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 […]

  • What a beautiful log, congratulations on your first DB challenge! Welcome to the club :)

  • Welcome to the Daring Bakers, Ben!

    Your log is terrific! I love the decoration! =)

    Happy holidays to you and yours!


  • Wonderful job on your first challenge!! It looks great!

  • Great job on your first challenge. The strawberries sound like a tasty addition.

  • wow, that yule log sure looks inviting, but i agree with skipping the mushrooms:) DB is a great group, and I’m always looking forward to their challenges!

  • Great looking yule log. I like those pine needles and other creative accents. Wonderful first challenge. Wendy

  • Glad to see this blog is getting better every day. Your “bûche de Noël” looks really delicious! I loved the first picture. By the way, what “issues” are you taking about??? Are you getting divorced? =P When is your other blog coming back?

  • I’m so glad you were able to make the yule log – it looks fabulous. Congratulations on your first challenge and welcome to the Daring Bakers! :)

  • Yay Ben! Your Yule Log sounds so tasty! I love the combination of strawberries and chocolate. And I’d be tempted to give this another “roll” as long as I didn’t have to create a log. Cheers to you for braving the grocery store to gather up your last few ingredients and getting it all together. I’m loving the “greenery!” Very clever. And CONGRATS on being a Daring Baker. W00T!

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