Key Lime & Coconut

My adventures in the world of food & wine

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Daring Bakers Do X-Mas

This month was Round 3 for me in the Daring Bakers challenge, and it was by far the hardest one yet, involving not one but multiple snafus and do-overs. The Daring Bakers are a group of over 300 food bloggers who prepare the same elaborate recipe each month and post about it on the same day. This month, our recipe was holiday-themed: a beautiful Bûche de Noël, or Yule Log. A Yule Log is a genoise sheet cake rolled up with a buttercream frosting filling into the shape of a log. I baked mine this afternoon in preparation for a little holiday gathering I'm hosting later tonight.

The Yule Log involves three steps. First, you bake a thin sheet genoise cake, whose batter has lots of eggs and is made fluffy by beating air into it. Second, you make a coffee buttercream frosting (potentially the most difficult step - at least for me). Third, after assembling the cake, you make little "mushrooms" out of marzipan to decorate the log.

The cake was easy (dare I say - it was a piece of cake). The hard part was the frosting. This frosting is not the healthiest thing in the world. I'll be straight with you and tell you that it involves three sticks of butter. The first time I attempted to make it, I got a little overzealous with the "softening" of the butter that the recipe calls for. I wasn't thinking, and I didn't realize that if I softened it too much, the frosting would be too liquidy. That first batch had to go down the drain. The second batch I didn't soften the butter at all, and it was solid enough, but it kind of ... curdled. Like, the butter just was kind of lumpy and not incorporating fully into the frosting. Fortunately, I kept beating it until it started to look like normal frosting, and all was well. The marzipan mushrooms were a breeze to make.

To see hundreds of other takes on this Buche de Noel, mosey on over to the Daring Bakers Blog Roll starting today. Some of them probably have the recipe posted, which I'm too lazy to do ;) Happy holidays, everybody!

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Blogger Gigi said...

Nicely done! The mushrooms look sensational.

7:00 PM  
Blogger Lydia said...

The Daring Bakers strike again! It's such fun reading about everyone's experience with this recipe. Your log looks lovely.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

I'm so impressed you made the frosting twice. Great job!

10:33 AM  
Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Becky that is just a beautiful log!! and your mushrooms are terrific. I also thought the cake was fairly easy to do even though I had some cracks in mine. The buttercream is kind of testy isn't it. I thought the mushrooms were the most fun to make.
You can always find the recipe on the host/hostess site. In this case at Ivonne's

8:44 AM  
Blogger Lunch Buckets said...

Nice log. I thought the buttercream was kinda low fat. I mean, it -could- have used 4 sticks of butter, right?

3:07 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

Good job! This really ended up being a fun challenge didn't it?

1:20 PM  
Blogger Tartelette said...

Super cute! I love how your buttercream tuned out! Well done!
Happy holidays to you and your family!

11:04 PM  
Blogger Beth G. said...

It looks fantastic! Beautiful Log!

12:35 AM  
Blogger Julius said...

Congrats, you've discovered the secret to making Swiss Meringue Buttercream: when the mixture starts to curdle, just keep whipping at a higher speed for 3-5 minutes until it becomes silky again.

Gorgeous bûche de Noël!

Happy Holidays.

Julius from Occasional Baker

2:37 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Great job on the cake! Your mushrooms are adorable, and the buttercream turned out fantastic...gotta love those three sticks of butter. :-)

9:32 PM  
Blogger Molly Loves Paris said...

You have a very delicious looking log, and lovely mushrooms. Bien faites!

11:15 AM  
Blogger creampuff said...

Good job with sticking with the icing! It was a tricky one but your log turned out beautifully!

10:30 PM  
Blogger Dolores said...

Beautiful log, Becky. I love that you tamed the (aptly named) buttercream beast.

I hope your holidays were joyous and peaceful, and that 2008 brings you great things!

12:59 AM  
Blogger Deborah said...

It turned out wonderful, even though you had so many problems!

4:06 PM  
Blogger Jen Yu said...

Beautiful! You did a terrific job on your yule log. I love how everyone's version is a little different (or a lot different!). Have a great new year :)

jen at use real butter

10:10 AM  

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