My First Daring Bakers Challenge

mushroomsI had seen bloggers from all over the world post month after month delicious pictures and recipes on their blogs saying that it was that month’s Daring Bakers challenge. So, of course, I had to find out what they were talking about and participate. Finally, this month I joined the more than 400 members that every month sail to conquer a new baking challenge.

Because of the issues I’ve been having these last few weeks, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to complete my very first challenge. That made me very mad. However. this morning I decided that Yuletide (a.k.a. Christmas) only comes once a year and since we were meeting Jon’s dad for dinner tonight I had to make something for dessert. I got up early, went to the store to get some of the ingredients I was missing and got to work on my Yule log.

The rules to participate in each challenge are very specific. For this month we had to follow three recipes, one for the plain Genoise cake, one for the coffee buttercream frosting (I made it chocolate since Jon dislikes coffee) and one for the meringue or marzipan mushrooms (I chose marzipan) You can see the original recipe here.

So after many hours of measuring, whisking, mixing, sifting, stirring, baking, cutting, kneading and decorating this is what came out.






For the filling I whipped a cup of heavy cream with cinnamon, vanilla, confectioner’s sugar and chopped strawberries. It was the perfect combination for the chocolate buttercream. For decoration, besides the marzipan mushrooms, I used some green meringue for the pine needles (that’s what they are supposed to be in case you were wondering) some cherries and chopped toasted pecans and cocoa powder for the ground effect around the log. Everybody loved it. I thought the genoise cake was a little bit dry, but everyone else said it was just perfect.

This is a cake I will be making again soon (though maybe not the mushrooms) for dinners, parties and just to impress my friends. I can’t wait to find out what the next challenge will be. Are you a daring baker?



  • […] Here’s another interesting post I read today by Ben […]

  • Your bûche de Noël is spectacular.

    Congrats on becoming a Daring Baker!

    Julius from Occasional Baker

  • You did a wonderful job on your first challenge. Congratulations and Happy Holidays!

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  • Your yule log turned out beautifully! Happy holidays!

  • woohoo!! job very well done! congrats on your first DB challenge. it looks like it was a great success!

    happy holidays :)

  • Beautiful ob on your first challenge! Very impressive!
    Welcome to the Daring Bakers!
    Happy holidays to you and your loved ones!

  • hey i got around to joining the daring bakers much in the same way! and the yule log was my first challenge as well! glad everyone liked it!
    Happy Hols!

  • Congrats on your first challenge. Good job! If you do it again, try meringue mushrooms…those were the hit of my cake.

  • Oh you did an excellent job, Ben. Merry Christmas.

  • Wonderful job on your first challenge! You filling sounds heavenly!

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