Saturday, 22 December 2007

DB #14: Mini Ice-cream filled Black Forest Yule Logs

December has been a very busy and hectic month, hasn't it? But I knew that after just recently joining the Daring Bakers, I could not pass this month's challenge.

The December and last Daring Bakers Challenge 2007 is the Yule Log and the recipes which are from Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri and The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Dessert were chosen by this month’s hosts and Daring Baker Founders Ivonne (Cream Puffs in Venice) and Lisa (La Mia Cucina).

Ivonne and Lisa stipulated that as part of this month’s challenge, over 300 (wow!!) Daring Bakers from all over the world must use the recipes they provided to make:
1. Genoise Cake
2. Buttercream Frosting (preferably coffee flavoured, or any flavour that results in a dark coloured cream)
3. Meringue or Marzipan mushrooms to decorate our logs

Thankfully, the lovely hosts allowed for many modifications such as flavouring our genoise (e.g. chocolate, nuts, lemon rind), we have complete freedom to fill our logs with anything we wanted (e.g. fruit, jam, melted chocolate, pudding), and shape our logs to our preference.

With so much freedom to create my own version of the Yule Log, and influenced by the warm summer Christmas in Australia, I decided to make Mini Ice-cream filled Black Forest Yule Logs.

You can find the full recipe here. I will highlight my variations and tips that I found helpful.

Chocolate Genoise:
I reduced the cake flour to 1/3 cup, increase cornstarch to 1/3 cup and added 1/4 cup cocoa to flour mixture. Be sure to sift the dry ingredients and mix it well with a spoon or whisk before incorporating it into the wet ingredients.

IMPORTANT - After taking the cake out of the oven, immediately loosen cake from edges of pan and turn it upside down onto a fresh parchment paper. Carefully remove the parchment paper that was baked with the cake. Trim off stiff edges of cake if necessary. While cake is still hot, carefully roll cake and the fresh parchment paper from the narrow end. Cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Buttercream:
I omitted the espresso powder and liqueur and added about 1/3 cup of melted and cooled bittersweet couverture chocolate.

Ice-cream filling:
1 can of pitted black cherries
Store bought vanilla bean ice-cream
kirsch*

Drain the cherries and reserve the liquid. Cut cherries into half. Quickly whisk ice-cream – this will make it easier to incorporate the cherries. Add a few dashes of kirsch and add the cherries. Mix it well with a spoon. Fill log(s) immediately before ice-cream melts. Freeze log(s).

*The kirsch I used was a gift from Eva of Sweet Sins who was born and raised in Bavaria, Germany. She bought this kirsch from a farmer's wife from a small country town during her last trip back to Germany.

Marzipan Mushrooms:
I chose to make marzipan mushrooms because even though Quikong hates it, I am addicted to that stuff (and I mean the marzipan). The biggest challenge for me was finding almond paste! So I used the recipe from here. I made mini mushrooms to match my mini logs. A few mushrooms did not make it to the logs, it was had to stop myself from popping them into my mouth...

Tips for Assembling the Yule Log:
- When you are ready to fill the log, unroll cooled cake and remove parchment paper. Brush the surface of the cake with a flavoured simple syrup (I used a mixture of the liquid from the canned cherries and kirsch). This will keep the genoise moist and prevents it from breaking while you are rolling it.
- Spread an even layer of the cherry & ice-cream filling over the surface of the cake.
- Use the parchment paper to help you roll the cake into a tight cylinder.
- Place the log in the freezer while making the buttercream.

The Verdict:
The process of making the genoise, buttercream frosting, filling and mushrooms took some time but was quite uneventful. As I stated earlier, my biggest challenge was trying to find almond paste. I was so worn out after making all the parts of the yule log that all I had energy for was decorate the logs with the mini marzipan mushrooms.

As for the taste test, I have a soft spot for Black Forest cake, so I already knew that I will like the mini yule logs. Filling it with ice-cream made me enjoy the log more because I don't like buttercream. But will I make this again? I doubt it - this is because I tend to shy away from recipes with too many steps. So I am glad that I took up the challenge, otherwise I never would have attempted mini ice-cream yule logs (Quikong is already hankering for an ice-cream cake for his birthday next week). The part of the challenge that I am most proud off? Making my own marzipan.

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Thanks Ivonne and Lisa for hostin this month's challenge! Do check out the Yule Log creations of the other Daring Bakers. The full list of the DB members can be found here.

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To those who celebrate Christmas:
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones. May it be filled with lots of cheer and joy.

To everyone :
My warmest wishes for the New Year!

xx Nora

p/s: I probably will not have time to post till the new year. "See" you in 2008! :-)

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59 comments:

bittersweetblog said...

Nice yule logs- I love the idea of making a big stack of them, it looks so abundant and inviting! I would have never thought of such a different presentation!

Oh for the love of food! said...

Nora, what a fantastic idea for a Summer Christmas dessert! The little mushrooms are too cute - no wonder you couldn't help popping them in your mouth !
Have a wonderful and safe Christmas and a Blessed 2008! xo Carol

Paola said...

My word! That looks so gorgeous it's almost a shame to eat it! Well done!

And just wanted to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous 2008!

Paola

Foodie Froggy said...

ho ho ho (does that sound like Santa ?), I can see a gorgeous yule loge, here ! Very creative !

ostwestwind said...

Great job,

today we have temperatures below zero °C, I am glad to have a hot chocolate!

I wish you a Merry Christmas

Princess of the kitchen said...

What a great idea! Icecream filled logs. I love how you made several smaller logs too! a very original and brilliant take on the theme! Well done!

Big Boys Oven said...

Nora, this balck forest yule logs are so gorgeous and so charming. With thise cute yellow mushrooms icecream.... oh totally incredible lovely. Oh I can't wait for christmas! east, eat and eat!

michelle said...

Love the presentation!

Bellini Valli said...

Great job Nora!! I have still to finish mine so it will be posted tomorrow. I tried to make mine over a 2 day period, but the buttercream is hard and my daughter and I will be out all day today. I will be decorating it tonight and taking photos...I don't think it will have meringue or marzipan mushrooms though.We will see how it goes!

clumsycook.com said...

Ohhh! I love that you made mini logs. Great work! :)

marias23 said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! Mini ice cream-filled black forest yule logs! What a mouthful to say and eat! Now why didn't I think of that? I'm actually like, obsessed with ice cream and even though it's freezing here in Chicago, I still eat ice cream. Great job, Nora!

Kevin said...

Nice looking yule logs. A whole stack of them! The cherry ice cream filling sounds really good.

Suzanne said...

Great filling idea. Yum. I like your blog and will be back!

Lydia said...

What a great idea to make ice cream-filled logs! And the stack looks just like the wood pile in my back yard. Have a wonderful holiday season, Nora.

Kate / Kajal said...

Nora these look sooo perfect ! Really well done !

Wish you a Merry Christmas girl !

winedeb said...

Nora, I am sooo impressed! That photo of your Yule Logs and presents should be in a magazine! They are absolutely beautiful, I cannot say enough about them! And look at those cute mushrooms! Wish I was there to have a taste with you!
Nora, have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Have fun and be safe. So fun to be a part of your "blog" world!
OXOXO
Deb:)

June said...

Very nice stack of logs! I love how you didn't do the traditional presentation of the log and went for the stack.

Nora B. said...

Dear fellow Daring Bakers; Thanks for your comments, I will visit your blogs and leave my comments there.

Carol - Thanks Carol. I still have some leftover marzipan that I have been eating with my fruit cake. I am not allowed to actually put it on the cake because Quikong doesn't like marzipan. :-) Have a wonderful Christmas too - I'll be back in Singapore at the end of the year.

Paola - After all that work, I felt like I needed to admire it for longer, but in the end, I cave in and ate it anyway :-) Merry Christmas and best wishes to you too.

BBOven - Thanks for your lovely comment. I have to say that it's not yet Christmas and I have already been eating a lot!

Lydia - Thanks! I was going to shake some icing sugar in top to get a "snow" effect but forgot about it till after I started to eat the log :-) You have a wonderful festive season too, Lydia.

Suzanne - Thanks for dropping by and welcome!

Kate - Thank You. Merry Christmas to you too, Kate!

Deb - Thanks for your lovely comment. I presents you saw were mini Christmas cakes that I gave to my colleagues. I like mini things :-) Thanks for being part of my blog world. I'm going to jump over to your blog now.

Jean-Marie said...

Je n'ai jamais vu d'aussi belles bûches. Elles ont l'air délicieuses. Pourrions nous voir une photo de l'intérieur de la bûche, svp ?

Nora B. said...

Merci, Jean-Marie. Unfortunately, I made these logs more than two weeks ago and they have been consumed. I did realise after that I should have taken a photo of a sliced log since the cherry speckled ice-cream filling was pretty to look at.

Merry Christmas!

Truffle said...

I love your filling choice Nora. How perfect for Australia. Also love the stack.

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year x

Nigel said...

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones, Nora!

East Meets West Kitchen said...

That's a great yule log cake!

Here's wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! :D

Big Boys Oven said...

Wish you a wonderful Christmas and a jolly New Year!!! xxx

Aimée said...

Adorable logs, Nora! Really well done. I can't wait to check out all the DB's yule logs. Thanks for the Christmas wishes. Here's hoping your holidays are full of laughter, love and great food!

Coffee & Vanilla said...

Beautiful log Nora!! Those mushrooms look sooo cute...

See you in 2008! :)

chemcookit said...

Dear Nora,
this is so amazing! I'm really impressed. I could never follow so many steps. :)

And also, I wish a very Merry Christmas, to you and all your family, and a great beginning of 2008!

bee said...

wish you and your blog a wonderful 2008, dear nora.

Cynthia said...

Nora darling, can I have one of those logs to serve as dessert tomorrow? :)

A very merry Christmas and a prosperous 2008 to you and yours. Thanks for all the support.

Sara said...

i love it! it's beautiful! happy holidays!

Brilynn said...

Wow! I absolutely love it! Everything should be filled with ice cream, it looks fabulous!

Veron said...

An ice cream filled Yule Log? Now why didn't I think of that - and with that coffed buttercream -simply fantastic!Merry Christmas , Nora!

cerisegourmand said...

Haha loved how you stacked them up just like how we do with real logs! Great job!

Tartelette said...

Beautiful logs! Brilliant idea!!Have a wonderful Chritmas and wonderful time with your family and friends!

Claire said...

I love the idea of filling it with ice cream...and mini logs, wonderful! Merry Christmas!

Nora B. said...

Thanks for your comments, it's always nice to hear from all of you.

I will respond in your respective blogs. I hope everyone had a good Christmas.

Nora

Anh said...

Nora, what a fantastic idea!

I just came back from a short trip to Great Ocean Road... Thanks so much for your wishes! I hope you have had wonderful holidays so far. And Happy New Year!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Nora, this is so darling! I love the stack of little logs and I think that putting ice cream in them is just perfect. Well done, my dear!

Beth G. said...

That is incredible- I love the little stack and black cherry ice cream filling sounds divine!!

Kirsten said...

Lovely!!! Great mushrooms!

Have a wonderful holiday and a great New Year!

redactedrecipes said...

Excellent interpretation!

Ann

Pille said...

I love the way you've piled several 'logs' on top of each other :)

S- said...

Thanks Nora, I hope you and yours had a lovely Christmas as well. Great looking desserts!

Deborah said...

This sounds delicious! What a great idea to use ice cream as the filling!!

Margaret said...

I've really enjoyed looking at everyones take on your Daring Bakers Challenge. How different they all are.
I love everything mini and so I fell in love with yours immediately.
Happy New Year. Mx

Mansi Desai said...

wow, all these yule logs floating around are just so tempting! I am glad i discovered your site! please check mine if you ahve some time:)

Happy Holidays!!

Gloria said...

Nora I saw you have a lot of posts but I want to tell you I find so lovely your yule logs!!! Have a nice Holidays and a beuty Happy New year!! xx Gloria

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Oh, I love the vertical design of the logs. It's so attractive!

Dolores said...

What an intriguing interpretation... and an amazing presentation of this month's challenge recipe. I hope your Christmas celebration was filled with joy and peace, and that 2008 brings you health and happiness, laughter and love.

creampuff said...

Wow, ra! I love it all ... the look of them and especially the ice cream. Well done!

Julius said...

What a great idea to stack the logs. It looks beautiful!

Happy Holidays.

Julius from Occasional Baker

WokandSpoon said...

Great looking logs! Hope you're enjoying the festive season!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Gorgeous Nora! Love the idea of an ice cream filling and the black forest flavours.

winedeb said...

Happy New Year Nora! Here I thought you were in Australia and when I watched the news this morning they showed the fire works in Sydney. I thought to myself, wow Nora is celebrating 2008! Here you are with family in Singapore! Oh my! Well, Happy New Year to you and your family and I look forward to all of our fun posts in 2008! Stay cool!
My best to you!
Deb

Jen Yu said...

That is the most adorable wood pile I've ever seen!!! I love your idea, so totally cute and creative. Happy new year :)

jen at use real butter

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a wonderful job on the yule logs. I love the stacked presentation.

Happy New Year!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Eva said...

Nora, you've pulled off this challenge in a marvellous way! I'm sure the ice cream logs went down well in Sydney's summer heat! I'm still disappointed with myself but there was no way I could have participated... I even had to do my Christmas baking in some backpacker kitchen in New Zealand without having a recipe nor scales or measuring cups...
Anyway, I'm happy to see that you've enjoyed the kirsch!

maybahay said...

fabulous idea with using ice cream for filling. looks great!

Christina said...

Wow, Nora! What a brilliant idea to make mini yule logs! Great pictures, too.

Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats