Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Daring Bakers Yuletide Least the Frosting was Tasty...

Have you ever "drunk dialed"? You know, that phone call to that person you are attracted to at 2am after a night of partying where you reveal everything you DIDN'T want them to know?

Have you ever been really sick and couldn't sleep, woke up in the middle of the night and turned on the Home Shopping Network and ordered the ginzu wannabe clothes hanger chef's knife?

Have you ever taken a trip because the travel brochure looked so lovely and sunny only to arrive and find out that the photos were taken 15 years ago BEFORE the Gulf Stream shifted 30 miles north and now the sunny island paradise is a cold, dank and cloudy place?

I was going to take a pass on this month's Daring Baker challenge offered up by our founders Lisa and Ivonne, the Yule Log. I had even let Lis and Ivonne know I was going to take a pass. Between all the business travel and preparing for Christmas I basically had about three free days to complete the challenge. However, if you know me, you know that once I commit to doing something I'm a bit like a Scottish Terrier, stubborn and determined to complete my task.

So, at 2am this past Sunday morning and already one day late in posting, I woke up with a start, fretting about not being able to participate and decided that I would get out of bed and by golly, by gumption complete my duty as a Daring Baker. Besides, I have my new toy, Isabelle to help me, I've done the cake and the butter cream frosting a hundred times and I've always wanted to play with marzipan. What ever could go wrong??

Um, well....ehr....let's see here....before we get to the Yule Log as a whole, let's take a look at all the individual components of the Daring Baker Yule Log: coffee butter cream frosting and filling, genoise cake, and marzipan or meringue mushrooms.

Buttercream frosting separating? Nope. I didn't have that problem at all! In fact, I thought this was a pretty good frosting despite all the problems everyone was reporting. It was creamy and had quite a bit of good spreadable body to it and the coffee flavor was outstanding. I even made an extra batch to spread on some chocolate espresso cinnamon rolls I made that morning to take upstairs to the neighbors, it was that good.

Marzipan? Nope. I was blown away how easy it was to make my own marzipan. I have always used the pre-made marzipan that comes in the tube or can but after how easy this was and how pliable it was and tasty, I can say I won't be wasting my money on the pre-made again. I gave mine an orange chocolate flavor and ended up making 5 mushrooms: 3 button top and two morels.

Genoise? Nope. I've made quite a few of these before so I was pretty sure I wouldn't have a problem with this one. I didn't and I loved using Isabelle to just make light work of putting it all together. It baked up wonderfully and was light and airy.

So, let's take a tally here. All the individual parts of the Daring Baker Yule Log were successful and at 5:30am I was ready to assemble the log.

And this was where it all fell apart...


and completely...

As I made the first roll, my genoise began to crumble.

It began to crack.

And by the time I made my last roll...

I had a completely collapsed and crumbly mess on my hands, on my counter, on my dish towel, on the floor and one the coffee maker.

Basically a complete failure of rolling technique because well...I was tired. I was just ready to get this challenge over and I really should have stuck to my original plan; taken a pass. Oh well, too late now, so let's just finish this thing and get it over with. I frosted it, attached the mushrooms and snapped one and only one picture.

I hear decomposed dishes are all the rage these days. I even saw some on the Top Chef Christmas Special!!! Well, here is my Daring Baker version! My "Decomposed" Yule Log...

At least the neighbors liked it... and the whole mess kind of summed up my entire year; some good frosting with a crumbly mess underneath.

To see some intact logs, go check out my fellow Daring Bakers creations. And if you want to make your own version of the Yule Log, decomposed or not, you can get the recipe at Ivonne's.