This week's TWD choice from Baking Chez Moi was a recipe I approached with some trepidation; there were multiple components to this dessert, some involving some rather tricky (for me) techniques. But at the same time, I looked forward to the challenge...improving my baking skills was one of my reasons for joining this group after all so I forged ahead.
Well, it seems I needn't have worried since Dorie managed to guide me through the steps that concerned me most. I didn't burn the caramel for the pralines, I didn't deflate my sponge cake batter (too much) while trying to incorporate all of those pesky flour pockets and though it was perhaps a tad over baked at 13 minutes in my oven, the cake didn't break apart when I rolled it. Dorie told me not to worry about the cracks so I didn't, and armed with my trusty instant read thermometer, even the dreaded marshmallow frosting (that I made with only three egg whites) turned out.
The result was a delicious Bûche de Noël made of a moist, lightly spiced cake, filled with a tangy, creamy filling and decorated with an ethereal whipped frosting studded with crunchy pecan pralines. I took a torch to the frosting since I think marshmallows are at their best toasted - actually just an excuse to play
with one of my kitchen toys ;)!
This was my contribution to a dessert buffet and it was very well received, one of the first to disappear. Many commented that it wasn't overly sweet with the tangy filling a great
counterpoint to the sweetness of the other elements and that it was quite light. Dorie says to serve it chilled, but it ended up served at room temperature. It held up well and I actually preferred it this way with the filling and cake a softer texture and the spice flavours a little more pronounced. I would definitely make this again.
Visit TWD to see everyone else's lovely cakes.