Daring Bakers take on the Yule Log


While the tradition of the Yule Log is most closely associated with Christmas, the practice of burning a Yule Log dates back to celebrations of the Winter Solstice in Scandinavia.

The burning of the Yule Log became part of the celebrations of Midwinter. The Yule Log came to represent life, prosperity, warmth, protection and light during the dark winter.

Over the centuries, this tradition was carried on in some form by virtually ever European culture. At some point in the 18th or 19th century, the French transformed the tradition into an edible version with the Buche de Noel.

In High School I actually made a couple Buche de Noels for French class. They were nothing like this one. I never made meringue mushrooms or “real” buttercream. Those would definitely be a challenge for me!

I set out to make my Yule Log the afternoon of a holiday party we were going to attend. I decided to make the genoise chocolate and to fill it with raspberry preserves and buttercream. I wasn’t crazy about the coffee flavored buttercream frosting, but everyone else really liked the combination of flavors.

Overall, the Yule log was not overly difficult to make or assembly, but again, I wasn’t crazy about the exterior frosting, so if I made it again, I’d definitely make a chocolate frosting.

Yule Log(from Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri and The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Dessert)

Hosts: Daring Baker Founders Ivonne (Cream Puffs in Venice) and Lisa (La Mia Cucina)

Recipe Quantity: Serves 12

Cake should be stored in a cool, dry place. Leftovers should be refrigerated

Recipes:
Plain Genoise:
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
¾ cup of sugar
½ cup cake flour
¼ cup cornstarchone
(1) 10 x 15 inch jelly-roll pan that has been buttered and lined with parchment paper and then buttered again

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.

Assembling the Yule Log:

1.Run a sharp knife around the edges of the genoise to loosen it from the pan.

2.Turn the genoise layer over (unmolding it from the sheet pan onto a flat surface) and peel away the paper.

3.Carefully invert your genoise onto a fresh piece of parchment paper.

4.Spread with half the coffee buttercream (or whatever filling you’re using).

5.Use the parchment paper to help you roll the cake into a tight cylinder.

6.Transfer back to the baking sheet and refrigerate for several hours.

7.Unwrap the cake. Trim the ends on the diagonal, starting the cuts about 2 inches away from each end.

8.Position the larger cut piece on each log about 2/3 across the top.

9.Cover the log with the reserved buttercream, making sure to curve around the protruding stump.

10.Streak the buttercream with a fork or decorating comb to resemble bark.

11.Transfer the log to a platter and decorate with your mushrooms and whatever other decorations you’ve chosen.

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20 Responses to “Cookie Dough Brownies”

  1. #
    1
    stephchows — December 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    this is such a fantastic idea!! I would make cookie dough batter with my friends in middle school… leave out the eggs, and just eat it with a spoon LOL so good!

  2. #
    2
    nutmegnanny — December 7, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    This looks awesome! Since I’m a huge fan of cookie dough I know I will love this recipe 🙂

  3. #
    3
    Lauren — December 7, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Ha – my husband loves the dough more than the cookie as well. I starred these – DEFINITELY making them soon.

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    4
    We Are Not Martha — December 7, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Oooh these look delicious!! And combine the best of 2 worlds 🙂

    Sues

  5. #
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    laurasrecipecollection — December 8, 2009 at 12:17 am

    holy cow! cookie dough + brownie? I think I’m in heaven

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    Justin — December 8, 2009 at 4:21 am

    what a cool idea for the cookie dough layer. i used to make raw cookie dough (with egg beaters) and keep it in the freezer just for snacking

  7. #
    7
    oneordinaryday — December 8, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Yum. I made a similar recipe but I put a thin chocolate ganache on top. It’s one of the best recipes I’ve posted, but I’m a sucker for that raw dough.

    I think I might have to agree with your bro and hubby. I love chocolate chip cookies, but it’s the dough that makes me weak in the knees! This recipe is right up my alley.

  8. #
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    Jelli Bean — December 8, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    These look great! I also let my husband lick the beaters, but occasionally I slink behind the counter beside the sink and keep all the batter for myself. He’s usually too involved with TV to even notice.

  9. #
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    Ingrid — December 10, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    LOL, oh my gosh! I just noticed this had a anti-Weight Watchers label. How funny!

    Those look insanely good!!Thanks for sharing the recipe!
    ~ingrid

  10. #
    10
    e — December 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    My high school made cookie dough covered brownies back in the day. They had a cult following and always sold out before the last lunch period. I never understood why you needed the brownie when a spoon works just fine.

  11. #
    11
    laquillen — December 11, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Oh man. So sinful. Reminds me of the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream “Half Baked. Half brownie, half cookie dough. I can’t say no to that stuff.

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    whatwelovemost — December 11, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Yummmm!! Oh my goodnessIsao adore cookie dough… This combination is beautiful!

  13. #
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    Peggy — December 13, 2009 at 11:46 am

    sounds delicious!

  14. #
    14
    Miss Yunks — December 15, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    these brownies looked so good I tried to make them myself! I love cookie dough AND brownies – perfect combo! Yours look much better of course. Here are mine: http://foodiesatworkdotcom.blogspot.com/2009/12/cookie-dough-brownies.html

  15. #
    15
    Liesl — December 15, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    YUM! These sound great!

  16. #
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    A & W — December 30, 2009 at 8:53 am

    AHHHH these look amaaazzzinnngggg. A little late in finding these but yeah I’m gonna need to make them.
    -Whitney

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    17
    A & W — December 30, 2009 at 8:53 am

    AHHHH these look amaaazzzinnngggg. A little late in finding these but yeah I’m gonna need to make them.
    -Whitney

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    18
    bcallegra — January 11, 2010 at 12:27 am

    I just made these and they got rave reviews at work! Definitely a keeper – thanks, as always, for sharing a great recipe and photos!

  19. #
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    Jade — April 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    The best of both worlds!! These look awesome.

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    PIYALI CHATTERJEE — October 19, 2016 at 12:20 am

    AWESOME,,,,,,,,,,,,Thank you.

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