Gingerbread Buche de Noel

26 Dec

A little preface to the baking post this time…To a baker, what could be worse than your stand mixer (in this case a Kitchenaid mixer) developing problems less than a week before Christmas? Oh, perhaps the oven dying, but that’s probably it! And, yep, halfway through the beating of the eggs and brown sugar for this beauty, the balloon whisk began hitting the side of the bowl. Then it hung up completely! I tried adjusting that little screw they tell you to adjust, to no avail. Luckily for me, I have two Kitchenaid mixers, but this larger 6-quart professional is really my go-to anytime I need to beat eggs. So, into the smaller one the nearly beaten eggs went and I really do think I watched them deflate. So began my Buche de Noel adventure.

I’m really not one to be deterred (I once “workshopped” angel food cake recipes six times in one day in order to bake the perfect angel food cake), so I decided to complete the cake part with these eggs. (I could always make another one, if the cake didn’t turn out, right?) And, I think the cake part turned out “OK,” if a bit flat – but it’s going to be rolled, right? Thank goodness Dorie mentioned that on the initial rolling not to be concerned if the cake cracked, because mine did!

I was a little concerned about the filling not having any sugar, but I also believe in “trusting the recipe”. The only change I’d make the next time is to perhaps make a little more filling. I managed to spread filling over the entire cake part, albeit a thin coating – not exactly what I would refer to as “filling”.

And then the frosting. Let me begin by saying I love Dorie Greenspan. And, Dorie seems to love Italian meringue – particularly for frostings. I, on the other hand, have a love/hate relationship with these frostings. I love how beautiful they are, that they are light and don’t take away from flavor of the cake, and how much they make! However, I have an almost irrational fear of the whole hot sugar syrup aspect of them. Somewhere in the primitive part of my brain is a little voice that says, “You’re going to burn yourself….” Thus, the hate.

And, to finalize my “love affair” with Dorie Greenspan, never have I had recipes that so consistently turn out looking  just like Dorie’s pictures!


An afterthought: I did watch the video that was posted in julessomeone’s last post. And, it seems that the mixer fiasco I wrote about at the beginning of this post had no bearing on the cake’s outcome. My cake looked remarkably like the one that Dorie and Melissa flipped out of the baking sheet – for some reason, I thought it was supposed to be a puffier cake!


11 Responses to “Gingerbread Buche de Noel”

  1. Leah December 27, 2014 at 4:20 am #

    Your cake looks great! I was worried about the lack of sugar in the filling too, but once I chopped the pralines, there was actually a lot of sugar in that pile of nuts!

  2. teaandscones December 27, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

    Despite your kitchen disasters the cake came out perfectly. Thanks to Dorie’s never fail recipes.

  3. Adriana @ GreatFood360° December 28, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    Folding in the flour without deflating the cake was definitely the toughest part of the recipe for me.

  4. Zosia December 28, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    Oh no…a broken stand mixer! I empathize completely. I’m glad you had a back up mixer to help you turn out that beautiful cake (I kept my little kitchenaid classic when I upgraded for that very reason)

  5. goldenlifephx December 28, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    Kudos for getting this done with the mixer issues. You can’t tell at all from the final product-looks great.

  6. Rachelle December 29, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    I was smiling throughout reading your post. So true about the hot sugar aspect. I found myself reading the directions on the candy thermometer and it clearly stated not to handle with bare hands… of course it wasn’t hot in the beginning! Take my word for it, they are correct ;0)
    Wishing you the best in the New Year!

  7. Peggy the Baker December 30, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    Having a back-up mixer seems like an excellent idea. And I agree that only having the oven break could be worse–or maybe having a plumbing catastrophe. Here’s hoping we all have disaster-free new year!

  8. Teresa January 5, 2015 at 6:31 am #

    I agree with Leah, the praline bits were the sugar in the filling! My mother’s KitchenAid started having issues at Christmastime, too. The pin that holds the top of the mixer from the bottom started working loose. I think we managed to fix it, though. Your finished cake looks perfect, so the mixer fiasco can’t have troubled it too much.

  9. Margaret January 6, 2015 at 1:39 am #

    A back-up mixer — brilliant! You can tell you’re a true baker when… *grin*

  10. Cher January 7, 2015 at 5:36 pm #

    I would cry if my mixer went (real tears, not the hyperbolic kind) – an immediate trip for a replacement would probably have to happen…
    You had me on the edge of my seat – glad it all worked out.
    Happy New Year!

  11. scaryladyatho January 7, 2015 at 7:33 pm #

    Just to set everyone’s minds at ease, a telephone call to KitchenAid had me talked through an adjustment and tomorrow I’ll be trying it out to see if it really is fixed. If it can mix calzone shells, it’s fixed! More later.

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