Monday, 16 December 2013

YULE LOG - Baking partners December 2013

The very same date, previous year was my first post for Baking partners ..still cant beleive it is since an year now, feeling very nostalgic :) And ever since I bought an OTG, and got many flopped outcomes, I had been scratching my head for an better alternative.  Introduction to this Baking partners was an 'blessing in disguise', through one of my friend's blog.   Let me take this as an ideal oppourtunity and list out other bakes I made,

1. Plum cake
2. Apple pie
3. French Macaroons
4. Cheese cake
5. Newyork-styled pizza
6. Chocolate eclairs
7. Chiffon cake
8. Biscotti
9. Kronut
10. Pumpkin bread
11. Pataqueta

    Don't get hard on counting, since I missed february month :)  So, each bakes listed here, has lots of tactics or lots of tips/details involved.  Since we were given links to knowledge each details, the entire baking became like an 'internal assessment' to us :P   Now, I have the confidence of baking my own cookies/cakes, thanks all to this humble community.

Coming over to this month's challenge, it is YULE LOG.  YULE LOG is an dessert/cake made especially during Christmas.  Here an chocolate cake/genoise cake is baked using an swiss roll pan, filled with vanilla icing, rolled over and again frosted with chocolate icing.  Fork impressions are made in order to make them resemble like an log!   Making them was quite interesting and nourishing the delecious outcome was the BEST DAY in my life.  Thanks all goes to Tanushree and Swathi Iyer.

Also, I must say that this challenge is super-special to me, because I had tried fondant for the first time.  Here, I have tried an white chocolate fondant, and shaping those cute elves was the best part of this challenge. Though making fondant and shaping them was quite fun, they get dried off soon, Experts kindly explain??

My daughter, Varsha enjoyed them a lot.  Meringue mushrooms was also done as an add-on to yule log.  Totally, I must say that due to this challenge,  I went through lots of learning and get through lots of  baking concepts.  I would also thank the source, who with step-by-step instructions had made my learning process easier.  I made this yule log in three days..

Day 1 - I prepared the white chocolate fondant, folded them in plastic wrap, kept aside
Day 2 - I prepared chocolate layer cake on baking pan, iced them, rolled and refrigerated this set-up
Day 3 - I prepared 'chocolate bark frosting' iced them over rolled up cake sheet.  I also baked meringue mushrooms.  Colouring the fondant  and making cute little elves was done, final assembly.

Ingredients required

For the cake sheet/chocolate sheet
  • 1/4 cup maida/ all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp drinking chocolate
  • 2 tbspn butter, melted
For white frosting
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup of milk
For chocolate frosting
  • 1/3 cup of milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tbspn butter, softened
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp drinking chocolate
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
For meringue mushrooms
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tbspn of granulated sugar
For white chocolate fondant
  • 250 gm of white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of liquid glucose/glucose syrup (Substitute the very same with 1/3 cup of corn syrup)
  • Icing colours/gel colours 
For dusting
  • 1 cup of cocoa powder

How to make an yule log?

First step is to prepare the cake sheet.  Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree celsius.  In a clean, dry vessel, break open eggs, blend them till they are foamy.  Continue beating them by adding sugar.  Add vanilla essence, drinking chocolate and salt, blend them again.  Meanwhile, sieve and reserve dry mixture of maida and cocoa powder.  Add this dry mixture to cake batter in three additons.  

Finally add in melted butter too.  Transfer this batter to greased, parchment paper lined tray.  

Bake this for fifteen minutes or till done.  

After baking, run an quick knife around the edges and invert them over an clean kitchen towel, dusted with icing sugar as given below.  Slowly peel the parchment paper away and dust the sheet facing towards you with icing sugar as well.  This is done so that cake sheet does not stick to kitchen towel.

Roll them slowly along with towel and keep in an wire rack to cool.  

Meanwhile, let us prepare white frosting for cake sheet.  In an bowl, blend butter with salt till fluffy.  Add about half icing sugar and beat them.  Now add half quantity milk and almond extract.  Add icing sugar and milk alternatively untill the frosting is  smooth and done.  Refrigerate them few hours before frosting to cake sheet. 

Now, unroll the cake sheet and add prepared frosting.  Using spatula, spread them evenly and slowly, start to roll till ends are finished.  Refrigerate this yule log.  

Alternatively, let us prepare chocolate bark frosting, melt the milk chocolate and keep aside.  Take an clean, dry bowl and beat butter and salt till fluffy.  Add in essence, drinking chocolate, half the icing sugar and beat again.  Now, add in melted chocolate and stirr.  Add sugar and milk in alternate batches till frosting appears fluffy and smooth.  

To the rolled yule log, cut the ends to make them straight,  Also cut one  (right-angled) triangular portion and place them on one side so that it resembles branch.  Pour over the frosting and spread them uniformly.  

Using fork, make lines over them.  Line tissue paper all throughout the plate (except log so that cocoa powder does not dust on sides of the plate).  Now dust cocoa powder generously to make an realistic approach.  

How to make meringue mushrooms

Pre-heat the oven for hundred degree celsius.  Though recipe calls for more egg whites, one egg white is enough since it makes more than ten meringue mushrooms.  Take an egg white in an clean, dry bowl.  

Beat them till foamy.

Add lime juice and continue to beat them till they form soft peaks, when you take out blender, soft peak is formed like this.

Now blend them, adding sugar vigorously, you will get stiff peaks.  Stiff peaks are those which dont break easily, even when you take off your beater...

Add this stiff peaked meringue into icing bag with round tip.  Pipe stems first.  Pipe them with an strong base and pull the icing bag few centimeters away and stop. Beautiful stems are ready

Later on you can pipe mushroom caps by continously pressing icing to form desirable sized cap.  

All done and into the oven for an hour till the base is crisp and top is firm.  

Once out of the oven, let them cool completely.  Slowly, peel them from parchement paper.  I am cutting the tips of mushroom step since it is pointed.  We dont want a pointed stem here as it may unbalance the mushroom cap over them.

You can use an number of options to help glue stem with caps.  Melted chocolate is an excellant option.  Since I had an chocolate bark frosting left-over, I utilised the very same.  Just apply some over mushroom caps and stick it with stem.  

You can let this set-up refrigerated for sometime.  When done, arrange them over prepared yule log.  

How to make white chocolate fondant

Melt white chocolate chips in a double-boiler.  (Microwave is an better option)  Stirr them completely , place cup with  liquid glucose on boiling water pan too for few seconds so that liquid glucose melts and retains its syrup texture.  

Now, add gluose to melted white chocolate and stirr them very well.  

Soon, they will thicken and form an dough.  

Now, place them over plastic wrap, fold them and leave to cool overnight.  

Next day, re-wrap them and try to knead, if found too hard, you can heat them in double boiler/microwave for few seconds so that they will slightly soften and make you easy to knead.
  I kneaded them very well and divided into four portions.  Coloured three with brown, blue and green and left last one with its natural colour.  Colouring is done only using icing colours/gel colours.  Wilton icing gels is best preferred.

Making of elves

Roll out each ball as in desirable shape given below.  This forms the main skeleton of our elves.  

Before inserting head, better place an toothpick to connect head and body, this is done so that head doesn't fall off when you make ur elves sit.  

Using tooth pick, make impression under nose with one tiny dot and an arc on both sideways.  Also attach nose and hat pom pom.

Using any edible pen, you can draw eyes.  Attach buttons, belt and hands.  

Using knife, make impressions over hands in order to resemble them as fingers.  

Shoes are also done :D

Now make them sit, awww aren't they cute??

Similarly I made other two. . . 

Final assembly

Since these elves were extra-large :D  I had to include only two, other one, obviously landed into Varsha's hand :D :D

Happy baking  :)  :)  :)  

Linking this to Baking partners

Here is the link to other's logs..

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