Sunday, December 23, 2007

Yule Log Daring Bakers' Challenge




The Daring Bakers' challenge this month was yule log - a genoise cake rolled, filled and iced with coffee buttercream and decorated with meringue or marzipan mushrooms.I wasn't sure if I was going to participate in this month's challenge, due to my finals recently ending and then recovering from a swollen foot. Last night I decided that I wouldn't do the challenge as I only had 2 days left, no idea what I would do with this yule log, was scared of making the meringue mushrooms, was scared of the buttercream going very wrong (as many people seem to have had this happen and some posted frightening photos!), and don't like buttercream. However, last night I was reading through some food blogs and admiring the yule logs. I pined (haha) for a yule log! I had to make it.


I took the butter out of the fridge last night, woke up early this morning and started baking. And let me tell you, I am so incredibly astoundingly happy that I made the yule log! Everything went really smoothly (aside from forgetting to save meringue to glue the mushroom tops and stems together, but I used buttercream icing and it was okay). I love working with eggs, as this recipe for yule log has you do for the meringue, icing and genoise cake. It was amazing to see how the genoise batter thickened and fluffed up, changing to a lighter colour.


The thing I was the most happy about (and when I say happy I mean can't stop talking about it ecstatic) was the coffee buttercream! Who knew how delicious this would be?? I'm kind of picky about the type of icing that I like on cakes, and buttercream is one that I've always despised. To me, it tastes like they whipped up some butter and added a bit of sugar. Whereas this buttercream icing is pure magic. And the coffee flavour! Wow. This coffee flavoured icing is exactly the coffee flavour I've been craving ever since having a coffee cake over a year ago. I know I'll be using the buttercream icing recipe repeatedly and sharing it with friends! The other thing I was really happy about in regards to the icing was how well it came together. I was so scared it would separate and curdle or whatever bad things can happen, but it came together so perfectly.


And then there were the meringue mushrooms. So much fun to make! I recently bought an icing bag and a couple of tips, but haven't used them yet. So this was a great opportunity to try them out. I loved piping the mushroom caps and stems. And couldn't stop eating them when they came out of the oven. The one thing I wonder though is why does the recipe ask you to make 48 mushrooms? Who's going to put 48 mushrooms on their yule log? Anyway not a big complaint as the little pieces of meringue are delicious. And the mushrooms are so incredibly adorable.


I've never made a genoise cake before. Like with my first Daring Bakers' challenge where we had to make a chiffon cake, I didn't really know what I was doing when it came to the cake making part. I have no idea if it turned out the way it was supposed to. It tasted okay but not anything special, and was a bit sticky. But I do know to listen to the directions when it says to butter the parchment paper before pouring the batter in. I often ignore that step in recipes because 99% of the time you don't seem to need it, and it just adds extra butter. Anyway, I let it cool for 45 minutes or so, then rolled it (as several other people suggested to make it easier to roll later on and minimize the risk of the cake breaking). Unfortunately, later on when I put the icing on the inside of the cake, and then rolled it up again (this time taking it off of the parchment paper it baked on), the cake started to rip off of that. Ah well, the wonderous buttercream icing fixes all!


As for how it's decorated. Well I'm not exactly the most skilled cake (or anything) decorator. I'd rather just slap the icing on and start devouring the cake. Many of you added so many cute touches to the yule log, using fruit rollups for greenery and other things. I just kept it simple and stuck the mushrooms on there.

Thanks Ivonne & Lis for choosing this challenge! And thanks to all the Daring Bakers that posted on the blog with their successes, failures and tips for the different parts of this cake. Check out the other Daring Bakers' beautiful yule logs, and go to Ivonne's post for the recipe.

30 comments:

redactedrecipes said...

It looks beautiful. I know what you mean about the number of mushrooms. I just crowded most ofmine on and now I lugh every time I look at the photos.

Ann

bittersweetblog said...

Wow! Your yule log looks absolutely perfect! I can't help but be jealous of that gorgeous, fluffy cake... And your mushrooms are so cute, too! I for one am glad that you chose to participate in the end. :)

メロヂイ said...

that is the cutest cake! i love the mushrooms.

Gigi said...

I agree with you, the buttercream was really good. Your yule log is just sensational!

Beth G. said...

WOW- I can't believe you busted that out last-minute!! It looks delicious- great job!

Morven said...

Cute as a button (mushroom that is!!). Well done and great pictures.

Julius said...

I'm glad you decided to join the challenge!

Your bûche de Noël is gorgeous.

Feel free to read about my yule log here.

Julius from Occasional Baker

Elle said...

The mushrooms are adorable and So glad that you liked the coffee buttercream. Great yule log!!
I made mine at the last minute, too, but glad I did.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Lunch Buckets said...

I loved the buttercream too! About the mushrooms ... 5 for the cake, 43 for me to eat.

Claire said...

I didn't even come close to make 48 mushrooms. I think I did around 12, though I could (and apparently should seeing how popular they were) have made more! I had to just use a ziploc bag with the corner cut out for the pastry bag...works like magic! :-) Your log looks great!!!! Glad it turned out well.

Jen said...

Your 'shrooms look really cute and the log is fab. I thought that was the best bit of the challenge - that and the yummy buttercream. Difficult to resist scarfing the lot before icing the log!

Peabody said...

Yes, Swiss buttercream is very different. People always ask me what type of frosting it is and are amazed when I say buttercream. Job well done.

Jenny said...

Your mushrooms have so much character, and I love the deep rivets in the buttercream for the bark. Great job!

cerisegourmand said...

I really regret not making meringue mushrooms! Marzipan wasn't my cup of tea =( Yours look great! Welldone!

zorra said...

Great looking Yule log and great shots as well!

ostwestwind said...

Great looking cake, great pics and lovely mushrooms, happy holidays!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Great job on the DB challenge. It came together beautifully. I love the darling mushrooms dancing in a line.

Lis said...

Such a pretty log and your mushrooms are so cute! I agree on how good they were, I couldn't stop eating them before I decorated my log with them either. hee!

Beautiful job!

xoxo

eatme_delicious said...

Thanks for the comments everybody. :)

Deborah said...

I'm so glad you decided to do it! I was the same way, not going to do it, but did at the last minute...

Yours looks wonderful! And I thought the same thing about the number of mushrooms it makes - but we didn't have any problems eating the leftover mushrooms!

Tartelette said...

I absolutely love the closeups!! The log and the mushrooms came out perfect! And look that fluffy cake! Happy holidays!

javagirlkt's cookin' said...

I'm glad you decided to make the yule log :) I LOVED the buttercream icing as well!!

Gretchen Noelle said...

So glad you decided to do it, even last minute!!! Your cake looks so cute, you should be very proud!

eatme_delicious said...

Thanks everybody. :)

Dolores said...

I'm so glad you changed your mind and decided to try this one... as you said, it's worth it for the buttercream alone. :)

I hope your holiday celebration brought peace and joy, and that 2008 offers you and your family nothing but health and happiness, laughter and love.

Cheryl said...

I think our yule logs are sisters. They look so much alike. So then I think you did a fantastic job. :)

Half Baked said...

Your yule log looks great! The mushrooms are so cute great job on the challenge!

Tracy said...

Great cake! I really like the work in progress photos.

I just joined the Daring Bakers and can't wait to see what's in store for January!

Thanks for commenting on my blog. This is the first time I checked out your blog and I love it. Really great photos. I love all the different views and details you show. Something I may have to ... ahem ... try on my own blog!

Jen Yu said...

Not a skilled caked decorator? Are you kidding me? It looks terrific. The mushrooms are so spanking cute too! You did a great job on this challenge, I am so impressed :)

jen at use real butter

eatme_delicious said...

dolores: Thanks. :)

cheryl: Haha thank you. :) I'll have to check out my yule log's sister!

half baked: Thanks!

tracy: I'm looking forward to the January Daring Bakers' challenge! Aw thank you. :)

jen: Aw wow thank you. :)