1st Daring Bakers’ Challenge !!

22 December, 2007 at 3:23 am | Posted in » Daring Bakers, » Recipes | 14 Comments
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Around this time every month, a group of talented and passionate bakers around the world will engaged themselves in a baking challenge using the exact same recipe, they are known as The Daring Bakers!

I have being reading about this group for awhile now, and decided bring myself to a higher level and to challenge myself by joining them. Being a new member of the group, I am really excited of what my 1st ever Daring Bakers Challenge would be… And since it happens to be in december, the challenge given is the X’mas Yule Log, which is hosted by Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice and Lisa of La Mia Cucina. When the challenge was announce, I was so excited…. I went to look for decorative ideas online and magazines…. I even did some cut outs… This is also my 1st attempt on making a Yule log and I’m so soooo satisfied with the results !

The Yule Log challenge consists of three parts: a genoise cake, a coffee buttercream frosting and Meringue or Marzipan mushrooms. Me having an allergy to coffee, I have to change the coffee flavour to chocolate and being such a chocolate addict, I have also added chocolate flavour to my genoise, so instead of a plain genoise which was given in the original recipe…. I have a chocolate genoise. And of course, if you remember my previous post on the Meringue mushrooms, it’s made for this challenge…

Genoise Cake

Chocolate Buttercream

Filling And Rolling of the genoise cake

Icing of the Yule Log

And….. the final product !! Looked Pro ?? heehee…

Sources: Perfect Cakesby Nick Malgieri and The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Dessert
Serves 12

Cake should be stored in a cool, dry place. Leftovers should be refrigerated

Chocolate Genoise:

3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
3/4 cup of sugar
1/3 cup cake flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup cocoa add to flour mixture

one 10 x 15 inch sheet/flat 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 204 degrees C (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.

Chocolate Buttercream:

4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
24 tablespoons (340.2 grams or 1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of melted and cooled chocolate
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.
3. Beat in the melted chocolate and add liquor 1 tablespoon at a time

Filling and frosting the 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.

Meringue Mushrooms:

3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup (105 gram) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (40 gram) icing sugar
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 107 degrees C (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 1/2 inch (12 mm.) wide at the base and tapering off to a point at the top, 3/4 inch (2 cm.) tall, and spaced about 1/2 inch (12 mm.) apart. On the other sheet, pipe 48 mounds for the tops, each about 1-1/4 inches (3 cm.) wide and 3/4 inch (2 cm.) high, also spaced 1/2 inch (12 mm.) apart. With a damp fingertip, gently smooth any pointy tips. 
3. Dust with cocoa. Reserve the remaining meringue.
4. 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.
5. Garnish your Yule Log with the mushrooms.


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  1. An excellent first foray into the realm of Daring Bakers! Looks beautiful!

  2. Just lovely! I love all the Christmas decorations on the log. Perfect!

  3. Wow, first challenge??? Can’t believe you, your log looks almost professional !!

  4. Congrats on completing your first DB challenge. Actually, your yule log does look pro *winks*

    I love your step-by-step photos and I’m truly impressed that you made lapis at home a few posts ago! Great job! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  5. Congrats on your first challenge! You did a great job! Welcome on board! Happy holidays to you and your family!

  6. That looks really beautiful. The icing detail on the ends is great.

  7. Nice log. I love what you did with the stump ends. And -no- I -don’t- say that to everyone I see!

  8. Oh, I love the swirl on the end of your log. Congrats on the first challenge.

  9. Thank you all!! Glad that you like my log.

  10. What fun you had with your first DB challenge! Congrats on completing it! Looks tasty!

  11. Great job on your first challenge!!

  12. Congratulations on a successful first challenge, and welcome! Sorry it’s taken so long to get here… as the group grows it takes longer to make the rounds.

    I hope you enjoyed your holiday celebrations, finding some measure of joy and peace in them. And that 2008 brings you nothing but the best!

  13. Terrific work on your very first DB challenge. I think you’ll fit right in and continue making more masterpieces! Looking forward to it. Happy new year and welcome!

  14. your sponge rolled so well! Mine had a big crack down the middle, still the icing solved that! Your log looked fab.

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