Saturday, December 20, 2008

Let's Party!

"It's the Season to be Jolly, Fa lah lah lah lah, lah lah lah lah"...okay enough singing already! Sorry just couldn't help that wonderful feeling of Christmas in me, it always makes me so happy! Christmas brings people together, sharing time, love, gifts and of course yummy food. ;) I just had a wonderful Christmas party @ a friend's house and believe me when I say the only thing that bothered me was how come it has to come to an end so soon?!
Anyway, it was a potluck party, so everyone brings something delicious to share. For me I made a Christmas Log cake. Spent the whole Friday evening and Saturday morning making this piece of log, haha. But the result was satisfactory. ;)
I got the recipe from the cook book "Essentials of Baking" from William Sonoma. Basically I used the recipe into 2 smaller separate chocolate sponge cake using a 8 by 11 inch baking pan. One of the log I cut into 3 equal sections, one section to join to the other log while the other 2 sections on each side of the log. I used the same vanilla whipped cream filling with fresh strawberries like the previous post of Strawberry Swiss Roll. Anyway, here's the recipe:

Ingredients For Sponge Cake:
45g cornflour
45g cake flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
5 large eggs, separated

90g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (essence)

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  • Butter a 8" by 11" baking pan, line with parchment paper, grease again and dust with plain flour.
  • Sift both flours, cocoa powder and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine egg yolks and 3 tbsp of sugar, beat mixture using a metal whisk until light in color, thickens and doubles in volume.
  • In a stand mixer, add egg white and reminding sugar until mixture reaches stiff peaks.
  • Fold in 1/3 of the white mixture into the yolk-sugar mixture.
  • Fold in 1/3 of the dry ingredients into mixture, fold in another third of whites, followed by the reminding dry ingredients. Finally fold in the remaining white just until combined.
  • Pour 1/2 of the batter into prepared pan and spread evenly using spatula and bake the cake until it puffs up and feels slightly firm to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Transfer on rack to cool completely in the pan.
  • Repeat with the 2nd half of the batter.
Ingredients for Rich Chocolate Buttercream (makes 500ml):
4 large egg yolks
125g of sugar
60ml water
250g unsalted butter, room temperature
90g of bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla essence

  • Using a wire whisk, stir the egg yolks gently and set aside.
  • In a saucepan, add sugar and water and bring to a boil. Cover and boil for 1 minute.
  • Uncover and continue to boil until syrup reaches soft-ball stage, or 115 on a candy thermometer. (to test without using a thermometer, scoop up a few drops of the syrup and drop in a bowl of ice water, When trap between the fingers, should be to form a pliable ball.)
  • Once the syrup is ready, slowing adding it to the egg yolk mixture while whisking the mixture continuously. Whisk vigorously until all the syrup has been incorporated.
  • Continue to whisk until mixture is smooth and satin, if it curdles, warm it slightly over hot water, continue to whisk, it should smooth out.
  • Add vanilla essence and melted chocolate and stir well.
  • Using a mixture, beat the butter into the egg yolk mixture until all blended and smooth.
A snap shot of the delicious food everyone brought to the party (besides the cookies).

The roast chicken was super moist and delicious! Pasta was a great hit with all the kids, especially mine! Tiramisu was very flavorful and moist too. There's also a lovely quiche and some ordered pizza. Compliments to the great home chefs!

A short innocent story about the Christmas figurines...All the food was gone really fast, hungry or delicious, it was all worth the effort I must say. ;)

Oops, have I babble too much again... I think this post is getting too long, so let me continue the Christmas Cookie Exchange in the next post...

" Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving,
make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!"


preciousgurl said...

Hi Bee,

I tried to make the rich chocolate buttercream icing but it didn't work for me. It came out out liquid. I followed your steps and added in the melted chocolate last. Can you tell me what went wrong? Thanks.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi preciousgurl,
First of all, I apologies for missing out the step of adding the melted chocolate. Did you make sure the syrup solution reaches soft-ball stage? I think the cooled melted chocolate should be added before the butter. Sorry, my recipe book happens to be inside boxes now as I'm shifting house very soon and cannot be too sure about it. But I do remember this buttercream was quite runny under warm temp and it needs to be chilled once it's made or iced over the cake. Note that even your cake has to be chilled when icing the buttercream on it. Make sure it's relatively hard to the touch before removing from the fridge and serving it or bringing it else where. Good luck!

preciousgurl said...

oh i didn't know it needed to be chilled first. the syrup turned out good. anyway, thanks for the tips again. i will try it again.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Sorry preciousgurl, should have mention this important point about chilling the butter cream and the cake in my recipe. Hope the next time you make it will work out better. Good luck!