Friday, December 21, 2007

A Yule Log in Tuscany

This challenge was a real challenge and frankly my results, although tasty, were somewhat mediocre. I am in the middle of renovations to my very old home in Tuscany and my kitchen is being redone, leaving all my appliances and utensils and plates in my living room scattered about. In order to bake this cake, I had to first find the ingredients which have been placed into various unlabeled bags, plug various appliances in and set them on top of coffee tables and begin the baking process upstairs while preheating the old oven in the kitchen downstairs. Needless to say, this was tedious.

monica's Chocolog

The cake was dry in my opinion, probably because I am unfamiliar with the oven downstairs and was distracted by the buttercream which was difficult since it was made half upstairs then transferred downstairs to be completed. The downstairs kitchen has no heat at the moment (also due to renovations), so while I had good intentions of running a fork over it, it hardened like chocolate instead on the top - no idea what I did wrong there.

The one fun thing was playing with marzipan..... Firstly because I love eating it. Anything almond makes me swoon. I enticed both kids to help me and we had a lot of fun. The mushrooms were cute although I have to say my fingers are still very green and very red from smooshing the food coloring into the marzipan... and the mushrooms are not really edible decorated the way they are because the little "speckles" on top of the mushrooms are actually this digestive bicarbonate grain that comes in jars here in Italy - I had to improvise, could not find dragees at my store but as I was checking out I passed the "indigestion aisle" and lo and behold, this fit the bill. I suppose you could save the mushrooms for after the cake and get a digestive in the mix as well! :-)


This was an awesome challenge. I had a ton of fun with the marzipan. The buttercream would have been better if it had been warmer in my house. Everything TASTED great and the fact that people had second helpings was a fabulous compliment. Thanks again for letting me be a part of such a great group!



michelle said...

I'd much rather have something that tastes great than that looks good but isn't worth eating. :)

Great job!

Lis said...

Holy cow.. it looks almost candy-like. I want some!!

Terrific post and another beautiful challenge!

Happy holidays, sweetie!

glamah16 said...

Amazing you got it all together. Well the bi carbonate will stop you nibbling on all that yummy marzipan. It looks great.

Anonymous said...

I think it looks delicious!


Randi said...

be proud that you got this challenge done despite your kitchen "situation" :) props, it looks great!

Lunch Buckets said...

Love the idea of an after dinner digestive candy! I wish I had thought to make red mushrooms.

Sandicita said...

It's amazingly brave that you even ventured to do the challenge without a fully functioning kitchen! It turned out great. I love the mushrooms: they look like they're right out of a cartoon!

Tartelette said...

It looks like a giant candy bar! Great job!
Good lcuk with the renovations!!

Anonymous said... was a hard challenge, especially for you in mid renovations. You did great!

Dolores said...

I struggled with components of this cake in a fully functional kitchen.. I can't imagine attempting it mid-remodel. You ARE a daring baker, and a yule log hero! It looks *delicious*. Congratulations, and happy holidays!

Gabi said...

Great job -particularly during renovations! I love the digestive mushrooms! Wishing you lots of happiness for 2008!

Baking Soda said...

Love the write-up, kudos for perseverance and a great log, I think it's wonderful you can make something so tasty in a deconstructed house!

Jen Yu said...

You poor thing, I would be a mess running up and down while trying to get a challenge done (perhaps you really put the "challenge" in the DB challenge?!). I think you did a terrific job! Happy new year :)

jen at use real butter