This time, the cake turned out just as it was supposed to, which was a lucky thing since I was out of eggs.
I used a recipe from Dorie's Baking From My Home to Yours to make my chocolate ganache. It came out great, but was there ever any doubt? Her recipes always come out great.
Then.....the buttercream. I was a nervous wreck over making the coffee buttercream! I have made many a fabulous buttercream, but never using this method. After reading about all of the trouble some of my DB colleagues had, I was scared $%&#less! I proceeded with extreme caution, (especially after the genoise incident). Well, by the time I was finished with this component of the challenge, I was ready to drink that Kahlua straight from the bottle! Yes, you guessed it. My buttercream curdled. Thank God, for the experience of some of the other DBers! I put that sucker back over the simmering water and whisked as if my life depended on it. Then, I put another stick of butter in and whipped it up a bit in the Kitchenaid. It pulled together and got all smooth and creamy. Hurrah!
Adapted from Nick Malgieri's Perfect Cakes
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
¾ cup of sugar
½ cup cake flour - spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off (also known as cake & pastry flour)
¼ cup cornstarch
1 10 x 15 inch jelly-roll pan that has been buttered and lined with parchment paper and then buttered again
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).
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.
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 (I substituted Kahlua coffee liqueur for this.)
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.
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.
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
8 ounces almond paste
2 cups icing sugar
3 to 5 tablespoons light corn syrup
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup + 2 tbsp heavy
cream 1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
1. Put chocolate pieces into a heat proof bowl.
2. Heat cream in a small saucepan until boiling.
3. Pour half of the cream over the chocolate. Wait 30 seconds and stir gently in small circles. Add the rest of the cream and stir. Add the butter and continue to mix until shiny and smooth.