Daring Bakers December Challenge

French Yule Log

This month's challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux. They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand.
I began with roasting the coconut for the White Chocolat Insert. Then came the set-up for the creme brulee by letting the vanilla soak. Going on with the crisp insert, the coconut seemed to soak up most of the moisture, so I couldn't incorporate all of the Special K as required by the recipe. In spirit of Marion, who wrote on the forum that she prepared a test log in her small kitchen at home, and this article by some people who know a thing or two about cooking, I prepared the creme brulee in four ramekins in a casserole as a waterbath (as opposed to buying a new, slightly smaller casserole).

While the creme cooled, it was time for lunch. The next step was the preparation of the mousse. This proved to be the most involved step of the whole Challenge. But after re-reading the instructions like five dozen times, I managed to get everything ready at the right time. At this point, daylight began to fade (my kitchen window faces to the east), so from now on there will be only sub-par flashlight pictures.

Next I layered the first three elements into a loaf pan and set them in the freezer for two hours.

(first mousse layer plus creme brulee)

During that time the Dacquoise went by quite smoothly. The dough seemed a bit heavy, but turned out nice and golden. The baked Dacquoise tasted very sweet, but in the finished log the taste won't stand out, as it's refrigerated.

Finally, it was time to make the ganache. Everything went as practiced in November (tip of the toque to David Leibovitz for the advice of using a mesh strainer in the process). After pouring the ganache and layering the Dacquoise on top, it was time to close down shop for the night.

Late the next day I prepared the icing. It was a bit of a struggle to remove the cling-film from the frozen log, as it had formed some folds, which were frozen into the log. But finally it came free. The preparation of the icing was pretty straightforward and easy. And how did the log taste? I liked the icing best. The ganache was also good, if a little heavy and filling. The crisp, mousse and Dacquoise were good, but to me the vanilla flavour of the creme brulee couldn't quite hold up to the overall chocolate taste, and became a little drowned. I made this Challenge on Boxing Day, spending a leisurely day at home and in the kitchen. The Challenge as a whole was not that difficult to make. The key is logisics, i.e. figuring out a preparation sequence
without too much unnecessary waiting time. A big Thank You to Hilda and Marion for hosting this Challenge and for providing plenty of advice and encouraging words in the Daring Bakers Forum.


Claire said...

The chocolate did kind of overwhelm things...I think I must have anticipated this b/c I did a white chocolate mousse. Yours looks great!

BC said...

The glaze was one of my favourite parts too. I cut up thick Ziploc bags to line the pan as the cling form wrap was very thin. You're right, it was an exercise in organisation and a very delicious one at that!

Amy said...

Andreas -

I wish I had followed my instincts and used ramekins for the Brulee as well. Wonderful job!

Happy New Year,

Lis said...

I think it turned out lovely, Andreas! Well done! I was afraid of losing the flavor of the creme brulee myself so I made a lemon creme brulee. Although I have not finished my log yet (pray for me! hee!) I'm hoping that that particular layer turned out well.

Welcome to the DB!


Hilda said...

Wonderful job Andreas! I'm so glad you tackled this calmly and serenely (I find that every time I panick in the kitchen the outcome suffers, so I try to be pretty zen about it most of the time now). You may have been one of the only people who actually paid attention when I said the key to this was organization. Thanks for the thumbs up to me and Marion. Happy New Year!

Lynn said...

I agree with you regarding the creme brulee layer. It couldn't hold its own with all the chocolate. If, that is IF, I make this again, I would skip several of the mousse layers, or use less. I felt that was all I could taste was the mousse.

Still your yule log is amazing. A job well done, indeed.

MeetaK said...

well done andreas! i enjoyed every layer of the log and i found the creme brulee was rather delicious frozen like that! andreas wish you a great new year.

Christine said...

I'm glad I wasn't the only one concerned with the mousse. I'm glad yours worked out. It looks yummy!

alana said...

This looks great! I was worried about the vanilla holding up to the chocolate too, so I opted for lavender which held up pretty well. Yours looks really fabulous though.

breadchick said...

Yup, that mousse was a bit of a challenge. Well done on your log and bet you did enjoy the day.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Welcome to the DBs!
Love your log. Agree with you a lot of this challenge was organizing and being ready with what needed to be next.