IN WHICH I BAKE
So I made the Gingerbread Buche de Noel from Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Yours Anywhere. It’s the latest recipe that my bake-a-long group is trying; you can see my other attempts here, here, and here. And more to come!
IN WHICH I ACHE
Can I just tell you? This cake took me half a day to make from start to finish. O.m.g. I’m tired now, and especially my arms are sore. Why are my arms sore? Because this is a Genoise-style cake, meaning that it rises due to air in the batter, as opposed to a rising agent. (Remember I talked about rising agents in my Fruitcake Smackdown?) So I had to beat the batter for a loooong time, to get all that air in. And since I only have a stand mixer and you needed both a stand mixer AND hand mixer, sore biceps and triceps were the result. On the right side, hey, I got a workout in my kitchen! I doubt I burned off all the calories in a single slice of that cake though, as it’s rich!
It’s a Yule Log cake, basically, with the cake part a gingerbread flavour. And then the filling is a very rich cream-cheese one, laced with pralines, and the whole thing is iced with a marshmallow frosting, and topped with more pralines. Quite delicious actually, and not too sweet. It just takes an eon to make!
If you want to make your own, here’s the recipe, along with a video. I halved the amounts and everything turned out perfectly. I can’t imagine how big the cake must be if the original quantities are used, but I guess it would be good for a family gathering or so.
IN WHICH I ATE
I served the Gingerbread Buche de Noel at a small dinner party that I hosted, and it was a hit! The verdict was that it was not too sweet, despite the marshmallow frosting. The crunch of the pralines was the perfect accompaniment to the pillowy icing and the spongy cake. The contrast of the tangy filling was nice too. If I made the recipe again (not anytime soon!), I would probably add a half cup of icing sugar to the filling, just to make it a little bit sweeter, but aside from that, it actually was pretty good as is. Ooh, I should say, when I made the icing, I left the sugar on the burner a tad too long, so there was a bit of a caramel flavour to frosting, but I think it actually enhanced the dessert. Mistakes — I make them, I eat them!
AND ATE SOME MORE
The cake is now gone. I know! I only started slicing the cake yesterday, but because I halved the recipe, it came out to a log of 6 slices. Perfect! Half for the dinner party, and half for me. Yes, half for me! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner today. Deeeelicious!
Next Post: Pan-fried Asparagus and Baby Tomatoes in Clarified Butter. Because yum. And then I’ll switch to salad. Lots of salad.
That looks delicious! I could use a slice with my cup of tea tonight.
So could I…because there’s no more left! *grin*
I do like the idea of eating the cake and burning it of as well! Your yule log looks beautiful.
Thanks so much, Rachelle! I don’t know if I managed to burn off the final three slices…but it was worth it! And I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. 🙂
Looks beautiful! And it’s so nice that it’s an easily halve-able recipe, too. Can’t believe you did some of the beating by hand, though – that must have been quite a workout!
Thanks! I was surprised that it was so easily halved too, but better for my waistline! And yes, my arms definitely ached after!
I was excited to see how to burn off all of the calories 🙂 I definitely used both of my mixers for this one. I’m definitely a cake for breakfast kind of girl! I’m glad you enjoyed this one.
Cake for breakfast wins the breakfast of champions contest every time! 🙂
I, too, agree that cake makes a fantastic breakfast…or snack…or any meal, really! what a lovely yule log!
Cake is just so good! And since this one isn’t sickly sweet, I can even (partially) convince myself that cream cheese and nuts make it healthy! (My nutritional delusions and I are quite happy together, thank you very much! 🙂
I impressed that you did this all with a hand mixer! Kudos & well done.
Aw, thanks! I definitely felt it in my arms the next day, though! *grin*
LOVED this cake–definitely not an easy thing to do, but so worth it. Yours looks great. One time I whipped cream in a bowl with a whisk just to be cool like chefs do. Ouch! Then I told a chef friend of mine and she said, “um, we most often let a mixer do that.” sigh
Cream with a whisk? Wow, that must have taken forever! Good on you for making it authentically!