Cooking with Love

Friday, December 21, 2007

I AM a Daring Baker!!

Every month the Daring Bakers get a challenge. This months challnge was a yule log. As I am both jewish and Israeli - I had no true understanding of this wonderful cake and tradition. I am glad I am now exposed to all these wonderul ideas.

I also wish now that Santa visited good little jewish children....and jewish daring bakers LOL!!

After reading on other posts regarding the butter cream curdling I was a bit hesitant that, as this is the first time I will be making buttercream, that I may fail. So I made sure I have extra butter, extra eggs - extra everything.

But - I did it on the first try! Please Please check out my blog list for more daring bakers' yule logs - for they are truly wonderful!

Thank you Ivonne and Lis for this great experience!!

My genoise was a cocoa genoise which I filled with dulche de leche.
My genoise did not overbake as I sat ny the stove for the 12 minutes baking. So I had no problem rollig it. No breakage!
The buttercream, as mentioned - was the part I feared most....but really had no problem. Egg whites need to be whisked over simmering water until the sugar dissolves completely....
Then beat in the mixer - add the butter, espresso powder and brandy.
Cut genoise to look like a log....
Cover with buttercream and "comb" it to look like a log. Add the martzipan mushrooms...

And this is my first daring baker pride and joy!!


Plain Genoise:

3 large eggs

3 large egg yolk

spinch of salt

¾ cup of sugar

½ cup cake flour - spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off (also known as cake & pastry flour)

¼ cup cornstarc

hone (1) 10 x 15 inch jelly-roll pan that has been buttered and lined with parchment paper and then buttered again

1.Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

2.Half-fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat so the water is simmering.

3.Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, salt and sugar together in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Place over the pan of simmering water and whisk gently until the mixture is just lukewarm, about 100 degrees if you have a thermometer (or test with your finger - it should be warm to the touch).

4.Attach the bowl to the mixer and, with the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until the egg mixture is cooled (touch the outside of the bowl to tell) and tripled in volume. The egg foam will be thick and will form a slowly dissolving ribbon falling back onto the bowl of whipped eggs when the whisk is lifted.

5.While the eggs are whipping, stir together the flour and cornstarch.

6.Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the beaten eggs. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture, making sure to scrape all the way to the bottom of the bowl on every pass through the batter to prevent the flour mixture from accumulating there and making lumps. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture and finally with the remainder.

7.Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

8.Bake the genoise for about 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure the cake doesn’t overbake and become too dry or it will not roll properly.

9.While the cake is baking, begin making the buttercream.10.Once the cake is done (a tester will come out clean and if you press the cake lightly it will spring back), remove it from the oven and let it cool on a rack.

Coffee Buttercream:

4 large egg whites1 cup sugar

24 tablespoons (3 sticks or 1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

2 tablespoons rum or brandy

1.Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Set the bowl over simmering water and whisk gently until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are hot.

2.Attach the bowl to the mixer and whip with the whisk on medium speed until cooled. Switch to the paddle and beat in the softened butter and continue beating until the buttercream is smooth.

Dissolve the instant coffee in the liquor and beat into the buttercream.

Meringue Mushrooms:

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ cup (3-1/2 ounces/105 g.) granulated sugar

1/3 cup (1-1/3 ounces/40 g.) icing sugar

Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

1.Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Have ready a pastry bag fitted with a small (no. 6) plain tip. In a bowl, using a mixer on medium-low speed, beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar until very foamy. Slowly add the granulated sugar while beating. Increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Continue until the whites hold stiff, shiny peaks. Sift the icing sugar over the whites and, using a rubber spatula, fold in until well blended.

2.Scoop the mixture into the bag. On one baking sheet, pipe 48 stems, each ½ inch (12 mm.) wide at the base and tapering off to a point at the top, ¾ inch (2 cm.) tall, and spaced about ½ inch (12 mm.) apart. On the other sheet, pipe 48 mounds for the tops, each about 1-1/4 inches (3 cm.) wide and ¾ inch (2 cm.) high, also spaced ½ inch (12 mm.) apart. With a damp fingertip, gently smooth any pointy tips. Dust with cocoa. Reserve the remaining meringue.

3.Bake until dry and firm enough to lift off the paper, 50-55 minutes. Set the pans on the counter and turn the mounds flat side up. With the tip of a knife, carefully make a small hole in the flat side of each mound. Pipe small dabs of the remaining meringue into the holes and insert the stems tip first. Return to the oven until completely dry, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool completely on the sheets.

Marzipan Mushrooms:

8 ounces almond paste

2 cups icing sugar

3 to 5 tablespoons light corn syrup

Cocoa powder

1.To make the marzipan combine the almond paste and 1 cup of the icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on low speed until sugar is almost absorbed.

2.Add the remaining 1 cup of sugar and mix until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

3.Add half the corn syrup, then continue mixing until a bit of the marzipan holds together when squeezed, adding additional corn syrup a little at a time, as necessary: the marzipan in the bowl will still appear crumbly.

4.Transfer the marzipan to a work surface and knead until smooth.

5.Roll one-third of the marzipan into a 6 inches long cylinder and cut into 1-inch lengths.

6.Roll half the lengths into balls. Press the remaining cylindrical lengths (stems) into the balls (caps) to make mushrooms.

7.Smudge with cocoa powder.

Assembling the Yule Log:

1.Run a sharp knife around the edges of the genoise to loosen it from the pan.

2.Turn the genoise layer over (unmolding it from the sheet pan onto a flat surface) and peel away the paper.

3.Carefully invert your genoise onto a fresh piece of parchment paper.

4.Spread with half the coffee buttercream (or whatever filling you’re using).

5.Use the parchment paper to help you roll the cake into a tight cylinder.

6.Transfer back to the baking sheet and refrigerate for several hours.

7.Unwrap the cake. Trim the ends on the diagonal, starting the cuts about 2 inches away from each end.

8.Position the larger cut piece on each log about 2/3 across the top.

9.Cover the log with the reserved buttercream, making sure to curve around the protruding stump.

10.Streak the buttercream with a fork or decorating comb to resemble bark.

11.Transfer the log to a platter and decorate with your mushrooms and whatever other decorations you’ve chosen.


Dharm said...

Well Done and congrats on completing your first challenge! Have a great festive season!

Princess of the kitchen said...

Weel done on your first challenge. It looks really good! You should be proud. I bet it was delicious with dulce de leche

prettybaker said...

Thanks dharm & princess!!
It WAS fun!!

I am sorry to say that I will never taste it....don't want togain the 15 kilis I lost lately... and still counting!

Have a great holiday!!

michelle said...

Congrats on making it through challenge #1! Looks great!

Olivia Kroth said...

Congratulations on the outcome of your Yule Log. It looks like a master piece of Daring Bakery.

marias23 said...

Wonderful job and it's so awesome to hear fellow DBers having fun! And I love the dulce de leche twist!

Megan said...

love the dulce de leche filling. Merry Christmas!

Gigi said...

ooooh, dulce de leche filling, how rich! I love it!

Tartelette said...

Congratulations on your first challenge! The cake turned out great!

Susan said...

Cocoa genoise with dulce de leche filling. Now there's a can't miss combination! Very nice log!

Lunch Buckets said...

Nice log, congratulations on your success!

Claire said...

Good genoise looks like it turned out great!

prettybaker said...

Thank you all so much!

Gretchen Noelle said...

The dulce de leche was certainly a fantastic idea! Congrats on completing your first DB challenge!

Deborah said...

I bet the dulce de leche filling was delicious! You did a wonderful job!

Jen Yu said...

Nicely done. What a lovely yule log! Happy new year :)

jen at use real butter

Dolores said...

Congratulations on a most successful first challenge... I think the dulce de leche was a GREAT idea.

Happy New Year!

Sarah said...

Congratulations on this first challenge and for a work well done! :)