Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New project for Christmas Eve Feast - pt 3

Came home early from work today to start the next stage of making the Yule Log - the cake itself! This is more elaborate than just opening a box of powdered mix and adding some liquid ingredients. Or even more than some from-scratch mixes - I guess because this is a "sponge cake"? That means folding things into whipped things - not something I'm fond off just because I'm paranoid I'm over folding... We'll see.

So you start with four egg whites...

And whip 'em real good!

And they're supposed to TRIPLE in volume!

The flavoring called for was vanilla. I opted for some vanilla bean paste instead. See the black flecks? Those are seeds. Sure smells GOOOOOD!

And then you fold in your dry ingredients in three stages - that's mostly cocoa and cake flour. Oh, and the last folding in gets clarified butter added as well. I really don't understand what the difference would be in the end result if I just added plain ol' melted butter, OR if I did it as instructed (which I did) and removed the foam from the top of the melted butter, PLUS the thicker white liquid from the bottom of the melted butter. Whatever - I played along and did as told.

Once that's all done you spread the foaming-but-flattening-rapidly mixture into a buttered- then- parchment- papered- then- buttered- again- plus- floured pan, and bake til it springs back in the middle. I have to admit - I was nervous about how pale this "chocolate genoise" (how do you say that!?) turned out!

The filling is supposed to be a chocolate mousse.

  1. I'm not a big fan of light and airy mousses. (Meese?) Too light and airy.
  2. I'm not a big fan of the taste of this particular mousse - kinda bitter!
Well, we'll see what happens - here's the components that get folded together (and then you whip cream and fold that in as well). Seriously - this is sitting in the fridge and I WILL pitch it if I think it doesn't taste good. I was kinda thinking of going with a brandied whipped cream - and maybe stabilizing it, which I've never done before.

Once the cake has cooled in it's pan, you trim the edges to make it easier to work with, dust with cocoa, cover with wax paper AND a damp kitchen towel, flip it over, remove the pan, peel off the baked-on parchment paper (remember, I buttered and floured it), dust with cocoa, roll up and stick it in the fridge for awhile. Here's where I started praying to the baking gods, promising them I'd never ever ever again use margarine or Crisco if they did right by me here...

I have to admit, it's a very light cake, AND it's a bit darker than the top implied.

Now honestly, this makes my countertop look filthy, but YOU try flipping out a cake, doing all that dusting with cocoa, and rolling up a chocolate cake without getting some crumbs here and there. I think I need a shower now! LOL

And so it's been sitting in the fridge for awhile. I need to go see about starting the next stage soon I guess, eh?

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