Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Daring Bakers: This is the Way I Roll

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This month's Daring Bakers challenge was the making of a Yule Log, or a Bûche de Noël; something I'd always wanted to make but never seemed to find the time to do so.

As it turned out, I barely had time for it, even when scheduled!



We've had a couple rounds of coughs and colds in our house, and general busyness, so much so that even my Christmas baking got pushed to the last minute (I'm not kidding: I'll still be baking tomorrow).

And after reading various horror stories from other DB'ers regarding the buttercream or meringue recipes, I envisioned an ending where I'm carted off in a straight jacket, muttering something or other about not curdling the eggs.

(Matt's funny: he just said, 'that's what that dessert is! It's not a log roll, it's a Blog Roll')

Much to my delight and surprise, however, each step of the log came together beautifully. I've had some experience rolling cakes, ever since I began making pumpkin rolls for Christmas. The genoise was absolute perfection, and rolled like a dream. As allowed, I made my cake base chocolate, adding some seriously dark cocoa powder to the batter.

The buttercream, the source of many a pulled hair by my fellow Daring Bakers, quickly achieved that smooth and creamy texture. As our family rather strongly dislikes coffee, and feels similarly about alcohol, I flavored the buttercream with a very dark (melted) chocolate and mint extract. It was so good, I kept spilling some of it just so I could have a taste!

As for the filling, I kept it simple. Sweetened whipped cream, flavored with our homemade mint extract. It's subtle, but it's there.



I used a small off-set spatula to achieve the 'bark' texture for the log. I really liked the way it came out.



And then there were the mushrooms!

I'd been worried: rain was in the forecast for the following day, and I knew if I didn't get the mushrooms made last night, I'd be out of luck. So, I made the meringue, piped away, and, uh...forgot to dust them with cocoa powder. Ugh.

Put them in the oven for an hour and...not done. Checked them ten minutes later; still not done. About an hour later, and I managed to find four 'caps' and a few 'stems' to work with. (Turns out, the rain came later than night, instead of today. Figures.)

Since I'd forgotten to dirt them up with cocoa, I finger-painted a few cocoa dots onto the tops. That seemed to work.

A couple of sugar decorations to finish it off, and viola!; a Yule Log.

Which is resting comfortably in a constructed-just-for-this-purpose box in the deep freezer, waiting for the family dinner on the 27th.

Many, many other brave souls have tackled this challenge, so be sure to visit the Daring Bakers Blogroll and give a virtual pat on the back to everyone who survived!








Tagged with: + + + + + + Mint + Chocolate + Meringue

42 Thoughts for food:

At 12:26 AM, Blogger Julius said...

Your bûche de Noël is lovely.

I too love chocolate in buttercream.

Happy Holidays to you.

Julius from Occasional Baker

 
At 2:11 AM, Blogger Anne said...

It looks and sounds delicious! Homemade mint extract? Tell me more!

 
At 3:59 AM, Blogger Lunch Buckets said...

I like the way you roll.

 
At 5:02 AM, Blogger Peabody said...

Job well done and way to improvise on your dirt.

 
At 5:10 AM, Blogger Baking Soda said...

Ditto on the mint extract! Pretty please?
Really I can't take any more perfect mushrooms.. I'm complete in awe; so utterly realistically cute! Great job Steph!

 
At 9:32 AM, Blogger Katie B. said...

Looks great, Stephanie!!! Your mushrooms are sooooo cute!!

 
At 10:09 AM, Blogger breadchick said...

Fantastic Job on your Yule Log Stephanie! I'm heading over to you house to give it a try. Merry Christmas.

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger marias23 said...

Very cute shrooms. Thanks to this challenge, I've uncovered my new addiction to meringue! Anyway, that mint whipped cream sounds fascinating. I would've loved a slice of your log; it looks delish! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 
At 11:10 AM, Blogger michelle said...

Homemade mint extract?? Oh my!

Looks wonderful!

 
At 12:32 PM, Blogger Quellia said...

Ah finger painting! I'd wondered how you'd gotten those cute dots on your mushrooms!
Lovely work - hope you enjoy it.

 
At 5:27 PM, Blogger Marce said...

wonderful job on your roll! And I´m sure it´ll taste lovely, the chocolate-mint combination is a winner.

 
At 6:29 PM, Blogger Beth G. said...

Beautiful Yule log!! I love your mushrooms they're fabulous :)

 
At 7:04 AM, Blogger Lis said...

Yay Stephanie! I'm sorry to hear about the sniffles in the house, hope everyone is feeling better!

Your log looks and sounds delish, what a fantastic job you did!

Thank you so much for the Christmas card, it was such a lovely surprise! =)

Happy holidays!

xoxo

 
At 11:33 AM, Blogger glamah16 said...

I love the technique you used on your scrooms. The whole log looks lovely.

 
At 6:00 PM, Blogger April said...

I love your mushrooms!

 
At 1:58 PM, Blogger zorra said...

Wonderful Yule Log. I'm sure everybody will enjoy it tomorrow.

 
At 2:26 PM, Blogger Veron said...

I love the bark texture of your Yule Log, it's different than more life-like actually.

 
At 8:56 PM, Blogger Tartelette said...

What a beauty! I love the mushrooms,adorable!
I hope the family is feeling better. Tell Matt he is one funny bloke!!
Thank you for the card, it was a great surprise!

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger Dolores said...

Beautiful log Stephanie! I hope your holidays were joyous and peaceful and that you enjoy your family dinner tonight (and that your family enjoys your masterpiece) tonight.

 
At 8:58 PM, Blogger grace said...

Yay! I missed the fun!!! Well, its fine coz I can browse what you guys have done! Enjoy the rest of the season! Cheers for the new year ahead! U did a wonderful blog party!

 
At 12:08 AM, Blogger Deborah said...

Wonderful job!! The mint sounds wonderful!

 
At 5:08 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Julius!

It was a lovely buttercream, and the mint made it extra-special.

And to you, as well!

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Anne, and thank you!

It's really very simple. Back in August, I stuffed enormous quantities of mint (several different kinds, too) into an empty lemonade bottle, filled it with vodka, and stuck it behind the china hutch till last month.

It smells divine. The flavor itself is subtle, but oh my...it's good.

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, lunch bucket...I like your name!

 
At 5:13 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Peabody, and thanks!

 
At 5:13 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Baking soda...aww, thanks.

I am rather proud of my mushrooms. Oh, and see above for the extract!

 
At 5:14 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hey, Katie!

Thanks so much! I think they were my favorite part of the whole experience.

 
At 5:15 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi breadchick, and happy '08 to you!

You would have been most welcome, you know...

 
At 5:16 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Marias23!

I always forget how much I love meringue, simply because I so rarely make it. But I found myself (after making a second batch for the family dinner) picking the little dears off the cake, and eating them instead!

 
At 5:17 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Michelle, and thank you!

Yes, I have this crazy notion that I have to do it all myself...which is probably why I get no sleep!

 
At 5:18 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Quellia, hello!

I don't care for mushrooms in real life (always get the feeling I'm eating dirt), so I suppose I needed to 'cute-ify' these guys to like them!

 
At 5:19 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Marce.

The family loved loved it. My husband got a kick out of watching his mom ask for just half a slice, then later decide she could have another slice after all!

 
At 5:19 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, beth g! I loved them, too!

 
At 5:20 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Lis, and thank you!

Hee...that's what happens when a certain someone gets her hands on the addresses of other bloggers for a major event, I guess.

Speaking of...news about BBM coming soon!

 
At 5:21 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Glamah16; thank you!

 
At 5:21 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, April!

 
At 5:22 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Zorra, and thanks!

Oh, they did. I was amazed to see how much of it was missing after doling out slices for everyone...and when my brothers- and sister-in-law came over a couple of days later, they returned an empty platter!

 
At 5:23 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Veron, and thank you!

That was exactly what I was going for...

 
At 5:24 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Tartlette!

I hope you were able to visit your family, as well!

 
At 5:24 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you so much, Dolores; and I hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday!

 
At 5:25 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks so much, Grace!

 
At 5:25 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Deborah!

 

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