A Yule Log Against All Odds

posted in: Cooking | 16

It’s time for a Daring Baker’s post! When I joined the Daring Bakers, I knew the challenges wouldn’t be a walk in the park, after all, they were challenges but I didn’t have any real trouble with them until this month and quite frankly, I was getting used to them being fairly easy! Not so this month though. When I first saw the challenge and the recipes, I was bummed because it called for coffee buttercream and I don’t like coffee. I figured I’d make it anyway because I had to but I’d just not eat it. As it turned out, that should have been the least of my worries.

I decided I would fill the log with the same buttercream used for the frosting so I needed to have that ready before the cake was baked. I got to work on the buttercream one day and followed all the steps on the recipe but it was a disaster. The buttercream was runny, almost like a warm milk shake. Not pretty. I put it in the fridge hoping it would firm up and be ready to use but it just didn’t firm up right. To make matters worse, I used food coloring to avoid having to use coffee or cocoa in it but somehow I managed to make it dark purple instead of brown. I ended up trashing it.

I had to wait a couple more days till I got more butter to try again. The next time I did, it worked fine. I think the first time I just didn’t whip the egg whites long enough and it just melted the butter. I also added the butter all at the same time which didn’t really help. This time around I did use the coffee as called for in the recipe but the buttercream was cream, not brown so I added cocoa until it was brown.

Once the buttercream was successfully done, I made the sponge. Again, I followed the recipe exactly. My cake took less time to bake than the recipe said it should and it was still over baked. I know my oven was at the right temperature because I keep a thermometer in there. Only after putting the cake in the oven did I realize that I had run out of parchment paper, which would have made rolling the log easier. It probably wouldn’t have mattered though because when I tried to roll it, it cracked everywhere.

I didn’t think I was going to be able to salvage it but I went ahead and let it rest anyway before carving and icing, which I did the next day. Much to my surprise, I was able to cover all the cracks up. I doweled the stumps just for stability but it also made the icing part easier. The meringue mushrooms were just pushed into the buttercream and they stayed there.

It was definitely a challenge and the worst part is, I didn’t get to eat any of it because I just don’t like coffee or chocolate! The things I do to be a Daring Baker!

This challenge was hosted by Ivonne of Cream Puffs In Venice and Lisa of La Mia Cucina. You can go to Ivonne’s site to see the recipe.

16 Responses

  1. glamah16

    My genoise cooked faster than than the required time as well. Not sure it I spread it to thin in a larger pan. Nevertheless, it all turned out great fro you. One would never know. Seems were all having the same issues.

  2. Nora B.

    Hi June,
    Thanks for dropping by my blog.

    I never would have guessed that your logs gave you so much grief, I think it looks great! And you even made those cute hollies. Well done on the yule log and Merry Christmas.

    “See” you at the next challenge in the new year.


  3. Jen Yu

    That is a lovely yule log. Great job. I kind of wish you had taken a picture of the purple buttercream – that sounds cool 🙂 Love the red DB too!!! Happy new year 🙂

    jen at use real butter

  4. Dharm

    A purple log eh?!! Glad that it turned out well in the end. I must say I admire you for perservering when you dont eat choc or coffee. I think that would be one of my first considerations before I attempt any challenge – who will eat it!! Well done and Happy New Year!

  5. Dolores

    I’m sorry you didn’t get to taste it… it seems like a lot of work if you can’t enjoy the product. Wish you’d photographed your purple butter cream. 🙂

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