Yule Log

December 22nd, 2007


That is when you know you’re making a good cake.

This was my first time making genoise, my first time making buttercream frosting, my first time piping meringue, and my first Daring Bakers challenge!  I was really intimidated by this recipe, but everything went smoothly.  The genoise was really easy to make, the buttercream came together perfectly, and piping the meringues was a huge mess but, in the end, they still looked great!  Here’s the finished product:


The genoise turned out puffy and lovely — I baked it in a tart dish lined with parchment paper, because I was cutting the recipe in half and didn’t have a jelly roll pan that would be the right size!  But the tart dish worked fine.

What else?  I started with a set recipe (below) and then tweaked it a little bit.  I only made 1/3 of the recipe for the genoise cake, and 1/2 the recipe for the buttercream and meringue.  I flavored the frosting with tia maria (coffee liqueur) and cocoa powder, so it was a mocha buttercream frosting.  Delicious!

Piping the meringue was a huge mess! The mushrooms turned out ok, but it got all over my hands, the pastry tip fell off a bunch of times, and the meringue mixture came out the top of the bag instead of going out the piping end! I need some major practice on that front. But the finished product was still gobbled up, so no harm done.


Yule Log:

Plain Genoise:

3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
¾ cup of sugar
½ cup cake flour – spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off (also known as cake & pastry flour)
¼ cup cornstarch

1.Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
2.Half-fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat so the water is simmering.
3.Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, salt and sugar together in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Place over the pan of simmering water and whisk gently until the mixture is just lukewarm, about 100 degrees if you have a thermometer (or test with your finger – it should be warm to the touch).
4.Attach the bowl to the mixer and, with the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until the egg mixture is cooled (touch the outside of the bowl to tell) and tripled in volume. The egg foam will be thick and will form a slowly dissolving ribbon falling back onto the bowl of whipped eggs when the whisk is lifted.
5.While the eggs are whipping, stir together the flour and cornstarch.
6.Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the beaten eggs. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture, making sure to scrape all the way to the bottom of the bowl on every pass through the batter to prevent the flour mixture from accumulating there and making lumps. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture and finally with the remainder.
7.Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
8.Bake the genoise for about 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure the cake doesn’t overbake and become too dry or it will not roll properly.
9.While the cake is baking, begin making the buttercream.
10.Once the cake is done (a tester will come out clean and if you press the cake lightly it will spring back), remove it from the oven and let it cool on a rack.

Coffee Buttercream:

4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
24 tablespoons (3 sticks or 1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons rum or brandy

1.Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Set the bowl over simmering water and whisk gently until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
2.Attach the bowl to the mixer and whip with the whisk on medium speed until cooled. Switch to the paddle and beat in the softened butter and continue beating until the buttercream is smooth. Dissolve the instant coffee in the liquor and beat into the buttercream.

Meringue Mushrooms:

3 large egg whites, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup (3-1/2 ounces/105 g.) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (1-1/3 ounces/40 g.) icing sugar
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

1.Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Have ready a pastry bag fitted with a small (no. 6) plain tip. In a bowl, using a mixer on medium-low speed, beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar until very foamy. Slowly add the granulated sugar while beating. Increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Continue until the whites hold stiff, shiny peaks. Sift the icing sugar over the whites and, using a rubber spatula, fold in until well blended.
2.Scoop the mixture into the bag. On one baking sheet, pipe 48 stems, each ½ inch (12 mm.) wide at the base and tapering off to a point at the top, ¾ inch (2 cm.) tall, and spaced about ½ inch (12 mm.) apart. On the other sheet, pipe 48 mounds for the tops, each about 1-1/4 inches (3 cm.) wide and ¾ inch (2 cm.) high, also spaced ½ inch (12 mm.) apart. With a damp fingertip, gently smooth any pointy tips. Dust with cocoa. Reserve the remaining meringue.
3.Bake until dry and firm enough to lift off the paper, 50-55 minutes. Set the pans on the counter and turn the mounds flat side up. With the tip of a knife, carefully make a small hole in the flat side of each mound. Pipe small dabs of the remaining meringue into the holes and insert the stems tip first. Return to the oven until completely dry, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool completely on the sheets.

Tags: desserts · food

34 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lewis // Dec 22, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    Beautiful log Katy!  That is an interesting baking pan you have there and your mushrooms look fabulous!

  • 2 Gigi // Dec 22, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    Nicely done!

  • 3 MrsPresley // Dec 22, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    congrats on your first DB challenge! i haven’t been daring enough to join yet so kudos to you for challenging yourself. it looks great!

  • 4 MrsPresley // Dec 22, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    i forgot to mention that the best pic in this post is the “action shot” you got of your dog trying to snag a piece of cake! 😉

  • 5 Michelle // Dec 22, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    Love the photo with your puppy! So cute! And a lovely yule log, too. Happy Holidays!

  • 6 Ann // Dec 22, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    Looks beautiful, Katy!

  • 7 Beth G // Dec 22, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    I love the dog-lickin’ pic!! Fantastic~ your Yule Log looks fab! :O)

  • 8 LizG // Dec 22, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    Looking great, Katy! Well done on your first challenge. Welcome to DB.

  • 9 kate // Dec 23, 2007 at 6:15 am

    love the first pic of your dog trying to get to the cake … hehe so sweet ! Thanks for dropping by my blog, i love what u have going on here, n wow how do u manage , law n cooking !!!

  • 10 MyKitchenInHalfCups // Dec 23, 2007 at 8:21 am

    Katy I took one look at that first photo and was dumb founded: the puppy’s tongue is priceless but I thought there is just no way you’ll roll that cake. . .  but it worked!  I really loved this butter cream!  Lucky I had to give mine away, save a lot of calories!
    Beautiful job and welcome to the DBs.

  • 11 Susan // Dec 23, 2007 at 11:00 am

    Your dog knows what’s good! Beautifully done, welcome to Daring Bakers!

  • 12 Tartelette // Dec 23, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    You did a great job on your first challenge! The is nice and fluffy and I bet that buttercream was delicious with your additions.  Your dog is adorable!
    Happy Holydays!

  • 13 katy // Dec 23, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks so much everyone!!!  I am excited to see what next month’s recipe will be!

    PS — Tanna, I rolled the cake about 30 seconds after taking that picture, while it was still hot and pliable!

  • 14 Morven // Dec 23, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Great log and your kitchen helper is adorable!

  • 15 greysaltismyfavorite // Dec 23, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    You did a really great job with the yule log. It looks really good.

  • 16 Julius // Dec 23, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    That picture of your dog is so cute!  Made me laugh.

    Congrats on a beautiful yule log.


  • 17 brilynn // Dec 23, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Your genoise looks so fluffy!  Nicely done!

  • 18 Sheltie Girl // Dec 24, 2007 at 12:02 am

    You did a lovely job on your yule log.  I love the picture of your dog.  It’s too cute.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  • 19 Kok // Dec 24, 2007 at 2:28 am

    Wow, lovely log!

    Wish you and your family a Merry X’mas and a Happy New Year!:)

  • 20 LP // Dec 24, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    Your buttercream looks delicious.  Everything just looks so fluffy and beautiful.  Great Job!

  • 21 katy // Dec 24, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    Thanks so much everyone, and happy holidays!!!

  • 22 Claire // Dec 25, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    Despite messes, this looks great!

  • 23 Lynn // Dec 25, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    Congratulations on your first DB challenge. You did a wonderful job making your log look beautiful and delicious.

  • 24 Jenny // Dec 26, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    Nicely done on your first challenge!

  • 25 Gretchen Noelle // Dec 27, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    What a great shot of your dog! The yule log looks very tasty! Congrats on your first DB challenge!

  • 26 Deborah // Dec 28, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    The picture of your dog is hilarious!!  Great job on your first DB challenge!

  • 27 Molly // Dec 28, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    What a lovely little cake you have made.  It does looks best in the last shot.  I can see all the yumminess.

  • 28 Jen Yu // Dec 31, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Awesome job on the yule log.  I absolutely love the picture of your pup trying to get at the cake 🙂 So cute!  Happy new year.

  • 29 Danielle // Jan 3, 2008 at 8:19 am

    That dog tongue photo is just too cute!

  • 30 Dolores // Jan 7, 2008 at 1:02 am

    I’m betting the pup was after the butter cream… 🙂

    Beautiful job with this one… great job re-sizing it. I need to get better with that…

    Happy New Year!

  • 31 Christina // Jan 7, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Beautiful frosting, it looks very silky! And how adorable is your dog!

    Well done on your first challenge and welcome to the DBers!

  • 32 Shayne // Jan 10, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    that photo reminds me of when our old dog took a big taste of our wedding cake.  He said it was good enough to serve.

  • 33 Maggie // May 1, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I love the picture with your dog!

  • 34 Opera Cake | sugarlaws // May 28, 2008 at 7:40 am

    […] recipe has been!  To jog your memory, the Daring Bakers recipes I’ve made have been the Yule Log, Lemon Meringue Pie, French Bread, Perfect Party Cake, and this post’s Opera Cake, but there […]

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