SIL­VER & GOLD YULE LOG

Better Homes & Gardens - - Food -

HANDS-ON TIME 50 min.

TO­TAL TIME 4 hr. 50 min., in­cludes cool­ing

Al­mond Sponge Cake

4 large eggs, at room tem­per­a­ture ¹∕3 cup sugar ¹∕2 tsp. vanilla 1 cup al­mond flour (al­mond meal) ¹∕2 cup all-pur­pose flour ¹∕é tsp. bak­ing pow­der

Al­mond Pra­line

¹∕2 cup sugar 1 tsp. light-color corn syrup ¹∕2 cup sliv­ered al­monds, lightly toasted (tip, page 117)

Swiss But­ter­cream

²∕3 cup egg whites (5 eggs), at room tem­per­a­ture 2 cups sugar 1 lb. un­salted but­ter (4 sticks), cut into 2-Tbsp. pieces, at room tem­per­a­ture 1 tsp. vanilla Gar­nishes 2 Tbsp. oz. white choco­late, melted Gold ed­i­ble lus­ter dust (op­tional)

Sil­ver, gold, and white dragées and/or large non­pareils

AL­MOND SPONGE CAKE

1. Pre­heat oven to 375°F. But­ter a 15×10-inch bak­ing pan, line with parch­ment pa­per, then but­ter pa­per.

2. In a large mix­ing bowl beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla with a mixer on high 7 to 9 min­utes or un­til light, fluffy, and tripled in vol­ume. 3. In a small bowl whisk to­gether flours and bak­ing pow­der. Gen­tly fold half the flour mix­ture into the egg mix­ture; re­peat with re­main­ing flour mix­ture. Spread bat­ter evenly into pre­pared pan.

4. Bake 12 min­utes or un­til cake is set and lightly golden. Use a small knife to loosen edges of the cake.

5. Lay a clean kitchen towel on a work sur­face; gen­er­ously dust with pow­dered sugar. Quickly in­vert hot cake onto towel. Peel off parch­ment pa­per and roll hot cake and towel into a log start­ing at a short end (see how-tos, page 120). Let cool com­pletely on a wire rack.

AL­MOND PRA­LINE

1. In a large skil­let cook sugar,

2 Tbsp. wa­ter, and the corn syrup over medium-high with­out stir­ring 2 min­utes or un­til melted and show­ing signs of carameliz­ing (be­gin­ning to brown). Stir; cook 3 to 4 min­utes more or un­til evenly dark and start­ing to smoke. Re­move from heat; stir in al­monds and a pinch of salt. Pour mix­ture onto a sil­i­cone bak­ing mat or lightly but­tered parch­ment pa­per; let cool.

2. Break into pieces and place in a food pro­ces­sor; pulse un­til chopped into pieces no larger than pine nuts. Store in an air­tight con­tainer in a cool, dry place up to 1 day.

SWISS BUT­TER­CREAM

1. In a large heat­proof bowl whisk to­gether egg whites and sugar. (Mix­ture will be thick and grainy.) Place bowl over a saucepan of sim­mer­ing wa­ter, be­ing care­ful that bowl doesn’t touch wa­ter. Whisk 10 min­utes or un­til 160°F, sugar is com­pletely dis­solved, and mix­ture is smooth. Re­move bowl from saucepan.

2. Beat mix­ture with a mixer on medium-high 8 to 12 min­utes or un­til light, fluffy, glossy, and stiff peaks form.

3. Trans­fer 1/2 cup meringue to a pas­try bag fit­ted with a 1/4- inch round tip (to pipe the mush­rooms); set aside.

4. Let bowl with re­main­ing meringue sit at room tem­per­a­ture 10 min­utes. Beat in but­ter 2 Tbsp. at a time on medium 10 min­utes or un­til fluffy. After all the but­ter has been added, beat 1 minute more or un­til but­ter­cream is creamy and glossy. Beat in vanilla and a pinch of salt.

5. Di­vide the but­ter­cream in half. Stir al­mond pra­line mix­ture into one half. (Chill re­main­ing but­ter­cream un­til needed, up to 2 days. To soften, let sit at room tem­per­a­ture 2 hours, then place bowl over saucepan of sim­mer­ing wa­ter and heat 1 minute. Beat with a mixer on medium-high un­til creamy.)

MERINGUE MUSH­ROOMS

1. Pre­heat oven to 250°F. Pipe half the meringue in the pas­try bag into 3/4- to 1-inch mounds (mush­room caps) on a bak­ing sheet lined with parch­ment pa­per (about 20 mounds). Pipe re­main­ing meringue into squat stems that come to a point (about

20 stems). Bake 30 min­utes. Turn off oven; let meringues stand in cool­ing oven 1 hour. (Meringues can be made 1 day ahead. Store in an air­tight con­tainer at room tem­per­a­ture.)

2. Us­ing a par­ing knife or wooden skewer, poke a small hole into cen­ter of flat side of mounds. Dip stem tips in melted white choco­late, then insert into holes in mounds to cre­ate mush­rooms. If de­sired, paint tops of mush­rooms with lus­ter dust.

TO AS­SEM­BLE

1. Un­roll cooled cake. Spread pra­line but­ter­cream in an even layer over cake. Roll cake back up into a log, lift­ing end of towel to guide roll.

2. Cut off a few inches from the end of roll at an an­gle to make a branch. Trans­fer long por­tion (the log) to a serv­ing plat­ter. Frost one end of branch with enough but­ter­cream that it sticks to log; gen­tly press branch onto the top of log. Frost en­tire cake, drag­ging a spat­ula to cre­ate tex­ture. Dec­o­rate with dragées and Meringue Mush­rooms. Makes 12 serv­ings. per serv­ing 612 cal, 40 g fat, 143 mg chol, 81 mg sodium, 60 g carb, 2 g fiber, 53 g sug­ars, 7 g pro.

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