It’s been a long time since I posted about baking on the blog. I love to bake, I find it really relaxing. However, I don’t get as much time to do it as I hoped.
I’m not an expert baker by any stretch, but I can make an OK sponge based cake. Which is why I agreed to a “Log-athon” in work.
If you don’t know this, then I work in an office Monday – Friday, and blog of an evening. One of the women in work came up with an idea of a Log Baking Contest, in order to fill the office with cake. We are a cake loving office, and have some great bakers in there, so I don’t really know why I decided to join in.
But for a bit of fun I said yes. We were told as long as the cake resembled a real life log, then we could bake it, in any way. I’m not making a traditional roll, I don’t have the practice time for that. My cake will be a loaf cake that I’ll be shaping and decorating to resemble a log.
Baking the Log
We could decide on the flavour of our cake, so I chose chocolate and orange. I found a great recipe on BBC good food, of a Chocolate Orange Marble Cake. I haven’t made a marble cake before, so I was a little apprehensive as to how it would turn out. But I don’t think it turned out too bad, for a first try.
The recipe was pretty easy to follow, with all your usual ingredients of butter, self raising flour, caster sugar, egss etc. The only part I needed to pay more attention to was splitting the mixture.
In order to create the marble effect, you have to split the mixture in to 2 bowls, and in one add the milk and cocoa powder, and in the other the orange juice and zest. To give it that orange taste, but not an overpowering one, I only added half a tablespoon of juice, along with the zest.
Presentation is key
The logs are being judged on taste and appearance. So in case the flavours went horribly wrong together, I was banking on the decoration, keeping it simple but effective. I decided to go with a melted chocolate topping, with a sprinkle of icing sugar, and an artificial decoration of a Robin. It looks as if the little Robin had landed on the log, in real life.
A little tip I was given, and it worked really well, because I was carving my loaf cake in to a rounded log shape, I let the cake cool, then used a hot sharp knife (run under the hot water tap and dry off) to cut the cake in to my shape.
Once all carved, I drizzled the cake with melted milk chocolate, added a bit of sprinkle, popped on the Robin, and then was ready to present it on my lovely heart board.
Christmas Day Bake
I think the overall bake and decoration worked well, so I think I might even recreate it to take to my Mum’s on Christmas Day.
I’d say the overall prep took about 25 minutes. I baked the cake for 55 minutes, the longest recommended time. It cooled for around an hour and a half (with help from the fridge), then decorated it. It’s good to be productive in the baking and cooling time, so I cleaned up, watched The Holiday and melted the chocolate for decorating.
I’d love to know what you guys think of it, and if you’ve ever baked something like this before. Will you be baking for Christmas this year?