I think the flecks just make it look more authentic, hee hee. That’s what my story is and I’m sticking to it. 🙂 Here are the beloved mushrooms.
Oh yea! I almost forgot my buttercream disaster! I made it a couple of days early since it was mentioned that it would keep for up to 3 weeks in the fridge. So, I pulled the icing out to frost the log and uh-oh… what’s this? This is all hard and yucky, what happened to my dear buttercream that I labored so hard on! Luckily, my dear friend Nikki (http://crazydeliciousfood.wordpress.com/) happened to be on gchat so I frantically messaged her asking what to do. She mentioned I might try putting it in the mixer and try whipping it. So, I tried that, no go… nothing changed. Then, she mentioned maybe adding a little milk. So I did that and it looked like chocolate syrup with big chunkies in it… uh-oh, it’s getting worse… So, Nikki said since it can’t get any worse try adding a tiny bit of powdered sugar in it. So, about half a bag ( 🙂 ) of powdered sugar later I had my pretty buttercream back! Yay! Thanks Nikki for helping make my Daring Bakers adventure not a huge disaster.
My work Christmas party theme was “Around the World” so I figured this would be perfect. All of my coworkers seemed to enjoy eating the cake very much also.
So, there is my yule log story. (Now you know the secret recipe is Clara 🙂 ) I hope you have enjoyed it. If you would like to hear other Daring Bakers retell about their adventure visit http://daringbakersblogroll.blogspot.com/
Oh yea, here’s the recipes and instructions in case you want to make a yule log also.