Tuesday, December 30, 2008
On Turning 24 and the ensuing chaos
Last Christmas, I turned 24.
Yes, you read right. My birthday falls on the most joyful day of the year. But I do not know if receiving only one present per year instead of two is so joyful after all. J is the only one who gives me a mid-year present to compensate for it. (Does it take that many guesses to find out why I stay with him?)
But seriously. Because I had more than my fair share of baking to do this Christmas---mostly for the party at J's parents house on Boxing Day---I decided that the French buche de noel, the December Challenge for Daring Bakers, can multi-task as my birthday cake.
I was really looking forward to this challenge, and decided on the following component to complement the warm Australian Christmas:
-Cinnamon and vanilla creme brulee
-Coconut crisp insert
-Cinnamon-milk ganache insert
-White chocolate icing
Everything went well until the day I took the log out of the mold to glaze. First, the icing quantity specified in the recipe proved too little to sufficiently cover the log. So, being a smartass, I made another batch and though: It should be fine if I cover it with another layer. Well, guess not.
My icing got too heavy and slipped down the sides of the cake. So in the end I had to trim off the icing on the sides with a palette knife and cover the whole thing in dessicated coconut to mask its ugliness. Oh, but wait, there's more.
While I was defrosting my log, I noticed that the mango mousse started to resemble a very runny mango custard, and was behaving in the same way. When I lifted it up, the upper half started to slide around a bit, and right then I knew that I should have gone out to buy some gold-strength gelatin leaves instead of being so cocksure that titanium-strength ones would do the same job. So, long story short: I ended up serving mango goo to people at Christmas. Thank God family (and boyfriend) do not judge.
This month's challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux.
They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand