Saturday, December 22, 2007

Yule Pyramid? (Of Course it's a Daring Bakers Challenge)

Is it normal to be this excited about Daring Bakers Challenges? I've been thinking about this challenge since it first came out and find myself telling perfect strangers about my Yule Log. Sadly, they never seem to share my enthusiasm - their loss I say:)

So on with the challenge. When Lis from La Mia Cucina and Ivonne from Cream Puffs in Venice posted the Yule Log Challenge, it was the mushrooms that excited me the most. The cake and icing were do-able, but meringue mushrooms? I've worked in marzipan a lot, so the meringue was the challenge and was it ever.

All went well, the cake was baking nicely, the butter cream coffee icing came together and I eagerly waited for the cake to be done. It came out smelling so good and I was so nervous, you'd think I was delivering a baby. Rolling the cake ever so slowly, cracks began appearing in my roll and I was thinking "oh, I'll glue that together with the butter cream". But by the time I came back and it had cooled, it had neatly sliced itself into 4 uneven rectangles.

Undaunted, I iced the 4 layers and piled them up, pyramid style, used every drop of the butter cream and started the mushrooms. Egg whites whipped up beautifully and I was on my way. Creating these little 'shrooms was more of a challenge. In the end, they looked like little old drunken ladies with big hats on. I baked them up and they came out perfectly done. Plopped them on the Yule Log/Pyramid, added rosemary and frozen raspberries and voila - it looked passable. Right before I took it to a potluck, it was dusted with more cocoa and then icing sugar.

So looking back, it was a great challenge and everyone seemed to enjoy the dessert. I totally failed on designing the log to look log-like, it looks more like a lump. I stayed with the recipe exactly and flavored the butter cream with coffee. I had thought about adding sliced almonds which could only have helped it's appearance.
Also, being in the Pacific Northwest, it had been raining for the past few days and was EXTREMELY damp, so the little mushrooms got quite sticky fast - but still tasted good.

Thank you Daring Bakers and Happy New Year!


Gigi said...

Beautiful yule log! I love the way you decorated it.

Tartelette said...

Glad you persevered and assembled it all because it looks great! There is no "official" look to a log..nature is very forgiving and creative! Happy holidays to you and your family!

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a lovely job on your yule log. I'm so glad it finally turned out so nicely for you.

Happy Holidays!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Julius said...

Lovely bûche de Noël!

Happy Holidays.

Julius from Occasional Baker

Claire said...

Well, good job despite the cracks! I like the berry decorations.

Lis said...

It's gorgeous! All logs look different but they are all pretty in their own way and yours is gorgeous! =)

So glad you got to make one!

Happy holidays!

Deborah said...

You did a great job, despite the problems you had!!

Jen Yu said...

Nice looking yule log! Great job on the challenge and happy new year :)

jen at use real butter

Dolores said...

Yeah, it's normal...

Great log... despite a bit of breakage, you pulled it together beautifully. And your mushrooms are adorable.

Happy New Year!