Saturday, December 22, 2007
Buche de Noel - Daring Bakers December 2007 Challenge
I was actually worried it was going to be "one of those days" when I went to the post office to send holiday gifts (the day after the deadline, of course), and then to the grocery store. The only thing I needed was parchment paper, and guess what I forgot? Which meant I was going BACK out in the rain to hunt down parchment paper - which by the way, in my town, neither Walgreens nor CVS deemed important enough to carry - so I didn't get started until around 1 pm. I don't mind having a disastrous baking day (see last month's Daring Bakers Challenge) but was desperate not to have this day be one of them.
The first step is baking the genoise layer. I decided to do a chocolate version, and altered the recipe based on Nick Malgieri's suggestions on the old episode of Sara's Secrets (where he bakes this cake!). I watched that episode twice before I delved into this project.
While the rolled cake and buttercream chilled, I went to work making meringue mushrooms. I have made meringue a zillion times -back in my tearoom days we had to have lemon meringue pies every Thursday (and oh look, I even made meringue earlier this month)- but I have never made meringue mushrooms. Lacking a pastry bag, I used a gallon ziploc and it worked pretty well.
The mushrooms added the most mystery to the cake - a lot of people at the party thought they were "actual" mushrooms and I had to prove they weren't by cutting them apart. The cocoa powder applied before baking really added a touch of realism.
I didn't do much to decorate the cake other than add fork marks (after the pictures were taken, ha!). I was late to the party, it was pouring down rain, and I realized too late that I had no covered dish large enough to transport the cake. So I used the umbrella on the cake and ended up at the front door looking like a drowned rat, but the cake was dry!
The recipe can be found on either blog of this month's challenge hosts - Ivonne and Lisa. All the Daring Bakers (I believe we're over 300 strong now) can be seen in the list here.
Categories: Buttercream, Cake, Chocolate, Coffee, Daring Bakers, Holiday, Meringue
at 5:06 PM