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"Great American Baking Show" winner previews MetroCooking DC

Lauren Katz offers a course in yule log baking. (ABC7)

Ashburn resident and self-taught baker Lauren Katz made a big name for herself when she took home the grand prize on season one of ABC’s “Great American Baking Show.” This weekend she’ll be taking part in the 12th annual MetroCooking DC, and she offered a preview with a lesson in making yule logs for the holiday season.

Easy Chocolate Raspberry Yule Log

For the sponge:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

For the icing and filling:

  • Seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 cup unsalted Challenge butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso (optional)
  • Pinch salt

Decorations: meringue mushrooms or chocolate mushroom cookies (available in the Asian food section or Asian groceries), rosemary, sugared cranberries, chocolate leaves made from candy melts, “Moss” made from crushed meringues and matcha tea powder.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper and spray well with non-stick baking spray.

In an electric stand mixer, whip eggs and sugar for 5 minutes or until eggs are very pale and fluffy, and have tripled in volume. Mix in vanilla extract. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Gently fold onto egg mixture, trying to deflate as little as possible. Spread batter evenly onto prepared pan. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until top springs back when touched in center.

While sponge is baking, cover a clean tea towel with a generous dusting of powdered sugar. Immediately turn the hot cake out onto tea towel. Roll up tightly, starting from the short end and rolling toward the other short end. Let cool for 20-30 minutes. Unroll gently, spread with a thin layer of jam, then frost with an even layer of icing, roll back up, frost outside, and decorate as desired. Store in refrigerator until an hour before serving. Slice and serve.

For the icing:

Combine milk (or cream) and espresso powder. In a large stand mixer on medium speed, whip butter with paddle attachment until pale and aerated (2-3 minutes). Turn off mixer, add powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla, salt, and cream/espresso mixture. Whip for an additional 2-3 minutes or until fluffy and smooth.

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