Friday, December 21, 2007

Daring Non-Blogger

I'm very excited to finish my first challenge!!! I was hoping that the challenge would be a yule log this month, so thanks to Lis and Ivonne for reading my mind and picking a wonderful recipe, perfect for the holiday season. It was a joy to make and a joy for my family to eat at our annual Christmas gift exchange and dinner held at my house this year.

kelly G -Yule log 1

The genoise was light and airy - although I think I would bake it one or two minutes less next time. I rolled it in a tea towel to cool (excellent tip fellow DBers!) but still ended up with some cracks when rolling. The log was filled with chocolate hazelnut spread, toasted hazelnuts and some of the coffee buttercream (and maybe a splash or two or three of rum!!). Everyone raved about the buttercream and I was quite proud of its lush, silky texture. It hid the cracks amazingly well and tasted incredible - definitely one I would use again. Everyone was fooled by the mushrooms and they were passed around to make sure that they were in fact made of marzipan and weren't just from my vegetable crisper.

I have to admit that the daring part of the challenge for me wasn't the baking. I had so much fun making components of the recipe that I had never made before and putting the log together. The challenge for me, I found, was more in the blogging itself and the picture taking. I spend a lot of time at work on technical writing that I find it hard to sit down and write like I am talking to a friend. But I realized that being daring means really participating in the group, trying to find my voice and giving all aspects of the challenge a try. And I really did try with the photos. My hubby can attest to that -we had every light on in the house at 11pm moving the cake from room to room to find good lighting and a workable background. I took picture after picture trying to find a shot that could convey how good the cake actually looked in person rather just than a shadowy lump on the plate. Well...I came to the conclusion that photography really isn't my thing and I need more than a point and shoot camera if I want nice pictures. Since my frustration with the camera was starting to colour, what had been up to that point, a really stress-free, successful baking session, I decided to call it a night.

kelly g - Yule log 2

My good friend and neighbour Shelly came to my rescue the next day by offering the photography services of her husband Jason. He did a wonderful job with the pictures and even brought some props (the cute birch trees) to enhance the look. While the rest of drank some wine and relaxed, he was an artiste with the log and came up with some wonderful pictures. Thanks Jason for your help (and now you know what the pictures are for!) Luckily I've since found out that I have many friends with photography skills who would like the chance to practice their skills in the food styling arena. So while I can be daring in the kitchen and with my writing, for now I can leave behind the stress of photography to those who find it their daring challenge.

Happy holidays to all! K


michelle said...

Such a beautiful yule log! :)

Laura said...

Great yule log! I really like the berries and holly you made and the upright portion of the log. Fabulous job!

The Caked Crusader said...

That is one elaborate log! What a stunner!

Lis said...

I'd say you done kicked some Yule log heiney! I think this cake is just stunning - and those photos.. *swoon*

Happy holidays!


glamah16 said...

Simply beautiful. And you have photographer friends! Happy Holidays.

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful. Your biuttercream looks fabulous.


Lunch Buckets said...

Taking the picture can really be quite the battle, luckily it all worked out in the end!

Sandicita said...

Your yule log looks spectacular! I love the holy and the bed of rosemary! Amazing!

Tartelette said...

Tell your friend he did a great job with the photography,only because he had something equally gorgeous to photograph!!
Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Anonymous said...

I think you did great. The photos look awesome :)

Dolores said...

See... there's a solution to everything. :) Your log turned out beautifully, your neighbor's photography did it justice, and your story is warm and inviting. I'm glad you've joined us, and I look forward to hearing your 'voice' on the challenges to come.

Gabi said...

Great job-very beautifully decorated and the photos turned out great-wish I had a friend who would take mine- I struggle with a point and shoot camera.
I like the rings on the ends of your log and the holly!
Hope you have lots of happy baking in 2008!

Baking Soda said...

Yes, you definitely found a voice and paired it with great pics as well! Gorgeous looking log...yum!

Jen Yu said...

I don't want to burst your bubble but... a good photographer can't make a lousy cake look good. The baker has to make the cake look good - and YOU did! So give yourself credit for turning out a gorgeous yule log :) I love the little birch trees though, totally cute. Yay!!

jen at use real butter