Sunday, December 23, 2007

Coconut! No Hazelnut! Noo Coconut!


Happy Holidays!

This was my first challenge as part of the Daring Bakers, and while things definitely didn’t go 100% according to plan, I can’t get over how much fun it was!

After a long and brutal month of excessive work and snow in the northeast, today marked my first day of vacation down in the slightly warmer southeast. I had whole day….A WHOLE DAY….with no snow to shovel, no errands to run, and a big ol’ Yule log to bake. I also had the pleasure of my three siblings’ company in the kitchen. Aside from being delightful, they were also very good at hollering directions when I’d left the recipe on the other side of the room.


Things started out well. The cake batter was silky and gorgeous, and the cake came out slightly golden and not too dry. (I followed the recipe as written, but I ended up leaving it in for about 8 or 9 minutes.) I had decided to fill the roll with a coconut filling that my grandmother uses in her to die for coconut sour cream cake. Word of this decision began to spread, and after a few minutes, I heard my brother wail: “What?!? Coconut?? Nooooo”. He looked pretty forlorn, and this was, after all, the season of giving. So I reluctantly agreed to go with a chocolate hazelnut filling instead. And then I changed my mind. I really wanted the coconut. I’d do half and half….a black and white Yule log! (Later we learned that he doesn’t even like cake that much and might not even eat any. Much sighing and eye rolling ensued.)

I made the fillings. That all went fine. But then it came time to roll. That was a rather messy process, as I’d put a little too much filling on before rolling, and both fillings were a little on the thin/runny side. No biggie, messes can be cleaned up. However, I also don’t think I rolled it tight enough. I’m curious to see what it looks like when we cut into it.


Buttercream time! Chocolate buttercream! After it curdled, I used the tip for fixing buttercream that I’d read on the Daring Bakers blog, and it worked beautifully. Everything post-icing-the-log was just fun. My sisters, brother, and I gathered around a ball of marzipan, molding four distinctly different types of mushrooms that I’m sure say a lot about our personalities. (I’m not sure mine say anything flattering.) I’d made meringue cookies several times before, and I was tempted to go this route, because of its familiarity. I’m glad I didn’t. The marzipan came together very easily, offered an opportunity to play with food, and the almond scent was intoxicating.


Finally, I topped the log with some shredded coconut snow, added a few cranberries and mint leaves dipped egg whites and sugar, and then arranged the mushrooms as artfully as I could. It’s not perfect, but it’s not bad! It’s pretty gosh darn cute. All and all, I feel good about my first challenge, and can’t wait to see what January brings.

Amy B


Lis said...

Gorgeous log, Amy!!!

I'd love to say more, but I need to go kick Gmail's arse.

Happy holidays! I'm so sorry it's up so late!


Quit snickering, Monica. :D

Dolores said...

Wonderful job with the log Amy, and what fun to make it with family! I love love LOVE the coconut snow.

I hope you're still enjoying your time away from snow, that your holidays brought happiness, peace and joy and that the new year offers nothing but the best!

Gabi said...

Great job on the log Amy!
The coconut filling sounds delish.
Hope your 2008 is wonderful!

glamah16 said...

I like the addition od coconut for the snow. Great job.

Elle said...

It is totally cute Amy and I'm impressed that you used two fillings and tied in the coconut one with the coconut on top. The mushrooms are delightful! Wooohoo Daring Baker! Happy Holidays!

Baking Soda said...

This is going to be a log tied with memories of a family in the kitchen, I love your combined efforts!

Jen Yu said...

That is a beautiful yule log and I think the decoration is spot on. Great job!!

jen at use real butter