But, believe it or not, the cookies are, in fact, more delicious this way. They remained crisp instead of reeking of irrevocable charring, further radiating richer notes of butter.
The latter was especially welcome after a long period of its absence. Maple ham proved a worthy investment, contributing luscious notes of maple that contrasted nicely with the pineapple's acidity.
This year's turkey was the best of all years. A spectacular, golden sheen glistened from within the tray. Not a single part revealed signs of overdone-ness. Sheathed within unfathomably crispy, rotisserie-style skin was exceptionally tender turkey breast. The leanest part of the bird emerged at perfect doneness, oozing with flavour, and alluring in its seemingly endless enjoyment potential.
Submerged within clear, delectable juices were the aromatics. The onions were sweet and tender, while the garlic fragrant without being overbearing.
That said, this year's iteration persists as the most enjoyable turkey of all years - an exemplary yield to be enjoyed in other forms in the subsequent days.
This year's edition took advantage of the four leftover egg whites from cookie-making, and yielded an extravagant amount of Italian buttercream. Sunday Baking's recipe had been scaled up from two egg whites to four; in hindsight, her original ratios were ideal for frosting/filling a single cake.
The yolks, now contaminated with protein, first failed to expand in volume. Upon adding the dry ingredients, the batter grew lumpy and outright repulsive. I added baking powder for good measure, but really ought to have refrained from doing so. The whites, despite showing success in acquiring some degree of volume, lacked the structural integrity of meringue.
The batter was passed through a sieve to remove any lumps. It appeared fine at first, but the cake collapsed in the oven, emerging after its 15-minute baking time with noticeable bumps on its surface and non-uniformity in thickness.
I opted to decorate the top with chocolate ganache, only to realize that I had incorporated too much butter in efforts to make it appear smoother. This, in turn, caused:
- The ganache to be excessively rigid (not pliable enough for piping)
- The volume to decrease, leaving me with barren segments of cake
Thinking quickly, I rapidly mixed melted Surfin with a small amount of leftover buttercream. The combination was tasty, but its finish was glossy instead of matte. A different mouthfeel had been obtained.
Though visually appealing at a glance and bearing sufficient resemblance to a Yule Log, I declared the roll cake inferior to previous pieces with similar output specifications in the departments of taste and texture. The journey to Swiss roll mastery is a grueling, lengthy one indeed.
Physical Christmas presents were limited this year, being bestowed solely on the basis of need. My go-to scent was replenished - in a Mediterranean-themed box to boot! - with the addition of a scented body cream.
Truthfully, I had wanted to revisit the delicate crumb of last year's Cocoa Cupcakes, but wasn't able to locate the recipe organically through YouTube's mobile app. Instead, I took to the first recipe of interest: Sunday Baking's Fudgy & Moist Gothic Black Buttercream Cake. I instinctively skipped the buttercream then swapped out the cocoa powders for finely milled houjicha instead. 11 g were sourced from a forgotten packet from Korea, then 39 g more from Paragon's Houjicha Obsidian to yield a total of 50 g - the equivalent mass of Sunday's predominant flavouring.
Mini muffin liners from Dollarama made their entrance, only to be regarded with disdain due to the gap left between the liner and pan. A different set of mini liners was slotted in for comparison, and served to fit the muffin tin perfectly. The diameter of the Dollarama renditions were at 5-10% too small.
SK's Marbled Banana Bread was constructed on the side, simply as a consequence of having three spotted, ripe bananas on hand.
I immediately poured whipping cream into a medium-sized bowl, whipping it to soft peaks then preparing a warmed portion of strawberry jam for incorporation. Perhaps the soluble jam mixture had been heated too much, for the mixture curdled even after sacrificial mixing.