Sunday, December 23, 2007

It's live blogging b*tches - Yule Log!

8:21 AM:
Yes, here we are Sunday morning and I am live blogging this months Daring Bakers challenge - The Yule Log!

The Yule Log has got to be the ultimate Christmas dinner dessert. And while I have to admit that initially I did think about blowing this one off, my family and I are having a French Canadian Christmas dinner this year (remember last years Swedish Dinner?) and it turns out that the traditional dessert for such a dinner is.... YULE LOG! So I'm making it pretty much as last minute as I can, for both Christmas and my beloved Daring Bakers.

Before we start the live blogging, let me show you what I did last night. I made the meringue mushrooms that decorate the yule log:

My last attempt at meringues was a failure. So I vowed to be careful and follow the directions exactly. And I did, other than one thing. Instead of making 48 mushrooms (48?????????) I made 12 big ones. I ended up with 11, after I dropped one on the floor and then stepped on it. Let's chalk that up to the beverage(s) I had while making the mushrooms. They were easy and turned out very pretty. I sprinkled half with cocoa powder before I cooked them, and smudged the others with cocoa after they were cooled and assembled. I think the caps of the smudged ones look fabulous. Just like real mushrooms, if the room is dark and you squint.

But now I am wishing I'd made more than 12. I'll have to use some to decorate today and save some for the 25th. Durn.

And now: Onto the live blogging! I'm going to re-read the recipe one more time. I'll be right back.


HERE is the recipe, by the way.

I'm going to start with the buttercream, which I've not made before. I am gently nuking my butter in the microwave as our house is not overly warm and even though I left the butter out over night it's not very soft. I'm going to get a pan of water on to simmer...


I separated the egg whites and whisked them with the sugar. Since my largest pot and my kitchen aid bowl are not compatible, I've put a towel on the bottom so the mixing pot won't touch the bottom.

Sorry Santa.

In the time it's taken me to get this picture posted, the egg whites and sugar have cooked, and are currently mixing away to cool down before the butter gets added! Be back shortly.

Dammit. I didn't have espresso - thought I did - so I just used strong coffee that Scott made yesterday. It didn't work AT ALL. (Edited to add - by which I mean it didn't change the color of the buttercream.) The hints say not to use cocoa powder, so I'm melting the little bit of chocolate chips I found at the back of the pantry. Wish me luck. I think I'm going to regret this....

Yay! The chocolate worked.

I don't really like the taste of the icing though. It's like eating pure butter. Which I guess you almost are. I have to do some dishes before I start the cake. Any maybe have a piece of toast.

SHIT SHIT SHIT. I messed up. Instead of 3 eggs and 3 yolks, I did 3 eggs and 3 whites. Gotta see if I have enough eggs left. SHIT!!!!


Back on track. I had just enough eggs left. What a waste.

The cake has just gone into the oven!


The cake has been cooked, cooled outside, and filled and rolled. It was harder than I had expected to roll the cake - it cracked once, so I'm glad I did it while it was still fresh. I have a feeling I rolled it the wrong way. I rolled lengthwise. Was that what I was supposed to do?

See you in a couple of hours for the decorating!

I'm back! Time to make that roll of cake look like a tree.


Well I'm not going to win any prizes with these:

The little one (I made it for a lady I work with) looks like a hedgehog with it's head cut off.

But I am done and it tastes pretty good. It will be a fine end to our Christmas dinner I think.

Very special thanks to Lis and Ivonne for this challenge.

You can see all the daring bakers here at the blogroll.

Thanks for coming by to visit, have a great day!


Peter M said...

From here, those 'shrooms look so real! I await your finished product.

Sara said...

There are pretty cool. I am proud of myself! Thanks Peter!

Karen Baking Soda said...

Sara, I wish I knew..I was baking today as well! Used melted chocolate and espresso powder in my outer frosting and it went well!
So far so good, love your mushrooms

Sara said...

baking soda - are you done? I'll come see.

Gigi said...

I sit on pins and needles awaiting the finished log :) [you know what mean]

P.S. the mushrooms and buttercream look fantastic!

Sara said...

Thank you Gigi! I haven't been nervous up until now, but I am afraid of the cake not turning out.

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Can't wait to see the final results!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

it's looking good sara - keep it up. look forward to the deco!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh my you are having a time there Sara!
But how could you ever doubt chocolate! Of course it worked. I do have to say I really loved this buttercream with the espresso powder.
Love the mushrooms.

Shaun said...

Sara, darling ~ You are a hoot. Hope you've stopped with the boozing so you can concentrate on the decorating at hand :-p So far, so good. I'm jealous, but you're making it seem quite do-able, but I suppose it has to be if it is such a traditional element on the Christmas table. I love the meringue mushrooms - so cute.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

hehe, it is doable! And I think you've done good Sara!! Now it's time for the wine!! and some celebrate.

test it comm said...

The Yule Log looks good and the mushrooms look pretty real!

breadchick said...

Sara, you crack me up. Troding upon a 'shroom under the influence, absolutely classic. Your logs look perfect!

Lis said...

Ha! I want to live blog next time! Too funny! And you lied.. it doesn't look bad, it looks fabulous! But yeah the lil one looks like a decapitated hedgehog. Poor lil guy.

Beautiful work, my love!


glamah16 said...

Hahahaha. That was funny. It all turned out well. I agree the frosting tastes like pure buuter. Happy Holidays

Unknown said...

Looks great! I must agree about the buttercream...especially before adding the coffee, I felt like I was just eating butter...not pleasing if you ask me! Hope your dinner turns out well. BTW, cute mushrooms!

Karen Baking Soda said...

Ah I like! Booze inside and out! Hoot on the hedgehog, you rock! Congrats Sara, have a great time and enjoy your dinner.

Annemarie said...

Fantastic live blogging - you made it seem very easy despite your little snafu with the eggs. Love the mini-log at the end. Hope everyone enjoys your christmas dinner!

Lunch Buckets said...

Well yeah the frosting tastes like butter. That's why it's delicious! I kinda like the little hedgehoglog. I'd eat if you gave it to me. Course I'd eat plain butter too, so there you go.

creampuff said...


I love your live play-by-play of the Yule Log making. Hockey Night in Canada should hire you! It turned out lovely. Happy Holidays!

Beth G. @SweetLifeKitchen said...

It looks fantastic!! :)

Helene said...

I am coming after the fight but hey! Glad to hear you conquered the log! Great post Sara!
Happy Holidays!

Andrea said...

What fun, and how daring of you to live blog making the cake! (I almost messed up the egg yolks/egg whites thing, too.) Your cake looks great!

Dolores said...

Gawd, I do so love the way you write... you bring so much color to the story you're telling. AND you did a great job with the challenge. One question: how's Santa holding up?

I hope your Christmas celebration was filled with peace and joy, and that the new year brings you and your family health and happiness, laughter and love.

Jenny said...

Looks great!
And that is cool, reading your up to date updates!

Deborah said...

I love the live blogging! I wish I would have watched as you were doing it. Your log turned out wonderful!!

Jen Yu said...

This post is hilarious! I love it. I also love that little hedgehog yule. It all looks terrific. What a great job and so entertaining too!!

jen at use real butter