Yule Log

Congratulations to me, I am now a Daring Baker!

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As my initiation into Daring Bakers, my first challenge was a Christmas yule log. I was really excited about this challenge, but due to exams I didn’t get to start on it until the last week before the posting date.

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Although we had to follow the same recipe for the cake and the buttercream frosting for the outside of the log, we could fill the log and flavor our cake however we chose. I racked my mind for cood sweet combinations until I came up with a good one: chocolate and hazelnut. Using this concept, I flavored my sponge cake with Frangelico and added some toasted hazelnuts. I think the chopped nuts really contributed well to the overall finished product and gave a nice crunch to an otherwise smooth dessert. They also helped to cut the sweetness of the icing. For the filling, I used a nutella buttercream recipe that was absolutely wonderful, although mine never seemed to be lump free.

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I had read about problems others were having, namely about curdling buttercream, but I never had those issues. The only issues arose when I tried to roll the cake. The first attempt at making the log, I cooked the sponge cake for the recommended time and at the recommended temperature and let the cake cool in the pan before icing. After icing the cake, I tried to roll it, and disaster struck. Huge cracks that prevented any kind of roll shape. I might as well should have made a layer cake. I had already iced this cake with filling, so I kept it to munch on, and it was still delicious.

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Second attempt at rolling the cake, I cooked it for less time than recommended at the same temperature and tried rolling it immediately after taking it out of the oven, using a towel sprinkled with powdered sugar as a guide. Disaster again, huge cracks. I got so frustrated I threw the cake on the floor and stormed off to the gym. I wasn’t ready to give up though.

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You know the old cheesy addage, third time’s the charm. Well, this time I baked the cake for the same amount of time as the second time around but baked it at a lower temperature. Immediately after the cake came out of the oven I inverted it onto a moist towel and rolled the cake up in the towel (i.e. the towel pretended to be filling). I need to note that I sprinkled the towel with powdered sugar, although I don’t know if this actually did any good because most of it dissolved. And you know what? By God it worked this time. I let the cake cool wrapped up in the towel then gently unwrapped it to ice it with the filling. It didn’t unwrap completely flat, and I had to be very careful with the filing, but we escaped with only a small crack that I fixed with more icing.

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My favorite part of this challenge was putting the final touches on the cake. I made the marzipan mushrooms, leaves and berries earlier, and my husband and I had a great time figuring out how to arrange them. All in all, I’m ver pleased with how my yule log turned out. It might not look exactly like a log, but I think it’s pretty good looking and I’m very pleased. I don’t know if I would necessarily make it again, given all the trouble with the rolling, but at least I learned something.

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1 Response to “Yule Log”


  1. 1 Gretchen Noelle December 27, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    First off, I am SO IMPRESSED that you made the cake three times and the thought of you throwing it on the floor was rather comical! I think it turned out great – leaves, berries, mushrooms and all! Congrats on completing your first DB challenge!!


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